If there’s one thing we are looking forward to this month, it’s saying goodbye to 2017 once and for all. If you’re feeling the same way and looking for a memorable way to ring in the New Year, then consider hopping in the car and heading out for a weekend getaway.
Whether your dream day is skiing, snowshoeing, or spa-ing (that’s a word, right?) and your dream night is ice skating, a festive party, or champagne by the fireplace, there’s a Northern California destination perfect for greeting 2018 with hope and joy—or at least a really good glass of champagne.
(But hurry, rooms are filling up FAST! If you really want to get away, you need to book your trip ASAP.)
Here’s to new beginnings…
If you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve getaway with first-class accommodations, close proximity to skiing, and the option for a little late night debauchery, then this stunning new lodge on the shore of Lake Tahoe is your dream destination.
The Lodge itself is spectacular. The rooms are chic and luxurious, and they all have a gas fireplace and private deck. There’s also a year-round lakefront pool and hot tub, an enormous spa with all the services you could ever wish for, and two fantastic restaurants just steps away. Truthfully, it would be very easy to check in and not leave the property until it’s time to go home.
However, if you do want to spend some time on the slopes, Heavenly Mountain is just a few minutes away, and the hotel offers ski valet and transportation to and from the mountain. You can also get your lift tickets, ski rentals, and everything else you need at the hotel. They’ll even warm your boots for you.
The will be a party in the iconic clubhouse on New Year’s Eve with a gourmet hors d’oeuvres buffet, live music and dancing, rolled cigars and a whiskey lounge, a photo booth, midnight toast, and… wait for it… fireworks!
And when the party winds down at Edgewood, if you still feel like getting into a little trouble, all of South Lake’s casinos are just a short walk away—and thanks to Nevada’s laws, the party can go ‘til the sun comes up (and later). Though it’s going to be very hard to resist the lure of that soaking tub, comfy bed, and fireplace that await you back at the Lodge…
If your dream New Year’s Eve involves all of the festivities but also getting in some turns on the slopes, a trip to Squaw checks all of the boxes. There will be free live music in the Village, fireworks at 7 p.m., a “prom” from 8 p.m to 2 a.m., and lots of other parties in the bars around the Village.
Resort at Squaw Creek has ski-in/ski-out access and is a great place to stay if you want all of the bells and whistles, including a full-service spa, heated swimming pool, and private ice-skating rink. The hotel is also throwing an “All That Glitters Kaleidoscope Party” with live entertainment, GoGo dancers, music, aerial shows, champagne, and more.
Price: If you book a New Year’s weekend stay, you’ll get 10% off of the best available room rate (a Deluxe Forest View King Room starts at $599) and a 10% discount on tickets to the party. Use promo code NEWYEAR17. Hurry, rooms are going fast.
There are other hotels in Squaw Valley that are closer to the Village and less expensive, but it appears a lot of them are already booked or require longer stays.
If your idea of a perfect start to the New Year is to wake up in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, then hurry and book a room at Yosemite National Park. Spend your days hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, or skiing, and enjoy New Year’s Eve celebrations that range from casual to super swanky.
Fancy: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (aka: The Ahwahnee) is throwing a red and gold-themed party to celebrate its 90th birthday, with a lavish six-course dinner, live music, and dancing.
Where to Stay:
All of the super fancy rooms in Yosemite are already booked, but there are still a few rooms left at Big Tree Lodge (rates start at $134 a night), which was established in 1856 and was one of California’s first mountain resort hotels. The rooms are decorated in Victorian style, there are no televisions, and you share a bathhouse located nearby (the hotel provides robes).
There are also heated and unheated tents still available in the Half Dome Village (rates start at $84/night for unheated and $115 for heated). The tents all have electric lighting, daily housekeeping, and a shared bath, but the unheated tents do not have electrical outlets. It may not be the swankiest place to stay, but the views of Glacier Point and Half Dome more than make up for it.
If you just want to chill out on New Year’s and maybe taste some wine, do some shopping, and soak in some hot springs, Calistoga is the perfect getaway. Restaurants all over town will be hosting New Year’s Eve dinners, but the big party is the New Year’s Eve Gatsby Gala ($305 to $355) at Castello di Amorosa, a 13th century-inspired Tuscan castle and winery. There will be jazz, flappers, a decadent three-course dinner, dancing, a midnight toast, and yes, you’re expected to don your finest Gatsby-inspired attire. There will also be complimentary shuttles available to Downtown Calistoga.
Where to Stay:
There are tons of places to stay in Calistoga for all kinds of budgets, but we have to say that for an indulgent New Year’s Eve weekend, our pick would be Indian Springs, where you can spend the day getting spa treatments; playing bocce, shuffleboard, and croquet; exploring Downtown Calistoga on the provided bicycles; and, of course, soaking in the heated mineral pools.
Rooms start at $359 a night, but if that’s more than you want to spend, there are more affordable options, including the Trailside Inn ($165/night) and Calistoga Arbors ($135/night).
The wildfires in wine country were devastating and now, more than ever, Napa and Sonoma need your love and support. So why not show it while also having an amazing New Year’s Eve? There will be dinners and parties at all of Napa’s best restaurants and bars, but here are a few we think sound like fun:
8th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala Fundraiser for The Music They Played on 7th Street Oakland Walk of Fame Project and Blues in the Schools Program
Okay, the name is a mouthful, but the prime rib dinner and dance party at the DoubleTree by Hilton & Spa Napa Valley in American Canyon will be a fun party for a good cause. Tickets are $95 to $75 per person.
Try cuisine from around the world at the Meritage Resort & Spa’s “Taste the World” dinner before heading to the Carneros Ballroom for live music, dancing, small bites, and a full bar. Tickets are $175 per person.
The Westin Versas Napa is also throwing a couple of parties that are guaranteed to be a good time. Start with a six-course dinner at Michelin-started La Toque before heading to the Bank Café and Bar for a “Red Tie Affair,” a night of dancing, cocktails, and sweet treats. The La Toque dinner is $300 per person (with an additional $100 for wine pairings), and entrance to the Red Tie Affair is $60 per person if purchased before December 14. (The price of dinner includes the party.) The Westin Versa Napa is also a short walk away from downtown Napa in case you want to take the party elsewhere.
Where to Stay:
If you’re going to the party at the Westin Versas Napa, why not stay there also? The hotel is right on the Napa River and just steps away from the Oxbow Public Market and all the amazing bars and restaurants in downtown Napa. Rooms start at $330/night.
Otherwise, there are hotels all over Napa with prices ranging from $112/night (Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Napa Valley) to anywhere from $1000 to $2000/night (Meadowood).