Destination demand can change on a dime, but for the moment, it looks as if potential travelers have their eyes on – well, all parts of the country – from New England to the California coast and everything in between.
Broadry analyzed the latest Google travel insights to highlight some states with the highest growth in demand:
Vermont is a New England ski hub with plenty of events and outdoor winter activities, such as the NE Rando Race Series (in which experienced skiers race up the mountain and back down without the help of chairlifts). It’s not all about the powder. Vermont hosts the Burlesque Festival, and visitors can tour breweries and craft spirits distilleries. Metcalfe’s Vermont Maple Cream Liqueur is the first produced and sold in the USA.
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This landlocked, mountainous state lures winter enthusiasts to explore its 147,000 square miles. The state boasts about shorter lift lines at ski and snowboarding sites, many that lead to Glacier and Yellowstone National Park. After a day in the snow, wind down and take a dip in one of the many hot springs.
Florida’s marketing campaign to attract winter visitors is well underway. Considering a visit? Websites such as Visit Florida and TripAdvisor can provide a rundown of seasonal activities. If you are a beach lover, temperatures were close to 80 in Miami. WorldTrips reports that warmer climates, such as Florida’s, are most appealing for international visitors in January. Miami and Orlando are some of the most searched U.S. destinations online, according to the latest Google travel trends.
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Nevada manages to turn heads throughout the year. This month, gadget lovers headed to Las Vegas to attend CES, a major event put on by the Consumer Technology Association. Outside Sin City, there’s plenty of winter action. The annual Fire and Ice Winter Festival in Ely kicks off Friday with festivities around Cave Lake State Park and Nevada Northern Railway, as well as Ward Mountain Recreation Area and downtown Ely businesses.
Search the #visitcalifornia hashtag on Instagram, and find 2.3 million posts showcasing the state’s vast beauty – from waterfalls to wildlife to landmarks. This month, the Golden State’s major theme parks – Disneyland, SeaWorld, Legoland and Universal Studios – are open. Yosemite National Park is open, too (just check for road closures due to snow). If you head to Yosemite, you’ll find the tallest waterfall in North America at 2,425 feet high and El Capitan, the largest single piece of granite. Rather be poolside? Try Palm Springs, and keep fingers crossed for the 70s.
With more than 79,000 miles of roads and roughly 268,600 square miles, the second-largest U.S. state (Alaska is the largest with a whopping 586,000 square miles of land) offers endless adventures for road trip warriors. Expect the temperature to vary this month while crisscrossing the state. Northern Texas will be in the 40s while the southern region (San Antonio, Galveston) tends to stay in the mid-60s. In Texas, there’s plenty to do all year round. Tour Natural Bridge Caverns in New Braunfels, or peruse the quirky shops along Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo, or find your favorite new BBQ spot.
Thousands head to Tennessee this time of year to view the magnificent Lights Over Gatlinburg event. The light display runs until Jan. 29. While in town, try snagging tickets for Ober Ski Mountain, and enjoy a day with family-friendly activities such as skiing, snow tubing and ice skating. Other hot spots include Memphis and Music City, aka Nashville. Bundle up: Temperatures might be chilly.
Is Georgia on your mind? For many, it certainly is this time of year. As far as weather goes, temperatures tend to stay in the 50s. Snow falls here and there. License to Chill Snow Island at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands near Gainesville offers a variety of snow play areas for the next several weeks. In Albany, head indoors to check out the stars at Wetherbee Planetarium, or learn about native fish at Flint RiverQuarium. In Atlanta, Explore Georgia suggests warming up with a Hampton + Hudson’s bourbon and brandy hot chocolate or stopping by one of the city’s neighborhood coffee and tea shops.