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Top 5 Trending US Attractions Heading into Shoulder Season

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | September 07, 2016

Top 5 Trending US Attractions Heading into Shoulder Season

PHOTO: One World Observatory at One World Trade Center (photo courtesy of One World Observatory).

The U.S. is home to a plethora of the world's most-beloved visitor attractions, but only a handful are drastically increasing in popularity. TripAdvisor recently revealed the top trending attractions for summer 2016 based on year-over-year search activity. 

"From historic city streets to amazing sights from great heights, the Attractions Trend Index has revealed a wide variety of places that have captured the interest of U.S. travelers," said TripAdvisor's senior director of communications Brooke Ferencsik in a statement.

"Travelers looking to take advantage of the remaining weeks of summer and shoulder season still have plenty of time to book a special trip and explore some these American attractions growing in popularity."

Let's examine the top five trending attractions heading into the final weeks of summer and the upcoming shoulder season.

One World Observatory 

PHOTO: One World Observatory at One World Trade Center (photo via Twitter).  

Where: New York, New York

Year-over-Year Traffic Increase: 340.7 percent

Travelers heading to the Big Apple should prioritize a visit to the World Trade Center's One World Observatory. The recently opened attraction boasts unparalleled views from the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Given its popularity, travelers would be wise to book ahead of time.

The Magnificent Mile

PHOTO: Chicago's Magnificent Mile (photo via Twitter).  

Where: Chicago, Illinois

Year-over-Year Traffic Increase: 118 percent

Chicago's Magnificent Mile is by no means a new attraction, but this 13-block stretch through downtown offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Some of the best restaurants, shops and bars can be found in this part of the Windy City. With no shortage to choose from, visitors won't have to worry about coming up with a Plan B. 

Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook

PHOTO: Gatlinburg, Tennessee (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

Where: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Year-over-Year Traffic Increase: 112.5 percent

If stunning city views from the One World Observatory don't pique your interest, consider Tennessee's Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook. This pull-off along the Gatlinburg Bypass offers gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains and won't cost visitors a penny.

The Pearl District

 PHOTO: Downtown Portland, Oregon's Pearl District (photo via Twitter)

Where: Portland, Oregon

Year-over-Year Traffic Increase: 109.3 percent

Travelers seeking the ultimate Portland experience need look no further than the city's Pearl District. Once occupied by warehouses and railroad yards, this one-half square mile area is now home to boutique shops, art galleries and trendy restaurants. 

Craft beer fans will want to book the Portland Brewery Bike Tour, a three-hour bike tour of the city's breweries that includes beer samples from multiple microbreweries. 

Mount Bonnell

PHOTO: Mount Bonnell (photo via Twitter).  

Where: Austin, Texas

Year-over-Year Traffic Increase: 109.2 percent

While Austin, Texas, is fast emerging as a premier tourist destination, Mount Bonnell has been drawing visitors for well over a century.

For hikers visiting the Texas capital, a trip to Mount Bonnell is a no-brainer. Visitors will find themselves nearly 800 feet up with panoramic views of the surrounding city. 

And the best part? Admission is free. 

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