The Most Popular (and Unusual) Places People Went This Summer
New York skyscrapers and giant statues of Paul Bunyan: People went big this summer.
Labor Day is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean summer has to come to a screeching halt. There’s still plenty of time to take advantage of long days and balmy nights—and to squeeze in one last summer vacation.
And you can take a page from fellow travelers' favorite stops to plan your next getaway: We’ve found some of the amazing and unusual places people have been visiting on their summer vacations.
The One World Observatory at New York City’s World Trade Center is the top trending attraction of the season, according to data from TripAdvisor, with a year-over-year increase in search traffic of more than 340 percent.
The Observatory, which opened to the public on May 29, offers extraordinary views from the 102nd floor. On a clear day, you can practically see forever.
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Some of the destinations, landmarks, and summer activities are less expected: The third item on TripAdvisor’s list is the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook in Tennessee, a pull-off area boasting gorgeous vistas over the Smoky Mountains.
Another of this summer's most popular roadside attractions, according to data from Google Maps, was a 49-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe, at the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, California.
Google’s list also highlights the totally gross Gum Wall in Seattle. Although it was scraped clean for the first time in 20 years in 2015, new wads of chewed gum are already decorating the brick wall at Pike Place Market.
Related: Summer Vacations
Whether you’re diving off the tail of a Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma (it’s a thing, and it’s apparently quite popular) or having some classic family fun at America’s oldest ballpark, Fenway (No. 23 on TripAdvisor’s trending list) these popular summer destinations prove that no matter where you are in the country, there’s definitely a fun (or at least very quirky) thing to do around the corner.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.