It’s no secret that spending a successful New Year’s Eve in LA requires some major planning. One could almost argue you’d need a travel agent just to book your trip from Santa Monica to Hollywood. It may be last minute, but using that organizational might for a bit of travel may just be in your best interest – not to mention, do you really want to risk counting down to 2010 in your car again?
There are a many ways Angelenos like to “do” Mexico. (Think Cabo San Lucas vs. Oaxaca) Whichever way you prefer, Mexico is a hot spot (literally and figuratively) to spend your New Year’s Eve. For the truly in the know, there is Careyes, Mexico – three hours south of Puerto Vallarta and a hidden paradise. It may be hidden, but that doesn’t take away from any of its luxuries. Gorgeous colorful houses, of the 8 bedrooms+ ilk, adorn the coast, beautiful resorts host multiple restaurants and bars, and there’s a polo field that just so happens to host a championship round of matches right around New Years – hang out there, make some new friends and see where everyone’s celebrating this year.
Careyes (or Costa Alegre) is located three hours south of Puerto Vallarta. For more information on the area, please click here.
If you’re idea of a lovely New Year’s Eve includes sipping champagne in the lodge post-ski, you’ve got little else to do now besides pack for Aspen. Really only a hop, skip, and jump from LA, Aspen is skiing for the jet set – with a St. Regis Hotel for the classic, chic among us and the Sky Hotel or the Viceroy for the hip, modern crowd. Aspen has been hosting Angelenos who believe in cold weather done right for ages. For all food and wine-obsessed skiers, Food and Wine hosts an annual New Year’s Eve bash in Aspen at Montagna restaurant in the Little Nell hotel.
Flights to Aspen, CO can be found by checking here.
Sonoma and Napa
For a quieter, but no less wine-soaked New Year’s Eve, Angelenos should all be prepared to head north to Sonoma or Napa Valley for a tres civilized end to 2009. In Napa Valley, the Auberge du Soleil hotel never ceases to impress and satiate your every sense – their spa alone inspires long lasting oohs and aahs. After poring over Thomas Keller’s menu at The French Laundry, you’ll be quite ready to head to the source – by which we mean a New Year’s Eve soiree at Chandon. Over in Sonoma, a bit further north and a little less “stop for the Wine Train,” a stay at the Hotel Healdsburg has the power to clean your 2009 slate for a wild and fabulous 2010. Follow your dinner at Cyrus with champagne by the fireplace at the hotel bar – cheers!
Transport from San Francisco airport to Napa and Sonoma can be found here.
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? One major luxury of living in LA is being able to get to Vegas with speed and frequency and, thus, every Angeleno worth their salt has a favorite place to stay in Vegas (if you don’t yet, we recommend either the Wynn Hotel or the Bellagio). A normal Friday night in Vegas can seem like New Year’s Eve anyway, so to make this night extra special, start off with dinner at Wynn hotel’s Bartolotta or Jean George Vongerichten’s Prime Steakhouse in the Bellagio. Then, do you really need any convincing to get those dancing shoes on? Subsequently, we’ll go ahead and assume that once you’re eyeing someone from across the room at Tryst, Blush, Pure, or JET you won’t need any assistance sampling basically everything from the drinks menu.
A map of the strip and its landing pads can be found here.
There are, we’ve found through extensive research, a hefty number of Angelenos who try to impress out-of-towners by saying wistfully that they’d so rather live in San Francisco. We say, there’s nothing stopping you, fair-weather friends! In the meantime, we will say that a quick jaunt up north can be just what a warm-weather spoiled Angeleno needs on New Year’s Eve. It’s hard to question the logic behind staying at the Four Seasons, but in case you’re up for branching out, the Clift Hotel is a modern favorite. Once you’ve unpacked, head out for some of San Francisco’s best sushi at Sebo followed by 944 magazine’s party at Slide or perhaps your own party at Manor West.
Flights from LAX to SFO can be checked out here.