Curled up beneath a Snuggie, you have popcorn in your lap and a live report from NYC on your screen—does this New Year’s Eve scene sound familiar? Or maybe when the ball is about to drop you’re usually standing in a friend’s kitchen eating pigs in a blanket. How about ringing in 2017 with a bit more gusto? It’s not too late to plan a New Year’s Eve vacation. Instead of bidding 2016 adieu close to home, get out there and try something new for the last time this year. We hear standing in Times Square all day is more trouble than it’s worth, so we came up with three cool New Year’s Eve ideas that don’t involve being stuck in a Manhattan crowd.
Do yoga in California
You won’t need any January 1 hair of the dog if you spend your New Year’s Eve doing downward dog. Head west at the end of December for a yoga retreat, and you can strengthen the core you spent the cookie season padding just a bit. In the California Central Coast, centers like Sagrada Wellness put on special New Year’s retreats promoting wellness and renewal. Down in San Diego, the San Diego Spiritual Retreat Center has a 4-day healing retreat that includes hiking, yoga, and learning about vegan cuisine. After you welcome 2017 with a peaceful celebration, make one of your first appointments of the year a private sailboat cruise or lovely Balboa Park tour. New Year’s Eve travel has never been so tranquil.
Viewfinder Tip: Go on an excursion in Boise National Forest, where winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Watch a potato drop in Idaho
Any city can hoist up a giant disco ball on December 31, but not every city can make the celebration their own. Boise has come up with unique New Year’s Eve ideas, all paying homage to—what else?—the potato. Grab a last-minute flight to Idaho and partake in the Tater Trot races leading up to the big day, and then head downtown to watch a giant potato mark the minutes just before midnight. The live music and fireworks of New Year’s Eve are present and accounted for, but the Boise foothills and regional charm add something new to the holiday.
Ride horses in Arizona
The final hours of 2016 are about to ride into the sunset, and you can too. Escape the frenetic energy of busy town squares and flying confetti and head to a quiet dude ranch in the southwest. Just outside of Tucson, the Elkhorn Ranch offers a New Year’s experience that includes Mexican cuisine, piñatas, and barbecue. And, of course, the retreat is sure to include plenty of horse riding. If you’re looking for interesting New Year’s Eve ideas with a giddy-up, a ranch experience is sure to do the trick. Give the horses a rest on New Year’s Day and trade their hooves for a set of wheels on a historic neighborhoods bike tour in Tucson.
Where do you plan to ring in the new year?