If you're spending your new year's eve way out in the top north-western corner of the United States you'll likely be drawn towards Portland, the largest city in the state of Oregon, not to be confused by it's same named counterpart in Maine, which is about as far away across the other side of the country as it's possible to get.
As is often the case the largest city isn't necessarily the state capital, which in Oregon's case is the much smaller Salem.
With a population of well over half a million and a lively winter tourism industry, Portland has probably the biggest and best new year parties in the state. It's also home to a decent range of attractions well worth checking out if you are here over the festive season - top spots to look out for include the Portland Japanese Garden, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Pittock Mansion and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
If you're looking for fireworks in Portland on new year's eve then the lack of a large scale municipal event is likely to be a disappointment, in fact it seems the city organises little in the way of official celebrations and relies on the local bars, hotels and restaurants to entertain the local populace. I have detected some chatter about a potential midnight ball drop in the central Pioneer Courthouse Square so that may be worth checking out for any gatherings.
if you are intent on seeing some fireworks however then all is not lost - you can head a little way out of town to Mt Hood National park, where they hold an annual Skibowl event that has been taking place now for close to 3 decades. This event includes live music from several DJs, a torchlight parade, winter games and 2 different fireworks displays, including the main show at midnight, accompanied by a champagne toast.
Back in town you'll find a wide range of new year parties to choose from. One of the biggest and most established events is the annual Champagne Ball that takes place at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower. This is a black tie event offering a total of 17 bars, live DJs, 2 live bands and a midnight countdown accompanied by, as the name suggests, plentiful champagne! Tickets are available online here.
Other popular NYE venues include the Inspire Truth event at Portland Art Museum, boat cruise on the Portland Spirit and the new year's eve party at The Crystal Ballroom. To keep track of all the latest events as well as buying the tickets for your chosen destination online we recommend the excellent PDX Pipeline, whose complete new year listings for 2017-2018 can be located here.
For your new year dining options then you won't be disappointed with the range of possibilities in Portland, with most budgets and cuisines more than adequately catered for. Top recommended eateries are Otto & Anita's Bavarian Restaurant, Jake's Famous Crawfish and the Portland City Grill. There are even a couple of decent vegan offerings at Portobello Vegan Trattoria and Blossoming Lotus Portland. See the full range of restaurants, with reviews, here.
Places to watch live online: there is an extensive range of webcams located ay key locations around Portland, offering live views of everything from the riverfront to the city skyline:
if you're trying to catch a look at the fireworks displays out as Mount Hood then they have several of their own webcams positioned around the park which should facilitate some decent viewing:
Portland offers the usual range of seasonal accommodation you would expect in a winter venue over new year's eve - choose anything from high end hotels to small cosy cabins. For availability and reservations you can book local hotels here.
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