American travelers are always dreaming of a European getaway, but the question always seems to be, “Where should I go?”.
There are so many amazing European places, from thriving major cities to charming small towns that fly under the radar.
But, American travelers may have found the next hotspot for a great escape across the pond.
According to Private Tours Scotland, there has been over a 70% increase in U.S. tourists in the past couple of years.
Scotland is a gorgeous nation within the U.K.
While many vacationers opt for London, there is so much more the U.K. has to offer. As such, Americans are falling in love with Scotland!
Here are 6 reasons why:
Scottish Heritage And Its Unique Cultural Influence
Given its reasonably close proximity to mainland North America, it’s not uncommon to find Americans with Scottish roots. Many wanting to explore their past go to Scotland to trace down their bloodline.
Fans of Braveheart and Outlander, for example, have spiked the interest of U.S. tourists in checking out Scotland’s unique culture.
Scottish locals are very welcoming to tourists and have embraced the influx of American visitors.
Scotland offers a wide variety of attractions that can appeal to anyone, such as whisky tours through famed distilleries and world-class golf courses, such as St. Andrews, that date back centuries.
The Capital City Of Edinburgh
Private Tours Scotland claims almost 75% of American travelers have Edinburgh at the top of their list when visiting Scotland.
This historical city has breathtaking architecture, including amazing castles you can visit. The cobblestone streets are a great way to immerse yourself as this is a true cultural hub of the U.K.
The Oxford Bar is a must-stop on your travels as it’s so historic and stuck in time it seems like a myth! Open since 1826, this is a great place to get a true taste of Scotland with a local ale.
Many U.S. tourists find themselves loving the Royal Mile, full of shops and local eateries. There are many festivals that take place in Edinburgh, but perhaps nothing more well-known than the Edinburgh Festival each summer.
The Gateway To The Highlands
Inverness is a top destination for U.S. travelers coming to Scotland. In fact, 64% of them include it on their itinerary.
The Highlands are a truly majestic sight to see. Inverness is a city located on the Northeastern coast and known as The Gateway To The Highlands to many.
This region offers a truly stunning landscape, and that’s the main draw to Americans, other than the fact you just might get a glimpse of the infamous Loch Ness Monster.
Inverness also has a very charming Old Town city center and the popular Culloden Battlefield to visit too.
Scotland’s Largest City – Glasgow
Even though Glasgow is larger than Edinburgh, it hasn’t been quite as popular when comparing the two cities.
But that doesn’t mean Glasgow isn’t appealing! Quite the opposite, actually. This major city is the artsy brother to Edinburgh, with a thriving music scene and top-notch museums and art galleries.
Many love to wander the streets and admire the unique Victorian and Art Nouveau architecture throughout the city.
Lovely Loch Lomond
This scenic beauty can be found in the Trossachs National Park. Americans flock here to take in gorgeous landscapes of rolling hills and mountains.
Visitors can hop on a cruise on the loch (the Scottish term for lake) for an even better experience taking in the jaw-dropping scenery.
This area is scattered with charming towns and villages ready to be explored. Some of the more popular ones tourists visit are Tarbet, Balloch, and Luss.
Isle Of Skye
The Isle of Skye is a very popular place among U.S. tourists, with over 60% making a stop on the island.
Another magical destination with serene landscapes of green hills and striking rock formations, such as Old Man of Storr.
Skye offers medieval castles open to visit and enchanting villages, such as Dunvegan and Portree, for a glimpse of the slower pace of Scottish life.
Lastly, Americans make the Fairy Pools a priority when in Skye. It’s free to enter and a perfect way to enjoy this stunning region of the world surrounded by waterfalls and the Cuillin Mountains.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com