If you’ve spent one too many December 31sts planted on a couch in your living room (or a friend’s) watching the ball drop in Times Square, it’s high time for a night spent living it up. And while the Big Apple may be the most well-known city for its New Year’s celebratory spectacle, it’s certainly not the only one. Here, we highlight the top Opal destinations with New Year’s Eve events and attractions worthy of your next visit.
Comedy, Theatre & Music Until Midnight [Saranac Lake, NY]
Located 10 miles west of Lake Placid, the town of Saranac Lake hosts one of the biggest celebrations of the arts in all the Adirondacks come December 31st with the annual First Night Saranac Lake event. Starting at 6 p.m., more than a dozen acts – from puppet shows, comedians, and the region’s best musicians – perform in 10 different venues across the community and include favorites like the Teddy Roosevelt Show, a hilarious Theodore Roosevelt impersonator, and Primate Fiasco, featuring the instruments of a New Orleans’s street band, but the sounds of electronic dance music. It all concludes with the “snowflake” ball drop on River Street and a vibrant fireworks show over Lake Flower. If looking for a more intimate countdown, retire back to the warmth of Lake Placid Lodge, and ring in the New Year by the cozy fireplace with champagne in hand or with a nightcap at Maggie’s.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge
Eat, Drink, Dance, Stay [Rockport, ME]
What’s better than eating, drinking, and dancing? Eating, drinking, dancing, and then the convenience of crashing all under the same roof. For that reason, Samoset Resort offers two New Year’s Eve options: a sit-down dinner in La Bella Vita, followed by live music in the ballroom. But this isn’t just some house music pumped in by a deejay. The popular rock band, Creatures of Habit, will be taking the stage for the second year in a row. Made up of Midcoast Maine’s top musicians, who have been performing together for over two decades, the high-energy group features unique interpretations of popular rock cover tunes for a lively way to dance 2019 out in style.
Where to Stay Samoset Resort
Beach Fireworks Display [Clearwater Beach, FL]
In stark contrast to the bundled-up network anchors on the street in New York City on New Year’s Eve, revelers at Light It Up Clearwater will get to say goodbye to 2019 on a warm (well, at least mild) and comfortable beach with this fantastic fireworks show. Starting at the stroke of midnight on the south end of the beach, the majestic display – rated as one of U.S. News’s “5 Kid-Friendly Places to Ring in the New Year” – can be viewed from both Sandpearl Resort and Opal Sands Resort’s beaches, outdoor pools, or balconies.
With the Fam or Friends [Lake George, NY]
The Sagamore Resort offers not just one unique package to ring in the New Year, but three – depending on who you are traveling with. The first option includes a buffet dinner per guest in The Sagamore Ballroom, followed by a night of family-friendly fun and dancing with a deejay and cash bar in The Rec Center. The second is a seated dinner over a special menu in La Bella Vita (from 5:30 to 7 p.m.), followed by the option to join other families in The Rec Center. The third and final option caters exclusively to adults with a seated dinner (at 9 p.m.) in La Bella Vita, followed by dancing to a live jazz trio and an open bar. Whether you opt for live jazz or the deejay, they all come with breakfast each morning.
Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort
Street-Wide Soiree [Naples, FL]
Starting at 6 p.m., Third Street South – Naples’s most scenic street, home to historic buildings, exquisite architecture, lush landscaping, and scores of high-end shops, boutiques, and galleries – becomes ground zero for a smorgasbord of holiday happenings. Expect live music on the sidewalks decked in twinkle lights and tinsel, champagne-inspired specialty cocktails and buffets at the various restaurants, and the annual snow display at 8:15 p.m., where snow machines spew showers of the fluffy white stuff for families to frolic through. After, take the trolley back to Edgewater Beach Hotel for dinner at Coast and celebratory drinks to ring in the New Year.
Where to Stay Edgewater Beach Hotel
Party with Hemingway’s Ghost [Key West, FL]
Given Key West’s penchant for eccentric celebrations, it should be no surprise that there’s an Annual Dropping Of The Conch Shell at Sloppy Joe’s, the very place where Ernest Hemingway used to carouse his nights away back in the 1930s. New Year’s Eve partygoers are entertained by a rooftop host, while the crowd dances and catches beads on the street below. The party has an eclectic vibe – you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with folks dressed up in New Year’s Eve finery and those still rocking it swimsuit casual. Keep an eye on the Queen Conch as the clock strikes midnight and watch as confetti, streamers, and lights fill the sky.
Ring in 2020 with Reggae [Jupiter, FL]
Started as a sandwich shop in 2004, Guanabanas has since grown into a venue for the best live music in Palm Beach County. And that’s especially true on New Year’s Eve, when this open-air bar with woven tiki huts and banyan trees towering overhead brings in some of the best jam bands from South Florida, starting at 8 p.m. and running until midnight. What’s even better is there is no reservation needed and no cover all night. To speed up your recovery the next day back at Jupiter Beach Resort, savor a delicious breakfast from Sinclairs Ocean Grill and then retire to a poolside lounge chair for some much-needed relaxation (with or without a frozen drink in hand – a little hair of the dog, anyone?).
Where to Stay Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa