Charity De Souza is a Florida native and travel enthusiast. Traveling to over 50 countries abroad and residing in 6, she has a passion for exploring new cultures. While Central Florida is where she calls home, her favorite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland and watching the sunset in Morocco.
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Looking for somewhere in Florida to ring in the New Year? The Sunshine State is full of fabulous destinations where you can celebrate your way into 2023! These popular spots offer the chance to enjoy spectacular fireworks shows and live entertainment as well as dancing, food, and drinks as you wait until the clock hits midnight. Clink your champagne glasses together and bid adieu to 2022 at these fun-filled New Year’s Eve events in Florida.
A hotspot in the Sunshine State for fun in the sun, Panama City Beach is also beloved for its annual beach ball drop. On New Year’s Eve, the streets of Pier Park are closed off to traffic as thousands of revelers enjoy free live music, entertainment, and the biggest highlight – a fantastic fireworks show. Perfect for families, they even have two separate events for little ones that can’t stay up late – with the ball dropping at 8pm and midnight. As the clock ticks closer to midnight, Celebration Tower becomes the epicenter of the festivities. The tower is actually 10 feet taller than the pole on One Times Square in Manhattan (and much closer to white sand beaches!). Stay to see the fireworks launched from the end of Russell-Fields Pier, which reaches out more than a quarter-mile into the Gulf of Mexico.
St. Augustine is one of Florida’s best Christmas cities with its famous light displays, so it’s no surprise that they do it big for New Year’s Eve. This St. Augustine tradition is one of the most magical fireworks displays in Florida at the St. Johns County Ocean Pier. For the best views, a limited shuttle service will be provided from Anastasia Baptist Church to the three viewing locations on the beach. Best of all, this event is free!
In Jacksonville, you can say goodbye to 2022 and ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display over the St. Johns River. This year fireworks will be launched from a barge on the St. Johns River between the Hyatt and DoubleTree hotels and high above the St. Johns River from the Acosta Bridge. For the best viewing, these locations are able to be viewed from both the North and South banks in Downtown Jacksonville in addition to viewing from Brooklyn and under the Fuller Warren Bridge, where the Riverside Arts Market is held. Fireworks will begin exactly at midnight.
One of the most famous beach bars in the entire country, Perdido Key’s Flora-Bama is hosting its annual New Year’s Eve Bash. On December 31st, there will be live music on three stages, with musicians jamming out until the party stops. Food, party favors, and a midnight champagne toast will be on offer, and your ticket also includes an all-you-can-eat buffet dinner with ribs, shrimp, oysters, and more from 6-11pm and a breakfast buffet with waffle biscuits, chicken tenders, and other favorites at midnight.
Want to see the dropping of a giant, illuminated shrimp? You can join the city of Fernandina Beach and Light Up Amelia for a free, family-friendly New Year’s celebration at the Downtown Waterfront. Listen to a live DJ, indulge in delicious eats at food trucks, and pick up local goods, then stay around to see the city’s famous dropping of the LED-lighted shrimp followed by fireworks. You don’t even have to stay out late, as the shrimp will drop at 7:00 pm followed immediately by the fireworks display.
Ready to get dressed up and attend a posh party? The swanky The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island hosts the annual New Year’s Eve Black & White Masquerade Ball. It will boast lavish food buffets, chef’s stations of seafood, sushi, seared scallops, lobster, lamb loin, and an array of scrumptious desserts. Dance the night away to live music while enjoying the open bar and a Champagne toast with midnight fireworks. For something more laid-back, the hotel’s Coast restaurant offers a special low country dinner before the fireworks and midnight toasts, while the famous Salt Restaurant presents an artful five-course prefix menu.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve event in Florida, this one is sure to fit the bill. Join in the festivities and celebrate the New Year early with rides, activities, and a whole lot of fun. You don’t even have to go on the actual day, as Legoland has fireworks each night from December 26th to the 31st. Celebrate with an early fireworks display illuminating the sky and welcome in 2023!
If you’re looking for a front-row seat to Downtown Tampa’s fireworks show, hop aboard the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise with Pirate Water Taxi. Your ticket includes a one-hour cruise and a complimentary champagne toast, while beer, wine, and other beverages are available for purchase on board. You won’t have to fight the crowds too, as Pirate Water Taxis will be sold to a reduced capacity for fireworks viewing.
Light It Up Clearwater! is an annual New Year’s event with midnight fireworks. Kick back and relax with your toes in the sand, watch one of Clearwater’s world-famous sunsets, then grab a bite to eat and then ring in the New Year with Fireworks at midnight. The fireworks display will take place in the most northern part of Sand Key Park (but Sand Key Park will be closed to the public). The best viewing area is the southern part of Clearwater Beach, but the fireworks will be visible along the beach.
Over in Sarasota, the big New Year’s Eve event is the annual Pineapple Drop Block Party. At midnight, the dropping of the bright glowing pineapple takes place at the intersection of Lemon Avenue and Main Street in downtown. The actual pineapple drop is the highlight of the annual event, which features lots of fun entertainment and attractions throughout the day, starting from 1pm and running right through 1am. There will be live music, with DJs and bands performing, carnival rides, games for the kids and food and drinks, along with special offers at local bars and restaurants. Live music begins at 9 p.m. on the corner of Main and Lemon Street. Just after the Pineapple Drop, a big fireworks display takes place over the stunning Sarasota Bay.
The Orange Bowl and the City of Fort Lauderdale have partnered together since 2011 to host the annual Fort Lauderdale Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown. It’s considered the premier New Year’s Eve celebration in South Florida and even touted as one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Southeast. The free street festival is full of fun for both children and adults, featuring bounce houses, inflatables, face painting, games, contests, dancing with the DJ, and a special kids countdown. When night falls, the party begins for adults with live music and features a lighted drop at midnight.
If you’re looking for a serious party scene, no one does it better than Miami. Clevelander is hosting New Year’s Eve 2023: Party of the Future, transforming into a floating spaceship specifically designed to party to the future. It’s going to be an epic night with inventive cocktails and live entertainment, with ticket options that range from General Admission on the 1st-floor Pool and Patio to an Open Bar option on the 6th-floor rooftop level. Dance all night to sounds by DJ RZ Spinz, DJ Jimbo Slice, DJ Bedo, and DJ Mykel.
If you’re looking for a mini getaway, B Ocean Resort in Florida is hosting an amazing New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Their hosting a Disco Fever celebration, which will include a live DJ, delicious dining, and live entertainment. It’s a stress-free way to experience New Year’s Eve festivities. Not only can you catch a special show at the world-famous Wreck Bar (that features live underwater mermaid burlesque shows), but you can also enjoy food stations and an Ice Bar at the on-site Naked Crab Seafood Kitchen. New Year’s Eve packages here include a buffet dinner, reserved tables, access to open bars, a midnight toast, and party favors.