What better way to welcome the new year than with an incredible trip to an awe-inspiring destination? From low-key celebrations to more adventurous endeavors, there’s a perfect New Year’s vacation for any type of traveler.
This is a great time to plan a bucket-list trip, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, see that view you’ve always dreamed of in real life, or try your favorite dish cooked in its home country.
Whether you’re in search of a place to unwind after the holidays, a more lively city escape to celebrate, or you’re craving wide-open spaces with a side of fantastic scenery, there are endless opportunities for commemorating a fresh year. Here are nine places to visit for New Year’s that will start the year off on the right foot.
A relaxing beach vacation is just what you need after the holiday hustle. The island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean is ready to provide a tranquil respite to unwind with white sands, turquoise seas, and plenty of warm sunshine.
One of the best things to do in St. Kitts is to visit the famous Cockleshell Beach, located on the southern coast of the island with spectacular views of Nevis, the sister island to St. Kitts. Calm seas beckon for a swim, and soft sand creates a postcard-perfect backdrop for reading, strolling, or taking a leisurely nap under the sun.
Plenty of eateries line the beach for snacks and refreshments. Indulge in fresh seafood at one of these restaurants as small waves lap the shore, creating the ideal atmosphere for a laid-back New Year’s celebration in paradise.
When you’ve had enough of a seaside rest, the pristine waters welcome snorkeling and diving enthusiasts with offshore shipwrecks and abundant marine life. Or, stretch your legs on the hiking trail that leads to the highest point on St. Kitts, Mount Liamuiga. This trek will reward with spectacular panoramic views.
In need of some spa time? This is a perfect place for wellness travelers. Ring in the New Year with all your stress from last year melted away. At the end of a full island day, cheers to the new year with some local rum. This is one of the top places to go for New Year’s Eve.
For a fast-paced city getaway with seemingly everything at your fingertips, Singapore is a vibrant choice for celebrating the New Year in style. Marvel at the innovative architecture that the city is known for, and indulge in its cuisine, nature, and seaside attractions.
Influenced by the Chinese, Malay, and Indian cultures, the culinary scene is out of this world. Street food lovers will find themselves in foodie heaven, with authentic bites available in abundance. Make sure to try local favorites such as Hainanese chicken rice, char kway teow, and kaya toast.
If you only have three days in Singapore for the holidays, make sure to spend some time to explore its natural side with a visit to the world-famous botanical gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll be wowed by the wide variety of flora and fauna, particularly the sizable orchid garden—it’s the most expansive collection of orchids in the entire world.
Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city from the well-known Singapore Flyer, a Ferris wheel offering an amazing vista of one of the best skylines in the world. At night, the lights will dazzle you on your ride into the sky.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
If your idea of the perfect end to the year is lounging on the beach or embarking on a thrilling adventure, consider the seaside destination of Puerto Plata on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast. Laidback beaches and lush jungle make for an idyllic mix of rejuvenation and adrenaline.
You’ll have your pick of beaches, like Playa Sosúa, where you’ll have a view of Mount Isabel de Torres, and Playa Dorada, one of the most well-known beaches. If you’re up for a thrill, try Cabarete Beach, one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic for kitesurfing.
Discover Damajagua Waterfalls, one of the most popular and stunning natural attractions on the island. Marvel at the limestone rocks, caves, and series of 27 waterfalls. Cool off in natural pools seemingly hidden and tucked away in an otherworldly realm. You’ll feel like a true explorer on this hike that delivers excitement and beauty, making it one of the best things to do in Puerto Plata.
The famous Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are the ultimate bucket-list destination for animal enthusiasts. With endless wildlife viewing opportunities in an otherworldly setting, this remote collection of islands is an ideal location to bring in the New Year. The protected Galapagos Islands are a place to watch sea lions lazing near the sea, along with giant tortoises, playful penguins, and endemic marine life.
