Seven Places to Be on New Year's Eve - Page 2

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New Year’s Eve fireworks in Edinburgh, Scotland
New Year’s Eve fireworks in Edinburgh, Scotland  (iStockphoto)

Edinburgh, Scotland
The Scots certainly know how to celebrate New Year’s Eve—aka Hogmanay—with a flourish and plenty of revelry, especially in their capital city Edinburgh. Wrap up warm for the Hogmanay Street Party, with live bands and entertainment, big screens, and plenty of outdoor bars. When the clocks strike 12, fireworks explode out of the dramatic hilltop Edinburgh Castle to mark the New Year, and you’ll be linking arms with your neighbor to sing Auld Lang Syne. Or try your hand (and feet) and follow the instructions from the caller at the outdoor céilidh (traditional Scottish dance), and birl (spin) through the midnight bells. -Emma Levine

Joshua Tree National Park, California
The desert, man. Getting away from it all is rarely so easy. Joshua Tree's rugged and wild landscape, boundless and bright night sky, add up to one of the best New Year's Eve getaways. Nab a site in one of the lower-lying campgrounds (it can get downright chilly at higher elevations) or stay in and around the town of Joshua Tree on the park's north side. (Recommended: Spin and Margie's Desert Hide-a-Way and the Joshua Tree Highlands Houses.) My two cents: End 2012 with a moderately difficult hike on the Mastodon Peak Trail (a three-mile loop), then begin 2013 gawking at Keys View. -Eric Peterson

Chamonix, France
As a North Carolinian, I was not raised on snow skis. So I first really learned to ski as a young adult high in the French Alps in Chamonix, France. Chamonix is known for its old-world ski-village charm and great tufts of pillowy snow, but that winter, years ago, there was only ice, and plenty of it. It was tough going on that black ice, but on New Year’s Eve, it snowed bucketsful. We took a lift high above the massive firs and into a swirl of white. That night, cheeks rosy and bodies aching, we put on our finery for a long, leisurely New Year’s Eve feast by candlelight, adjacent a bank of windows overlooking the blue-white snow. -Alexis Lipsitz

New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’re looking for the best New Year’s Eve party, you’ve come to the right place. The New Year’s celebration of New Orleans is one of the city’s best-kept secrets; other than the 100,000 or so football fans in town for the annual Sugar Bowl, you’ll be partying mainly with the city’s locals, especially if you head away from Bourbon Street, towards the east edge of the Quarter and across Esplanade into the funky Marigny district. The Big Easy has no Big Secrets—just pop in to a neighborhood bar and enjoy the revelry. My only word to the wise: Keep your head down at the stroke of midnight; chances are, someone’s going to fire a few shots at the sky to celebrate the New Year! -Rob Tallia

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