Ten U.S. cities that Americans flock to in winter
Looking for a mid-winter getaway to the USA?
You're not alone. Significantly more Americans are planning domestic trips this year compared to a year back. According to CCRATravel.com, a hotel reservation portal for travel agents, there's a 28% increase in winter leisure U.S. hotel bookings.
This a GREAT sign for the U.S. travel industry -- and the American economy -- as a whole.
So where are these Americans going? Here are their...
TOP FIVE U.S. WINTER DESTINATIONS
#1) New York City
Brooklyn in winter [AP Photo/Peter Morgan]
No surprise here. A friend once told me NYC is so fun, it's like the sidewalks there are wired with electricity. Careful though...it's not cheap. My friend had a terrible drinking habit and his expensive party weekends in Manhattan were a key reason why he went bankrupt.
#2) Las Vegas
Forget all that noir-ish rain you see on CSI. Las Vegas is generally a helluva lot warmer and drier than most American cities in January.
#3) New Orleans
I'm glad to see New Orleans rank so high. Even 7.5 years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans can sure use the tourist dollars.
This one's a surprise. I love Boston and the Bruins, that's no secret. It's a great city and the Bruins will be Stanley Cup champions this year (in June, when spring has sprung and I'm actually glad to visit Boston).
But Americans are choosing Boston as a popular mid-winter destination? Does not compute. Boston winters are BRUTAL. Cold, windy, wet, ugh.
Great weather, fun for the whole family, and the Magic Kingdom is finally serving hooch.
Now here are:
FIVE MORE UP-AND-COMING U.S. WINTER DESTINATIONS
#1) Austin, Texas
Great bars, bands (Austin's billed as the Live Music Capital of the World), and plenty of tattoo sleeves. Be sure to check out Austin's all-female roller derby league.
#2) Memphis, Tennessee
They're going to Graceland, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee.
#3) Colorado Springs, Colorado
According to their tourism board, here's what you can do in Colorado Springs: "Feed the giraffes at the America’s only mountain zoo, take a step back in time in an old ghost town or roar with dinosaurs. Colorado Springs attractions have something for everyone. The region features over 60 incredible Colorado Springs tourist attractions including Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and the U.S. Olympic Training Center."
#4) Portland, Maine
Here's what's happening in Portland. I'm personally intrigued by Portland's 'Paint Nite' class where you learn how to paint "from a blank canvas to a final masterpiece in about two hours, all the while sipping a cocktail or two."
#5) Denver, Colorado
According to their tourism board, Denver has the 4th most walkable downtown in America. Brag much, Denver?
Meanwhile, when Americans actually leave their fine country, they like to flee to Europe and the Caribbean.
TOP 5 INTERNATIONAL WINTER DESTINATIONS FOR AMERICANS
#1) London, England
#2) Rome, Italy
#3) Paris, France
#4) San Juan, Puerto Rico
#5) Palm Beach, Aruba
So there you have it...keep the above destinations in mind if you want to visit Americans this winter...or avoid them out of good old-fashioned Canadian shyness.
For more info on all these travel statistics, click here.
-- Ken Hegan
Read more of Ken’s MSN travel stories here
Follow Ken on Twitter: @KenHegan