North American Hot Spots Celebrate Chinese New Year

Year of Ox Chinese New Year Parade San Francisco 2009, David YuChinese New Year celebrations will commence this month as worldwide parades and festivals usher in the Year of the Rabbit beginning tomorrow, February 3. We looked into Hotels.com's Chinatown picks throughout North America, for the three top spots this side of the Pacific.

San Francisco

Off San Francisco's Union Square, the city's two-week long festivities include the Chinese New Year Parade on February 19, featuring a 200-foot-long dragon. Carried by more than 100 men and women, the dragon is accompanied by more than 600,000 firecrackers lit up along the parade route. Other local events include the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant on February 10, the Chinese New Year Basketball Jamboree on February 13 and the Chinese Culture Center Spring Festival on February 20. We like Hotel Triton's boutique property among the city's many picks to choose from, located directly across from Chinatown's Dragon Gate.

New York

Celebrate the Lunar New Year in New York, the city that boasts the largest Chinese population outside of Asia. Begin the year with the Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival February 3 in Manhattan. Then take in the 12th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival Sunday February 6, also in Manhattan's Chinatown. Six blocks away, we recommend The GEM Hotel in SoHo, also in walking range of the Lower East Side and Little Italy.

Vancouver

Recently lauded as the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver will also host Canada's largest Lunar New Year celebration. Surrounded by Gastown and the Downtown Financial and Central Business districts, Chinatown's annual Chinese New Year Parade is distinguished among the three largest non-commercial annual parades in Vancouver. Steps away from the parade route, we love the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Vancouver Downtown.

Visit www.hotels.com.

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