Best Places to Spend New Year's Eve in 2021
Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
It's finally time to say goodbye to 2021, and we couldn't be more excited. This year, we've curated a list of big-city destinations hosting fireworks and parties as well as smaller towns with intimate experiences, nature, and wellness. Before you plan your trip, be sure to check opening dates and times for attractions and events, as these may have changed amid the pandemic. These are the best places to spend New Year's Eve this year.
Related: More holiday travel ideas
Start 2022 refreshed and rejuvenated with a relaxing wellness vacation in Sedona, Arizona. Surrounded by stunning red rock formations, this destination offers plenty of outdoor activities, so you can get active before checking out one of the area's renowned spas and wellness centers. Enjoy luxury accommodations and spa treatments at Enchantment Resort and L'Auberge de Sedona, and visit the city's famous vortexes — centers of energy located in some of Sedona's most scenic areas.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Begin the new year by hitting the slopes and crossing off two of the country's best national parks during one epic trip. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers a number of wintry events leading up to New Year's Eve, when visitors can watch fireworks in Teton Village. Guests can hit the 131 ski and snowboard trails, take lessons to better their skills, and more to kick off the new year right. Opt for a luxurious stay at Amangani or Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole, and take day trips to nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.
Start 2022 on the beach with a trip to the beautiful island of Maui. Maui has rain forests, beaches, and more, so there's something for every traveler. You can opt for a wellness vacation when you book a spa package at a beachfront hotel (like the Hawaiian Healing Escape at the Grand Wailea Maui), go hiking on one of the island's many picturesque trails, or simply sit by the pool with a drink for a few days.
Park City, Utah
Step into a real-life snow globe with a trip to Park City, Utah, this winter. Park City Mountain Resort boasts over 7,300 skiable acres, with trails for beginners and experts, but the fun doesn't stop there. Visit the Ice Castles — frozen structures with ice tunnels, sculptures, and more — in nearby Midway come early January and check out the historic old town. There are a number of luxury hotels in Deer Valley, including Montage Deer Valley, Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, and The St. Regis Deer Valley. Each of these hotels has a spa and plenty of places to cozy up after a day on the slopes — the perfect spots to ring in 2022.
Why not ring in the new year in the Eternal City? Rome has an undeniably festive atmosphere on New Year's Eve — simply head to one of the city's magnificent piazzas to join in on the fun. Consider arriving earlier to take in the last of the holiday markets (Note that many museums, shops, and restaurants are closed on New Year's Day, but there will still be plenty to do.) Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel; Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel; and The St. Regis Rome are all solid places to stay.
The Palm Beaches, Florida
Say hello to 2022 from the sunny Palm Beaches in Florida. Visit Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach for shopping, dining, and a nightly light show. On New Year's Eve, guests can see the illuminated 32-foot banyan tree filled with 10,000 LED leaves and enjoy live music until 12:30 a.m. The Norton Museum of Art, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County, and more local attractions provide plenty to do after kicking off the new year. There are many oceanfront resorts to choose from, like The Boca Raton, which offers golf, tennis, oceanfront pools, and more.
For a small-town experience with great skiing, head to Telluride. Even though the New Year's Eve fireworks were canceled this year, visitors can still partake in winter sports (fat biking, sledding, ice climbing, snowmobiling, and more) during the day and cozy up by the fire at night. Luxury accommodations include Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge and the Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, but travelers on a budget can enjoy the privacy of an Airbnb cabin or condo.
Grab your heaviest coat and head to Reykjavik, Iceland for a New Year's Eve celebration packed with fireworks in a stunning, snow-covered setting. Spend the night partying in the capital city, and spend the next day recovering in one of the country's famous hot springs, like the Blue Lagoon. Of course, you'll want to extend your stay to check out Iceland's famous attractions — the Golden Circle looks especially beautiful covered in ice and snow — and stay up to catch a glimpse of the northern lights before heading home.
Las Vegas, Nevada
This New Year's Eve, embrace the foodie side of Las Vegas with a celebratory meal at one of the city's great restaurants — many eateries are offering special NYE packages. Plus, people who visit Vegas at the end of December will still have the chance to see some of the Strip's best holiday decorations. There are also plenty of places to watch the fireworks and then dance the night away into the early hours of New Year's Day. Can't decide where to stay? Travel + Leisure readers ranked the Wynn Las Vegas, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, and The Venetian Resort Las Vegas as the top hotels in Sin City in the 2021 World's Best Awards.