Nearly every city in America does at least a little something to mark the new year, but there are a few places that really know how to do it up right. In no particular order, here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the best spots in the U.S. to toast 2013.
While rowdy revelers fill Bourbon Street all day and night, the official party is in Jackson Square, where there’s enough live entertainment and general mayhem to almost rival the city’s Mardi Gras atmosphere. At midnight, a drop (it could be Baby Bacchus, the LSU insignia or something new altogether) above Jax Brewery marks the new year and is followed by a gangbusters 15-minute fireworks show above the Mississippi.
New Year’s Eve in New York is the type of event that bucket lists are made of — check this one off and join the hundreds of thousands who fill Times Square. The crowd is nothing short of jubilant, as it takes in several celebrity musical acts (Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen headline this year’s festivities) and hourly countdowns before the confetti falls and the crystal ball drops from the top of 1 Times Square at midnight.
Skiers and riders from Vail Ski and Snowboard School descend down Golden Peak in a spectacular snakelike formation — each holding glow sticks — for the annual Torchlight Parade, which is followed by fireworks. While families can then celebrate atop Adventure Ridge with a slew of wintry activities, partiers head to Dobson Arena for the mountain’s biggest dance party.
Music City does New Year’s Eve with a country twist: Thousands will fill Lower Broadway for the fourth annual Bash on Broadway to see bands with Nashville roots (The Fray, Sixpence None the Richer, Striking Matches), watch the enormous red music note drop from its tall perch and catch a late-night fireworks show.
Despite its self-serving event name, “Celebrate San Antonio,” this party is actually all about New Year’s Eve. Around 250,000 people are expected to fill the area near the city’s vibrant River Walk, taking in musical acts on four different stages, family activities and a blowout fireworks display at the strike of midnight.
Photo Courtesy of iStock/Scott Cramer