Lockdown has had a major effect on travel plans for this year. But, while online travel searches have plummeted (down 64% overall), some destinations are still piquing travelers’ interests. In fact, according to a recent study from RENTCafé, some of the smallest drops in travel-related online searches (compared to the previous year) were for popular spots like beaches, small towns and natural areas.
Fortunately, as you dream about spending time amidst lush greenery and mesmerizing views, there’s nothing stopping you from planning future travel. Without further ado, the top 10 most resilient nature spots are:
1. Yellowstone National Park, WY
2. Aspen, CO
3. Glacier National Park, MT
4. Bozeman, MT
5. Breckenridge, CO
6. Ruidoso, NM
7. Gatlinburg, TN
8. Vail, CO
9. Mackinac Island, MI
10. Boone, NC
Yellowstone Still a Top Choice for Nature Lovers
If you’ve never been to this breathtaking place, it’s time to add it to your list. Its raw beauty — stemming from the most incredible geysers, mud volcanoes and diverse wildlife — are unforgettable. There are all sorts of activities available here, from hiking and kayaking to fishing and birdwatching. The waterfalls are also a must-see, as is the Grand Prismatic Spring, which is the third-largest hot spring in the world.
Major Ski Destinations in Colorado
Colorado is known for its spectacular nature spots and some of the best ski resorts, so it’s no wonder that it continues to be popular among travelers — even during quarantine — boasting three nature spots.
Aspen came in second and is the perfect travel destination for ski aficionados. However, it’s more than just a ski town. With lively nightlife, great restaurants and food festivals, Aspen can cater to all sorts of travelers who want to enjoy nature.
Another great Colorado destination that made the top of the list is Breckenridge, a popular ski resort that’s also a home to some of the oldest craft breweries in the state. Even if you’re primarily traveling here to ski, know that summer activities like hiking, biking and attending live music festivals are also major draws for travelers.
After you’re done hitting these two impressive nature spots, check out Vail, as well. In addition to great ski slopes, Vail also has some of the highest botanical gardens in the world, as well as an abundance of art galleries and film festivals. Clearly, you won’t get bored here.
Unlike its name that means “noisy” in Spanish, New Mexico’s Ruidoso is actually quite a tranquil place. Situated in the Sierra Blanca mountain range, this charming and quaint village is located near the Ski Apache resort. Abundant in activities that are available year-round, travelers heading to Ruidoso enjoy swimming, kayaking or fishing in one of its many alpine lakes.
A four-hour ride from Nashville, the charming town of Gatlinburg was also on people’s minds during the lockdown. Its location on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park certainly plays an important role in its popularity — not to mention the Rainbow or Grotto Falls nearby.
Although it’s not quite time to begin traveling, there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead. So, go ahead and start making your bucket list. There are so many beautiful gems out there just waiting to be discovered!
Author bio: Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news, multifamily construction, homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance, and business. With a 7-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive, and the National Apartment Association Magazine.