New research reveals the most popular U.S. travel destinations among Americans

Fatima Fokina

New research by online savings platform BravoDeal sheds light on the most popular states, cities and attractions for domestic travel from across the US. By analyzing national and state-level travel-related online search data from the past year, the new study reveals the most popular domestic travel destinations in each state, as well as Americans’ top staycation preferences.

Sun states California and Hawaii crowned top domestic travel destinations

Hawaii and California dominate the US domestic travel market, according to the data, with 46% of US states favoring California for their domestic travels and 42% Hawaii. Together, these two sunny states take the majority with 44 states favoring these two destinations for their US travel.

According to state-level online search data, California is the location of choice for most other states, especially those traveling from the east coast. Hawaii, however, gets the highest share of online interest from travelers nationally, with over 300,000 total online searches every month, almost double those of California (151,500 avg. monthly searches).

Only six out of the 50 states are playing it safe and choosing destinations closer to home. For example, Louisianans searched most for travel to Mississippi (2,010 avg. monthly searches, almost double their searches for California) and travelers from the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are revealed as those favoring a trip to a neighboring state.


Sunshine state trio leads US top ten by national data

The top ten states for domestic travel by national monthly online searches offer up a variety of popular options from across the country, with a trio of sunshine states taking the top spots:

  1. Hawaii (300,000 Avg. monthly searches)
  2. California (151,500 Avg. monthly searches)
  3. Florida (57,400 Avg. monthly searches)
  4. Colorado (28,600 Avg. monthly searches)
  5. Alaska (25,600 Avg. monthly searches)
  6. Maine (25,600 Avg. monthly searches)
  7. Vermont (23,400 Avg. monthly searches)
  8. Arkansas (19,100 Avg. monthly searches)
  9. Pennsylvania (16,720 Avg. monthly searches)
  10. Arizona (16,700 Avg. monthly searches)

Hawaii top domestic travel destination

Firm favorite, Las Vegas, pulls in over a million monthly online searches

With city breaks making a comeback, online search data for all major and capital cities reveals a top ten of the most popular city destinations for domestic travel with Las Vegas claiming top spot, followed by New York and Nashville.

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada (1,164,000 Avg. monthly searches)
  2. New York, New York (779,000 Avg. monthly searches)
  3. Nashville, Tennessee (546,000 Avg. monthly searches)
  4. New Orleans, Louisiana (410,000 Avg. monthly searches)
  5. Virginia Beach, Virginia (355,000 Avg. monthly searches)
  6. Los Angeles, California (330,000 Avg. monthly searches)
  7. Boston, Massachusetts (310,500 Avg. monthly searches)
  8. Seattle, Washington (291,000 Avg. monthly searches)
  9. Atlanta, Georgia (238,500 Avg. monthly searches)
  10. Portland, Oregon (208,500 Avg. monthly searches)

Together, Las Vegas and New York City are just shy of two million average monthly searches between them, which can only be beaten by combining the online interest in the next five cities on the list.

The state level research also highlights Americans’ preference for shorter trips to neighboring cities during unpredictable times — all but travelers from Florida look to neighboring/nearby states for their first choice city stays.

East coast cities in the top ten outrank those on the west coast with over 1.6 million online searches every month, two times more than Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles combined.

The great outdoors features heavily in the top 10 attractions for domestic travel

Outdoor attractions in the top ten win the vote of US travelers, with over 160,000 searches every month, more than two times the number for entertainment venues, such as Grand ole Oprey and Borgata Casino & Spa.

  1. San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas (60,540 Avg. monthly searches)
  2. South Beach, Florida (40,740 Avg. monthly searches)
  3. Yellowstone, Montana (21,200 Avg. monthly searches)
  4. Grand ole Opry, Tennessee (14,810 Avg. monthly searches)
  5. Mt Washington, New Hampshire (14,810 Avg. monthly searches)
  6. Borgata, New Jersey (9,900 Avg. monthly searches)
  7. Acadia National Park, Maine (8,470 Avg. monthly searches)
  8. Red Rock, Nevada (8,180 Avg. monthly searches)
  9. Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey (6,610 Avg. monthly searches)
  10. Savannah Historic District, Georgia (6,600 Avg. monthly searches)

Awarded the International Theiss Riverside Award in 2017, the San Antonio Riverwalk and all it has to offer is being recognized by the masses with online interest from travelers being three times that of its closest competitor on the list, South Beach, Florida.


New research reveals the most popular U.S. travel destinations among Americans

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