By Shira Scott, GalTime.com
Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer travel season. It's time to shift into high gear and search for the perfect weekend escape or family vacation spot. But it's not just the destination that's important this year.... it's getting there that has many of us a little anxious. With gas prices already taking a bite out of our budgets, a lot of people are plugging the words "best auto-alternatives," "Amtrak discounts" (spiking 107%) and "bus tickets" (spiking 271%) into the Yahoo! search box.
Related: Best Airports in the World
This summer is definitely about "cheap travel" and "low air fares."
According to Yahoo! Travel, Top Searched Destinations are:
- Las Vegas
- North Carolina
- New Orleans
Top Searched Beach Destinations include:
- Nag's Head (searches are up 585%)
- Nantucket (searches are up 520%)
- Florida Keys (searches are up 49%)
- North Carolina Beaches (searches are up 40%)
- Mackinac Island (searches are up 20%)
Despite fuel fears, Road Tripping is still quite popular. Searches for "printable maps" are spiking this week. If you prefer the adventure of hitting the highway, Yahoo! Travel editor, Deborah Hopewell shares these must-take road trips. which are realistic and easily accessible for people across the country.
Five Best Summer Road Trips According to Yahoo! Travel:
- Black Hills of South Dakota - Iconic Mount Rushmore is the big-name attraction, but a drive through the granite spires and pines of Black Hills includes everything from Wild West gold-rush kitsch (Deadwood), free-ranging wildlife (bison, big horn sheep, prairie dogs) and scenic day hikes to stretch road-weary legs (try Cathedral Spires Trail on the Needles Highway).
- California's Big Sur Coast - Start with a visit to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, where you'll learn more about the sea life that live just below the vertigo-inducing cliffs you're about to drive along, then end with a visit to the fabulous Hearst Castle at San Simeon.
- Overseas Highway, Florida - From Key Largo, near Miami, a series of bridges and causeways means you're driving over beautiful blue waters for more than a hundred miles, until the end of the road in Key West, the southernmost point in the continental U.S.
- Blue Ridge Parkway - From Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky National Park in North Carolina, every twist in the road reveals stunning mountain and valley vistas. Charming inns and great restaurants dotting its 470 miles make it worthwhile to take your time.
- Texas Hill Country - From Austin, south to San Antonio then west to Junction, the Hill Country is chock full of colorful Texas towns. Don't miss authentic German food (and beer!) in Fredericksburg, country music in Gruene, and any number of rivers to inner-tube down when it comes time to cool your heels.
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