Las Vegas: Bacchanalia in the Desert
Reinforcing its status as a perennial party town, Las Vegas welcomes 300,000 revelers to ring in the New Year. Hotels, clubs and bars take it to the limit with special shows, but many lock their doors around the midnight hours, so you'll need to decide whether you want to be in or out. We recommend out, since the four-mile-long Strip becomes a vehicle-free promenade where you can drink, mingle and watch fireworks shot off from surrounding rooftops. For a rockin' good time, hit up The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel where the Black Keys will be performing. For something a tad mellower, enjoy the music of The Beatles with Cirque du Soleil's New Year's Eve performance of LOVE at The Mirage... what better way to celebrate the hard day's night that is New Year's Eve in Las Vegas?
Mexico City: End-of-the-Year Fiesta
Mexico's capital and largest city is sedate at the beginning of the night, as most denizens of "D.F.," as locals call it, lay low at home and eat dinner with family members. But as the night goes on, debauchery ensues for the final day of the calendar year. If you like crowds, gravitate to the Zócalo around 9 p.m., the city's main gathering point, where a street festival takes place. There are fireworks, dancing and music; tradition dictates that Zócalo attendees bring empty eggshells filled with confetti and colorful liquids. Likewise, the Zona Rosa neighborhood is similarly packed for plenty of partying. For something a tad less noisy and messy, have a late-night dinner at one of the trendy restaurants in the hip Condesa neighborhood.