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When it comes to New Year’s Eve, there are a lot of cities that like to do it big. While you could always opt for New York City, the crowds (and the prices) can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re all about showing you some of the more unusual places where you can spend the big holiday.

Honolulu, Hawaii

You don’t have to freeze your butt off on New Year’s Eve. Instead, you can spend it on the beach, wearing a bikini. There are fireworks over Waikiki Beach, which is why the Hilton Hawaiian Village is such a great option. The space covers 22 acres and if you so choose, you’ll never even have to leave the property for things to do.

Many of the locals celebrate with their families at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, which includes a beer garden, carnival rides, and various stages with entertainment.

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Los Angeles, California

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You can choose to ring in the New Year the way that many celebrities do. In Hollywood, there’s the Egyptian Theatre with the annual Cleopatra New Year’s Eve Ball. There’s a balloon drop at midnight and a DJ spinning tracks up until then. A variety of street parties exist as well, which can be a little more low key and budget-friendly, too.

The Renaissance is a great option if you want to fly in and stay near the airport. Taxis or even Uber can provide you with all the transportation you need within the city. It will keep you safer, too, especially if you’re having champagne toasts at every party you hit.

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Chicago, Illinois

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places to spend NYE
Photo by Chris Phutully

The Windy City has some serious options for New Year’s Eve as well. If you want a black tie affair, you can opt for the Chicago Resolution Gala. Various hotels are found around Nay Pier, too, which is where many locals choose to go. This includes some of the high-end ones that offer 24/7 room service as well as heated indoor pools. There will be rides and entertainment for kids and adults alike. Plus, you can get a beautiful view of fireworks bursting over Lake Michigan.

For a complete listing of all of the rooms available on NYE in Chicago this year, definitely check out our search engine. You can customize your preferences on the lefthand side, and toggle by location with the map feature on the right.

Las Vegas, Nevada

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places to spend NYE
Photo by Terry Giles

Sin City can be a great way to spend December 31. You can visit virtually any one of the high rise hotels and resorts on the Vegas Strip for entertainment. The clubs all have something going on, so you have to decide if you want to squeeze into one that has room or book an advanced ticket to be able to celebrate in style.

With a good map of The Strip, you can decide what you want to be close to. Countless hotels and resorts are within walking distance of each other, so you can stay in one and then do a crawl down the strip to check out all of what the others offer. In particular, we love the Cosmopolitan in Vegas, and we’re smitten with the thought of ringing in the New Year around all those dazzling lights.

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New Orleans, Louisiana

places to spend NYE
Photo by Guy Salois

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If you want a taste of Creole and the French Quarter, then N’awlins may be the place for you. Jackson Square does up a party that’s so big you would swear that it’s Mardis Gras. There will be parades taking place day and night and then fireworks. You won’t see a ball drop – instead, it’s a fleur de lis that descends from a giant pole. Even when midnight has passed, you can continue the fun on Bourbon Street.

Rather than staying in a traditional hotel, you can opt for an Airbnb. Many places will list their homes or rooms, so you can grab all of the comforts of home for less. We love this Airbnb in New Orleans, and by staying with a local, you’re sure to get great advice on the best gems in the city.

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