Personal Finance

Best and worst cities for New Year's Eve

Key Points
  • WalletHub compared New Year's Eve celebrations in the 100 biggest cities based on 25 key indicators, including the cost of a night out.
  • Of course, New York ranked best, but the other hot spots are a lot less predictable.

When it comes to watching the ball drop, Times Square is considered the place to be.

About 2 million people head to the center of the city on New Year's Eve or shell out as much as $1,000 for a nearby hotel party pass.

But with hotel rates also jacked up nearly 300 percent from regular rates, New York is the most expensive spot to spend Dec. 31. Tacking on party clothes and peak Uber pricing, ringing in the new year could break the bank if you're not careful.

Image source: Getty Images

Nearly three-quarters of Americans mark the occasion in some way and about 83 percent of those who do said they plan to spend less than $200 on the evening's activities, according to a report by WalletHub.

For those who want to watch their wallet — or spare no expense — the personal finance site compiled a list of the most fun and affordable spots for counting down to 2018, by comparing 100 cities in the U.S. using criteria such as the average price of a New Year's Eve party ticket and a bottle of wine, to the crime rate, traffic and probability of rain.

Of course, New York ranked No. 1, but the other hot spots might surprise you.

Best cities for New Year’s Eve

Overall Rank City Total Score Entertainment & Food Rank Costs Rank Safety & Accessibility Rank
1New York, NY77.231996
2Orlando, FL76.4742175
3Atlanta, GA72.9354188
4Los Angeles, CA72.6365647
5San Francisco, CA72.5229771
6San Diego, CA71.51115439
7Chicago, IL71.1497040
8Miami, FL70.21310072
9Washington, DC69.27108835
10Las Vegas, NV68.5576984

Worst cities for New Year’s Eve

Overall Rank City Total Score Entertainment & Food Rank Costs Rank Safety & Accessibility Rank
90Fort Wayne, IN44.17865231
91Stockton, CA43.87826385
92Anchorage, AK43.09847360
93Garland, TX42.55968412
94Chula Vista, CA42.14985713
95Lubbock, TX42.1936466
96Irving, TX42.06958515
97Hialeah, FL41.42929420
98Newark, NJ39.98859850
99Fremont, CA38.37999225
100North Las Vegas, NV34.96949680
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