The most popular summer travel destinations in the US offer plenty of activities and attractions for a wide range of vacations. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports that its top requested US travel destinations of the year were all major cities, with Orlando, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles claiming the top three spots.
Now, these three vacation destinations offer a variety of things to do, of course, but generally speaking people who travel to Orlando plan to spend a lot of time in the theme parks. It’s hard to imagine a family vacationing in Orlando and NOT hitting Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Orlando at least once, isn’t it?
Similarly, Las Vegas appeals to those with more adult vacation aspirations. Sure, there are child-friendly activities off the Strip, but Las Vegas is primarily known for gambling, partying, Vegas shows, and activities that border on the illicit. Travel planners booking stays on the Strip surely have some grown-up activities in mind.
Last, it pains me to acknowledge this, but Los Angeles attracts travel planners who very often hope to get a glimpse of a Hollywood star. Sure, there are several terrific activities in downtown LA, the beaches are great, and Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park is a nice way to spend an afternoon after a morning on the beach below. But “star maps” sell well for a reason; Hollywood stars are basically like America’s version of royalty, and tourists can’t be blamed for wanting to see them in the wild. So to speak.
The top 10 popular summer travel destinations, according to the ASTA survey, are as follows:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- New York City
- San Diego
- Washington DC
All of these US cities are very appealing for different types of vacation experiences. Surely, a tropical Hawaiian vacation with time in Honolulu will feel vastly different than one in the crowds of New York City. Our nation’s history is on full display in Washington DC, and silly beach fun with clubs, high-end shopping and people-watching is the name of the game in Miami. Seattle is absolutely more sedate than Miami’s South Beach, but the fun things to do in Seattle and its proximity to British Columbia make it a notable member of this “top 10 club.”
Thinking about this list of most popular US summer travel destinations has got me thinking about my own summer travel plans (which are currently almost nonexistent). These listed here are popular, yes — and that means crowd-pleasing, and that means crowds. It may very well be that the idea of getting away from it all, this summer, means getting away from the most popular tourist spots. Serendipity and discovery in a new vacation destination makes for incredible travel memories; it’s easier to have adventures in the less well-trodden parts of the world. It’s important to remember that one person’s favorite type of vacation may not be someone else’s, and it’s best to travel the way we feel works for us.
The American Society of Travel Agents collected their data vis a vis a survey of their clients. This is important to note: Not every travel planner goes through an agent. Travel agents are pretty great at securing travel deals and vacation packages, though. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of money my family has saved by booking travel through our favorite Virtuoso travel agent.