America's Best Cities for New Year's Eve

  • New York

    Photo: Frances M. Roberts / Alamy

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    It takes more than a dropping ball or a big crowd to make for a great New Year’s Eve celebration.

    From December 2010 By

    As a former flight attendant, Beth Blair had been to Las Vegas countless times. A few years ago, she decided it would be a great place to spend New Year’s Eve: bright lights, cocktails, and an all-night party.

    But it wasn’t what she’d hoped. “On the last day of the year, Las Vegas turns into a disrupted anthill—too chaotic and wild for me,” says Blair, now a travel blogger based in Minneapolis. “I was surprised Las Vegas could get any more amped up. It just brings out the wildest of the wild.”

    Of course, that anthill level of excitement doesn’t scare everyone away. In the latest Travel + Leisure survey, Sin City ranked No. 5 out of 35 as the best American city for New Year’s Eve.

    The best place to spend New Year’s Eve was just one part of the America’s Favorite Cities survey, where Travel + Leisure readers ranked 35 U.S. cities in 54 categories, such as the best luxury shopping, the best live music, and even the best coffee bars.

    Finding a great place to celebrate New Year’s Eve is important. While many of us keep a standing New Year’s date with the TV and a pair of fuzzy slippers, more than 1 in 4 Americans plan to travel to welcome in the new year, according to a survey from LowFares.com.

    Like Blair, not everyone who travels for New Year’s wants a raucous time. When we looked at the Top 25 for New Year’s in the AFC survey, a mix of great live music, good bars, and wild weekend potential helped bolster many cities’ rankings. But warm weather also seemed to play a huge role. Two of the Top 10 cities are on islands, two are in the desert, and one—San Diego—is the AFC voters’ winner in the climate category.

    Many people also just have different definitions of what constitutes a good party. Memphis, for all its great music and good food, still came in at No. 25 for New Year’s Eve—perhaps because AFC voters found other things about staying in Memphis that dampened their spirits. Meanwhile, southern city Savannah—new to the AFC survey—shot to No. 4, even besting Vegas, proving that some folks would rather err on the side of charming for December 31.

    And what about New York City, arguably the epicenter of New Year’s Eve? It made a mediocre No. 13 showing, perhaps due to cold temps, big crowds, and high prices. Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer, a native New Yorker, admits that she has spent more New Year’s Eves than she can count in Times Square. “Every year I swore I wouldn’t do it again,” she said, “but then a friend would come into town, or it wouldn’t seem so cold—but it was never really fun.”

    Here’s where to go—and where not to go—to ensure that you do have fun on New Year’s Eve.

  • Memphis

    Photo: Gavin Hellier / Alamy

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    No. 25 Memphis

    How could such a music-filled city (No. 8) rank so poorly for New Year’s Eve? Maybe it’s that AFC voters didn’t like the places to bunk down after midnight tolls: the city’s luxury, boutique, and even business hotels all rank in the bottom five. The city also doesn’t inspire much confidence after dark: it came in last place for feeling safe.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Kansas City

    Photo: iStock

    3 of 27

    No. 24 Kansas City

    Since the midwestern city ranks a ho-hum No. 31 for its wild weekend potential, maybe it’s no surprise that it doesn’t dazzle the masses for the biggest party night of the year. Plus, all those good barbecue places—the city ranks No. 2 for its ribs and such—probably close well before 12 a.m.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Dallas/Fort Worth

    Photo: Chad Ehlers / Alamy

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    No. 23 Dallas/Fort Worth

    If all you want from New Year’s is a nice dinner and an early night, Dallas may be your town: its big-name restaurants ranked No. 13, but its live music offerings ranked No. 34, and its singles’ scene No. 29. This is clearly also not the city to steal a kiss as the ball drops: the city ranks next to last for being a romantic escape.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Atlanta

