Why spend New Year's Eve sitting on the couch watching celebrations in other, faraway destinations? This year, go the extra mile, grab your partner, and celebrate the start of a brand new year with a romantic getaway. Here are a few destinations to explore with your sweetheart that won’t break the bank.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
What’s more romantic than a long walk on the beach? With temperatures in the 60s, a stroll on along the sand is a must. But that’s not all Myrtle Beach offers visitors. Take your pick of live music venues, restaurants, wine bars, brewpubs, craft brew bars, nightclubs, comedy, karaoke bars, and more. When it comes to lodging, check out The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, Myrtle Beach Oceanfront. The resort is located on the south end of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of beach, and is boarded by a state park, making it the perfect place for those looking for some peace and quiet. The resort’s New Year’s Eve package starts at $139 per night and includes a bottle of champagne and breakfast buffet for two at the oceanfront Ocean Blue restaurant. Just minutes from the property is The Market Common, a dining and shopping complex that will be the center of this year's festivities. The free event, called A Southern Times Square in Valor Park, features live music, food, drinks, and fireworks.
Sanity-saving tip: You can make you trip even cheaper by taking advantage of Visit Myrtle Beach’s coupons, deals, and discounts, which can be used on restaurants, golf, dinner shows, and more.
If you’re on the hunt for sweeping ocean views and lots of surrounding natural beauty, head to Blaine, Washington, which just is 45 minutes south of Vancouver, British Columbia and 90 minutes north of Seattle. The Semiahmoo Resort offers tons of pampering options. If you’re looking to explore the outdoors, you can also go skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing. Rooms rates start at $193 per night. When it comes to finding the perfect New Year’s Eve festivities, you don’t have to leave the property. This year, the resort is hosting an '80s themed New Year's Eve Bash, which, for $75 per adult, includes a cocktail reception, dinner buffet, light snacks, live music, champagne, and a sparking cider toast at midnight to ring in the new year. If you're looking for something a little more low-key, head to the on-site Packers Kitchen + Bar for dinner, drinks, and dancing. On New Year's Day, enjoy an extravagant brunch. You can also enjoy fireworks from the beach at the annual Ring of Fire & Hope celebration, where people gather along the shores of Birch Bay with lighted flares.
Sanity-saving tip: Skip the buffet dinner and order room service instead. Then, join the party after 9 p.m. and pay just $35 per adult for the Masquerade at Midnight.
If you’re unsure where to spend your New Year’s Eve, you may want to consider Alexandria. The city was named the best value U.S. travel destination in 2018 by Money Magazine and the third most romantic U.S. city in 2017 by Amazon. You and your partner will certainly get into the holiday spirit as you two stroll under a canopy of twinkling lights on King Street, dine in quality restaurants in historic buildings, cuddle up in front of a fireplace, catch a live performance, or enjoy a couples massage at the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa. The best part? You’ll be getting lots of bang for your buck. The lowest average daily rate for hotels in December is $126 per night. The city celebrates New Year’s Eve with the annual First Night Alexandria, where you'll find more than 150 live performances at 24 indoor venues. Once the clock strikes 10 p.m., dance at the foot of King Street and enjoy the fireworks over the Potomac River at midnight.
Sanity-saving tip: Alexandria is a short distance from Washington, D.C. Consider taking the train between these destinations to save, and skip the traffic.
Bristol, Rhode Island
Bristol is a quiet seaside town, picturesque with its Gothic Revival, Romanesque, Queen Anne Italianate, and Colonial Revival architecture. The food is fantastic at places like The Lobster Pot, DeWolf Tavern, and Leo’s Ristorante — plus, it won’t cost you a fortune. Bristol is just a short drive to nearby Providence, where you might choose to ring in the New Year at One Providence Ball Drop, complete with laser lights, fireworks, food trucks, vendors, and more.
Sanity-saving tip: Stay at a B&B like the historic Bradford-Dimond-Norris House for a true New England experience (from $249 per night). Alternatively, if you want to curb costs, consider renting an Airbnb.
St. Lucia's Piton mountains are in a class by themselves. Even if the mountains don't move you, there’s still plenty to do here, including snorkeling, sailing, or simply unwinding in a cabana on the beach. If you’re looking for further relaxation, head to The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths ($7 admission). At Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, there’s a New Year’s Eve celebration complete with fireworks. In honor of the New Year, the property is offering rates as low as low as $199 per night including food and beverages. Guests staying seven nights or longer also receive a coupon book offering $1000 in resort credits redeemable for exclusive savings on spa treatments, boutique purchases, photography services, island tours, and more.
Sanity-saving tip: Don’t overpack. Save money by just traveling with a carry-on. The island is carefree and casual, so you two won’t need much — besides yourselves.
The vibe in Mesa is chill, but the food scene is heating up. Whether you eat in town or in nearby Phoenix, prepare to the food options are endless. Mesa’s Osteria is a rustic Italian restaurant with wood-fired meats, organic local ingredients, craft beers, wine, and cocktails. Everybody’s talking about The Glady, with its 200-plus whiskies, craft beverages, and hearty comfort food. When you aren’t eating your heart out, you can hike, golf, go on a wine tour, or take a romantic horseback ride. While the food and service here are top-notch, you won’t pay sky-high prices. You can score quality accommodations at Delta Hotels by Marriott Phoenix Mesa in downtown Phoenix. A room in this clean-lined hotel starts at around $90 per night. Plus, when you’re staying in the heart of the city, you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to celebrate the New Year.
Sanity saving tip: Consider renting a townhome with a kitchen. Curb costs and cook intimate dinners for just you and your loved one.
North Lake Tahoe, California
With the nation’s largest alpine lake and largest concentration of ski resorts, North Lake Tahoe is a festive destination anytime of year, but it’s especially ideal for ringing in the new year. There are plenty of attractions to set the mood for romance, including sleigh rides through the snow on the shore of Sand Harbor Beach, or rides on gondolas to dinner at the top of a mountain. Consider staying at Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge, where room rates start at $409 per night. For New Year's Eve, check out Granlibakken’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which includes dinner, dancing, a balloon drop, and a champagne toast for $85 per person for non-guests. However, before heading out to celebrate, watch The World’s Largest Torchlight Parade, where skiers and riders light up the night sky with colorful lights.
Sanity saving tip: Look for deals on lodging and activities on North Lake Tahoe's website.