The top 10 extreme New Year’s celebrations in the US and Europe were announced today by TripAdvisor, according to its editors. For travelers looking to feel a surge of adrenaline or work up a sweat while ringing in 2010, these exceptional New Year’s events offer extreme outdoor activities and celebrations sure to push travelers’ limits.
“New Year’s Eve is a great excuse for travelers to let their hair down and push their limits,” said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just want to get a jump start on your resolution to become more active, we’ve identified some exceptionally extreme events to get pulses racing in 2010.”
1. Nude Year’s Eve: Miami, Florida
For those who can’t decide what to wear for the big night, Miami’s “Nude Year’s Eve” celebration on Haulover Beach lets 500 bold travelers ditch the threads and go au natural. Who needs a full moon to gaze at when you’re surrounded by fellow moon-ers who dare to bare?
2. Loony Dip: Edinburgh, Scotland
Part of the world-famous Hogmanay celebration, this year marks the 24th annual “Loony Dook,” a freezing, watery wake-up call in Edinburgh on New Year’s Day. At noon, more than 600 “Loonies” parade in their “fancy dress” (aka costumes) behind a band of pipers before taking a dip into the chilly waters of the River Forth.
3. Light a Torch: Girdwood, Alaska
Strap on the skis, grab hold of a fiery pole, and join hundreds of intrepid skiers as they traverse down Mount Alyeska’s slopes in the darkness at 8 pm on New Year’s Eve. Officially called a Torchlight Parade, this tradition is open only to participants 14 years or older who are intermediate level skiers and snowboarders.
4. Festive Freefall: Zephyrhills, Florida
Travelers – or fliers to be exact – can literally get the party jumping with a midnight skydive from 14,000 feet. This year, some 600 bold skydivers from across the world are expected to jump over Zephyrhills as part of the Christmas and New Year’s Skydive Boogie run out of Skydive City at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport.
5. Party with Paddles: San Francisco, California
To participate in a truly unique New Year’s Eve celebration off shore, up to thirty travelers can sign up with City Kayak, a local tour company, to paddle around San Francisco Bay while experiencing the city’s best view of the fireworks. First time kayakers are prohibited..
6. Sea of Orange: Scheveningen, The Hague, Netherlands
At noon on New Year’s Day, the North Sea off of Scheveningen Beach will take on a brighter hue when 10,000 daring participants wearing vibrant orange hats and quirky garb descend upon The Hague’s popular seaside resort district for the annual Nieuwjaarsduik, or New Year’s Dive. Thick-skinned swimmers will endure frigid sea temperatures for a good cause, as one Euro per participant will be donated to a local charity.
7. The Other Bubbly: Torrevieja, Spain
For those truly looking to soak up the New Year, Max Scuba Diving in Torrevieja plans to host an underwater dive in support of Project Aware, a foundation dedicated to conserving underwater environments. The splash down takes place after dark and is open to any level of certified diver. All proceeds for this event will go to Project Aware.
8. Celebratory Sprint: New York, New York
For the uber-passionate runners out there or those just looking to work off holiday meals, the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run four mile race through Central Park is an ideal New Year’s Eve event. With a fireworks show and costume parade thrown into the mix, this celebration is expected to bring out 5,000 jolly joggers beginning at 10 pm.
9. Pucker Up: Venice, Italy
On New Year’s Eve, more than 60,000 people will welcome 2010 by locking lips in Venice’s San Marco Square as part of “Love 2010,” the world’s largest communal kiss. A unique way to warm up and get your heart thumping, this annual event aims to be a worldwide symbol of love, peace, and brotherhood.
10. A Nose for New Year’s: Barcelona, Spain
With the goal of ending 2009 in “the most sporting way possible,” the city of Barcelona expects more than 4,300 “noses” to hit the pavement for a 10 kilometer road race on December 31 at 5:30 pm. Called the Cursa dels Nassos, or “Race of the Noses,” the event is named after the man of many noses of Catalan legend who only appears on New Year’s Eve. Registration is open until December 27.