    Photo: iStock

    5 of 27

    No. 22 Atlanta

    The fact that AFC voters’ favorite thing about Atlanta is its business hotels (No. 8) doesn’t bode well for a sparkling night out. And yet, those buttoned-down hotels are your best bet for access to watching the 800-pound peach drop at midnight in downtown. You probably won’t blow your budget, either: Atlanta ranks right in the middle of the survey (No. 19) for affordability.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Santa Fe

    Photo: Chris Alan Selby / Alamy

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    No. 21 Santa Fe

    For some people, the fact that Santa Fe comes in last place as a wild weekend spot, as well as No. 1 for peace and quiet, translates into an enticing New Year’s Eve. The No. 4 town for weather makes for good end-of-year shopping and gallery-hopping: it’s in the Top 5 for antiques, vintage shops, and indie boutiques, as well as museums and galleries.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Salt Lake City

    Photo: iStock

    7 of 27

    No. 20 Salt Lake City

    If you’re expecting a raging bar scene in this Utah city, you have no one but yourself to blame (it ranks last, at No. 35). But this city has fun in other ways: its downtown does offer three nights of family-friendly music and festivities at a low price—no surprise, since the city ranks No. 2 for year-round affordability and No. 3 for family vacations.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Los Angeles

    Photo: iStock

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    No. 19 Los Angeles

    L.A. ranks last for its public transit options, so your New Year’s outing here will require a designated driver. There’s also something of a mandate to do it up right: its locals rank No. 9 for being stylish, while its luxury hotels came in at No. 8 and its big-name restaurants at No. 6. Sound pricey? It is. Los Angeles comes in next-to-last for affordability.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Providence, Rhode Island

    Photo: Wendy Ball & Dara Albanese

    9 of 27

    No. 18 Providence

    In the No. 2 town for theater and performance art, it makes sense that Providence’s New Year’s party, Bright Night Providence, is arts-driven. And if you don’t want crowds, this is a great town for hanging out in a hole-in-a-wall: the Rhode Island city ranks third for its neighborhood joints, and its burgers and pizza come in at No. 3, too.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Houston

    Photo: iStock

    10 of 27

    No. 17 Houston

    Several hotels here do big New Year’s Eve parties, which is probably your best bet in this Texas city—AFC voters rank it third for affordable hotels and fourth for its business hotels. Venture out for some good cheap eats, too: its burgers reign at No. 1.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Denver

    Photo: Jim Havey / Alamy

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    No. 16 Denver

    While AFC voters would rather come here when it’s warmer (it ranks No. 6 for summer visits), you can still celebrate New Year’s downtown while watching the annual fireworks show. You might forgo the champagne, though: the best bubblies in town are the microbrews, which rank No. 2.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • San Francisco

    Photo: iStock

    12 of 27

    No. 15 San Francisco

    You can see the city’s New Year’s fireworks from almost any high perch—the city ranks third for its city views. Or you could opt for the annual silent-film screening at Grace Cathedral—a classic in the city that is also in the Top 5 for cultural getaways. Just budget yourself well: San Francisco is in the bottom 10 for affordable trips.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Orlando

    Photo: Ian Dagnall / Alamy

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    No. 14 Orlando

    AFC voters find the theme-park metropolis more appealing this time of year than they do in the crowded summertime (No. 30). At the very least, a sizable portion of visitors that week have bedtimes well before midnight. In the city that’s No. 1 for family trips and for all-in-one resorts, a good New Year’s might mean living it up and ordering late-night room service.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • New York City

    Photo: Kelly Bazely

    14 of 27

    No. 13 New York City

    The prospect of standing in Times Square to watch the big ball drop didn’t entice as many AFC voters as one might think. Granted, there’s the whole rest of the city to enjoy, including those big-name restaurants (No. 1 in the survey) and cocktails (No. 3). But on the biggest party night of the year, the last-place city for affordability doesn’t offer too many bargains.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Nashville, Tennessee

    Photo: Don Smetzer / Alamy

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    No. 12 Nashville

    Seems that “Auld Lang Syne” sounds even better on a steel guitar. If your idea of dressing up for a night out means putting on your favorite Stetson and your Lucchese boots—or even if it doesn’t—it’s hard to argue with Nashville. The city ranks No. 1 for live music and for affordability.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Miami, Florida

