CHICAGO, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- As summer approaches and the urge to travel heats up, vacationers looking for big-city excitement are faced with the reality of a tightened economy. With many travelers wondering what kind of vacation their wallets can handle, Orbitz has announced the top 10 domestic summer destinations for 2008 and recommends stateside destinations that offer the look and feel of their global counterparts without the unfavorable exchange rates.
Perennial favorites Las Vegas and New York City continue to be popular with summer travelers, but the 2008 list of top summer city destinations has evolved since 2007. Honolulu and Anchorage have broken into the top ten, indicating that summer travelers are looking beyond just the continental U.S.
"As the weather warms up, America's vibrant city scenes prove that travelers don't have to go abroad this year to experience museums, festivals, and other cultural attractions," said Tom Russell, Group Vice President of Marketing for Orbitz Worldwide. "There are some terrific destinations right here in our own backyard, allowing vacationers to save some real money in the face of a tightening economy and dwindling dollar."
Top 10 Summer Cities
To help travelers plan a getaway this summer, Orbitz is highlighting the most popular summer city destinations in its Orbitz Insider Index and looks back at the changes from summer 2007.
The Orbitz Insider Index
Top Ten Summer City Destinations*
1 Las Vegas, NV 1 Las Vegas, NV
2 New York, NY 2 New York, NY
3 Chicago, IL 3 Orlando, FL
4 Orlando, FL 4 San Francisco, CA
5 Honolulu, HI 5 San Diego, CA
6 San Francisco, CA 6 Washington, D.C.
7 San Diego, CA 7 Seattle, WA
8 Anchorage, AK 8 Miami, FL
9 Seattle, WA 9 Los Angeles, CA
10 Miami, FL 10 Orange County, CA
* Orbitz.com destinations based on popularity for arrival 5/26/08 to
8/31/08. Data includes hotel-only and package sales. Based on bookings
as of 4/1/08.
In addition to highlighting the top summer cities, the Orbitz Insiders recommend the following destinations for travelers looking to infuse their summer with some international culture.
Orbitz Insider Staff Picks
San Francisco, CA (Chinatown)
Boasting the oldest Chinatown in the United States, San Francisco is one of the largest and most prominent centers of Chinese activity outside of China. San Francisco's Chinatown presents an authentic look and feel, reminiscent of Hong Kong, with its small streets, produce and fish markets, stores and restaurants.
Quebec City, Quebec
Founded by French Explorer Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City was the first permanent French settlement in North America and continues to have a strong French influence. In fact, it offers a distinct European feel with its stone buildings and winding streets lined with shops and restaurants. A cultural and geographic crossroads, the city is like a bridge between Europe and Canada and is the only North American fortified city north of Mexico whose walls still exist. Quebec City's Upper and Lower Towns feature over 10 architectural styles, ranging from Classical Revival (1790-1820) to International Style (1930-1965).
Founded by Danish immigrants in 1911, Solvang boasts authentic European architecture, thatched roofs, old-world craftsmanship and traditional windmills. Solvang makes for a great day trip from nearby Santa Barbara, a beautiful vacation destination in its own right, as the city is home to Danish bakeries, restaurants and shops as well as a replica 1915 streetcar drawn by Belgian horses, allowing visitors to tour the city in style. Perched in the heart of California's scenic wine country, Solvang, which means "sunny field" in Danish, easily lives up to its name.
Miami, FL (Little Havana)
While staying at one of the many picturesque locations along Miami Beach, vacationers looking for some international flavor need only to jump in a cab and make the 15-minute trek to the Cuban cultural center of Miami, Little Havana. Colorful murals and monuments are scattered throughout Little Havana, honoring Cuba and its people, and the aroma of coffee, outdoor domino games and cigar rollers hard at work are all staples of this community. Adding to Little Havana's unique draw, more than one million spectators gather for the annual Calle Ocho street festival that celebrates Latino culture with ethnic food and drink and 30 stages of live entertainment.
San Antonio, TX
A mere 150 miles north of the Mexican border, San Antonio's rich Mexican, Spanish and Texan culture is apparent in the abundance of historical architecture littered throughout the city. Aside from the mandatory tour of The Alamo, visitors would do well to visit Market Square, an authentic Mexican public market space, and take a leisurely stroll down the River Walk, the city's central entertainment district.
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