After the craziness of the Christmas holidays, you’re probably ready to leave all the wrapping paper, stress and extended family behind. Further, if 2012 hasn’t been good to you, you’re likely in a hurry to get it over with all together.
We’re going to show you the ten best places to ring in the new year, come 2013. From big cities to remote destinations, we’re going to give you all kinds of inspiration for places where you can send your 2012 out with a bang. Here they are – in no particular order.
If you’re in a real hurry to get rid of 2012 and begin your 2013, you should spend your holiday on Christmas Island. This tiny dot in the middle of the Indian Ocean holds the bragging rights of being the first place on Earth to experience the new year, due to its timezone designation. It’s a lush, tropical island filled with rainforests and surrounded by a massive coral reef. The tropical climate is the perfect way to escape the damp, dark, cold winter weather following the Christmas season.
If remote tropical locations do not sound appealing to you, Sydney, Australia is great destination to ring in the new year. It’s one of the largest cities first in line to experience the new year, also based on its timezone designation. Sydney’s light and firework show over Sydney Harbor to celebrate the new year is spectacular and a must-see.
3.Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
It’s hard to find a time of year when there is not a party in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the New Years celebrations in the city are especially fabulous. Tradition dictates that you must wear white, party on the beach in to the wee hours of the morning and toss flowers into the ocean to petition the Gods for good luck and prosperity in the new year. Well, the rooftop parties across the city are pretty amazing, too.
If you’re looking for a New Years destination that’s romantic, trendy and fashionable all at the same time – Paris, France is where you need to be. The Eiffel Tower is lit up beyond its regular glory while an amazing fireworks show plays out in the background. Mingling with the elite along the Champs-Elysee while sipping champagne is quite appealing, too.
If you just don’t think you can cram enough celebration into one evening, welcoming the new year in Tokyo, Japan might be just the thing for you. The Japanese pull out all the stops and spare no expense when they bring in the new year – with revelry that lasts for a full, solid week. December 29-January 4th is prime party time in the city with every kind of party, festival and celebration you can imagine.
6.Koh Phangan, Thailand
For such a tiny country, Thailand sure does throw a great party. Their New Years celebrations last for days, too – with thousands of tourists from around the world descending on the tiny island nation in anticipation of a good time each and every year. The weather is fabulous that time of year so expect lots of partying on the beach. They have a strict dress code of flip flops, shorts and bikinis so come prepared.
If you’re a fan of old traditions and customary celebrations, Edinburgh, Scotland is a wonderful place to bring in 2013. Their celebrations last for days, too – with locals parading down cobblestone streets carrying lighted torches while participating in activities dating back to the time of the Vikings. Edinburgh Castle makes a surreal and fairytale-like backdrop for a New Year’s Eve fireworks show.
Kyoto is another place where tradition dictates how they, literally, ring in the new year. In a fascinating display, temples around the city begin to ring over 100 massive bells, which ancient tradition says will rid the party revelers of earthly desires. The special bell that rings at midnight weighs 70 tons and takes a team of nearly 20 Buddhist monks to strike it so that its beautiful sound echoes through the countryside. It’s an amazing, almost ethereal experience.
9.New York City
If a party atmosphere is what you’re looking for, Times Square in New York City definitely delivers. The world-renowned New Years celebration in the city is televised to countries around the world and the famous ball drop at midnight is watched by millions in every country. You’ll find world class musical performances, famous guests and party mood that cannot be matched by any other New Years celebration in the world.
10.Pago, Pago – American Samoa
If you hate to see 2012 go and want to hold on to it a little longer, this tiny island nation in the middle of the South Pacific is the place to go. Pago Pago in American Samoa is the last place on Earth to ring in the new year, due to its timezone designation. It’s 1428 miles away from and 25 hours behind Christmas Island, the first place in the world that sees the new year.
As you can see, these destinations offer a wide variety of options – from tropical and deserted to the very heart of major cities. There is a world full of places to choose from. Just close your eyes and point to one on the map!
Wherever you go, just be sure to plan in advance as much as you can, as some destinations are quite popular during this time of year. The farther ahead you book your trip, the better the selection of travel and lodging options will be.