As the weather gets warmer and more states ease their COVID-19 travel restrictions, the number of people planning travel for this spring and summer increases daily. Research from Airbnb indicates the most popular destinations are places with outdoor attractions -- presumably so people can be outdoors and maintain social distance.
“When it comes to locations, warm-weather locales, small beach towns, and access to state and national parks are fueling spring and summer wanderlust,” Airbnb explains.
Then again, if you’re planning to travel as well, you may want to steer clear of places that will be crowded. If that’s the case, here are the top 10 places you’ll want to avoid -- along with the reasons they are popular so you can visit them in the future.
In the format David Letterman used for his Top 10 lists, we’ll count down to the place that has the most Airbnb reservations -- so far.
10. Whitefish, Montana
Located in northern Montana, Whitefish is a popular year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to hiking, cycling, and viewing wildlife, there’s ample opportunity for all types of boating and fishing on nearby Whitefish Lake. The town is also a gateway community to Glacier National Park, a 1,583 square-mile wilderness area in Montana’s Rocky Mountains with more than 700 miles of hiking trails.
For more information, check out Vanessa Chiasson’s list of the best things to see and do in Whitefish.
9. Lake Of The Ozarks, Missouri
Lake of the Ozarks is Missouri’s most-popular lake destination for good reason: It has more than 1,100 miles of shoreline. As Visit Missouri points out, “That’s more shoreline than the coast of California.”
Lake of the Ozarks offers more than fun on -- and in -- the water. The towns surrounding the lake offer activities ranging from golf and horseback riding to spas and shopping.
To learn more, check out Jill Dutton’s Ozark Mountains road trip advice.
8. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Home to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kitty Hawk is part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks -- the line of barrier islands off the state’s coast. The area offers miles of sandy beaches and hiking trails. Plus, you can even see the Outer Banks’ famed wild horses and visit its numerous lighthouses.
Looking for more to do with your family during an Outer Banks vacation? Consider Stephanie Vermillion’s list of 11 fun things to do on the Outer Banks here.
7. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Mammoth Cave National Park includes portions of Mammoth Cave, which the National Park Service explains is the longest known cave system in the world. Mammoth Cave is so well known and important that it’s also a World Heritage Site.
Just how big is the cave? So far, explorers have mapped more than 412 miles of passageways, and according to the National Park Service, “there is no end in sight.”
To learn more, check out Roxie Yonkey’s list of 15 things to do at Mammoth Cave.
6. Orderville, Utah
About three hours from Las Vegas, Orderville is a quiet, small town in southwest Utah.
Here’s why it’s so popular. Utah is home to five national parks, and Orderville makes a perfect home base for visiting two of them. Indeed, it sits just outside Zion National Park and is only an hour south of Bryce Canyon National Park. Both parks are famous for their hiking, camping, stargazing, and mountain biking. For more on enjoying the area, check out Sage Scott’s tips for how to plan a trip to Utah’s national parks here.
5. Cape San Blas, Florida
With miles of white-sand beach on Florida’s “forgotten” coast, it’s easy to see why Cape San Blas is appealing. Located on Florida’s panhandle, about an hour away from Panama City, Cape San Blas is a 750-acre section of land that juts into the Gulf of Mexico from St. Joseph’s peninsula. In addition to fishing, kayaking, and boating -- and fresh seafood -- Cape San Blas is home to the T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Plus, anyone who loves lighthouses will enjoy seeing the Cape San Blas Lighthouse.
4. Lake Powell, Arizona
With 2,000 miles of shoreline in sunny Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is an absolute paradise for those who like boating -- and especially houseboating.
The man-made water reservoir, which is the second-largest in the U.S., is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The area encompasses more than 1.25 million acres that need to be seen to be believed.
If you’re planning an RV or road trip that will take you through Arizona, be sure to check out Robyne Stevenson’s list of five fantastic stops on an RV trip through the Southwest here.
3. Round Top, Texas
Anybody who loves antiques, HGTV, or both, already knows about Round Top. As a 365 Things To Do In Houston article explains, Round Top has “year-round haunts and big antique shows showcasing everything from old Texas art, jewelry, and vintage furniture to paintings, textiles, and collectibles.”
What makes it even more appealing, is that Round Top is just 80 miles from Austin and 95 miles from Houston -- so it’s perfect for long weekends. If you’re planning to be in that area, be sure to read our picks for 13 fantastic hidden gem restaurants in Austin and tips for visiting Hamilton Pool near Austin.
2. Cape May, New Jersey
Located at the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, Cape May -- which is the oldest beach resort in the country -- is filled with beautiful Victorian homes. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise to learn that Cape May is a National Historic Landmark.
In addition to all manner of beach and water activities, Cape May is also home to a National Wildlife Refuge as well as the Cape May National Golf Club. For more about Cape May, check out Melissa Klurman’s article Why Cape May Is New Jersey’s Best-Kept Secret.
And the location with the most Airbnb reservations for this spring and summer, so far, is ...
1. Southern Maine
Famous for small towns dotting rocky coastlines, southern Maine is perfect for walking, hiking, biking, fishing, and boating -- and enjoying fresh seafood. Adding to its appeal is that southern Maine can be reached easily from anywhere in the northeast U.S. Southern Maine is also home to Acadia National Park, which the National Park Service calls the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast.” Acadia, which had 2.7 million visitors last year, is also one of the 10 most-visited national parks in the U.S.
If you’re planning a trip to Maine, be sure to check out Sean Conneely’s 8 Quaint Coastal Maine Towns You Must Visit. And don’t miss Food Travelist Sue Reddel and Diana Laskaris’s How To Do A Lobster Crawl In Portland, Maine.
There you have it: Airbnb’s 10 most popular vacation destinations for this spring and summer. Now you can avoid them this year, but make plans to visit them later.