If you could take a trip anywhere in the United States, where would you go?
Based on a recent survey by Travel Leaders Group, the responses from nearly 2,900 Americans were literally all over the map.
The top destination was Hawaii, followed by California, Alaska, Florida and New York.
Its distance from the continental United States, along with its tropical climate, makes Hawaii a dream vacation spot for many travelers. The Aloha State is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors, from the vibrant resorts of Oahu’s Waikiki Beach to the hiking trails in Maui’s Haleakala National Park. From Oct. 20 to Nov. 5, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival highlights the state’s cuisine with wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and fine dining.
California has something for everyone, from the movie magic of Los Angeles to the wineries of Napa to colorful San Francisco. From Aug. 11-13, the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival takes place in Golden Gate Park, a celebration of music, food, wine, beer, art and comedy.
One of the state’s more unusual events is the Pageant of the Masters, from July 7 to Aug. 31 in Southern California’s Laguna Beach. It’s a 90-minute performance in which famous works of art are brought to life onstage.
Alaska’s mountains and glaciers make the 49th state unlike any other. Cruise season runs from May through September, and it’s a great way to take in all of that breathtaking scenery, especially when combined with shore excursions to experience the beauty of places like Denali National Park and follow the trail of the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush.
Holland America Line is celebrating 70 years of Alaska cruises with a fleet of seven ships this season, departing from Seattle and Vancouver.
Florida’s beaches and sunny climate are big draws, along with its theme parks. This year, Disney World has unveiled “Pandora – World of Avatar.” Based on the popular movie, it includes a boat ride into the rainforest and a flight simulator. For a different side of the Sunshine State, consider taking a trip to historic St. Augustine, on the northeast coast, with its Spanish colonial architecture and wildlife sanctuary. Founded in 1565, it lays claim to being the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the continental United States.
Of course to most travelers, New York means the Big Apple. Whenever you plan a trip to New York City, you’re guaranteed an array of options for world-class dining and entertainment. This year marks the 25th anniversary of New York Restaurant Week, held twice a year in winter and summer. It next runs from July 24 to Aug. 18, offering deals on three-course lunches and dinners at 300 restaurants.
Classical music buffs can take in the Mostly Mozart Festival, July 25 to Aug. 20 at Lincoln Center. And the Museum of Modern Art is honoring architect Frank Lloyd Wright with an exhibit on his 150th birthday.