It feels like it was just yesterday when we were turning back clocks and dusting off our snow shovels, yet here we are about to turn forward clocks and talking about spring travel. Naturally, we have our favorite spring travel destinations. However, rather than tell you our top-10 favorite destinations, we wanted to share with you the most popular destinations among HomeAway’s travelers.
When we looked at the most popular destinations among HomeAway users, we found some trends. First and foremost, people are ready to trade in snow boots and snowmen for flip-flops and sand castles. That’s because all but two of the most popular spring travel destinations are beach destinations, with four of the cities located in Florida. Other beach destinations on the list include Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, South Padre Island, Texas, and Maui, Hawaii.
While Panama City Beach, often considered one of the top spring break cities, made our list of the top spring travel destinations, many of them weren’t your token spring break cities. The most popular region of Florida on our list wasn’t Daytona, Miami, or Tampa, but rather Southwest Florida around Fort Myers. Making our top-10 list included Bonita Springs and Naples, both of which are less than an hour from Fort Myers.
Some of HomeAway’s other top spring destinations shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, such as Phoenix, Arizona and Palm Springs, California. That’s because what could arguably be America’s most popular multi-day music and most popular multi-day sports event take place in both of these destinations. It begins this month in Phoenix, when Major League Baseball’s Spring Training descends on the Phoenix-metropolitan area throughout the month of March. Then the following month, in Palm Springs, more than 200,000 music lovers flock to Coachella for two weekends in April, when some of the most popular musicians in the world take the stage in Indio.
The biggest surprise, however, was the num. 1 spring destination among HomeAway travelers. And that destination is The Villages, Florida, which is located 60 miles northwest of Orlando. The Villages is unique in that it’s one of the largest retirement communities in the world. While you may have never heard of The Villages, it’s made a name for itself, since it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. Perhaps its greatest strength, however, is it’s convenience, located in the center of Florida and within an hour to an hour and a half of Daytona Beach, Orlando, Walt Disney World, and Ocala National Forest.
See below for the full list of the most popular spring travel destinations on HomeAway, and click the links to see an offering of vacation rentals in each city.
Vacation rental featured at the top can be found here.