Ring in the New Year somewhere new: from Berlin to the Bahamas, these destinations know how to celebrate.
Best Places to Spend New Year's
Why Go: The biggest New Year’s Eve show in Latin America takes place in the Valparaíso harbor with a 20-minute fireworks show (launched from 17 different points along the coast between Valparaíso and Viña del Mar) and a dance party that lasts until the sun comes up. The festivities begin on the 28th, and by the 31st more than a million people have made their way to the city’s sandy shores for the beach party to end all beach parties. To ensure good luck in the New Year, do as the locals do and wear yellow underwear, eat a dozen grapes at midnight, and put a $1,000 peso bill in your shoe.
Where to Stay: Each of the 14 rooms at Hotel Acontraluz overlooks the beach and comes with furniture made with reclaimed materials like adobe and Oregon pinewood once brought to Valparaíso as shipping ballast. hotelacontraluz.cl
As the clock ticks down to midnight, a crowd gathers in Times Square, waiting for a glittering ball to descend and launch the New Year. But this isn’t New York, it’s Hong Kong, where a ball drop has also become an annual tradition.
Around the world, locals celebrate the passing of one year to the next in similar ways: fireworks, street parties, dancing, and generous helpings of food and drinks. Still, each destination has its own cultural twists and distinctive setting. In St. Petersburg, Russia, for instance, folks bundle up to admire fireworks above the partially frozen Neva River—and send hundreds of paper lanterns up into the night sky.
Party people can stay out late in Reykjavik, Iceland, then go for a dip in the hot springs. Or they can join the massive beach bash in Valparaíso, Chile. For good luck in 2014, do as the Chileans do and wear yellow underwear, eat a dozen grapes at midnight, and put a $1,000 peso bill in your shoe.
Beachfront fireworks shows ring in the New Year in Maui, HI, which caters to couples and to families. The Bahamas offers similar warm-weather appeal along with traditional Junkanoo costumed street parades.
Whether you’d rather cozy up by the fire with a fine wine in Sonoma, CA, sing “Auld Lang Syne” on a torchlight procession through Edinburgh’s cobblestoned streets, or party until the sun comes up, there’s a destination that will start your New Year right.