If your idea of a vacation is getting away from it all, you might want to avoid One World Observatory at the World Trade Center. Come to think of it, you might want to avoid the Big Apple entirely.
The new Observatory, which opened in May 2015, topped TripAdvisor.com’s list of the hottest tourist sites and attractions this summer. It’s also one of five New York City spots in the top 25, along with Broadway, Central and Bryant parks, and the Statue of Liberty.
TripAdvisor’s list, based on increases in year-over-year search activity, is a good reflection of where Americans have been heading this year, and it gives a good picture into the type of places that pique the interests of travelers.
For the most part, our tastes fall primarily into two categories: We can’t get enough of urban neighborhoods, and we’re fans of woodsy outdoor retreats — either natural or manmade. After the World Trade Center, the next hottest places are (in order) Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook in Tennessee, Portland, Oregon’s trendy Pearl District, and Mount Bonnell in Austin.
Thanks to Manhattan, New York is the hottest state on TripAdvisor’s top 25; aside from the five city sites, the upstate Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region also made the list. After the Empire State, the hottest state was California, which had five hot spots stretching from San Francisco’s Pier 39 down to San Diego’s La Jolla Shores beach. Behind New York City, Portland (OR) was the most popular city, with three of the hottest 25 sites: the Pearl District neighborhood; The Grotto – National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, a Catholic shrine and botanical garden, and leafy Washington Park.
So if you’re looking for a spot away from the crowds, why don’t you try a national park — you might encounter fewer fellow tourists, and if you go over the next week, admission is free.