8 Most Iconic Venues in the Nation to Ring in New Year
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So long Father Time, hello fresh-faced Baby 2016! Here are the eight most iconic places in America to ring in the new year.
1. Times Square Ball Drop
Location: Times Square, NYC
Highlights: Easily the most famous New Year's Eve celebration in the world—all around the globe people watch the ball drop in Times Square.
What you need to know: Times Square's website says "get there as early as possible." We recommend late afternoon to beat the crowd. And dress warmly! NYC in the winter is no joke, and you'll be standing still for say, five hours.
2. Downtown Countdown
Location: The Vegas Strip
Highlights: 13 of the best tribute bands in the world, plus a choreographed fireworks show coming from seven different casinos. The whole strip is closed to traffic, turning Sin City into a 300,000-person block party.
What you need to know: Roads start closing at 6pm, so get down there early, and if you need a hotel book it NOW. Right now. Also, you may be in the middle of the desert, but even Vegas can get chilly, so remember to bundle up.
3. Bay Boat Tour
Location: San Francisco
Highlights: Instead of freezing your toes off in the crowds of Times Square, try a firework-laden boat ride across the San Francisco Bay. Cruises range from speakeasies to yachts—whatever your tastes, seeing the lightshow from the Golden Gate.
Cost: Starting at $300
What you need to know: If you want to go, RESERVE NOW! Tickets will go fast come the holidays. All types of cruises, but expect to wear at least a suit, up to black tie, depending on your boat.
4. Disney World
Highlights: New Year's Eve at Epcot in Disney is an experience like no other. The brilliantly choreographed IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks and lightshow tops off the international New Year's experience.
What you need to know: Expect crowds, but not quite as big as in NYC. Epcot is the biggest of the parks, so they'll be room to sit and walk around—but the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be jam-packed.
Location: Honolulu, HI
Highlights: Who needs fireworks when you can have fire dancers? Check in to any of the bars or clubs like the Kaka’ako Waterfront Park and you'll get DJs and traditional Polynesian dance shows. Or, take a free stumble out to Waikiki beach for a firework show on the water.
Cost: Free to $350
What you need to know: One of the classiest black-tie events will be at the Trump Hotel Waikiki, so bring your A-game if you plan on that venue. Also, "aloha" means hello and goodbye.
6. Peach Drop
Location: Underground Atlanta, 50 Central Ave SW, Atlanta
Highlights: The 16-hour, largest New Year's Eve celebration in the Southeast drops an 800-pound peach on the ATL downtown. This year the event features Sister Hazel and Atlanta's own T.I.
What you need to know: Live entertainment starts at 6pm and goes through the night. Again, get there early, and no dress code. If you want food at a restaurant put in some reservations, but there will be street vendors throughout the event and Underground Atlanta's food court will stay open until 9pm.
7. Fleur de Lis Drop
Location: Jackson Square, New Orleans
Highlights: The Decatur Street Stage will host shows from Luke Winslow King at 9pm followed by Cyril Neville’s Swamp Funk at 10:45pm, because the Big Easy never goes without live music. Afterwards, fireworks over the Mississippi, then follow the crowds to Bourbon Street.
What you need to know: If you plan on bringing the kids, probably skip that Bourbon Street part. Besides that, make your reservations now, because the All State Sugar Bowl is playing in the Crescent City on Jan. 1.
8. Space Needle
Location: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St, Seattle
Highlights: Crazy fireworks will launch off the Space Needle at midnight—making it even more UFO-esque than normal. Entrance to the Seattle Center is free, but to really kick off 2016 in style you can buy tickets to the SkyCity Soiree or Observation Deck Dance Party on the Space Needle itself.
Cost: Free for Seattle Center, $250 for SkyCity Soiree/$100 for Observation Deck
What you need to know: Suggested attire is semi-formal for the two parties on the Needle. You can see the fireworks from almost anywhere in the city—being one of the world's largest structure-launched shows. The Show lasts only eight minutes, so check out some of the clubs after you push your way through the crowds.