Dreaming of warmer weather, delicious local cuisine and above all, a brilliant New Year's Eve party? has named the seven best places in the world to ring in 2017. From far-flung retreats to European hot spots, you'll want to add these to your bucket list.
"New Orleans adds a unique flavor to everything it does, and New Year's Eve is no exception," says Rebecca Warren, managing editor for Lonely Planet's U.S. magazine. "Head over to Jackson Square to ring in 2017. The annual party there includes live music and a great view of the midnight fleur-de-lis drop to usher in the new year. The St. Louis Cathedral, one of the best examples of French architecture in the U.S., serves as a regal backdrop for an impressive fireworks display over the Mississippi River."
"Located in the remote rural region of Basilicata, Matera, is preparing for the limelight as European Capital of Culture in 2019. But why wait?," asks Angelo Pittro, commercial and marketing director, Lonely Planet Italy. "See in the new year in this jaw-dropping Unesco World Heritage-listed city, which hosts a range of open-air festivals and celebrations. Explore the town's labyrinth of narrow alleys, and look out for the Presepe Narrante Di Matera, a 'live nativity scene' spread over 5km featuring 150 costumed performers."
"Partying in Europe at this time of year usually involves several layers of thermal underwear, but temperatures in the Gran Canarian capital of Las Palmas are a balmy average of 19°C," says Orla Thomas, features editor for Lonely Planet's U.K. magazine. "And while elsewhere the island is dominated by big resorts, this is a proper Spanish city mostly frequented by locals – particularly on New Year's Eve, when clubs and bars fill up with Canarios."
"Visit the idyllic city of Hangzhou for a peaceful way to see in 2017," recommends Ding Lisong, production and operations director of Lonely Planet's Beijing office. "Follow the footpath alongside West Lake in the morning to see the mist covering the water, then climb the hill to visit Yongfu Temple. Spend the afternoon sipping tea at the teahouse there, surrounded by a grove of tea trees. Finish off your day with a slap-up meal in the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel, which stands on the shoreline of the lake."
"Australia's glitziest city puts on an extravagant show by utilizing its best asset — Sydney Harbor," says Chris Zeiher, Lonely Planet's director of sales and marketing. "In the run-up to the big fireworks display, vessels of all shapes and sizes decked out in dazzling white rope-light dance across the water to the sound of live music. The arrival of midnight triggers an eruption of pyrotechnics from no less than seven barges dotted along the harbor, not to mention the world's most famous coat hanger, the Sydney Harbor Bridge."
"If Sydney is the golden child for New Year's Eve in Australia, then Melbourne is the spunky sibling," says blogger Terri Coad. "Hole up at one of the city's renowned rooftop bars for a balmy summer night's tipple and front-row seats for the fireworks."
"Nearly every town in the Caribbean throws a New Year's bash, but Nassau does so with a particular flair," says Bailey Johnson, destination editor for Central America and the Caribbean. "Junkanoo is the Bahamas' biggest, flashiest street carnival, and while it takes place multiple times a year, the largest celebrations happen on Boxing Day and New Year's Day. In the wee hours of the morning, elaborately costumed dancers take to the streets with their troupes, parading through downtown Nassau to ring in the new year with horns, drums, whistles and floats."