This New Year's Eve, leave Times Square and the television behind and get outside to ring in the new year. No matter where you live, you can find the perfect spot to spend the evening with good friends and the best of views. We have put together a list of some particularly great places in major cities to offer ideas, inspiration, and to encourage you to find the perfect place in your own backyard.
The Space Needle Fireworks are a Seattle staple, but getting away from downtown to watch them is a less traditional idea. Alki Beach is a great place to gather and watch the show, and a more adventurous option is to paddle to Blake Island and camp near the shoreline, with spectacular views of the skyline.
The best place to enjoy New Year's Eve outdoors in the Portland area just might be Ski Bowl on Mount Hood. Ski Bowl is gearing up for their 29th fireworks extravaganza including a DJ, beer gardens and winter games.
To view the New Year's Eve scene from afar, hike to a point along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail or to the awesome overlook at the Living Room. These might require snowshoes or trail crampons after recent snow. Another option is to head up to Snowbird for the Torchlight Parade and fireworks.
You can see all the metro area's fireworks at once by finding a gap in the trees on Lookout Mountain near Golden. In Boulder, the New Year's show from Chautauqua Park is spectacular and easy to access.
Favored viewpoints during the summer are less popular during winter, but they are all the more spectacular with clear air and fireworks over the city. Check out Twin Peaks or Grandview Park for commanding views of the Bay Area and Marin Headlands for fireworks framed against the Golden Gate Bridge.
Hiking in the hills around Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area grants some of the best views over L.A. and Hollywood. The best places to see fireworks are Jerome Daniel Overlook and Universal City Overlook along Mulholland Drive.
The Valley of the Sun needs no sun to light up on New Year's Eve, with fireworks displays in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and surrounding cities. Hike up Camelback Mountain for the best vantage over it all, Or Piestewa Peak for a bird's-eye view of downtown Phoenix.
To view your city's fireworks show, find a spot just outside of town that is slightly elevated and offers a clear view of the skyline. Good friends and warm blankets will make the perfect company to start the year off right, enjoying the outdoors.
Note: Some destinations listed may not be open as late as midnight on New Year's Eve. Please observe all regulations for use and open hours in public spaces.