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Top 10 Up and Coming U.S. Destinations For Summer 2021

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Millions of Americans are taking to the skies or hitting the road as vaccinations advance and the active case count declines. TSA checkpoint data recorded upwards of one million travelers each day over the past ten days. Meanwhile, President Biden announced that adults across all 50 states will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1st, actualizing the prospect of in-person celebrations for the upcoming fourth of July. 

As more Americans regain confidence in travel, Airbnb has found new trends in domestic travel. The data reveals the top searched destinations among travelers planning for spring and summer seasons. Additionally, Airbnb has conducted a survey to learn what travelers desire in an ideal accommodation. 

Utah national park tourists

The findings suggest that travelers are looking to spend more time outdoors, with favorable venues including beaches, national parks, and cottages. 

The survey, taken of 2000 Americans, shows an increased interest in unconventional stays that offer seclusion and privacy as well as greater outdoor space. Accordingly, 84% of travelers would like to explore unique and remote lodgings for a future trip – with cabins, barns, and treehouses taking the top three ranks.

  • Cabins are the #1 most wish-listed unique stay type in 2021 
  • 80% increase in treehouse views since March 2020
  • 63% increase in barn views since March 2020

Here are the top searched U.S. destinations: 

Portland lighthouse South Maine
  1. Southern Maine

The Southern Coast of Maine is a year-round vacation destination with miles of beaches, plenty of hotels, restaurants, and inns, as well as a variety of outdoor activities. Coastal towns include Portland, Kittery, Bar Harbour, York, and Camden to name a few. Home to the Acadia National Park, travelers to Southern Maine will find national treasures, historic resort towns, botanical gardens, lighthouses, fishing ports, and more. 

Cape May, NJ
  1. Cape May, NJ

This seaside resort town located at the top of southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula is renowned for its grand Victorian houses such as the Emlen Physick Estate, which is now preserved as a museum. The Cape May Lighthouse provides views of the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Round Top Texas cottage
Credit: Airbnb
  1. Round Top, TX 

Known for its antique history, Round Top has a range of B&Bs, farmhouses, and boutique hotels. The town has plenty of marine activities including boat tours on the lake, kayaking, paddleboarding, as well as outdoor adventures like rock climbing, golfing, and farm petting zoos. 

Lake Powell paddle boarding boats at canyons water
  1. Lake Powell, AZ 

Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River in Arizona stretching upto Utah. Part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell is a popular vacation scene attracting two million visitors each year. The winding lake is known for its scenic views and marine life, including swimming, scuba diving, houseboating, snorkeling, water skiing and jet skiing.

Cape San Blas, FL
Credit: Airbnb
  1. Cape San Blas, FL

Cape San Blas is on the peninsula in Gulf County, Florida, reaching westward from mainland Florida. One of the least-populated coastal areas in the state, visitors have an opportunity to truly experience nature. The destination is popular amongst families for its relaxed, laid-back atmosphere and rich aquatic life. 

Zion National Park Utah
  1. Orderville, UT 

Orderville is a quaint town in western Kane County, Utah with stunning natural attractions. It’s located in close proximity to Zion National Park and offers a wide range of outdoor activities including hiking, canyoning tours, shooting ranges, and horseback riding. 

Mammoth Cave National Park
  1. Mammoth Cave, KY 

Mammoth Cave National Park in west-central Kentucky encompasses the longest known cave system in the world. The park’s rich history and diverse plant and animal life have earned it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. The park offers cave tours, lodging, camping, hiking, water sports, bicycling, and horseback riding. The park is now open for visitors with enhanced safety measures in place. 

Kitty Hawk
Credit: Airbnb
  1. Kitty Hawk, NC 

This beach town in North Carolina attracts visitors year-round for its relaxed and unique environment. Trails cut through the maritime forest of Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve, home to diverse plant life, otters, and turtles. The town has built a newer beachside community of residential cottages, boardwalks, and picnic areas. To the north, Kitty Hawk Pier faces the Atlantic Ocean, granting picturesque views. 

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
  1. Lake of the Ozarks, MO 

Located in the heart of Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks is a lake resort destination, offering premium boating, fishing, golfing, as well as a wide range of lodging, state parks, restaurants and recreational activities. 

Whitefish, MT
Credit: Airbnb
  1. Whitefish, MT 

Whitefish is a resort town in the Rocky Mountains of northwest Montana, near the Glacier National Park. The town’s mountain resort offers hanging valleys and emerald peaks with lake and river adventures. Along with natural experiences, the town has a lively nightlife, as well as a rich arts and culture scene. On Whitefish Lake, visitors will find sandy City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park with boating and picnic areas. 

For interstate travel guidelines, please click here.

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