There’s no better time of year to reflect, set new goals, and spend quality time with your loved ones than now. If one of your goals is to explore more of the world, why not start now with a road trip? From coast to coast, the United States is home to a variety of cities that offer unforgettable New Year’s Eve festivities. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best places to spend New Years in the USA!
1. New York City, New York
The Big Apple is undoubtedly the most iconic destination to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The famous ball drop at Times Square attracts millions of people from around the world and is the country’s most famous U.S. New Year’s Eve tradition! The atmosphere is electric as the countdown begins, and the entire city erupts in cheers and confetti when the clock strikes midnight. This celebration is best suited for friends and family who want to be part of a massive party, and promises to be an experience you’ll never forget.
2. Nashville, Tennessee
One of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in the USA, Nashville offers a unique spin on a traditional USA experience: instead of watching a ball drop, watch a “Music Note Drop!” Music City will pulse with live music performances, fireworks, and a street party on Broadway.
Few places offer the vibrant energy and lively atmosphere that Nashville does, making it a fantastic place to celebrate with friends. Even if you’re not a country music fan, you’re sure to enjoy mingling with friendly locals and soaking up that true Southern hospitality.
3. Boston, Massachusetts
Looking for a historical and culturally rich New Year’s Eve celebration? Put Boston at the top of your list! As one of the best places for New Year’s in the USA, the city hosts the “First Night Boston” event. This fantastic festival includes ice sculptures, live music and theater, and an impressive fireworks show over the harbor. The celebration is family-friendly, making it an ideal destination for those traveling with children. Explore the city’s charming streets during the day and enjoy fun festivities at night.
4. Chicago, Illinois
For decades the Windy City has proven itself one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s in the USA. There are hundreds of parties throughout the city, from rooftop celebrations to elegant galas. Whether you’re a foodie, a music lover, or a fan of stunning cityscapes, Chicago has something for everyone. Chicago is a great option for families with older children or groups of friends interested in sightseeing during the day and getting festive through the night.
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The city of brotherly love transforms into a hub of excitement on New Year’s Eve. Choose from a romantic dinner in Rittenhouse Square or a ravishing fireworks show at the Delaware River Waterfront. Traveling with family? The Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest offers ice skating, rides, games, and plenty of delicious food stands to keep visitors of all ages entertained.
Rent a van in Philadelphia so you can explore nearby attractions too, like the 700-pound crystal mushroom that drops at midnight at Kennett Square’s Midnight in the Square New Year’s event!
6. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Not all New Year’s celebrations have to be over the top. If a relaxed and peaceful getaway is what you’re after, then Cape Cod is one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve. Its serene coast and laid-back atmosphere are perfect for a romantic escape with your partner or a tranquil get-together with a close-knit group of friends. Bundle up and spend a quiet evening by the beach or check out the many restaurants and resorts that offer special New Year’s Eve menus and events.
7. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City is known the world over for its bustling casinos and electric nightlife! The city hosts a variety of New Year’s Eve parties, concerts, and shows, ensuring that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. As the clock strikes midnight, a fireworks spectacle explodes over the ocean while nightclubs pulse with fervor. Atlantic City is a great option for groups of friends looking for excitement and a bit of seaside glamor.
8. Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital is a fantastic place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If you’re traveling with couples, the D.C. New Year’s Eve Gala is a grand event featuring live music, dining, and dancing. If you’re traveling with family, the National Mall is a prime location to watch fireworks burst over the iconic Washington Monument and the Capitol Building.
Renting a van in Washington, D.C. gives you the chance to explore the sprawling city’s museums and landmarks before diving into the party at night.
9. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
For a New Year’s Eve celebration with a coastal twist, why not make your way to Myrtle Beach? The city hosts a variety of events, including fireworks displays, live music performances, and parties at popular venues like Margaritaville and Dave & Buster’s. Myrtle Beach is an excellent destination for both families and friends looking to party. With an average temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a bit too cold for the beach, but plenty of hotels offer indoor water parks to ensure you still get a taste of summer.
