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South Florida's Coolest Tradition: Take the New Year's Day Polar Plunge on Fort Lauderdale Beach

Looking for the perfect way to plunge headfirst into the new year? This New Year’s Day, take a refreshing dip in the chilly winter waters of the Atlantic to wash the dust off of 2018 and jumpstart the new year in an invigorating way. 

At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, meet at Lifeguard Tower 11 on Fort Lauderdale Beach in front of The Atlantic Hotel and Spa to participate in the fourth annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge. Come as you are from the night before—Polar Plunge participants are invited to wear their ball gown, tuxedo, or walk-of-shame attire from the previous evening’s revelrous agenda of drinking, dancing and watching the ball drop. (Of course, bathing suits are welcome, too.) 

This recently established tradition has quickly become a preferred way for locals and visitors alike to welcome in the new year in true South Florida style. Polar Plunge “walk-ins” are welcome, but those who pre-register will receive commemorative 2019 New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge favors and refreshments for free. 

“We are very excited to celebrate the fourth annual Polar Bear Plunge,” said Steven D’Apuzzo of Society 8 Hospitality Group. Steven is in charge of putting together the Polar Plunge each year. “This event is an excellent opportunity for old and new friends to come together, wash away 2018, and celebrate a fresh start in 2019."

“New Year’s Day may symbolize getting rid of old habits and starting new, but if there's one habit you should stick with, it’s your brunch routine: after the Plunge, a neighborhood favorite, Coastal, the Atlantic Hotel’s signature restaurant, will offer laid-back Mediterranean elegance and South Florida charm in a beachfront ambiance that everyone can enjoy," D'Apuzzo said.

The Atlantic Hotel and Spa

Following the plunge, The Atlantic Hotel and Spa will provide a private area for guests to dry off and change before enjoying a prix fixe brunch at Coastal ($29.50 per person), available until 2:30 p.m. Typical favorites at Coastal’s weekend brunch include freshly squeezed juices, crab cake benedict, red velvet pancakes, a lobster panini and bottomless sips. The New Year’s Day brunch menu will feature stations and small plates.

Still need plans for New Year’s Eve? Stick close to ground zero for the Polar Plunge and buy tickets to The Atlantic Hotel and Spa’s New Year’s Eve Gala Under the Stars ($129 per person). The all-suite boutique beach hotel is ideal for a staycation or quick holiday getaway. Seating for the elegant evening begins at 8:30 p.m. on December 31, and the four-course dinner will include live entertainment, party favors and a midnight celebration on the hotel’s fifth-floor oceanfront terrace.

A one-stop shop for all your holiday plans this year, The Atlantic Hotel and Spa is also hosting a Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, a Christmas Day dinner and feast-style dinner seatings on New Year’s Eve.

601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale; 954-567-8020; atlantichotelfl.com

Photos courtesy of The Atlantic Hotel & Spa

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