For many of us, 2023 was the year we finally returned to our pre-pandemic travel. Most tourist-dependent countries have reached the ‘normal’ influx of travelers. We travelers were again back on the road, the seas, and the air.
Now, we turn the page to a new year with higher hopes of travel normalcy in 2024.
NC Sharp, the most reliable source for North Carolina sports betting news and information, studied Google Flights and Google Search trends to find out the travel destinations NC residents have been searching for the most. Below are the most popular domestic and international travel destinations, according to Google.
Top Google trends for North Carolina domestic travel
1. The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks of North Carolina offer more than 100 miles of open beach. OBX, as the Outer Banks are known, is a thin ribbon of sand just a short drive east of Raleigh. Although not far from several cities, these barrier islands feel wonderfully remote. It is a great place to escape, unwind, play, relax on the beach, and visit friendly and diverse small beach towns.
Located on the western edge of North Carolina, Asheville is known as one of the most welcoming cities in America. It is an art colony and a healing resort with a rich architectural history uniquely mixing Art Deco, Beaux Arts, and Neoclassical styles. The wonderfully preserved historic downtown has locally-owned shops, art galleries, unique restaurants, and entertainment venues.
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
This national park is a world-renowned oasis of plant and animal life diversity, including black bears. Only a few hour’s drive from North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains hold more than natural beauty and wildlife. You will find the remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture among the breathtaking beauty of these ancient, worn-down mountains.
4. Charleston, South Carolina
Like Washington, D.C., Charleston has a rich history and many historical sites and is only a few hour’s drive away. it is more than history, with fabulous restaurants and a vibrant cultural and art scene. Additionally, Charleston has beaches and great year-round weather. If beaches are what you are looking for, Charleston is your place.
5. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is one of the most visited cities in the United States. For North Carolinians, it’s only a few hours’ drive. It is the city where you can learn about American history and government and see the country’s most iconic sights and museums. But Washington is more than history and sites. It has great food, art, cultural attractions, and much more.
Top Google trends for North Carolina international travel
For anyone who has traveled to Italy, it’s no surprise that the number one international destination for North Carolina residents is Italy. Home to the Roman Empire, the Papal States, and the birth of the Renaissance, Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world. If you love history, art, or architecture, you must visit Italy.
Mexico offers an incredible diversity of experiences. Known for the Mexican and Maya Riviera, some of the best beaches in the world are in Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of California, and Pacific coast.
3. Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is all about the beautiful marine environment—ideal beaches, crystal clear water, and 350 days of sun per year. Best of all, it is just a 6-hour flight out of Raleigh-Durham, and the official language is English.
France spans a wide variety of experiences. Pursuing the museums and sites in Paris, soaking up the sun on the French Riviera, visiting the châteaux of the Loire Valley, or skiing the Alps at Mt. Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, a trip to France is sure to delight.
5. United Kingdom
A country steeped in history and tradition, the United Kingdom offers the advantage of speaking the same language. The U.K. boasts a long list of the world’s greatest historical and art museums. Home to Shakespeare and the Globe Theater, London still offers world-class performances.
Time for North Carolinians to travel again
Now that it is safe to travel, we can all return to exploring the country and the world again. Consider some of these top destinations if you are from North Carolina. There’s a chance you might meet a fellow North Carolinan, maybe even someone you know.
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