I love the dichotomy of spending the New Year on Florida's Historic Coast. If you'll be in St. Augustine or Ponte Vedra Beach on Dec. 31, check out these New Year's celebrations for every taste. And while you're in the area, check out the Nights of Lights.
Spend an intimate New Year's dinner at the White Room, located on the rooftop of 1 King St. in St. Augustine. Your meal includes cocktails and an entree, plus that amazing view of Matanzas Bay. Afterward, walk over to O.C. White's for dancing and a champagne toast at midnight. For reservations and more information, call 904-824-9056.
Join the kids for an early New Year's party at the Cultural Center (50 Executive Way) at Ponte Verdra Beach. Starting at 11 a.m., children can nosh on pizza, decorate cookies, create a silly party hat, and boogie down in the Bubble Wrap Room. (C'mon, you know you wanna squeeze it!) With a balloon drop at the stroke of noon, so there's no need for the kiddos to stay up late. Tickets cost $5 a person or $15 for a family of four. Get details at 904-280-0614.
It's a seaside celebration at the Beach Blastoff at the St. Johns County Fishing Pier and Pavilion in St. Augustine Beach (350 A1A Beach Blvd.). The party goes from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with several of the city's best restaurants participating in the Fire and Ice Chili Cook-Off from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Chili tasting tickets cost $1 each, with beverages and other loot available. Stick around for the fireworks spectacular at 8:30 p.m. That part's free!
The calendar may say 2011, but this party is straight out of the 1940s. Go back in time with an 8 p.m. presentation of G.I. Holiday Jukebox at St. Augustine's Limelight Theatre (11 Old Mission Ave.) The USO-style show includes music, comedy and a tribute to America's servicemen and women. Enjoy a 7 p.m. social hour with munchies, an open dance floor and an intermission champagne toast with the show's stars. The show ends at 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $50 a person, and seating is limited. For reservations, call 904-825-1164.
Ring in the 2011 aboard the pirate ship Black Raven. The adults-only party includes food, music, champagne toast, cash bar and a pirate show. The ship sets sail at 10:30 p.m. from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina (111 Avenida Menendez). Reservations are required, mateys. Call 877-578-5050.