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New York City is the jewel in New Year’s Eve’s crown, and the west coast offers unforgettable nightlife peppered with celebrity spottings to ring in the New Year. But the flyover states are not to be overlooked. People throughout the middle chunk of our country know how to party, and each place offers experiences a little bit more novel than watching the ball drop. Plus, the odds of spending significantly less during your celebrations than you would spend on either coast are very much in your favor. Here is our list of five flyover cities that offer unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebrations, in no particular order.

 

16th Street in Denver

16th Street in Denver | Flickr CC: Yuya Sekiguchi

Denver, Colorado — How better to celebrate the New Year than with a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains? The 16th Street Mall downtown is sure to be bustling, with parties spilling out of every hotel and fireworks shooting off overhead. Find a brewery in the home of craft beer to spend your night. The Five Points neighborhood, just north of downtown, offers plenty of places worthy of saying goodbye to 2015.

 

Short North lights

The arches over the Short North in Columbus, Ohio. Photo: Becker1999 – Flickr

Columbus, Ohio — It should come as no surprise that a city dominated by one of the nation’s largest public universities knows how to ring in the New Year right. Take your pick of spots to celebrate in the Short North, a cultured strip of bars and restaurants along High Street between downtown and Ohio State’s campus that blends all types and ages into your choice of celebrations.

 

Lousiville New Year's Even

A bourbon flight in Louisville. Photo: Surlygirl – Flickr

Louisville, Kentucky — Head to Louisville and soak your New Year’s celebrations in bourbon and southern hospitality. The Derby isn’t the only thing Louisville does right. The city celebrates with fireworks and parties at nearly every bar, but The Highlands neighborhood has a strip of eclectic bars that can’t be missed. Make sure to check out Holy Grale, a gastropub in an old church, and The Back Door, a late-night bar with copious pool tables and the best bar food south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

 

Chicago New Year's Eve

The Chicago River at night. Photo: Patrick Emerson

Chicago, Illinois — The great thing about celebrating New Year’s Eve in Chicago is that you can make it whatever you want. Go swanky and buy tickets to a downtown black-tie affair in advance, or hit up a club (you can find them in nearly every neighborhood) that stays open until 4 a.m. and dance your way well into 2016. Get tickets to a party at a restaurant like Beatrix in River North and spend your evening dining well, or a bar in Wrigleyville and enjoy all-you-can-drink perks with a more raucous crowd. Watch fireworks from Navy Pier, go to a party at a hotel, or stay in with friends and hit up neighborhood bars after the ball drops.

Honky tonk in Nashville

A band performs at Legends Corner Bar in Nashville. Photo: Grant Wickes – Flickr.

Nashville, Tennessee — Nashville is a great place to go out and experience life any time of year, whether you’re soaking up the music scene or enjoying some southern cuisine, and the city does not disappoint on New Year’s Eve. Hit up a honky-tonk Downtown or in Midtown and embrace those country vibes.

Tagged: City, Holidays, Tips & advice

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