As we grow more and more tired of the same five or six overcrowded, oversaturated destinations we get told to go to time and time again, finding some inspiration on places that while touristy, are yet to be ruined by visitors is the key to that next great vacation.

If you feel like you’re on this boat, I’ve got good news for you.

Tripadvisor just released its 2024 Summer Travel Index, and while the list of the most popular destinations of the season was full of the usual suspects – Vegas, Myrtle Beach, and Orlando – there were a couple of up-and-coming hotspots that caught our eye, too.

According to the data drawn from an online survey conducted between March 13th and March 18th, 2024, these five gorgeous hubs were named the fastest-growing destinations in the U.S.:

5. Waimea, Hawaii

Waimea Beach

I know, I know – Hawaii isn’t exactly a place that has gone under the radar up until now but nonetheless, Waimea remains one of its best-hidden gems.

Here, you’ll get to revel in that authentic Hawaiian experience all while enjoying the towering mountains and pristine beaches you’ve come to expect (and love) from the Aloha State.

If you’re big on breathtaking natural sights, places like Waipi’o Valley, the nearby Kohala Forest Reserve, and the dreamy shores of Hapuna Beach will exceed even your wildest expectations.

The cultural scene isn’t lacking either, though.

Between Hale O Lono, the Ku’ula Shrine, and the many traditional Hawaiian hale, you’ll get to embark on a long-winded journey through Waimea’s incredible past.

4. Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania

Pocono Raceway first air show

If you want to keep your travels confined within mainland U.S., Pocono Manor in Pennsylvania might just be the place for you.

Filled with breathtaking sights and so many hiking trails you can’t even keep count, this is the ultimate destination for the more outdoorsy types looking to spend summer someplace cool and quiet.

Hiking is far from the only thing you’ll get to do here, though, what with all the biking, climbing, and racing that goes on throughout the year – Pocono Raceway, in particular, is not to be missed.

With that said, people aren’t just coming to Pocono Manor for the adrenaline rush.

The historic buildings and quaint shops scattered throughout the district will make you feel like you’ve come a long way from the chaos, stress, and noise of day-to-day life.

3. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

If you’re still apprehensive about spending summer away from the beach, a Florida retreat might be your best bet.

One place you can do just that is Santa Rosa Beach, a community whose turquoise waters, pristine sands, and laid-back vibe scream summer paradise.

Obviously, the main draw here is the miles-long, sugar-white coastline that looks like something straight out of the Maldives – Grayton, Blue Mountain, Pirate’s Life, and Santa Rosa are by far the best beaches in the area; don’t worry, though, they’re still serene and relaxing even as we enter peak season.

Those who want to do something else beyond just lounging around on the soft white sand will get plenty of opportunities to kayak, paddleboard, fish, and even go on dolphin-watching excursions.

2. College Station, Texas

Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas

True to its name, this is a high-energy college town that is slowly but surely gaining some popularity among circles that go well beyond students and their families, and it’s easy to see why.

With a fantastic cultural scene and pulsating collegiate atmosphere, many consider this Texan hub to be the ultimate blend between high-energy nightlife and small-town charm.

With attractions like the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the Bonfire Memorial on top of all that, it’s clear why so many people are rushing to take in that College Station experience.

1. Yosemite National Park, California

This last one doesn’t need much of an introduction – it’s by far the most mainstream destination on today’s list, but the fact that such a well-known attraction still manages to grow in popularity at record rates is nothing short of remarkable.

Yosemite National Park, California

Travelers have long fallen in love with Yosemite’s granite cliffs, towering waterfalls, and ancient sequoia groves, but as other places across the country get too commercial for their own good, the Californian gem still offers us the opportunity to take in some of the most jaw-dropping sights in the country all while maintaining its warm, distinctive charm.

So, take this as a sign to finally hike to Half Dome or El Capitan – I guarantee it’ll be worth it.

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