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Although the inauspicious rise of the Delta variant has messed up one in four Americans' August travel plans, plenty are still set to take off on trips before the summer winds down.
The latest travel search data from Google show that, while hotel occupancy rates in the U.S. have lately taken a downturn, some destinations continue to merit a massive number of search queries from prospective visitors.
Here are some of the most in-demand travel destinations this month, according to a Broady report on Google's latest search data.
The so-called "Entertainment Capital of the World" has been doing its utmost to safely bring back the shows, attractions and live concerts that draw people to Las Vegas from around the country, and the world.
With Resorts World Las Vegas having opened in June as the first resort constructed on the famous Strip in over a decade, there are plenty of new experiences on offer, from a massive pool complex to over 40 new food and beverage offerings, retail collection, nightlife venues, spa and casino.
Plus, a 5,000-seat theatre that will host music artists like Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Other A-list performers like Bruno Mars, Gwen Stefani and Barry Manilow have also signed up to return to Las Vegas stages.
New York City
Despite the imposition of vaccination restrictions on many indoor activities, New York City is beginning to bring back tourism draws, including the restart of Broadway shows after an extended shutdown. The 28th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival returns to Harlem from August 27-29, nightlife spots like Jay-Z' 40/40 Club have reopened and, outside the city, Legoland New York Resort recently opened to the delight of kids and their families. According to hospitality data and analytics company STR, hotel rates are currently lower than usual. So far this August, the average daily rate for an NYC hotel has been just over $200, about $40 lower than in 2019.
The epicenter of the nation's film industry and home to world-renowned beaches, amusement parks, museums, zoos, parks and other attractions, Los Angeles is bound to remain a favorite among travelers. Now that travel restrictions and statewide mask mandates have been removed, and more than half of residents are fully vaccinated the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has launched a huge campaign to re-attract visitors. Popular theme park complexes like Universal Studios Hollywood Resort and nearby Disneyland Resort, Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain also perennially draw plenty of tourists.
South of L.A., San Diego is known not only as a surfer's paradise, with year-round warm weather and amazing beaches, but also for its historic quarters, saltwater lagoons and riparian wildlife. Its wealth of outdoor activities, from surfing, sailing, fishing, scuba diving, paddleboarding to gorgeous hiking spots, biking, parasailing, golfing, horseback riding, and more add to its allure. Among its major tourism draws are well-known theme parks and zoos, including Sea World San Diego, Legoland California Resort, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Chicago is another metropolis that is on people's lists. In August, the city offers plenty of diversions, including sporting events, festivals, parks, restaurants, museums and more. Outdoors spots like the sandy shores of Lake Michigan offer opportunities for biking, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, jet-skiing and more. Popular spots for a summertime stroll include the Navy Pier, where you'll find events, free public programs, attractions, culture, dining and shopping.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach features 60 miles of beautiful Atlantic coastline, with plenty of opportunities for watersports, fishing, golfing, shopping, dining and enjoying local amusement parks, water parks, casino cruises, nightlife and live music venues. There's also a 1.2-mile oceanfront boardwalk that's home to festivals and events, filled with retail shops, restaurants that evokes a fun, carnival-like feel. Plus, visitors to the area will enjoy generous portions of Southern hospitality and fresh ocean cuisine.
Orlando is ever-present on the list of tourist favorites, largely because it's home to the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Legoland Orlando. This summer, Florida has done away with capacity restrictions and mask requirements, and won't allow businesses to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from customers. Along with endless sunshine, warm weather and sprawling beaches, this aspect attracted more visitors to Florida during 2021's second quarter than during the same period in 2019.
Laurie Baratti is a San Diego-based journalist whose work has previously appeared in publications like TravelAge West, SPACE,...
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