California is known for its breathtaking beaches, snow-capped mountain ranges, and vibrant coastal cities. It’s no wonder this state is a popular place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Book a stay at an incredible California vacation rental today. From the bustling parties of Los Angeles to the slope-side celebrations and cruises of Lake Tahoe, these eight destinations provide plenty of exciting opportunities to make your New Year’s getaway truly special.
1. San Diego
Book a vacation rental on the beach in this sunny SoCal city a few days early to enjoy the Holiday Bowl Game leading up to New Year’s Eve, and be sure to catch the Holiday Bowl Balloon Parade, the biggest balloon parade in the nation that attracts 100,000 spectators. For a New Year’s Eve celebration, choose from one of many yacht parties, evening galas, and beach parties. San Diego Trolleys offer late-night service to make getting back to your rental a snap. You also have plenty of options for a San Diego fireworks extravaganza, including the USS Midway on the Bay, SeaWorld, and Mission Bay. When New Year’s Day rolls around, hit the beach for some relaxation.
2. Los Angeles
The LA area is ripe with places to celebrate New Year’s Eve, whether you’re looking for a VIP party in Hollywood, a kid-friendly fireworks display at one of the nearby theme parks, or a late-night party at one of the beach clubs in Santa Monica. You can also hit Downtown Los Angeles for the Party at Grand Park, which includes a light show cast on the towering buildings of downtown. Another favorite is the famous Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. Just be sure to leave your vacation home to stake out your spot bright and early.
3. San Francisco
Choose this bustling bay city as your New Year’s base camp to enjoy world-class celebrations with a maritime twist. Head to Market Street for the Embarcadero Fireworks Show, an annual New Year’s firework display over the Ferry Building, or ring in the New Year with a bonfire on Ocean Beach. The San Francisco Belle, Commodore, and other cruise ships also offer New Year’s parties if you want to enjoy your champagne toast over the water. Other options include counting to midnight from the flight deck of the USS Hornet or celebrating in style at the annual gala hosted by San Francisco Symphony. Whatever you choose, you can count on public transit until the early hours of the morning to bring you back to your rental for some shut-eye.
Find a spot at this rugged town perched on Monterey Bay to enjoy a celebration for the whole family. First Night Monterey is an annual celebration in the historic downtown district featuring an alcohol-free environment with dozens of live music and dance performances from different cultures. Little Ones are sure to enjoy the Kids’ Night Out event with kid-friendly activities and a costume contest.
Celebrate the New Year in wine country, and find an end-of-year celebration for everyone. The family-friendly party in Town Square includes live music, face-painting, and hat-making as well as hours of ice-skating followed by a traditional countdown and a giant grape drop. You can also find galas and concerts at many of the area wineries, and the Round Bar at Pechanga Resort and Casino always parties it up with a huge countdown to midnight.
Families choose Sacramento for a New Year’s getaway to enjoy Sky Spectacular, an annual fireworks display above Old Sacramento, as well as the hours of activities leading up to it. Sample SoCal cuisine from food vendors, watch street entertainers, listen to live music, and have fun with children’s activities. The city also boasts Noon Year’s Eve, an annual celebration with cultural dances and a pixie-hosted ball drop at noon. For more traditional New Year’s fun, enjoy the annual bash at Stoney’s Rockin’ Rodeo, with a New Year’s dinner, dancing, a balloon drop, and a champagne toast.
7. Long Beach
This beach city just south of Los Angeles is famous in the area for its New Year’s Eve at the Waterfront complete with fireworks over the ocean. Enjoy balloon artists, face-painting, and other family-friendly activities leading up to an East Coast countdown. You can also enjoy your last dinner of the year at Brix or another gourmet restaurant, or choose from dozens of parties hosted at Long Beach hotel lounges and beach clubs.
8. Lake Tahoe
Wondering where to go in California to splurge this New Year? Find your holiday vacation rental at snowy Lake Tahoe. A getaway in this charming mountain lets you catch the final days of the Snowglobe Music Festival and ring in the year from a Lake Tahoe cruise. On New Year’s Day, have a blast skiing or snowboarding at one of the world-class ski resorts surrounding Lake Tahoe, including Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Kirkwood Ski Resort, and Heavenly Ski Resort.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing California vacation rentals on Tripping.com.