Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

You, 2014, and One of California's Great Buildings

Dance in the new year inside Catalina Island's Casino Building.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TOO MUCH PRESSURE: Oh, dear, sweet, precious New Year's Eve. We know your issues, we really do. Everyone puts so much dang pressure on you, year in, year out, all the time. You've got to be the sparkliest, the confettiest, the most glittering night of the year. But... that's not reality, we know. Sometimes the bubbly is flat and a heel breaks and a small quibble over resolutions builds between you and your date as the evening grows later. These are just facts, and we've all likely lived some version of them during some New Year's Eve at some point in our celebration-seeking lives. There is a way, though, to up the chances of a truly revel-sweet final night of the year. Nope, we can't promise you won't bicker with your date, especially where your resolutions bump heads. And, yeah, a heel might break, if you dance enough (which you should). But starting 2014 somewhere interesting, say, on an island, make that island which won't cost a pricey penny to reach, is key. And starting 2014 somewhere interesting on that island is even better. Which means one thing, or make that two: Go directly to the Casino Building on Santa Catalina Island.

    WHERE... partiers'll be whooping it up, and participating in other whooping it up-adjacent activities, on Tuesday, Dec. 31. It's the annual New Year's Eve Celebration at the famous Casino, and the 41st at that (the Casino, which is not a casino, as you know, has been around for lots longer, as you know, since it served as the playground for the glam set back in the '30s, as you know). A buffet dinner, dancing, favors, and a balloon drop are in store, plus? All of those movie-still views of the Pacific from the Casino's upper balcony. Please. We're just going to stop there, because ballyhooing it any further past that point is really gilding the lily. Or is that glittering the party hat? No mind. It's just a really quintessential California spot to ring in the New Year. And, yeah, you must spend the night on the island, unless you want to swim the 22 miles back to the mainland. (Don't do that -- you'll ruin your fancy frock or tux.) Plus, you want to wake up in 2014 on an island, right? We mean, that's ridiculously romantic and bodes well for your year ahead.