Beyond the lush state parks with hiking trails featuring spectacular scenery, Arizona is also home to vibrant New Year’s Eve celebrations. Escape to warmer temperatures this winter holiday season by staying at an Arizona vacation rental complete with breathtaking views of deserts and mountains. Indulge in southwestern cuisine on Whiskey Row, or attend the Pine Cone Drop at midnight in Flagstaff. Whether you choose a big city-based celebration in Phoenix or a romantic retreat in a secluded cabin in Sedona, these getaway spots in Arizona will let you ring in the new year in style.
Join the holiday traditions in Flagstaff with a New Year’s Eve celebration that includes the Great Pinecone Drop. Right outside the historic Weatherford Hotel, the city drops a giant LED-lit pine cone at 10 p.m. and at midnight. For adults feeling lucky, head over to the Twin Arrows Casino Resort for a night full of gambling, cocktails, and midnight toasts on New Year’s Eve before retreating back to your vacation rental. Satisfy your taste buds with the special menu items available at the Tinderbox Kitchen, serving up a three-course meal for families on New Year’s Eve.
Break out your flannel when vacationing in Phoenix for the holidays. The downtown area offers a relaxed celebration with the Flannel Ball where families can join in the festivities that include live music, lawn games, food trucks, and a pinata drop at midnight. This event also includes an art show where you can pick up masterpieces from local artists. If you choose to dance the night away, hit up the Baby Boomers’ Dance Party at the Hilton Garden Inn, or showcase your creativity at the Easel for You to Paint party at the Farm at South Mountain.
If you’re wondering where to go in Scottsdale for a rockin’ good time, head over to the Rock ‘n Roll New Year’s Eve party at the Rockbar. Rock out to live music, and enjoy appetizers and toasts before the clock strikes midnight. Go formal for your New Year’s Eve celebration with tickets to the Old Hollywood Party at the Casablanca Rooftop Lounge, or dress down for the festivities at the Boondocks Patio and Grill. Enjoy glitz and glamour when you spend your New Year’s Eve at the Confetti Ball at the Hotel Valley Ho, just minutes from most vacation rentals in the area.
After a day of touring Saguaro National Park or the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, get ready for some hearty nightlife in the area to ring in the new year. Head over to Golden Pin Lanes for an evening of bowling, music, and casino-style games. Bring the family along in the afternoon to join in the games and party favors. If you want to hear loud, revved-up engines, hit up the Tucson Dragway for the annual New Year’s Eve Hangover Nationals Drag Racing Tournament. For an evening with fine dining and ballroom dancing, consider the Hotel Congress celebration.
Sedona is home to Slide Rock State Park and the Chapel of Holy Cross within minutes from vacation rentals in the desert. When you’re wondering where to go in Sedona when your sightseeing is complete, take advantage of the New Year’s Eve celebration at the Sedona Rouge. There’ll also be live music playing at RED’s Restaurant. Head over to Relics at Rainbow’s End or the Olde Sedona Bar for some beats to help ring in the new year.
Prescott is a hot spot for historic museums, such as the Sharlot Hall Museum and the Highlands Center for National History, but on New Year’s Eve, the city comes alive with the traditional boot drop on Whiskey Row. While waiting for an illuminated cowboy boot to lower from the Palace Building, join in the city’s celebration with local food vendors, crafts, beverages, and live bands. Stick around for the fireworks that light up the sky after midnight.
Be a part of the transformation of Tempe as the downtown area turns into a block party. The Circle K New Year’s Eve Block Party offers musical entertainment in the evening, fireworks at midnight, and interactive games for the kids starting in the early evening. Sample the food from the gourmet food trucks before heading back to your vacation rental. Once the festivities are over, spend a few days seeing what the city has to offer, such as the Desert Botanical Garden or the trails surrounding the Pueblo Grande Ruin.
8. Fort McDowell
Take a gamble with your New Year’s Eve plans when ringing in the new year in Fort McDowell. The Fort McDowell Casino hosts one of the most spectacular celebrations, including party favors, chances to win prizes and trips, and multiple live music shows representing every decade. If your luck runs dry, sample the cuisine at Bruno’s Bar and Grill or grab a beverage at Grapeables Wine Bar and Lounge.
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