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U.S. Travel Destinations on the Rise for 2014


The beginning of a new year isn't just the time to make resolutions and financial changes preparations - it's time to start planning what vacations to take in 2014.

The beginning of a new year isn’t just the time to make resolutions and financial changes preparations — it’s time to start planning what vacations to take in 2014.

TripAdvisor.com collected data from its user searches and reviews to name the top travel destinations in the world and in the U.S. And while the top destinations were common cities (Paris, New York City and London), the site also named the cities with the “greatest increase in positive traveler feedback and traveler interest.”

So if you want to see an interesting vacation destination before its gets overrun, then consider one of these U.S. destinations on the rise. (Or see the global destinations, which include cities in Cuba, Peru and Israel).

10. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Popular sight/activity

: Gettysburg National Battlefield

Cemetery at the Gettysburg National Military Park

History buffs already enjoy Gettysburg for the activities and tours related to the Battle of Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech. Plus, there’s the annual reenactment of the Battle. According to TripAdvisor, the town spruced itself up for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Lincoln Square

9. Moab, Utah,

Popular sight/activity

: Arches National Park

Arches National Park

If your ideal vacation involves something to get your blood pumping, then skip the sightseeing and why not throw yourself off a mountain? BASE jumping is legal in many areas near Moab. For those who aren’t quite brave enough to climb into a wing suit and jump off a mountain, there’s also biking in the desert, off-roading in a Jeep, whitewater rafting or rock climbing.

However, the less adventurous tourist might enjoy the area just for the sights of otherworldly landscapes and red rocks.

Canyonlands National Park

8. Brooklyn, New York

Popular sight/activity: Brooklyn Heights Promenade

View of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Photo by Joe Mabel.

New York City is the top overall destination in America, according to TripAdvisor’s readers, but most tourists probably just stick to Manhattan without venturing across the Brooklyn Bridge. The borough was reborn and restored making it a hot spot for bars, restaurants and shops, plus it offers great views of Manhattan’s skyline.

Also, if you make the trip during the summer, Coney Island is always a favored spot, with the beach, roller coasters and the original Nathan’s.

Wonder Wheel, Coney Island

7. Galveston, Texas

Popular sight/activity

: Bishop’s Palace

Bishop’s Palace

Roughly an hour south of Houston, Galveston is a coastal city located on the Gulf of Mexico. The city has a number of historic districts including the Strand National Historic Landmark District, which consists mainly of Victorian buildings that are now used as restaurants, galleries, stores and historic exhibits.


6. Jackson, Wyoming

Popular sight/activity

: Skiing

Corbet’s Couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

The Jackson Hole Valley where Jackson is located is great for outdoor activities. There’s skiing and whitewater rafting, plus nearby is Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge. Outdoor activities aren’t the only things available as the town hosts a number of arts organizations, including the Grand Teton Music Festival.

Elk antler arch in Jackson

5. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Popular sight/activity

: Santa Fe Walkabouts

Hotel in downtown

Santa Fe has plenty of nature and history. The oldest capital city in the U.S. offers skiing in years of adequate snowfall, hiking throughout the rest of the year, art museums on Museum Hill and the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. The city’s buildings have a very distinctive look because of the Spanish Pueblo Revival. An ordinance was passed that new and rebuilt buildings must exhibit a Spanish Territorial or Pueblo style of architecture.

Santa Fe plaza

4. Bar Harbor, Maine

Popular sight/activity

: Acadia National Park

Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park

Bar Harbor is one of four towns on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine. Much of the island is actually part of Acadia National Park, which was originally created as Lafayette National Park in 1919, making it the oldest National Park east of the Mississippi River.

The town was once a favorite vacation spot for society’s rich, so there are plenty of mansions and majestic hotels still around.

Bar Harbor, Maine

3. Destin, Florida

Popular sight/activity

: Crystal Sands Beach

Perhaps, you’re looking for fewer hiking trails, ski slopes and museums and instead want a traditional beach vacation. The white sands and emerald waters of Destin, located on a peninsula in the Gulf, might be the perfect getaway.

Destin. Photo from sunventurecruises.com

2. Anchorage, Alaska

Popular sight/activity

: Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Downtown Anchorage

From fun in the sun in Florida to the cold of Alaska — although, really, Anchorage’s temperature reaches the mid-60s in the summer. You might not see frozen tundras near the city, but you can still sight-see, try arctic biking and ski or sled in the winter.

Peak Three. Photo by Nathan Searles.

1. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Popular sight/activity

: Mauna Kea Summit

Hawaii is a dream vacation spot for many — beaches, hiking and plenty of culture. The community of Kailua-Kona was established by King Kamehameha I and was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawai’i.

Oceanfront side of Hulihe’e Palace

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