DO: First Night, 31 December

If you don't know how you're going to ring in 2014, you're leaving it a bit late – so we'll tell you. The Boston First Night celebrations, taking place in the frosty Massachusetts city, are a 12-hour fiesta involving fireworks, ice sculptures, a Mardi-Gras style parade and some up-and-coming live music acts. It'll be more wholesome than the usual NYE smash-up, although plenty of degrees colder so make sure you've got your beer coat on.

STAY: Beacon XV Hotel, Beacon Street. Rooms from £200

Sophisticated Boston is full of equally sophisticated hotels, but the historic Beacon XV is the best of the lot. The boutique bolthole is all dark wood, Beaux Arts exterior and airy windows, and is ideally located to both sets of fireworks on New Year's Eve to minimise frostbite.

EAT: Mare, Richmond Street

No surprise that Atlantic-facing Boston dishes up some of the best seafood in the US – it's not called Cape Cod for nothing. Mare in the North End of the city is a raw bar and seafood restaurant, with an impressive selection of half-shell oysters. It's not uncommon to see groups chowing their way through trays of 100 of them – not exactly warming, but when in Rome, right?