I will admit, New Year’s Eve in Southeastern Connecticut may not offer the same party scene as ringing in the New Year in Vegas, New York or the like. What it does offer however, has friends leaving the city behind to enjoy an array of festivities that make life in our little corner of world so magical. So as the local girl who loves a good night out, here are my suggestions for NYE that I promise will not disappoint sophisticated yet fun loving people like ourselves (wink, wink).

Local & Low Key
Water Street Cafe // 143 Water Street, Stonington, CT // 860.535.2122


This tried and true ‘local New England’ restaurant and oyster bar will be offering what it does best for New Year’s Eve, locally sourced seafood, classic pub fare, filet mignon, steamed lobsters; the variety goes on and on but the yumminess is consistent no matter what you order.


Drop in for a low key yet intimate dinner as Water Street Cafe is not accepting reservations for NYE (you may try calling ahead NYE night to get your name on “the list” incase there is a wait). The lights will be low, the atmosphere warm and welcoming and the food, in a word, absolutely delicious.

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Local girl’s tip: Per Stonington Boro tradition, shortly before midnight join Boro residents for a walk down to the Stonington Point, where there may or may not be a ball drop and bonfire, but many still walk down either way.

Speakeasy & Party Hardy
Engine Room // 14 Holmes Street, Mystic, CT // 860.415.8117


Grab your bootleggers & bad gals and reserve your tickets for Engine Room’s New Year’s Eve Speakeasy party. $75pp includes gourmet eats, heritage cocktails, a midnight champagne toast, live music by Thor Jensen Jazz Organization and Wild Sun, old fashioned photos, dancing; basically a killer party that will probably come as close to a city experience as you’ll find in SE CT.  Tickets are limited so call to make your reservation.


lovey-dovey-rum-cocktail1Local girl’s tip: Champagned out? Ask ER’s super knowledgeable bartenders if they have any suggestions for barrel-aged beers, a Vineyard approved alternative to wine that delivers an almost hybrid beer/wine drinking experience. Or if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, try out their Lovely Dove, which features local rum from our friends at Real McCoy



Black Tie at the Beach
The Ocean House // 1 Bluff Avenue, Westerly, RI // 888.813.7862


For those looking to really class it up, The Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI is again hosting its New Year’s Eve Gala. Friends who have attend in the past said it was well worth the $175pp, which this year’s Broadway theme includes entertainment from both the Tom Pasquarelli Band and Java Jive,  gourmet treats prepared by their world class culinary staff, all taking place in the most elegant setting you’ll find anywhere in New England (This Relais and Chateaux property was rated the #1 resort in the Continental United States and #5 in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine).

Photo credit: Amy Martira Photography


Local girl’t tip: Tickets to the Gala, which starts at 7pm, are a little pricey even if you’re not on a strict budget, however, the OH’s sister property, Weekapaug Inn, is offering a special package rate of $150pp. Package includes dinner at Weekapaug Inn and admission to Ocean House’s New Year’s Eve Gala from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m, and, doing a little math, is $25 bucks cheaper than the Gala price (put it towards cab fare). And really, you know you’re going to be fashionably late, so why not enjoy a top notch meal before making your fabulous entrance.


In honor of full disclosure, I will be working at Water Street Cafe on NYE  and plan on having a fun, memorable evening surrounded by my work family, friends, and regulars. Who knows, maybe I will see you there.

Cheers to a happy new year, however you spend it, and may 2015 be filled with happiness, health, and really good times,


Still not convinced you should ditch the city for the small town? Check out Stefon’s suggestions for what to do in NYC.

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