    Photo: iStock

    16 of 27

    No. 11 Miami

    Though it comes in at No. 3 for a wild weekend and No. 6 for its bar scene, this sizzling city couldn’t crack the Top 10 for New Year’s Eve. But then, it’s also one of the least safe-feeling cities (No. 31) and home to some of the least friendly locals (No. 32). Perhaps, as the song goes, some acquaintances should be forgot.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Charleston, South Carolina

    Photo: Andie Diemer

    17 of 27

    No. 10 Charleston

    In the No. 3 city for peace and quiet, you won’t get a raucous New Year’s Eve, but so much the better. The No. 1 town for B&Bs, boutique hotels, and antiques shops offers a civilized holiday, and its locals (No. 1 for friendliness) ooze charm.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Austin

    Photo: David Coleman / Alamy

    18 of 27

    No. 9 Austin

    You can always find a party on the city’s bar-filled Sixth Street—it’s probably why AFC voters ranked the capital of Texas the No. 4 town for wild weekends, and No. 2 for its live music and singles scene. Just don’t forget to recycle your empties: it’s the No. 4 town for environmental friendliness.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • San Diego, California

    Photo: Courtesy of the San Diego CVB

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    No. 8 San Diego

    The hotel and nightclub–sponsored parties in downtown seem all the more accessible when it’s barely jacket weather. In the mild-weathered San Diego—AFC voters’ favorite place for climate—you’ll also find an overall laid-back vibe. It ranks No. 6 for romance and No. 7 for a relaxing vacation. Turn in early so you can get up for a New Year’s Day jog on the beach: the city ranks No. 5 for its access to the great outdoors.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • San Antonio

    Photo: Courtesy of The San Antonio River Walk

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    No. 7 San Antonio

    The city’s Riverwalk is always a magnet for revelers, and especially so on New Year’s Eve, when there is free music during the evening and fireworks at midnight. Of the Top 10 New Year’s cities, San Antonio wins as having the most affordable hotels (No. 4), and you can count on a big dinner—it’s No. 5 for ethnic food and No. 7 for barbecue. It’s probably just fine to loosen your belt afterward too: San Antonio ranks a dowdy No. 29 for style.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Phoenix/Scottsdale

    Photo: iStock

    21 of 27

    No. 6 Phoenix/Scottsdale

    The snowbird appeal of this desert city may explain why it ranks so well for New Year’s Eve. The No. 5 city for winter visits means there’s a big audience looking for fun. Plus, there’s no need to stray far from your well-furnished base camp. The city ranks No. 2 for all-in-one resorts and No. 6 for luxury hotels.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Las Vegas, Nevada

    Photo: iStock

    22 of 27

    No. 5 Las Vegas

    In the No. 1 city for wild weekends, you can count on a raucous New Year’s Eve—and one that may last until well after midnight, or even after the bowl games. Whenever the party ends, have your best hangover remedy ready—the city ranks dead last for peace and quiet.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Savannah

    Photo: Kelly Kollar

    23 of 27

    No. 4 Savannah

    This quaint coastal city offers a carefree New Year’s Eve —it ranks No. 2 for being pedestrian-friendly as well as being just plain old friendly. There’s plenty that’s free and easy here on December 31: fireworks at Tybee Pier and a free music festival at City Market. If you’re up for it on January 1, you can also do the annual Polar Bear Plunge into the chilly Atlantic.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Honolulu

    Photo: iStock

    24 of 27

    No. 3 Honolulu

    December 31 offers up a luau in the night sky: fireworks over both Waikiki Beach and the Aloha Tower Marketplace. A kid-friendly place for the holiday—it ranks No. 2 for being family-friendly—the city also won top marks from AFC voters as the most relaxing and the most romantic city any night of the year.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Photo: Mark Downey / Alamy

