The year 2016 will likely go down in the history books as one of the most eventful and tumultuous years in recent memory. To bid farewell ― or good riddance ― to 2016 and usher in new beginnings, editors of Lonely Planet remind travelers it’s not too late to book a last-minute New Year’s Eve getaway.
Here are some of their picks on the best destinations to enjoy the countdown:
New Orleans, USA
Every year, it’s tradition in Nola to head to Jackson Square, where revelers are treated to live music, and a fleur-de-lis drop that counts down to the new year. The St. Louis Cathedral also serves as a regal backdrop to the fireworks display over the Mississippi River, editors note, while the Café du Monde will warm up cold hands with their world famous beignets and chicory coffee.
While Sydney may boast the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as backdrops to annual fireworks displays, Melbourne holds its own as a New Year’s Eve hotspot with its plethora of rooftop bars, balmy summer nights, boutique hotels, and morning-after brunch destinations.
Nassau, the Bahamas
On New Year’s Day, the streets of Nassau take on Bahamas’ biggest, flashiest street carnival, with costumed dancers parading through the town, ringing in the new year with horns, drums, and whistles. Once the festivities subside, revellers can soak in the sun and relax on the beaches of New Providence such as Cable, Delaporte and Junkanoo.
While the Chinese New Year falls on January 28 in 2017, Lonely Planet editors say January is a good time to visit southeast China, where the countryside is still green and vibrant. Their suggested itinerary? The idyllic city of Hangzhou, footpaths along West Lake, and Yongfu Temple. Finish the day off at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel, which offers waterfront views of the lake.