The Top 10 Most Popular U.S. National Parks in 2015
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Despite often taking a backseat to the Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to garner tons of interest from travelers.
According to search data compiled by Hotels.com, the park was the most searched U.S. national park from Jan. 1, 2015 to June 15, 2015.
In addition to being beloved, it turns out that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a tremendous value destination. According to Hotels.com's Hotel Price Index, accommodations in nearby Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, are available for an average price of $97 per night.
Hotels.com went on to rank the top 10 most searched U.S. national parks over the first half of 2015.
Here are the results:
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
2. Grand Canyon National Park
3. Yosemite National Park
4. Yellowstone National Park
5. Grand Teton National Park
6. Zion National Park
7. Arches & Canyonlands National Parks
8. Rocky Mountain National Park
9. Acadia National Park
10. Joshua Tree National Park
In addition to counting up searches, the online booking website identified gateway cities for each park and used its Hotel Price Index to determine the average nightly price for accommodations at each stop.
Of the top 10, California's Joshua Tree National Park boasts the cheapest average hotel price per night at $87 in nearby Twentynine Palms. On the flip side, Jackson, Wyoming, outside of Grand Teton National Park, saw average nightly hotel prices of $191, the highest among the top 10 parks.
Meanwhile, Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, ranked No. 3 in terms of cheapest average accommodations, with Grand Canyon National Park visitors paying $103 per night on average.
"The surging popularity of national parks shows they are becoming travel destinations in and of themselves," said Hotels.com travel expert Taylor L. Cole in a statement. "We've seen a high volume of searches for stays in and around national parks..."
Last year, nearly 293 million travelers explored the U.S.'s hundreds of national parks.
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