One last getaway before the New Year

By Zenda Douglas

For The Sun News

St. Augustine Convention and Visitors Bureau Fireworks and New Year’s Eve Beach Blast off
St. Augustine Convention and Visitors Bureau Fireworks and New Year’s Eve Beach Blast off St. Augustine Convention and Visitors Bureau

Ready or not, a new year is fast approaching. Soon it will be time to start fulfilling those ambitious New Year’s resolutions. Before you do, hit the road and find one of many southern New Year’s Eve celebrations. Here are a few that are within driving distance of the Myrtle Beach area that are sure to get your new year off to a memorable beginning.

St. Augustine, Fla.

Beach Blast Off: This annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display and entertainment at the St. Augustine Beach Pier will ring in 2017. The event features a kids’ zone, face painting, rides, photo booth, rock climbing wall, food vendors and live entertainment. There is plenty of free parking with shuttle service from multiple locations. The event is from 4-10 p.m. with the fireworks display at 8:30 p.m. Located at 350 A1A Beach Blvd. For more information call (904) 669-5670 or visit .

Flagler College New Year’s Eve Gala: Ring in the New Year at the former Hotel Ponce de Leon with an evening of historic elegance - dining and dancing the night away. The evening will begin at 8 p.m. with a cocktail hour in the Rotunda and portraits in the Flagler Room, followed by a plated dinner and dessert with open bar at 9:30 p.m. in the Ponce de Leon Dining Hall. Live music will be provided by Bay Kings Band throughout the celebration. The evening will conclude with a ceremonial balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight and dancing until 1 a.m. The attire is black tie. Tickets are $250 each. 74 King St., St. Augustine. For more information call (904) 826-8572 or visit

Charlottesville, Va.

First Night Virginia: First Night Virginia has been taking place in Charlottesville since 1982, which makes it the second-oldest First Night event in the country. This fun, family-friendly event takes place on the historic pedestrian Downtown Mall, located at the epicenter of the city of Charlottesville. Families can expect to enjoy a plethora of entertainment acts, including live music, a magician, face painting and other artistic activities. This is a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, so you can rest assured that as you prepare to ring in 2017, you’ll be doing so safely and in the company of other families and their children in one of Charlottesville’s most iconic and scenic spots. Plus, you can browse the dozens of shops, stores and restaurants located on the Downtown Mall prior to, or even during the First Night Virginia celebrations. For more information visit

Greenville, S.C.

New Year’s Eve Hop Drop: Come ring in 2017 at Swamp Rabbit Brewery with delicious craft beer in hand. Ellada Kouzina (food truck) will be here for dinner service and to provide late night eats. DJ Austyn with Premiere Party Entertainment will keep you dancing. There will be a champagne toast at midnight so come say goodbye to 2016 and watch the hop drop to 2017. The event is free, starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m. For more information call (864) 610-2424 or visit

Larkin's Roaring Twenty-17 New Year’s Eve Party: Larkin's Catering & Events brings you The Roaring Twenty-17 NYE Party that will be located at the Sawmill At North Main, 22 Graves Drive. Dress the part and wear your favorite style from the 1920's or come dressed to impress. There will be heavy hors d'oeuvres, live music from Deep Dish Dixieland and Craig Sorrels and a champagne toast at midnight. Come at 7 p.m. and stay until 1 a.m. $85.00. For more information visit .

Asheville, N.C.

New Year’s Eve Gala at The Inn at Biltmore: Celebrate in style with the annual New Year’s Eve Gala at The Inn as part of your New Year’s Gala Package stay. This dazzling black-tie gala event includes pre- and post-event receptions, an exceptional five-course dinner with wine pairings, and live musical entertainment—plus premium party favors and a sparkling wine toast at midnight to ring in the New Year. Enjoy unparalleled extravagance and luxury in an elegant setting. 7 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. For guests aged 16 and older. Black tie dress code. For more information call (866) 336-1245 or visit

4th Annual New Year’s Eve Keg Drop Celebration: New York City drops a ball, Atlanta drops a peach and Miami drops an orange. But in Asheville, you’ll watch a keg drop. Ring in the New Year at Biltmore Park Monk as we welcome 2017. The golden keg will be lit up and glowing on New Year’s Eve, descending at midnight as we tap a keg of Winter Ale and toast to the New year. The Keg Drop Celebration is free to attend and ample parking is available for guests. The event will be located at Thirsty Monk Biltmore Park – 2 Town Square Blvd. #170 and will run from 5 pm. To 1:30 a.m. For more information visit

Memphis, Tenn.

Superhero Spectacular New Year’s at Noon: For those hard partiers that aren’t allowed to stay up until midnight (aka, children), Children’s Museum of Memphis is hosting their annual New Year’s at Noon party. This year’s theme is superheroes. Kids can dress up, go on a museum scavenger hunt, make crafts and enjoy a 12 p.m. balloon/candy drop. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., free for members / $15 non-members, all ages.

You must make a reservation; space fills up fast. For more information visit .

New Year’s Eve on Beale Celebration: The city’s biggest party of the year is on New Year’s Eve on Beale Street. Bobby Rush and Southern Avenue play a free show starting at 9 p.m. and bars on Beale will have all kinds of music and such going on. If mass revelry with 50,000 other people is your thing, this is what you need to do for New Year’s Eve this year. Free to attend outdoor show; covers for bars vary. Beale Street is 21+ after dark. For more information visit .

Savannah, Ga.

New Year’s Eve Gala Cruise: Join Savannah Riverboat Cruises on their annual New Year’s Eve Gala Cruise. This three-hour cruise includes passed hors d’oeuvres, an elaborate surf and turf dinner buffet including lobster tail and carved beef tenderloin, live entertainment, party favors, a bottle of house wine or champagne (per couple), cash bar and more. Don’t miss the boat—make reservations early as this cruise is sure to sell out. Formal cocktail attire is highly encouraged. Boarding at 8:30 p.m., sailing from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. For more information call (912) 232-6404 or visit

Tybee Island Polar Plunge: 2017 marks the 17th annual Tybee Island Polar Plunge, held every New Year’s Day at the Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion. Join more than 1,000 hardy and brave souls as they plunge into the chilly Atlantic at noon. And don’t miss the Gang of Goofs contest at 11 a.m.! Watch dozens of fun-loving gangs sporting wacky costumes parade in front of celebrity judges. For more information call (912) 472-4790 or visit