5 Unique Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve Beyond Times Square
PHOTO: New Year's celebration at the Sydney Harbor Bridge. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock)
Looking for alternatives to NYC for NYE? Get off the beaten path this New Year’s and partake in one of these unique celebrations around the world, getting your New Year off to an adventurous start.
Get There First in Sydney
Sydney, Australia, is the first major city in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve, so if you want to be among the early birds to ring in 2017, this is your place. Sydney New Year’s Eve is a great guide for information on traveling to Sydney for the holiday with tips for visitors, information on the best vantage points, where to see fireworks and how to book tickets.
Go Off the Beaten Path in Alaska
Alaska Railroad’s Aurora Winter Train will travel north from Anchorage on Dec. 31 and passengers will ring in the New Year in the tiny town of Talkeetna near the base of Denali before heading even farther north, to Fairbanks, where they will be able to see the northern lights.
Once in Fairbanks, there are a number of awesome activities to take in along the way such as a visit to Coldfoot Camp above the Arctic Circle or a day relaxing in Chena Hot Springs in Talkeetna or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Passengers who travel to north on New Year’s Eve can ride back south the following day on Sunday or catch the special midweek southbound departure on Wednesday.
Partake in a New Year’s Tradition in Scotland
Hogmanay in Edinburgh is a world-famous New Year’s Eve festival with three days of events, bands and attendees from around the world. The fun starts on Dec. 30 and runs through Jan. 1, 2017 with a street party, a celebration in Old Town, the (already sold out) Concert in the Gardens, the Candlelight Concert, the Midnight Moment, a torchlight procession and more. Brave the Loony Dook — an annual dip in the freezing River Forth and a parade, or explore Edinburgh via an arts walk of sorts during Scot:Lands. All the info for the event is best found at the Hogmanay official site.
Why Not a Wine Train
Celebrate in sophisticated wine country on the Napa Valley Wine Train. This year, the theme is “Midnight in Paris,” and the train will feature a decadent four-course meal created by executive chef Donald Young, a welcome reception with sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres, a midnight toast, a three-and-a-half-hour journey on the Wine Train, a cabaret club, a DJ and dancing until 1 a.m.
Ring It In in Reykjavik
Celebrate the New Year in Iceland’s chic capital city and beyond with Nordic Visitor Travel Experts. The A New Year’s to Remember in Iceland tour starts with the Northern Lights and finishes with a dip in the Blue Lagoon — with a New Year’s celebration in between.
Ring in the New Year with a city tour of Reykjavik, stroll through a cemetery for an encounter with Icelandic spirits, visit the home of the elves and enjoy a bonfire, refreshments and fireworks before heading into the city to watch the dazzling New Year’s Fireworks and enjoy dinner and drinks at trendy Reykjavik restaurant.
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