Image courtesy of Hamilton Lund, Tourism NSW
When: December 31, 2013-January 1, 2014.
Where: The Best Places in the World to Celebrate the New Year
Prepare to ring in 2014 in memorable fashion with GAYOT.com's Top 10 New Year's Eve Destinations.
Las Vegas, NV
Reinforcing its status as a perennial party town, Las Vegas welcomes 300,000 revelers to ring in the New Year. Hotels, clubs and bars take it to the limit with special shows, but many lock their doors around the midnight hours, so you'll need to decide whether you want to be in or out. We recommend out, since the four mile long Strip becomes a vehicle-free promenade (starting at 6 p.m.) where you can drink, mingle and watch fireworks shot off from surrounding rooftops. For a rockin' good time, hit up The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel where the theme this year is Empire Records -- spinning iconic 90s bands like Nirvana and No Doubt, as well as pop and R&B hits from Mariah, Britney and more. For something a tad mellower, enjoy the music of The Beatles with Cirque du Soleil's New Year's Eve performance of LOVE at The Mirage -- what better way to celebrate the hard day's night that is New Year's Eve in Las Vegas?
Berliners know how to put on a good party, as evidenced way back by the decadence of the Golden Twenties to the now defunct Love Parade techno festival to today's hipster clubs, bars and lounges attracting international hedonists. New Year's Eve is no exception. Silvester, as it is called in German, offers endless possibilities in this creative metropolis. Celebrate with a crowd of roughly two million revelers at Germany's largest open-air New Year's Eve event in front of iconic Brandenburg Gate. Count on loads of champers, rowdy fun, music acts, light shows and, of course, fireworks at midnight. If you don't want to mingle with the masses in the cold, Berlin hosts plenty of indoor parties, from cruises to restaurants serving special dinner menus. If you feel like exerting yourself in a different way, take part in the 38th Berlin New Year's Eve Run 2013, a race through Berlin's idyllic Grünewald forest.
Los Angeles, CA
LA has the balmy weather and the beautiful people but it lacks a cohesive city center for a fab, outdoor, Euro-style party for people to congregate and toast the New Year. But this doesn't mean Angelenos don't know how to celebrate the arrival of 2014 in glitterati style. Many locals dance the night away at glam house parties or fête at stylish restaurants, bars, clubs and celeb-heavy hotels like the W Hollywood and The Hollywood Roosevelt. In the heart of Hollywood, revelers can ring in 2014 at the Las Palmas Block Party, while the gorgeous Egyptian Theater on the Walk of Fame is hosting the Cleopatra's NYE 2014 Ball. A more sedate affair is the annual Rose Parade in posh Pasadena. Officially the Tournament of Roses Parade, the 125th edition of the five and a half mile, two-hour spectacle, titled "Dreams Come True," will feature equestrian units, colorful floral floats and marching bands. It draws a crowd and folks set up camp the night before to snag a prime viewing spot, so make sure to get there early.
Québec City, one of the oldest cities in North America, is magical during the winter holidays, from its authentic Christmas markets to its luminous Québec City Lights Festival which ends New Year's Eve. Install yourself in the grand Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac hotel, situated atop Cap-Diamant and overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. Spend the day exploring Old Québec and be sure to take in the city's famous fortifications. For New Year's Eve, the festive Grande Allée (the "Champs Élysées" of Québec City) is the place to be with charming restaurants, bars, music entertainment (singers, DJs) and fireworks at midnight. Or head a couple of minutes outside the city to Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, featuring the spectacular Montmorency Falls. Here, at Manoir Montmorency, you can reserve either a seven-course meal or a buffet with music and sparkling wine at 12 a.m.
Join Sydneysiders and more than 1.5 million visitors and be one of the first in the world to bid farewell to 2013 and usher in 2014. Sydney always puts on a fabulous show with street entertainment and spectacular fireworks that light up the Harbour. Find a good vantage point on the water's edge and join the crowds in the celebrations. The Royal Botanic Gardens offers three options that sell out quickly. For instance, their Garden Oasis offers dancing, Champagne and views of the fireworks over both the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Or ride the Wild Mouse Rollercoaster and Ferris Wheel at The Harbour Party at Luna Park, which includes the latest Electronic Dance Music acts. The famous Shore Thing at Bondi Beach will include electronic superstar Skrillex. Cruises are also popular but expensive; they usually include fare, entertainment and libations, so be sure to find one that suits your musical tastes. Catch The Harbour of Light Parade, a procession of boats of various shapes and sizes lit up on a convoy across the harbor. At the end of the night, look out for the unique symbol that will light up the bridge -- last year's was a butterfly and lips.
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