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Top 10 Spots for New Year's Eve 2003

Exotic, fun and fabulous. Travel across the time zones with us from Sydney via Rio to Tahiti.

SYDNEY

Join Sydneysiders to be one of the first in the world to farewell 2003 and usher in 2004. Sydney always puts on a fabulous show with street entertainment and a spectacular show of fireworks that lights up the Harbour. Hurry to book a table with a view in one of Sydney's great restaurants or reserve a seat on Magistic's New Year's Eve harbour cruise. Otherwise, find a good vantage point on the water's edge and join the crowds in the celebrations. Find out more about visiting Sydney and Australia.

AFRICA

Spend New Year's in the African bush or savannah à la Ernest Hemingway. Observing elephant, giraffe and prides of lion instead of throngs of humans may just be what you need to clear your head for a fresh start into 2004. Abercrombie & Kent are well-known for their reliably top-notch luxury tours. Visit www.abercrombiekent.com.

PARIS

On New Year's, Parisians and travelers alike cram the métros to head to L'Arc de Triomphe for a luminous (and slightly crazy) get-together. Champagne bottles spray bubbly, Bonne Année shouts are heard everywhere and you may just find yourself kissing a stranger. For a more subdued evening, dine at one of our New Year's Eve restaurant picks. You can also browse our France site to learn more about restaurants, hotels, news and events taking place while you’re in the city. Find reduced rates for flights, hotel rooms and car rentals here.


SALZBURG

Ring in the New Year in the quaint, historic town of Salzburg between the venerable baroque buildings. The excitement will culminate at midnight, when the famous "Blue Danube" waltz by Johann Strauss will resound throughout the city under a dazzling fireworks display. The city will be filled with waltzing and polka music again on New Year's Day starting at 5 p.m. along the "Music Mile," broadcasting the Mozarteum Orchestra's New Year's concert in the squares and streets of the city. Visit www.salzburg.info.

RIO DE JANEIRO

A couple of million Brazilians and international visitors dance the night away to African and samba beats along the Copacabana. An eclectic crowd all dressed in white throws flowers into the sea for Yemanja, the goddess of the sea, enjoys the massive fireworks at midnight and gets into a joyful frenzy until the wee hours, followed by Champagne breakfasts. Two highlights are the fireworks cascades at Forte de Copacabana and at Le Meridién Hotel and all the major hotels hold parties. This year's celebration is expected to be gigantic!


BAHAMAS

How about a 150-acre island for you and your inner circle including several houses, food, beverages, sports, and staff? With more than 150 acres of unspoiled tropical environment, sparkling white sugar-sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, superb elegant accommodations, and a staff of thirty-plus to attend to your every need, Musha Cay is available for exclusive and private use by you and 21 of your guests for a total 22, double occupancy. Basically, anything you want, you can have.

NEW YORK


New Yorkers stay warm and cozy at private soirées, while thousands of out-of-towners gather for the annual Times Square New Year's Eve Celebration & Ball Drop. Fireworks will light up the city at Brooklyn's Prospect Park and Central Park, where they will signal the start of a midnight 5K run. And, the Annual New Year's Eve Concert for Peace will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. If you're not in the mood to freeze your toes off with the joyful mob at midnight, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park offers a New Year's Eve Private Dinner Cruise & Fireworks Package at $1199 per couple. More information at www.ritzcarlton.com. To find out more about visiting New York click here.


NEW ORLEANS

How about ringing in the New Year at one of the Big Easy's many fine restaurants? Make it a mini vacation with the help of our three-day itinerary. Experience the first exhibition of ancient art from the Egyptian national collection to tour the U.S. since Tutankhamun and Ramses, some 20 years ago.

VAIL

You don't need to travel to the Alps for a quaint mountain experience. The beautiful Rocky Mountain Sonnenalp Resort of Vail offers great dining, shopping and a fantastic spa. Not to mention the pristine slopes of Vail as well as the pretty, Austrian-themed Vail Village. To find out more about visiting Colorado click here


TAHITI

The largest of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, Tahiti held a magical attraction for artist Paul Gauguin and writer Robert Louis Stevenson. To understand why, simply listen to the winds whistling through casuarina trees on a secluded black-sand beach, or stroll through beautiful botanical gardens and marvel at island flora.

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(Updated: 10/29/08 KR)


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