As another year without a dull moment comes to a close, why not start planning an epic, but safe New Year’s Eve trip to celebrate a fresh, new beginning?
Will 2022 deliver the normal quality of life we’ve been so long denied? Time will tell. Here are some destinations to consider for a New Year’s Eve celebration.
1. Puerto Rico
To dodge the winter blues, jet to someplace warm. Puerto Rico offers not only pleasant weather, but friendly people and good vibes.
Some of the biggest parties are at hotels and resorts in San Juan, Bayamón, and the beach town of Isabela.
Check out Que PezCa’o for mahi mahi mofongo and bacalao croquettes, or La Estación, with a vibe that Condé Nast describes as “industrial chic”.
You can’t really go wrong with the beach clubs, where you can jam to reggaeton, salsa, merengue and more played by top DJs until well past dawn.
If you’re not ready to return to the nightclub scene just yet, why not split the cost of a villa with some friends?
Your dollar can go a long way in Mexico, and there are some beautiful condos and villas to rent in Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita and the legendary Riviera Maya.
Imagine having a toast at the stroke of midnight on your own, private grounds, where you are free to make as much noise as you’d like because there are no residents nearby? Yes. So much yes.
Of course, the owners want guests to enjoy themselves within reason. They can arrange for a chef to prepare a delectable meal, or hire a bartender to make sure your glass is never empty for long.
You’ll just be expected to tip the staff and leave the home in pristine condition.
3. Anguilla and St. Martin
It’s easy to hop between Anguilla and St. Martin via the ferry if you have your passport.
New Year’s Eve in Anguilla is often called Old Year’s Night, since you are technically saying goodbye to the old year.
If taking a long walk on the beach with your lover is how you’d like to kick 2021 to the curb, the only question is, which beach?
Anguilla has 33, with Shoal Bay as the obvious showstopper, and St. Martin has 37 between the Dutch and French sides.
4. Brooklyn, New York
Times Square is a circus every New Year’s Eve, and the crowd is doused in rainbow confetti once the crystal ball has dropped. But you’ll have to stand around for hours, and heaven help you if you need to use the bathroom.
Let’s leave Manhattan alone altogether, and head across the bridge to Brooklyn, which offers a number of fantastic nightclubs.
Friends & Lovers and TBA are decidedly chill, allowing you to have a conversation without shouting at the person in front of you. There are drinks and food available to purchase at reasonable prices.
If you’re really looking to get wild in a venue that embraces diversity, and doesn’t play when it comes to consent, check out House of Yes. Like every other event it puts on, the New Year’s Eve parties have historically been off the chain.
There’s no word yet on whether House of Yes will host a New Year’s party, but since it has already opened for vaccinated clubbers, the chances are high.
5. Paris, France
The City of Light can never lose its appeal, and this is just the spot for some romance.
Buy tickets from the Bateaux Parisiens company for a gourmet dinner and champagne on the Seine. It’s pricey, but you’re on vacation, so splurge if you can.
Take in a cabaret show, a classic music performance in an old church (which is basically every church in Paris), or dine at a restaurant within view of The Eiffel Tower.
Expect the city’s most famous monument to sparkle for the special occasion, even more than it does every evening.
6. The Bay Area, California
Every New Year’s Eve in San Francisco, crowds gather to watch the Embarcadero Fireworks Show behind the Ferry Building.
Before you head off to see the pyrotechnics, get some food in your system. The Bay offers a staggering amount of eateries, and of course, we’re going to focus on some Black-owned ones.
Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland is owned by chef Tanya Holland, and the menu is soul food focused, with some of the most delectable chicken and waffles around.
For more of that kind of cuisine with a Louisiana flair, there’s Frisco Fried in San Francisco. It’s owned by Marcel Banks, who has been proudly feeding his community for years. His signature dishes are the lemon pepper chicken and the oxtail.
Price gouging is sure to happen with the taxis, so once you’ve finished partying, take advantage of the BART, which extends its hours of operation to 3 AM New Year’s Day.
7. Dubrovnik, Croatia
The ancient walls and limestone streets of Dubrovnik’s Old Town represent history frozen in time, which is what makes this city a feast for the eyes.
In the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, check out the various Christmas markets in the main squares, where you can purchase mulled wine and other products.
On the last night of the year, there’s plenty of partying on the main street of Stradun, concluding in an impressive fireworks display.
8. Las Vegas
The SUSHISAMBA Tree Bar in Vegas will be hosting an immersive NYE dinner.
SAMBAZONIA, inspired by Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, will feature an a la carte menu with festive specials and signature dishes. You can also expect DJs, immersive entertainment, and live performances. You’ll want to make reservations, ASAP!