    25 of 27

    No. 2 San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Warm temps (No. 3) and plenty of cocktails (No. 4) helped propel this capital city to No. 3 for winter visits and a party-hopping second place for New Year’s. Even without the coquito—a Puerto Rican version of eggnog popular this time of year—San Juan ranks in the Top 10 for looks, style, and friendliness.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • New Orleans

    Photo: Cedric Angeles

    26 of 27

    No. 1 New Orleans

    As the No. 1 champ for cocktails, the singles scene, and friendly neighborhood joints, the Crescent City is a natural winner for a memorable New Year’s Eve. And if you’re not the life of the party? So much the better—you can still have a great time checking out everyone else: New Orleans also ranks No. 1 for people-watching.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

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  • New York

    As a former flight attendant, Beth Blair had been to Las Vegas countless times. A few years ago, she decided it would be a great place to spend New Year’s Eve: bright lights, cocktails, and an all-night party.

    But it wasn’t what she’d hoped. “On the last day of the year, Las Vegas turns into a disrupted anthill—too chaotic and wild for me,” says Blair, now a travel blogger based in Minneapolis. “I was surprised Las Vegas could get any more amped up. It just brings out the wildest of the wild.”

    Of course, that anthill level of excitement doesn’t scare everyone away. In the latest Travel + Leisure survey, Sin City ranked No. 5 out of 35 as the best American city for New Year’s Eve.

    The best place to spend New Year’s Eve was just one part of the America’s Favorite Cities survey, where Travel + Leisure readers ranked 35 U.S. cities in 54 categories, such as the best luxury shopping, the best live music, and even the best coffee bars.

    Finding a great place to celebrate New Year’s Eve is important. While many of us keep a standing New Year’s date with the TV and a pair of fuzzy slippers, more than 1 in 4 Americans plan to travel to welcome in the new year, according to a survey from LowFares.com.

    Like Blair, not everyone who travels for New Year’s wants a raucous time. When we looked at the Top 25 for New Year’s in the AFC survey, a mix of great live music, good bars, and wild weekend potential helped bolster many cities’ rankings. But warm weather also seemed to play a huge role. Two of the Top 10 cities are on islands, two are in the desert, and one—San Diego—is the AFC voters’ winner in the climate category.

    Many people also just have different definitions of what constitutes a good party. Memphis, for all its great music and good food, still came in at No. 25 for New Year’s Eve—perhaps because AFC voters found other things about staying in Memphis that dampened their spirits. Meanwhile, southern city Savannah—new to the AFC survey—shot to No. 4, even besting Vegas, proving that some folks would rather err on the side of charming for December 31.

    And what about New York City, arguably the epicenter of New Year’s Eve? It made a mediocre No. 13 showing, perhaps due to cold temps, big crowds, and high prices. Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer, a native New Yorker, admits that she has spent more New Year’s Eves than she can count in Times Square. “Every year I swore I wouldn’t do it again,” she said, “but then a friend would come into town, or it wouldn’t seem so cold—but it was never really fun.”

    Here’s where to go—and where not to go—to ensure that you do have fun on New Year’s Eve.

  • Memphis

    No. 25 Memphis

    How could such a music-filled city (No. 8) rank so poorly for New Year’s Eve? Maybe it’s that AFC voters didn’t like the places to bunk down after midnight tolls: the city’s luxury, boutique, and even business hotels all rank in the bottom five. The city also doesn’t inspire much confidence after dark: it came in last place for feeling safe.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Kansas City

    No. 24 Kansas City

    Since the midwestern city ranks a ho-hum No. 31 for its wild weekend potential, maybe it’s no surprise that it doesn’t dazzle the masses for the biggest party night of the year. Plus, all those good barbecue places—the city ranks No. 2 for its ribs and such—probably close well before 12 a.m.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Dallas/Fort Worth

    No. 23 Dallas/Fort Worth

    If all you want from New Year’s is a nice dinner and an early night, Dallas may be your town: its big-name restaurants ranked No. 13, but its live music offerings ranked No. 34, and its singles’ scene No. 29. This is clearly also not the city to steal a kiss as the ball drops: the city ranks next to last for being a romantic escape.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Atlanta

