Despite a chaotic year, it seems that the travel industry is still seeing an uptick in trends as travelers decide this summer is the right time to dip their (previously homebound) toes in the water. With CDC guidelines still in place, much of the country is optimistic that venturing past our own towns and cities will begin to feel safer by the summer with the date of July 4th in mind for many. While this tentative date can still change depending on how many people opt for vaccination, how many vaccines can be administered, and whether people continue to follow CDC guidelines for face masks and social distancing, it seems Airbnb already has some pretty certain data on summer destinations.
While they have the data regarding which destinations are going to be increasingly popular this summer, we have the reasons why. Whether a traveler chooses to avoid these areas because of their predicted tourist boom or head to them for the same reason is up to them... but they're definitely not what you'd expect.
Cape May, New Jersey
It's not exactly surprising that the Jersey Shore is a destination that's expected to be a tourist hotspot this summer as it's the case almost every year. However, that doesn't mean Cape May has necessarily always been the most popular destination - while it might not be for everyone, those who are booking trips through Airbnb are certainly determined to spend their summers in this southern Jersey oasis.
And what's not to love? It's right on the ocean, it's a calmer atmosphere than much of the Jersey Shore, and it's family-friendly.
Lake Powell, Arizona
When it comes to Arizona, the most popular destination is usually the Grand Canyon. However, that way of thinking also discounts the parks, stunning deserts, and lakes (yes, even in Arizona) that could be a potential haven for any laid-back vacation.
Lake Powell happens to be the most popular with Airbnb this year with many people booking summer trips in anticipation of a cool dip in this man-made lake. The lake itself is actually considered a reservoir and offers a chill spot for anyone looking to rent a lakeside cabin or take in the sites of this lesser-known Arizona spot.
Round Top, Texas
While Texas was one of the first states to reopen amidst the ongoing pandemic and the rush to get vaccines out, its most popular and well-known cities didn't make the list of the most popular summer destinations. What did make the list, however, was Round Top - a much lesser-known town that has a population equivalent to that of a remote Midwest town.
With only 100 locals who call this town their home, it might beg the question of what there could possibly be to do there - the answer lies in its proximity to Austin (90 miles) as well as its unique rentals which have made quite the stir on Airbnb.
It's not all that surprising that many of the summer's biggest rental destinations are one of two extremes: either just outside of major cities or far, far from them.
It seems that the drive to see urban cities is not number one on the list anymore which is likely where the drive to see places like Orderville, Utah came from. That's not to say that this small Utah town isn't beautiful, though, and those who find themselves seeking greener grass will happily find plenty of it there.
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Along with destinations that are lesser-visited come destinations that are unique and out of the ordinary such as Mammoth Cave.
This well-known Kentucky location has quite a reputation and while it's trending on Airbnb, it also happens to be in a place where there's plenty to do in the area surrounding this major attraction, as well.
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
While it's true that the show Ozark may have brought even more attention to the otherwise quiet Missouri region, Lake of the Ozarks has certainly seen a boom in tourism or, at least, it will this summer.
There's arguably no better lakeside destination in the state let alone the Midwest and if you're looking for water sports and laid-back fun, this is the place to find it.
In keeping with the theme of national parks becoming hotspots for travelers over the last year, it's also not that surprising that Whitefish, Montana, is on the list.
This town is home to Glacier National Park which is one of the most beautiful in the country and also doubles as the perfect haven for nature lovers, hikers, and mountain climbers alike. In fact, people are so invested in seeing this national park for themselves that Airbnb is predicting a summer full of sold-out rentals.