The Best Places to Travel This New Years (That You Haven’t Thought of Yet)
You’ve worked hard all year and finally get a few days off work, and are trying to rally your friends to come up with the perfect destination for your end-of-year holiday, but are stuck on where to go! Whether you’re looking for a low-key getaway somewhere stateside, a ski weekend somewhere in the mountains, or a fiesta-filled tropical vacay, there’s something on this list for you. After all, New Years is the perfect time to get away and celebrate the year with a well-deserved vacation!
Last New Years, I traveled to Cartagena, Colombia and it was the best. When it comes to most memorable New Years Eves of my life, nothing will ever top watching the fireworks overhead in a cobblestoned alley of Old Town Cartagena.
The city comes alive around New Years time (after all, this is the middle of their Summer), and it is definitely one of the best times to travel to Colombia. Whether your idea of an end-of-year vacation is sipping the best coffee in the world on a bougainvillea-laced balcony (my favorite place to do this is the hotel Casa San Agustin) or salsa-dancing the nights away in one of Cartagena’s famous nightclubs (like Alquimico, La Movida, La Jugada, or Cafe Havana), this is the holiday-season destination for you.
If staying stateside is more your NYE MO, Austin is a perfect destination. With warm winter weather, a huge foodie scene, and world-class nightlife, it’s hard to beat Austin for a New Year’s vacay. Stay at the super-chic South Congress Hotel and spend New Years Eve out and about on Rainey Street, or sipping martinis in the ultra-swanky lobby bar. If you’re looking for a New Years Eve events in Austin, Speakeasy throws a legendary New Years Eve party with live performances from Austin Party Band on Congress Ave. This holiday tradition has been happening since 1997 and every year it gets even bigger than the last!
Palm Springs, California
If you’re looking to desert your desk and head to the desert, this is the ideal New Years destination for you. Palm Springs is gorgeous and, most importantly, WARM YEAR ROUND. (TG for the desert). Spend your days golfing or hanging by the pool, and your nights taking in the downtown bar scene or just hanging at your hotel. Palm Springs is the perfect blend of laid-back and wild, so you’re guaranteed to have the ideal NYE for you. My favorite hotels to book in Palm Springs are the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage or La Quinta if I’m looking for luxury, or the wet-and-wild Saguaro Palm Springs if I’m going with a group of friends (or on a bachelorette party!)
As a Californian, I’ve spent my fair share of New Years on the beaches of Cabo San Lucas. If you’re looking for the perfect margarita-filled getaway, that isn’t too far from the states (only a few hours from California!), Cabo is a great choice. You can choose to have a relaxing beach or golf getaway at a secluded Cabo resort like Pedregal, or sign up for a luxe all-inclusive in the heart of hoppin’ Medano Beach like Pueblo Bonito.
If you’re more of a snow bunny than a beach bum, you may want to think about ringing in the new year in Vail, Colorado. Each year, this both romantic and family-friendly destination celebrates the New Year with a gorgeous torchlight parade, where skiers form a glowing train and ski down Golden Peak with a Fireworks show. If your perfect New Years Eve involves a glass of red wine by the fireplace, followed by an early morning ski sesh, this is the New Year’s 2019 destination for you. Look into basing from The Sebastian or The Four Seasons Vail for the perfect mountain holiday.
It’s hard to beat a Vegas New Years. You can spend your days brunching and sipping mimosas at some of the best restaurants in the world, shop the endless Strip shops (and pick up a whole new wardrobe for 2019), try your luck gambling at the casino and stay up all night dancing the year away in one of the many world-famous nightclubs. If your New Years style is a little luxe, a little splurge, and a lot of party, this is the destination for you. And when it comes to where to stay for a chic New Years weekend in Vegas, the rooms at the Wynn are hard to beat.
Key West, Florida
The Florida Keys are one of my very favorite destinations in the US! Just a couple hours south of Miami, Key West is a tropical Caribbean island that feels a world away from the continental US (even though it is technically the southernmost tip of the US!). The balmy tropical weather, relaxed atmosphere, amazing seafood, rowdy bars and free-flowing rum make it a perfect destination any time of the year, but even more fun on New Year’s Eve. Check into the ideally-located Pier House beach hotel (where Jimmy Buffet played his first Key West gig) and soak up the Caribbean views (and maybe a frozen daiquiri or three).