    No. 22 Atlanta

    The fact that AFC voters’ favorite thing about Atlanta is its business hotels (No. 8) doesn’t bode well for a sparkling night out. And yet, those buttoned-down hotels are your best bet for access to watching the 800-pound peach drop at midnight in downtown. You probably won’t blow your budget, either: Atlanta ranks right in the middle of the survey (No. 19) for affordability.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Santa Fe

    No. 21 Santa Fe

    For some people, the fact that Santa Fe comes in last place as a wild weekend spot, as well as No. 1 for peace and quiet, translates into an enticing New Year’s Eve. The No. 4 town for weather makes for good end-of-year shopping and gallery-hopping: it’s in the Top 5 for antiques, vintage shops, and indie boutiques, as well as museums and galleries.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Salt Lake City

    No. 20 Salt Lake City

    If you’re expecting a raging bar scene in this Utah city, you have no one but yourself to blame (it ranks last, at No. 35). But this city has fun in other ways: its downtown does offer three nights of family-friendly music and festivities at a low price—no surprise, since the city ranks No. 2 for year-round affordability and No. 3 for family vacations.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Los Angeles

    No. 19 Los Angeles

    L.A. ranks last for its public transit options, so your New Year’s outing here will require a designated driver. There’s also something of a mandate to do it up right: its locals rank No. 9 for being stylish, while its luxury hotels came in at No. 8 and its big-name restaurants at No. 6. Sound pricey? It is. Los Angeles comes in next-to-last for affordability.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Providence, Rhode Island

    No. 18 Providence

    In the No. 2 town for theater and performance art, it makes sense that Providence’s New Year’s party, Bright Night Providence, is arts-driven. And if you don’t want crowds, this is a great town for hanging out in a hole-in-a-wall: the Rhode Island city ranks third for its neighborhood joints, and its burgers and pizza come in at No. 3, too.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Houston

    No. 17 Houston

    Several hotels here do big New Year’s Eve parties, which is probably your best bet in this Texas city—AFC voters rank it third for affordable hotels and fourth for its business hotels. Venture out for some good cheap eats, too: its burgers reign at No. 1.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Denver

    No. 16 Denver

    While AFC voters would rather come here when it’s warmer (it ranks No. 6 for summer visits), you can still celebrate New Year’s downtown while watching the annual fireworks show. You might forgo the champagne, though: the best bubblies in town are the microbrews, which rank No. 2.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • San Francisco

    No. 15 San Francisco

    You can see the city’s New Year’s fireworks from almost any high perch—the city ranks third for its city views. Or you could opt for the annual silent-film screening at Grace Cathedral—a classic in the city that is also in the Top 5 for cultural getaways. Just budget yourself well: San Francisco is in the bottom 10 for affordable trips.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Orlando

    No. 14 Orlando

    AFC voters find the theme-park metropolis more appealing this time of year than they do in the crowded summertime (No. 30). At the very least, a sizable portion of visitors that week have bedtimes well before midnight. In the city that’s No. 1 for family trips and for all-in-one resorts, a good New Year’s might mean living it up and ordering late-night room service.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • New York City

    No. 13 New York City

    The prospect of standing in Times Square to watch the big ball drop didn’t entice as many AFC voters as one might think. Granted, there’s the whole rest of the city to enjoy, including those big-name restaurants (No. 1 in the survey) and cocktails (No. 3). But on the biggest party night of the year, the last-place city for affordability doesn’t offer too many bargains.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Nashville, Tennessee

    No. 12 Nashville

    Seems that “Auld Lang Syne” sounds even better on a steel guitar. If your idea of dressing up for a night out means putting on your favorite Stetson and your Lucchese boots—or even if it doesn’t—it’s hard to argue with Nashville. The city ranks No. 1 for live music and for affordability.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Miami, Florida