Ring in the New Year with blue-footed boobies, sea turtles, and whale sharks. Snorkelers will enjoy Isla Lobos and San Christobal, while hikers will jump at the chance to go crater trekking around Sierra Negra. You’ll want your camera nearby at all times to capture the beautiful scenery and interesting wildlife encounters you’ll experience here.
Key West, Florida
For a New Year’s blend of fun and sun, Key West hits the mark. If you want to ring the new year in Ernest-Hemingway style, Florida’s southernmost point is where to be. Swim, snorkel, and stroll the famous Duval Street for a fantastic selection of food and drink.
Visit Hemingway’s house, a Spanish Colonial property that now serves as a museum. Greet the famous six-toed cats that roam the property. Explore the nearby historic Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park, and make sure to snap a photo at the concrete landmark shaped like a buoy that signifies the southernmost point in the continental United States.
A sunset cruise is a popular way to enjoy Key West, with some of the most breathtaking dusk shows in the USA. Cheers to the New Year with a slice of key lime pie in Key West, Florida.
If your idea of a good time involves the outdoors and dramatic landscapes, the region of Patagonia in South America is one of the best places to go for New Year’s Eve. The Andes mountain range is the star attraction, with glacial-fed lakes, fjords, and even deserts and grasslands, the contrast adding to the natural allure.
Explore the unique landscape of Tierra del Fuego National Park, just outside the city of Ushuaia. Forests adorned with moss, rivers, and glacial lakes provide a scenic backdrop to local wildlife like red foxes and guanacos. Immerse yourself in nature and follow one of the park’s hiking trails to awe-inspiring sites like the Black Lagoon or the lookout point over Lapataia Bay.
For a fully relaxed way to take in the scenery, hop aboard the train that traverses “the end of the world.” The steam railway ride on the Southern Fuegian Railway is the perfect opportunity to observe the natural splendor particular to this region of Patagonia. You’ll learn about the history of the area as you feast your eyes on stunning South American waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife. Traveling to the end of the world to ring in the New Year is one of the most interesting ways to celebrate.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Celebrate New Year’s in the sand with a luxurious Caribbean vacation. The gorgeous islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix make up the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are brimming with stunning beaches, azure seas, and fun activities to keep everyone in your group entertained.
Snorkel with sea turtles, island hop, or hike in the national park. Lounge on some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, like Magen’s Bay on St. Thomas, Trunk Bay Beach on St. John, and Christiansted beach on St. Croix. Enjoy viewpoints around the islands, indulge in Caribbean fare, toast to the upcoming year with local island rum, and embrace the laid-back ambiance.
For an exotic New Year’s celebration, Thailand is the perfect choice. Authentic cultural experiences, amazing culinary delights, and vibrant city life are just some of the exciting things to expect in Bangkok, one of the best places to go for New Year’s Eve.
Spend at least two days in Bangkok to visit intricate temples like Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew, and the Temple of Dawn, where you’ll marvel at the gorgeous Khmer architecture and attention to decorative details. Cruise down the Chao Phraya River, where you’ll see Thai markets, palaces, and museums.
Visiting the floating market in Bangkok is a must-do. This well-known artisan and goods experience is a feast for all the senses. Watch as small boats filled with produce, home-cooked goods, and local crafts navigate the waterways while selling their wares.
New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most incredible landscapes and experiences, making it one of the most extraordinary places to visit for New Year’s. Lace up your hiking boots and welcome the New Year with a thrilling trek on any of the country’s fantastic walking tracks.
Sip your way through New Zealand’s world-class vineyards, like the Marlborough wine region, which produces some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, and chardonnay. Sail through the scenic Fiordland region, where the famous Milford Sound awaits with jaw-dropping landscapes and more waterfalls than you can count.
Read: Best Cities in New Zealand
Visit some of the world’s best places to go for New Year’s Eve on a luxury cruise vacation. Whether you’re interested in a rejuvenating beach escape, kicking off the New Year with some fresh air and exercise, culinary enjoyment, or an immersive cultural city experience, a New Year’s cruise is a great way to make the most of your celebration. Browse cruise itineraries on our website and book your holiday cruise vacation today.