It’s New Year’s Eve! Where will you be celebrating?
When our kids were little, we celebrated each New Year’s Eve by watching the ball dropping on Time Square, then we go to bed on California time. But about five years ago, inspired by an article in Travel and Leisure, I made a secret bucket list that involves celebrating New Year’s Eve in different places around the world. After all, New Year’s Eve only comes once a year!
Since then, I tried to plan our holiday vacation around New Year’s Eve. Most trips were close to home but we did make it to Asia one year:
- DisneyWorld. The park reached full capacity by 9am and it was nuts all day long! (READ MORE: My top 5 Disney tips for budget travelers)
- Key West, kids loved the town but we stayed away from Duvall Street after dinner.
- Las Vegas (without the kids). It was a mad house with lots of drunk people! Maybe I am just getting old.
- New Orleans without the kids. It was also a surprise trip for my husband for his big round birthday. NOLA was fun, but NYE there was just as nuts as everywhere else, plus many people in town one day early for the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day as well.
- Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, where we spent many wonderful Christmas holidays and peaceful New Year’s Eve.
- Hong Kong, and it was so worth the trip!
Hong Kong — the best place I celebrated New Year’s Eve
With an extravaganza of light and sound display over Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong celebrates each New Year’s Eve with a spectacular count down. Growing up, I have always dreamed of being there!
During our trip to China over Christmas 2013, I purposely planned a two-day side trip to Hong Kong for New Year’s Eve. I wanted to be on the Kowloon side where the celebration takes place. I spent months looking at hotels and finally settled on the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui for its beautiful Regency Club on the 23rd floor.
I booked two club rooms using points and paid cash to upgrade one of the room to a suite. During the day, we did tourist stuff, enjoyed the delicious food, walked along the Avenue of the Star and soaked up the festivity in town!
Around 10:30pm on New Year’s Eve, we went to the Regency Club and secured our “prime spot” for the firework — a table by the window. The lounge offers a full view of Victoria Harbor and is the perfect place to watch the firework without being in the cold with a huge crowd! The firework lasted nearly ten minutes and totally lived up to my expectation. Since then, no matter where I am on New Year’s Eve, I couldn’t help but thinking of that night in Hong Kong,. It was magical!
What was the best place you celebrated New Year Eve?
If you google “the best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve”, you will find many lists including one by Travel and Leisure, Fodor’s Travel, Town and Country Magazine, and Food and Wine. This year, after spending two weeks in Florida visiting grandparents, including a couple days visiting the crowded and magical DisneyWorld, we finally got home yesterday. Everyone just wants to spend a quiet evening at home, watch the ball drop on Times Square and then go to bed. But I will keep dreaming, until the day I am in Sydney on New Year’s Eve!
Happy New Year!