    No. 11 Miami

    Though it comes in at No. 3 for a wild weekend and No. 6 for its bar scene, this sizzling city couldn’t crack the Top 10 for New Year’s Eve. But then, it’s also one of the least safe-feeling cities (No. 31) and home to some of the least friendly locals (No. 32). Perhaps, as the song goes, some acquaintances should be forgot.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Charleston, South Carolina

    No. 10 Charleston

    In the No. 3 city for peace and quiet, you won’t get a raucous New Year’s Eve, but so much the better. The No. 1 town for B&Bs, boutique hotels, and antiques shops offers a civilized holiday, and its locals (No. 1 for friendliness) ooze charm.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Austin

    No. 9 Austin

    You can always find a party on the city’s bar-filled Sixth Street—it’s probably why AFC voters ranked the capital of Texas the No. 4 town for wild weekends, and No. 2 for its live music and singles scene. Just don’t forget to recycle your empties: it’s the No. 4 town for environmental friendliness.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • San Diego, California

    No. 8 San Diego

    The hotel and nightclub–sponsored parties in downtown seem all the more accessible when it’s barely jacket weather. In the mild-weathered San Diego—AFC voters’ favorite place for climate—you’ll also find an overall laid-back vibe. It ranks No. 6 for romance and No. 7 for a relaxing vacation. Turn in early so you can get up for a New Year’s Day jog on the beach: the city ranks No. 5 for its access to the great outdoors.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • San Antonio

    No. 7 San Antonio

    The city’s Riverwalk is always a magnet for revelers, and especially so on New Year’s Eve, when there is free music during the evening and fireworks at midnight. Of the Top 10 New Year’s cities, San Antonio wins as having the most affordable hotels (No. 4), and you can count on a big dinner—it’s No. 5 for ethnic food and No. 7 for barbecue. It’s probably just fine to loosen your belt afterward too: San Antonio ranks a dowdy No. 29 for style.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Phoenix/Scottsdale

    No. 6 Phoenix/Scottsdale

    The snowbird appeal of this desert city may explain why it ranks so well for New Year’s Eve. The No. 5 city for winter visits means there’s a big audience looking for fun. Plus, there’s no need to stray far from your well-furnished base camp. The city ranks No. 2 for all-in-one resorts and No. 6 for luxury hotels.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Las Vegas, Nevada

    No. 5 Las Vegas

    In the No. 1 city for wild weekends, you can count on a raucous New Year’s Eve—and one that may last until well after midnight, or even after the bowl games. Whenever the party ends, have your best hangover remedy ready—the city ranks dead last for peace and quiet.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Savannah

    No. 4 Savannah

    This quaint coastal city offers a carefree New Year’s Eve —it ranks No. 2 for being pedestrian-friendly as well as being just plain old friendly. There’s plenty that’s free and easy here on December 31: fireworks at Tybee Pier and a free music festival at City Market. If you’re up for it on January 1, you can also do the annual Polar Bear Plunge into the chilly Atlantic.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • Honolulu

    No. 3 Honolulu

    December 31 offers up a luau in the night sky: fireworks over both Waikiki Beach and the Aloha Tower Marketplace. A kid-friendly place for the holiday—it ranks No. 2 for being family-friendly—the city also won top marks from AFC voters as the most relaxing and the most romantic city any night of the year.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

    No. 2 San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Warm temps (No. 3) and plenty of cocktails (No. 4) helped propel this capital city to No. 3 for winter visits and a party-hopping second place for New Year’s. Even without the coquito—a Puerto Rican version of eggnog popular this time of year—San Juan ranks in the Top 10 for looks, style, and friendliness.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

  • New Orleans

    No. 1 New Orleans

    As the No. 1 champ for cocktails, the singles scene, and friendly neighborhood joints, the Crescent City is a natural winner for a memorable New Year’s Eve. And if you’re not the life of the party? So much the better—you can still have a great time checking out everyone else: New Orleans also ranks No. 1 for people-watching.

    See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

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