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|Top Holiday Travel Destinations
Despite the high cost of fuel and other travel expenses, an
estimated 63.5 million Americans are planning to travel at least
50 miles or more from home this Christmas and New Year. Hotel
rates are up nearly 15% at some popular destinations, yet
bookings are full or nearly full.
So where do all of these people plan to go?
Domestic Destinations According to AAA of the United States,
here are the top destinations based on the number of bookings
for each location.
Florida Orlando is the top destination for fairly obvious
reasons but Ft. Lauderdale is also in the top ten. Florida
offers a wealth of activities and options for families, singles,
and all types of traveler. Perennial favorite Disney World will
attract hundreds of thousands of visitors between Christmas and
New Year's Eve, while other Florida attractions like Gatorland,
Kennedy Space Center, and the Everglades will also be popular.
It is also common for the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale to be filled
with vacationers during the holiday season, which is second only
to spring break in terms of number of tourists.
It is not too late to check out some of the great last minute
deals throughout Florida. With a little research and a
willingness to be flexible, you can still enjoy Florida this
California California has three cities in the top ten travel
destinations this holiday season -- Los Angeles, San Francisco
and San Diego. All three offer a wide range of activities for
tourists of all ages, and the generally pleasant December
weather in California makes it a favorite place for vacationers
from colder climates in need of sunshine.
The Los Angeles area is the gateway to Disneyland and Knott's
Berry Farm, two extremely popular amusement parks. Just a short
drive to the south and east is San Diego, a relaxing area that
is home to a laid-back lifestyle of beaches, surfing, and
If an urban experience is more to your liking, opt for San
Francisco, where you can enjoy international culture, a ride on
the famous cable cars, a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge, and a
winding trip down Lombard Street, touted as the "crookedest
street" in the world.
Other great holiday escapes Some of the other most popular
holiday escapes in the United States include New York City,
Chicago, Boston, Nashville and Las Vegas.
The holidays are legendary in New York City, with ice-skating in
Central Park and the elegant decorations around Rockefeller
Center. In Chicago, visitors flock to the Navy Pier Winter
Wonderfest as well as the famous holiday window display at
Marshall Field's department store. You can't beat Boston,
though, for a traditional New England holiday vacation. Check
out the Prudential Center Christmas Tree, walk the Freedom Trail
of historic Revolutionary War era sites, or do something
entirely different and take Boston Duck Tour on a World War II
era amphibious vehicle.
Looking for something a bit different? Consider Las Vegas for
the holidays, where the abundance of holiday lights dwarfs even
the normal profusion of neon and color. Every casino along the
strip works to outdo the others with lights and decorations,
with some of the most amazing displays located at Caesars
Palace, the Bellagio and the Monte Carlo.
One of the most relaxed holiday destinations in the U.S. is
Nashville, home to the "down home country Christmas" festivities
at the Opryland Resort and Grand Ole Opry as well as special
holiday programs at the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Nashville's
historic homes are also dressed up
for the holidays, so think
about taking a bus tour of the city to enjoy the spectacular
lights and decorations.
International Destinations International travel is always
popular around the holidays, and Americans are flocking to
destinations all over the globe this holiday season. Australia
It is icy and cold across much of the northern United States,
but summer in Australia! For cultural attractions and urban
festivities, tourists stop in Melbourne and enjoy some Christmas
Carols at the Myer Music Bowl, or visit the famed Opera House in
Since Christmas falls at the beginning of summer in Australia,
many holiday visitors spend their vacation at a spectacular
beach location such as Shark Bay, where diving enthusiasts can
swim with dolphins and sharks, or along the Queensland Gold
Coast, an area with over 30 kilometers of beautiful sandy
beaches plus great restaurants, shopping, and an ever-present
If you want a truly amazing holiday experience, go to
Australia's Christmas Island, a pristine island that is largely
a National Park and home to amazing plants and animals. You can
scuba dive with whale sharks, enjoy the peace and quiet of a
bird watching excursion, or seek adventure with a sport fishing
trip in search of sailfish, tuna and wahoo.
Corsica This is one of the jewels of the Mediterranean, offering
an amazing array of food, activities, and traditional holiday
celebrations. Corsica is famous for its hospitality and
beautiful lands, so it definitely belongs on your "short list"
of exotic holiday getaways.
Corsica is home to varied landscapes, ranging from sparkling
beaches and Mediterranean ocean reserves to towering mountains
and nature parks. Traditional holiday festivals include the
renowned Fiera di a Castagna, or Chestnut Fair. This annual
event attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, who are
treated to arts, crafts, food and entertainment related to one
of the islands main products, the chestnut. It is a holiday
tradition for tourists from across the European continent, and
well worth exploring on your holiday vacation.
United Kingdom For a unique holiday experience, check out the
United Kingdom this year. It is a perennially popular spot due
to the many places of historical significance as well as culture
and the arts. In London itself, you can see Parliament, visit
the Tower of London, hear the sounds of Big Ben chiming the
time, or ride a famed double Decker bus all around the city.
Visit Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world
and home to the British Sovereign for 900 years. You can tour
this magnificent structure, getting a taste of the history and
tradition of the British monarchy. When the Queen is in
residence, you will see her standard flying high atop the round
tower, visible from all directions as you enter the town.
If something sweeter is more to your liking, venture to
Birmingham's own Cadbury World, known as the chocolate paradise.
There you can learn all about the famous Cadbury Chocolates,
enjoy samples, and watch how the chocolates are made, wrapped
and packed. Father Christmas is on site throughout the holidays,
greeting children of all ages with a present of their very own.
About the author:
Salim Jordan is Editor and Publisher of
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