7 Top New Year's Eve Escapes Under $1,000
Plan an epic end-of-year getaway without paying a high price tag.
Ring in the new year at one of these destinations.(Getty Images)
Whether you want to ring in the new year in a nearby retreat or far-flung locale, there are plenty of enticing places with spectacular fireworks displays, festive parties and affordable prices to usher in 2017 in style. And while clinching bargains at the last minute can be tricky during the peak winter holiday travel season, there are ways to save. From romantic getaways to off-the-beaten-path beach retreats to exotic international escapes with over-the-top holiday traditions, kick off a brand new year on the right foot – in the right place and at the right price.
Music City knows how to throw a festive party at any time of year, but over New Year's Eve you can enjoy an elaborate spectacle – the annual Jack Daniel's Music City Midnight concert – without paying a penny. The performance "is expected to be an incredible event this year, offering a free show to the public to count down to the new year as a music note drops, triggering fireworks and confetti," says David Solomito, vice president of North American marketing at Kayak.com. Aside from enjoying a free Styx and Keith Urban performance and countdown with a brilliant fireworks display complete with a 15-foot music note drop at midnight, you can enjoy plenty of free and cost-effective attractions, from the Country Music Hall of Fame to the Grand Ole Opry. Even better, Nashville caters to price-sensitive visitors, with affordable flight and accommodation options. According to Kayak's historic data, in Nashville, the median flight price for January has been under $300 and the median price for a hotel has been under $250, Solomito says. Currently, Google Flights shows round-trip treks from major Washington D.C. airports starting at $213 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, 2017, and round-trip flights from New York City airports starting at $270 for the same period.
Laguna Beach, California
If your ideal vacation escape involves surf, sand and laid-back vibes, slip away to Laguna Beach. During New Year's week you can snag a deal at high-end hotels, explains Clara Sedlak, senior editor at travel site Jetsetter.com. At Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa you can take advantage of complimentary beach chairs and breakfast as well as a heated swimming pool, Sedlak says. During the day you can enjoy a whale-watching tour or stroll along the nearby Victoria Beach, she adds. Rooms start at around $250 a night for New Year's Eve week. For a more cost-effective stay, consider checking into Laguna Beach Lodge, which is offering rates around $140 a night for stays from Dec. 30 to Jan. 3, 2017. What's more, you can kick-start the new calendar year with a low-key beachfront celebration at one of the area's buzzy local haunts such as The Deck on Laguna Beach or Driftwood Kitchen. Google Flights currently shows round-trip routes from major New York City airports to Long Beach Airport starting at $418 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, 2017, and flights from Phoenix starting at $147 for the same period.
New Year's Eve in Honolulu offers a winning combination of festive beachfront fireworks displays and family-friendly amusements, from the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial to Waikiki Beach. "There are multiple fireworks displays and fun activities for families with kids of all ages. Kaka'ako Waterfront Park is always a crowd-pleaser, with rides, a beer garden, entertainment and food galore," says Carrie Peters, travel editor at Hotwire.com. "While it's not as inexpensive as staying on the mainland, there are still deals to be found," she adds. Though plane tickets tend to spike at this time of year, you can still secure affordable accommodation rates. Hotel deal site goSeek.com shows rooms for under $200 per night for stays from Dec. 30 to Jan. 3, 2017.
For a wallet-friendly New Year's Eve adventure, consider heading to Canada for the long weekend. With discount carriers offering affordable flights, it's easy to snap up a bargain. Google Flights currently lists round-trip journeys from Boston's Logan International Airport starting at $300 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, 2017, and round-trip flights from major New York City airports starting at $200 for the same time frame. "The Hotel Omni Mont-Royal has great deals, starting at $180 a night," Sedlak says, highlighting the hotel's on-site restaurant Manitoba as a steal, with a seven-course New Year's Eve dinner starting at $90. "The Old City is great for New Year's – you feel like you're in Paris, and it's just a two-hour flight from New York City," she adds.
In Dublin, you can not only ring in the new year in grand fashion with a three-day festival and holiday-themed Irish art and cultural events, but also check out iconic sights, from Ha'Penny Bridge to lively Grafton Street to Dublin Castle, without spending a pretty penny. Solomito points to Dublin as a top pick for taking advantage of the favorable exchange rate against the euro. Dublin saw a 65 percent increase in New Year's flight searches compared to last year, Solomito says, highlighting that Dublin is the No. 6 trending destination across the globe for New Year's Eve celebrations, according to Kayak.com's 2016 Travel Hacker Guide. Google Flights currently shows round-trip treks from New York City airports starting at $560 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, 2017.
Los Cabos, Mexico
While most hotels in San José del Cabo, Mexico, come with steep price tags during the peak winter season, hotels are offering enticing promotions this year. Paradisus Los Cabos, a new property, is offering a promotion through Dec. 15 for stays from Dec. 23 to Jan. 6, 2017, where guests who book five-night stays can enjoy a free night, Sedlak says. Plus, "the resort has four swimming pools, seven bars and seven restaurants, so you really never have to leave the property," she adds. When you're not lounging by the pool with an umbrella drink, you can pop into trendy art galleries, enjoy snorkeling at Bahia Santa Maria or soak up the area's vibrant nightlife scene. Google Flights currently shows round-trip jaunts from New York City hubs to Los Cabos International Airport starting at $443 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, 2017, and round-trip flights starting from Los Angeles International Airport start at $358 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5, 2017.
For an under-the-radar New Year's escape, consider Portland, Peters says. "The city is friendly and walkable, with some of the best craft beer and coffee to be found anywhere," she says. What's more, the city boasts "an impressive fireworks display, as well as multiple parties and events to ring in 2017," Peters adds. Plus, you can stay in five-star accommodations without leaving a dent in your wallet, she adds. GoSeek.com currently shows nightly rates at the Heathman Hotel, a four-and-a-half-star hotel, at $162 for stays between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3, 2017. Google Flights shows round-trip journeys from Chicago hubs to Portland International Airport starting at $546 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, 2017, and round-trip flights from Austin, Texas, starting at $443 for the same period.
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