Your neighbor gushed about visiting a small town in Italy that you’ve never heard of – so you Googled it. You wanted to know when is the best weather to visit Morocco – so you Googled it. That all-knowing digital resource is the standard go-to for all kinds of inquiries. But of course, the ones we travelers find the most intriguing have to do with travel destinations we dream of going to next. Google just released its year-end search data and here’s a recap of the top 10 Googled travel destinations of 2017. Some of them may surprise you!
10. Bermuda – America’s Cup sailing race might have influenced searches about Bermuda in 2017, but the pink sands, blue skies, and pastel houses make it a perennial favorite. You’ll enjoy plenty of top-rated golf courses, excellent restaurants, and distinctively British pastimes such as cricket matches and afternoon tea. Although Bermuda is an isolated bit of paradise in the western Atlantic, it’s only a two-hour flight from the U.S., making it a perfect weekend getaway.
9. Cancun – The top resort area of Mexico is wrapped in sparkling aquamarine water and brilliant sunshine. With plenty of party resorts and thousands of hotel rooms, it’s definitely not a sleepy, traditional town, but it offers easy access from the U.S., affordable prices, and no language barrier. You can roam south to Puerto Morelos or Playa del Carmen for a more traditional Mexico experience or visit ancient Maya civilization sites on a day trip.
8. Bali – This island in Indonesia is a magical landscape of amazing beaches, stacked rice terraces, and mountainous jungle. Religious temples, rituals, and Balinese dance are an integral part of life in Bali that you’ll want to explore. Numerous spas and luxury resorts exist to pamper you and new ones opened this year. The November 2017 volcano eruption could have inspired Bali’s Google search ranking, although the U.S. State Department has deemed the area safe to visit.
7. Turks & Caicos – Southeast of the Bahamas, lies a seven-island chain surrounded by spectacular white-sand beaches and Tiffany-box-blue waters. It’s a slow-paced, laid-back atmosphere perfect for those seeking colorful life on the underwater coral reefs or top-end luxury resorts on land. Hurricanes Irma and Marie both strafed the islands in September, undoubtedly upping Turks & Caicos searches by concerned travelers planning a winter vacation there, but many businesses are now reopened and welcoming visitors.
5. Punta Cana – At the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic lies the country’s finest strand of beach known as Punta Cana. Visitors are drawn to the growing number of all-inclusive resorts. In addition to the beaches and watersports recreation, Punta Cana is a temple to golf, with numerous professionally-designed courses within 50 miles. Punta Cana is also one of the more economical all-inclusive resort destinations in the Caribbean, giving it a good reason to place high in search trends.
4. Aspen – Colorado’s laid-back celebrity hangout isn’t just for skiing; Aspen is definitely a year-round destination. Its history as a silver-mining town left a Victorian influence that gives the city a unique character. There’s plenty of wilderness all around for hiking, ghost towns to explore, and plenty of music festivals.
3. Myrtle Beach – Another beach town made the list, although there’s nothing quaint about Myrtle Beach. It’s a noisy – some say tacky – tourist mecca sitting at the center of the 60-mile Grand Strand, a sandy Atlantic shoreline in South Carolina. In addition to the long beach, a nostalgic boardwalk, outlet stores, many local restaurants, over 100 golf courses, and non-stop action for kids keep Myrtle Beach a hive of year-round activity suitable for family vacations and groups.
2. Barcelona – Spain’s second-largest city usually conjures up the architecture of Antoni Gaudi. Indeed, his unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, is the emblem of the city but Barcelona has many additional draws. Enjoying the vibrant beach scene, sharing tapas, strolling La Rambla, exploring the Picasso Museum, and wandering the magical Park Guell are only a few. Barcelona’s popularity has grown so much, that the city capped the number of hotel rooms available in an attempt to limit tourist numbers.
1. Las Vegas – This gambling mecca in Nevada remains one of the most visited cities in the world – but not only for the casinos. You’ll find lavish stage shows, restaurants by celebrity chefs, glittering nightclubs, and high-end shopping. From the Bellagio water show to the light show on Fremont Street, and wedding chapels to thrill rides, there’s something for everyone in Las Vegas.
Have you visited any of these most Googled travel destinations? What destinations did you Google this year? Get in touch with a Covington vacation advisor to learn more and plan your next trip.