How to Find the Best Places to Watch the Ball Drop in New York's Times Square

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Watching the glittering ball drop in New York's Times Square is one of the highlights of New Year celebrations. The ball has been dropped since December 31, 1907, replacing the lavish fireworks display of the previous century. Yes, you can watch it on TV, but there's nothing quite like being there. Here are the best places to see the ball drop.

  • Watch the festivities from the vantage point of a hotel room. But plan ahead--hotel rooms in and around Times Square fill up a long time in advance for New Year's Eve. Most hotel rooms offering a view of Times Square sell out by April or May.

  • Book the Renaissance Hotel, Times Square, which arguably offers the best vantage point. Foley's Restaurant, inside the hotel, offers excellent seafood and a fine view of Times Square.

  • Other hotels that offer views or are within a short distance of Times Square include the Marriot Marquis, Hilton, Weston, Time Hotel, Novotel and Hampton Inn Times Square North.

  • Choose your room carefully. Do you want a room overlooking the action on the street, or a quieter room facing the rear? Be prepared for noise from the street long after midnight while the crowds disperse.

  • Times Square restaurants offer New Year's Eve packages and some of them have a view, too. Try booking a table at John's Pizzeria, Becco, (Italian), McHale's (American) ,Virgil's (barbecue) or Ruby Foo's (Chinese).

  • If you want to be in the heart of the action and watch the ball drop from the street, the best viewing spots are along Seventh Avenue, up to 59th Street and from 43rd to 50th Street on Broadway.

  • Arrive early for the best spots--an estimated 750,000 to a million revelers pack the Square every year. Celebrants arrive in the early afternoon to claim the best vantage points.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not bring any bulky backpacks, weapons or alcohol with you. Snacks and water are a good idea, as well as warm clothing.
  • Can't make it to New York? Get together with that special someone, a bottle of Champagne and turn on the television for the New Year's Eve specials. Remember, it's not official until the ball drops!
  • If you visit Times Square on New Year's Eve, be careful of pickpockets. Leave your valuables at home or in your hotel room.

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