Summer is upon us, and many of you have probably made travel plans. If not, then I am pretty sure that you are getting your groove on and are daydreaming about where to go for some relaxation. Everyone seems to have his own list of top destinations this summer, but who has the real data? Of course, any individual can make his destination wish list, but if you are one for numbers, here is the list of the top 10 destinations in America. This data has been provided by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), whose tagline is ‘dedicated to the business of travel.’ I guess they do know what they’re talking about. This list, by the way, is based on data gathered from actual bookings, so you know that these destinations are hot – for real. Now, what you do with the list is up to you.
It really is no surprise that Orlando made it to the list. This city has long been favored by many for all sorts of reasons. Let me name a few:
• Walt Disney World
• Universal Orlando
• Sea World Orlando
• Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Las Vegas, Nevada
Another city that opens it arms to countless visitors all throughout the year, Las Vegas is sure to be popular this summer. While it is probably most known for a place to let loose and to have fun (for the big boys usually), there are a lot of other attractions in Las Vegas. There are conventions and exhibits held all around town, many of which are of particular interest. This summer, join Star Trek fans at a convention; marvel at the human body at Bodies…The Exhibition at the Luxor; visit the 2010 Summer Exhibit at the Bellagio Botanical Gardens; and more.
San Francisco, California
San Franciso is teeming with activity this summer – as it most often is. This city is known for its arts and culture, and for being a great place to visit for the family. This summer, festivals are going to be held on a regular basis, practically anywhere. Some interesting festivals are:
• San Francisco’s Union Street Festival – music, food, books, and more
• San Francisco Pride Festival – the most popular LGBT celebration in the entire world. Experience two days of parties, speeches, shopping, food, and parades.
• San Francisco Shakespeare in the Park – for a dose of culture, watch Shakespeare plays for free on the weekends. These are held in three separate locations in the city.
The beach. The sun. Lots of beautiful people. What else can you ask for? Miami has lots of swimming pools and water parks if you do not like going to the beach. It is the perfect place to cool off, if anything else.
A long list of events is also slated to occur this summer. Some of them include:
• Miami Spa Month
• International Hispanic Theatre Festival
• Red Bull Flugtag
• International Mango Festival
• IFE-ILE Afro Cuban Dance Festival
• Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim
Los Angeles, California
You’ll definitely not find yourself lacking for things to do and see in the City of Angels this summer. Universal Studio Hollywood is promoting its newest signature attraction this summer: King Kong 360 3D. At the California Science Center, visit the Mummies of the World, which is the largest collection of mummies and artifacts to be found today. Of course, the summer will not be complete without concerts. From Rihanna to Kings of Leon, you can watch them in L.A. this summer. For those who want to engage in artsy activities, visit LA’s Art Walks near the Los Angeles Harbor.
New York City, New York
The Big Apple has always been popular with tourists from all parts of the world. This summer, experience free music like you’ve never had before. Imagine 60 pianos in public areas – you can have this all throughout the summer! In Broadway, Sidewalk Catwalk will be featuring the artwork of some of the best designers from the city. Boat rides in the waterfront are also being offered during the weekend until Labor Day. Of course, street fairs are going to be all over the city, giving you a sample of the diversity of New York.
San Diego, California
San Diego has a lot to offer every kind of traveler. Aside from the regular stops, such as the zoo, visitors can visit the County Fair from June 11 to July 5. Then there’s La Jolla Music Society Summer Fest from August 6 to August 29. SeaWorld San Diego has special Summer Nights until September 6. And, if you can’t get enough of the beach, San Diego has its own surfer community.
Beach bums rejoice! Honolulu is known to be pricy, but the sights and sounds are definitely worth it. What better place to go this summer than Hawaii? Located in the island of Oahu, Honolulu will give you the dream vacation in paradise that you’ve been dreaming of.
Forget the expense – there are a lot of free activities in Honolulu. Aside from the beach, you can visit Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial, go on a walking tour, go to Kapi’olani Park, among others. Oh, and try to drop by a luau or two while you’re there.
Seattle may be known to have more rain than usual, but this summer, you might want to head over there. The July events calendar is quite packed, making it a perfect time to visit the city. Some of them are:
• Womad USA – for dance and music lovers; get a taste of music from all over the world
• Capitol Hill Block Party – for two days, enjoy local bands and fashion
• The Bite of Seattle – local and international food will be featured for two days
• Ballard Seafood Fest – seafood lovers this is the festival for you. Go there at the end of July.
• Summer Nights at the Pier – this will occur from June to August; Seattle’s waterfront will be bustling with concerts
The nation’s capital has a rightful place in the list of top destinations of the summer of 2010. Perhaps one of the most popular events is the 2010 DC Jazz Festival, which will be held from July 1 to July 13. Over a hundred performances in various venues all throughout the city – can it get any better?
For gastronomic delights, visit Penn Quarter FRESHFARM Market at 8th Street, NW (Just south of E Street), among others. And, of course, you have the run-of-the-mill tourist spots which visitors need to go see on a visit to the capital. ‘Usual’ stops they may be, but you won’t help but feel patriotic as you roam the streets of DC.