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Priceline.com recently released its annual survey of the 50 most popular destinations for the upcoming Independence Day weekend in the United States, and one of the biggest surprises may be that many of the top spots aren't in the U.S.  They're in Canada!

One-fourth of the top 20 destinations this year are across the border.  This follows the general trend of vacationers heading north for the holiday weekend.  Of the top 50, just five of the destinations are located in the American south.

Commenting on the survey, priceline.com's in-house Travel Ekspert Brian Ek said, With record high temperatures in various parts of the country, many Americans appear to be headed for hopefully cooler northern destinations over the July 4th long weekend.  This is similar to the trend we saw last year except, in 2010, it was the BP oil spill that was affecting tourism in southern beach destinations.  It's also worth noting the strong recovery of New Orleans.  For July 4th, 2010, the city was #26 on Priceline's list.  This year, it's the #2 most-popular destination for the long weekend.  

Priceline's annual Top 50 Destinations list is based on hotel room booking requests made by customers using priceline.com's Name Your Own Price® hotel reservation service.  Because the survey is based on thousands of credit card-backed booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, priceline.com believes the annual survey is one of the more accurate predictors of July 4th travel trends.  

Here's a look at the top 50 destinations for July 4th 2011:

#1  Chicago, North Michigan Avenue and River North Area

#2  New Orleans, French Quarter

#3  Montreal, Downtown/City Center

#4  Ottawa

#5  New York City, Midtown West

#6  St. Catharines, Niagara Falls

#7  Seattle, Downtown/Pike Place

#8  Las Vegas, Strip North Area

#9  Pittsburgh, Downtown

#10  San Diego, Downtown & Harbor Island

#11  Chicago, Millennium Park, Loop & Grant Park Area

#12  San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf

#13  Toronto, North Downtown

#14  Portland, Downtown

#15  New York City, Times Square/Theater District

#16  Buffalo, Niagara Falls

#17  Harrisburg

#18  Toronto, South Downtown

#19  Nashville, Downtown/Vanderbilt/Metro Center

#20  New York City, Upper East Side

#21  Milwaukee, Downtown

#22  Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South

#23  St. Louis, Downtown

#24  Seattle, Seattle Center/Space Needle

#25  London, Westminster

#26  New York City, Downtown/Soho/Financial District

#27  Anchorage

#28  Montreal, Convention Center/Old Montreal

#29  Boston, Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall/ Financial District

#30  Buffalo, Airport Area

#31  Harrisburg, Harrisburg/York

#32  Charleston, Downtown

#33  Oahu, Waikiki Beach Area

#34  Seattle, Airport Area

#35  Vancouver, Downtown

#36  Atlantic City, Atlantic City/Cape May

#37  Washington, DC, Convention Center/Capitol Hill Area

#38  San Francisco, Union Square East

#39  New Orleans, Downtown Area

#40  Orange County, Newport/Huntington Beach

#41  Austin, Downtown

#42  New York City, Midtown East

#43  Banff

#44  Victoria

#45  Chicago, Greater Chicago Area

#46  Los Angeles, Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey

#47  Vancouver, Airport Area

#48  London, Hammersmith

#49  London, Mayfair/Soho

#50  Cincinnati, Downtown