Where to Celebrate the New Year in the United States

newyears-destinations_coverAs a diverse population of over 300 million people, Americans embrace a variety of traditions and beliefs during the holiday season, from Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa to Festivus, ChrisFSMas, and more.  One holiday that the vast majority of us recognize, if only because the calendar forces us to do so, is New Year’s Day — and its lead-in, New Year’s Eve.  Of course, the proper way to mark the transition from one year to the next can be as personal a decision as the December holidays are.  If you’re still trying to determine where to celebrate the New Year, here are a few locations you might want to consider, depending on what your interests and desires may be.

New York Citynewyears-destinations_nyc

One of the things “the city that never sleeps” is known for is its televised Times Square ball-drop, which rings in the New Year in millions of homes throughout the Eastern time zone.  Spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a popular bucket-list item, though, so if loud, boisterous crowds are on your agenda, try to get there early; revelers start staking out the best spots on the morning of December 31.  (Fortunately, there are dozens of other entertainment options in the area if you’d prefer a roof over your head that night.)

Pasadena, California

Looking for a warmer clime (and a longer tradition) than Times Square offers?  Try the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Parade, which celebrates its 126th year with an “Inspiring Stories” theme.  You’ll have to buy a ticket if you want to sit in the grandstand, but you can save money simply by watching the festivities from the sidewalk.  After the parade, football fans will want to head to the Rose Bowl for the first-ever FBS College Football Playoff game, which kicks off at 2:10 pm PT.  This semifinal match-up features #2 Oregon and #3 Florida State.

Key West, Floridanewyears-destinations_keys

If you’re not looking for tradition, large crowds, or hoopla, head to the southern-most spot in the continental United States.  Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, an eccentric gathering, or just some time alone, Key West offers a variety of events, sites, and sights to help you contemplate (or forget) the last 365 days and get ready for the coming year.

Estes Park, Colorado

If you’d rather embrace the cold than escape from it, try Estes Park, where you’ll find plenty of New Year’s activities, as well as all sorts of winter fun.  Its location in Rocky Mountain National Park provides an abundance of outdoor adventures to help you kick off 2015 in style — skiing, sledding, tubing, snowmobiling, and more.

Travel Plus

Earn 5% cash back on your New Year’s airline, hotel, and rental-car reservations by making them through Travel Plus.  You’ll also enjoy cash-back rebates on a variety of flight, hotel, and rental-car perks that will help your 2015 budget.  With Travel Plus, you can save on all your travel needs.

5 Underrated but Great Places to Leaf-Peep in the U.S.

fall-leavesFall foliage fans are eagerly checking leaf-peeping maps right about now.  As leaves begin to burst into spectacular colors before succumbing to the cycle of life, millions of people will be descending upon roads, trails, and bike paths across New England and elsewhere in the Northeast to witness one of nature’s most beautiful evolutions.  Let them have their fun; Mother Nature doesn’t focus her autumn efforts on just one region of the country, and neither should you.  If you’d rather check out underrated but great places to leaf-peep in the United States, read on.

To find underrated but great places to leaf-peep throughout the United States, click here.  To get 5% cash back on reservations and rebates on travel services, check out Travel Plus.  Where’s your favorite fall foliage destination?  Leave us a reply to let us know.

Great Places to Camp in the United States

camping-main-image

When you want to clear your mind, invigorate your body, stimulate your imagination, and, as a bonus, make sure your boss can’t reach you for days, a camping trip may be just what you need.  Getting back to nature is a worthy goal in itself — as Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” — and it offers the added benefit of vacation savings:  Camping out is almost always less expensive than a hotel stay.  If you’re looking for a place to go, check out some great places to camp in the United States:

To find more great places to camp in the United States, click here and here.  To find affordable travel deals, check out Travel Plus, where you’ll save on reservations, travel services, and much more.  Wherever you camp, enjoy the views, embrace the solitude, and, in the words of poet Khalil Gibran,  “forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”