7 Amazing Places to Ring in New Year’s on the Beach

December 29, 2015 by

Asia, Australia & the Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Festivals & Events, Middle East & Africa, North America, Places to Go, South & Central America, Things to Do, Travel Advice & Inspiration

Eating, drinking and dancing. These are three activities that define New Year’s Eve across the globe. But some people do them wearing winter jackets, while others get to feel the sand between their toes as the fireworks go off. Do you want to be one of the latter? Then spend December 31 at one of the following destinations.

Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Thailand

Patong Beach, Thailand

Phuket in Thailand is a party destination year-round, but on New Year’s Eve the clubs and hotels really give it all they’ve got. Expect lots of fireworks, live entertainment, a music festival and more, with the largest free party taking place at Patong Beach. You can have dinner in a restaurant or your hotel, but there are also several beach barbeques for those who want to spend the entire night on the sand.

Average temperature on January 1: 32°C / 90°F

Miami, Florida, U.S.

Miami when the sun goes down

Miami when the sun goes down

Miami is known for its nightlife. On New Year’s Eve, there are clubs and parties for just about everyone. Whether you choose one of the free events, a “mid-range” club or an exclusive venue, you’ll surely be able to dance the night away.

The party of the night is pop star Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution party. The event – which features guest performers including Puff Daddy, Timbaland and Prince Royce – will be broadcast live on television. Additionally, Miami has its own ball drop and fireworks which take place at Biscayne Bay.

Average temperature on January 1: 24°C / 75°F

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

New Year's Eve fireworks at Copacabana Beach in Rio

New Year’s Eve fireworks at Copacabana Beach in Rio

Copacabana Beach is the main scene of New Year celebrations in Rio de Janeiro. At midnight, a huge fireworks show goes off over the ocean, and the beach is packed with people. A lot of them will be dressed in white, the color of renewal, to celebrate the new beginning which the day signifies. Others add some color, but nobody will wear black.

If you decide to ring in the New Year on Copacabana Beach, make sure to take some safety precautions. It’s not a dangerous place, but as with all big events, there will be pickpockets lurking around.

If you’d rather enjoy the fireworks from a distance, in a more private setting, you can always rent an apartment or book a hotel room near the beach. Just make sure to do it well in advance. Some beach hotels even organize their own parties so you can have the best of both worlds.

Average temperature on January 1: 30°C / 86°F

Cape Town, South Africa

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/south-african-tourism/3610757472/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Minstrels - South Africa </a> from the Cape Minstrel Carnival by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/south-african-tourism/"_blank" rel="nofollow">South African Tourism</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">CC BY 2.0</a>)

Minstrels – South Africa from the Cape Minstrel Carnival by South African Tourism (CC BY 2.0)

Although you can go out to eat and dance on New Year’s Eve in Cape Town like you can in many other cities, the real reason to visit during the holiday season is the Kaapse Klopse, or Cape Minstrel Carnival. During the carnival, colorfully costumed groups (klopse, or “troupes”) engage in singing and dancing contests. Competitions run through January and into February, but the main event – a parade and street party – takes place, traditionally, on January 2.

Average temperature on January 1: 22°C / 72°F

The Bahamas

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/misschatter/5310002680/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Junkanoo</a> from the Cape Minstrel Carnival by <a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/misschatter/"_blank" rel="nofollow">Cathy T</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">CC BY 2.0</a>)

Junkanoo in the Bahamas by Cathy T (CC BY 2.0)

The Bahamas are a paradise-like beach destination any time of year, but visiting during the holiday season presents a bonus: the Junkanoo parades.

The parades go back to the colonial period, when slaves used to celebrate the couple of days off they would get during the Christmas season. Participants wear colorful outfits and masks. The main instruments are cowbells and drums made of goat skin, instruments formerly used by slaves. Traditionally, the Junkanoo parades take place on both December 26 and January 1 and start around 2 a.m., lasting until morning or midday. The best place to celebrate is in Nassau.

Average temperature on January 1: 21°C / 70°F

Sydney, Australia

Sydney

Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s Bondi Beach has historically been the scene of a huge dance party on New Year’s Eve, called Shore Thing. Each year the event invited internationally renowned DJs like David Guetta to pump up the crowd from behind the turntables. Unfortunately, last year the Shore Thing party was cancelled, and it doesn’t appear to have been resurrected for this year.

Does that mean you shouldn’t go to Sydney for New Year’s Eve? Not at all! You can still enjoy a massive fireworks by the harbor and go to the beach on New Year’s Day. With the party off, it will be a lot less crowded and much cleaner.

Average temperature on January 1: 26°C / 70°F

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Beach Teresitas in Tenerife

Teresitas Beach in Tenerife

New Year’s Eve on a beach in Europe? It’s possible! Tenerife has a subtropical climate, which means it doesn’t know fall or winter. It might get a bit chilly in the north of the island, but if you stay in the more touristy south, you’ll likely get to spend New Year’s in a T-shirt or dress.

Average temperature on January 1: 21°C / 70°F

 – Contributed by Sofie Couwenbergh

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