Happy New Year

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WASHINGTON — New York City may be scaling back their famous New Year’s Eve celebration this year, but it’s still the top party to be at if you’re lucky enough to go! A new poll names the Big Apple as the number one city to party in on Dec. 31, 2021! However, expect to spend a pretty penny on your evening — it’s also one of the most expensive places to ring in the new year.

The WalletHub study looked at three key factors when making out their list of the 100 best cities for New Year’s celebrations: food and entertainment, safety and accessibility, and cost.

With Times Square in the background and thousands of parties, bars, and restaurants all over town, New York is king of the New Year’s Eve party scene. It also ranks 10th in terms of safety and accessibility. However, NYC sits at the bottom when it comes to paying for all those good times, ranking 99th in cost. It turns out only Irvine, California throws a more expensive New Year’s celebration.

Overall, Las Vegas, Olando, Atlanta, and Miami round the top five cities to be in on New Year’s when you factor in all three components.

Partying on a budget

If you’re looking to ring in 2022 and save yourself a few dollars at the same time, the survey found plenty of cities where a ticket to a New Year’s Eve party won’t break the bank. You’ll find the cheapest tickets to the big party in Bakersfield, California, with Raleigh, North Carolina and Birmingham, Alabama following closely behind.

If you feel like having a southern New Year’s celebration, Birmingham also tops the list with the most affordable rates on three-star hotel rooms on New Year’s Eve. Conversely, booking a room St. Petersburg, Florida costs more than any other city on Dec. 31, with pricey three-star hotels in Long Beach, California and Honolulu rounding out the top three most expensive reservations.

Looking for cheap drinks? Head to Arizona! Five of the top six cities with the cheapest prices on wine are all in that state — including Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Glendale. Meanwhile, Seattle boasts the most expensive prices on New Year’s booze each year.

The worst city for New Year’s is… Las Vegas?

Not quite. It’s actually North Las Vegas — which is its own city just three miles north of the famous gambling and entertainment destination. North Vegas ranks last in terms of the food and entertainment options available in the city while also ranking as the third-worst city in terms of cost. Even with safety and accessibility, North Las Vegas ranks 73rd.

So, if you drive (or even walk) a couple miles south, you’ll find Las Vegas — with the fourth-best food and entertainment on New Year’s in the poll. While a Vegas New Year’s isn’t cheap (80th overall), it’s actually more affordable than several cities including Miami, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago!

WalletHub’s best cities for New Year’s:

  1. New York, NY
  2. Las Vegas, NV
  3. Orlando, FL
  4. Atlanta, GA
  5. Miami, FL
  6. Washington, DC
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Louisville, KY
  10. Houston, TX
  11. Philadelphia, PA
  12. Seattle, WA
  13. Los Angeles, CA
  14. Austin, TX
  15. Chicago, IL
  16. Nashville, TN
  17. Buffalo, NY
  18. San Diego, CA
  19. Dallas, TX
  20. San Antonio, TX
  21. New Orleans, LA
  22. St. Louis, MO
  23. Santa Ana, CA
  24. Birmingham, AL
  25. Baltimore, MD

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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