10. New Orleans, Louisiana
NOLA is always one of the best places for New Year’s in the USA. Its culture is lively and unique and boy does New Orleans know how to throw a party! The famous French Quarter is a frenzy of activity on New Year’s Eve with live music performances, street parties, and an unparalleled fireworks show over the Mississippi River.
The blend of music, food, and rich history makes it an unforgettable destination for ringing in the New Year. New Orleans is best suited for groups of friends looking for an energetic celebration with lots of booze.
11. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
There’s nowhere more magical than Walt Disney World to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your family. The enchanting theme park offers special events, parades, and fireworks displays that you’re sure to remember for years to come. From Cinderella’s Castle to Epcot’s World Showcase, the park sparkles with excitement and holiday cheer. Walt Disney World is an ideal destination for families with children looking for a whimsical New Year experience.
12. Las Vegas, Nevada
Where is the biggest New Year’s Eve party? Las Vegas! The list of best places to celebrate the New Year in the USA would not be complete without mentioning the entertainment capital of the world.
If you and your friends are looking for the ultimate party, the New Year’s Eve celebration here is like no other. The famous Las Vegas Strip turns into a giant outdoor blowout, with extravagant fireworks displays, live performances by world-class musicians, and plenty of DJs to keep you dancing for days. If you’re ready to indulge in the party of the year, Las Vegas is your spot.
13. Seattle, Washington
Seattle’s proximity to some of the nation’s most stunning natural landscapes makes it a special destination for a New Year’s vacation. The iconic Space Needle hosts a dazzling display of colorful fireworks that explode over Puget Sound. Seattle showcases its renowned music scene by hosting live shows and concerts of all genres. Enjoy that laid-back, Pacific Northwest atmosphere and picturesque surroundings with a group of your chillest friends or your romantic partner.
14. San Francisco, California
Easily one of the most beautiful places in the nation, San Francisco provides a stunning backdrop for a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration. From exploding fireworks to live concerts, and decadent dinners to themed parties, there is something for every adult in San Fran. San Francisco is an ideal destination for friends or couples seeking a mix of urban excitement and natural beauty.
15. Miami, Florida
Miami just might be the very best place to spend New Year’s Eve with a group of your wildest friends. Its year-round pleasant weather is a sun worshiper’s paradise, and the nightlife rivals any major city worldwide. If spending the day on the beach before dancing the night away on the rooftop of a dazzling hotel sounds like your scene, head south. From sweeping fireworks displays over the ocean to exclusive parties with the hottest celebrities, Miami hosts a New Year’s Eve you won’t forget.
NYE trip common questions
With all these choices, it could be tough to narrow down one city to spend the New Year. Below we answer any questions you might have about where to go this New Year’s Eve.
What city is best to spend the New Year?
New York City is the best city to spend New Year’s Eve. The iconic ball drop in Times Square, the massive crowds, and the electric atmosphere make it a truly unforgettable experience for friends, families, and couples alike.
Where is the biggest New Year’s Eve party?
The biggest New Year’s Eve party in the USA is held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The entire Las Vegas Strip transforms into a massive outdoor celebration, with spectacular fireworks, live performances, and vibrant street festivities.
What is the most famous U.S. New Year’s Eve tradition?
The most famous U.S. New Year’s Eve tradition is the ball drop in Times Square, New York City. Millions of people gather to watch it descend from One Times Square as the clock strikes midnight, marking the start of the new year.
Start the New Year with plenty of legroom
Everyone knows that starting the new year off on the right foot is crucial to your success. If traveling more and spending time with your loved ones is one of your resolutions, we are here to help. We know how fun it is to road trip with your family or friends and that having enough space makes all the difference.
By renting a van with Greenvans, you’re guaranteed both space and precious memories together while exploring the country. Ready to roll? Let us help you choose what size passenger van is best for your trip.