Baltimore knows how to welcome the new year in style, with one of the biggest and most impressive midnight fireworks displays anywhere in the country at the now famous Balitmore New Year's Eve Spectacular over the city's iconic Inner Harbor.
This might not be a place you would think of a for a holiday season visit, especially with the freezing temperatures in this part of the world over Christmas and new year, but if you do decide to visit Baltimore you'll find a very friendly welcome and plenty to keep you enterained.
The New Year's Eve Spectacular fireworks display over the Inner Harbour is the largest in the region by a distance, with the fireworks show starting on the stroke of midnight. Prior to the fireworks show, visitors can enjoy live music starting at 9pm at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, while the event area also extends throughout Pratt and Light streets.
Top viewing points for the fireworks are at a premium, and include the area by the USS Constellation (an interesting military backdrop to the pyrotechnics!), the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, while there will also be decent crowds gathering at the vantage points around Fell's Point, Harbor East and Federal Hill.
A big part of the New Year's Eve Spectacular is the Pandora Ice Rink at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which stays open until 12.30am in the very early hours of new year's day.
Away from the main fireworks event, crowds will gather at Big Night Baltimore at The Sheraton Baltimore City Center. The event includes nine themed bars, open bars all night, food buffets, dance floors, 8 different live bands and DJs and a midnight balloon drop. The event is all inclusive you once you've paid for your ticket the cost of your whole night is covered, an excellent way of keeping costs under control at what can be a very expensive night on your social calendar.
There will also be a New Year's Eve Celebration at the 1840s Ballroom Baltimore MD, offering Four Floors of Fun, each with a different theme, food, entertainment and a fabulous open bar. The elegant surroundings of the 1840's Ballroom are an ideal setting for a classier start to 2018.
The Charm City Countdown New Years Eve Party is returning again this year at the Radisson North Baltimore Plaza Hotel. The event includes premium open bar, full gourmet buffet dinner and a wide range of lively entertainment - more details and online ticket sales here.
Elsewhere, a cruise on the Inner Harbour is an excellent way to make sure you get a great view of the fireworks and there are plenty of offers available - we really like the look of the fireworks dinner and party cruises available with Spirit Cruises.
There is also a new year's cruise available on the Black-Eyed Susan, an authentic Paddlewheel Riverboat (the only one in Baltimore). This includes cocktails and dinner with an international buffet, you can get more details and buy your tickets online here.
For dining options in the city then Baltimore has a huge range of choices too, with many of the top restaurants conveniently clustered around the Inner Harbour area so you can try secure yourself a table with a view. The Charleston Restaurant, Thames Street Oyster House, Sotto Sopra, Salt and Samos are all highly recommended. Check out the full range of eateries here.
There are several live webcams in and around Baltimore giving you the option of live streaming views from the city on new year's eve - an excellent Inner Harbor cam in particular should afford you a front row view of the fireworks at midnight:
Baltimore caters to most budgets and tastes with a wide range of accommodation options and is for the most part a little cheaper than some of the more well-known destinations. Anywhere with a harbour view tends to book out first so get your booking in quickly.
Top choices include the Lord Baltimore Hotel, the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel, the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor and the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.
You can check availability in the city and make your reservations for local hotels here.
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