Top 10 most popular U.S. destinations for 2011

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The year 2011 is here. In less than a month after travelers returned from Christmas and New Year vacations, a new popular destinations' list is put out. Travel advisors at Virtuoso, a leading luxury travel network in the Americas, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, have voted for 10 most popular destinations in the United States for 2011 in Virtuoso Luxe Report. Do check these out before heading for your next holiday this year:

1. Maui, Hawaii

A prominent part of the Hawaiian archipelago, Maui tops the choice of leisure travelers in United States with 60.08 percent having opted for the island. Maui Island has also had recognition of “Best Island in the World”. The island in the Hawaii state of US offers leisure and adventure travel experiences with whale watching, active volcanoes, snorkeling, water skiing, golf courses, cruises and more attractions aboard. West and South Maui are supposedly the best tourism spots with west embracing shopping places, finest restaurants and resorts while south wooing with its miles of sandy beaches and underwater funs. Maui’s major airport is Kahului Airport that connects to the major islands.

2. New York City, New York

New York’s presence in the top ten list and that too on second slot with 56.38 percent of the votes is very much inevitable. In 2010, the New York City attracted almost 49-million tourists, about 7 percent up from 45.5 million the previous year. According to city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg, last year’s figure firmly places the city on a pace to draw 50 million visitors in 2011. Some special attractions this year are bound to draw tourists to New York. The Statue of Liberty's 125's birthday and the inauguration of the National September 11 Memorial devoted to 9/11 tragedy will keep New York in tourism spotlight in 2011.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

The popularity of the Vegas as a major city in the world for gambling, casinos and night life is not unknown and the Virtuoso luxury travel experts ranks this Nevada’s city third with 42.8 percent of votes. The Las Vegas Strip, a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, housing some of world’s major casinos, largest hotels, restaurants and the like will continue to brace the city as one of the most popular tourist destinations in US.

4. Napa Valley, California

With 37.45 percent of votes, Napa Valley in California noted for viticulture, would be one of the most visited places in United States this year. The Valley has numerous wineries that attract as over five million people every year.

5. Orlando, Florida

The city of the Disney World, Orlando will continue grabbing world’s attention with announcements about revamping of Fantasyland and opening of a new Disney Resort that is expected to keep travelers excited about the place, and so the city gets 31.69 percent of votes in Virtuoso Luxe Report.

6. San Francisco, California

Golden Gate, China Town and cable cars gave fame to San Francisco as much as the city’s architecture, museums, and art and entertainment culture wooed tourists. The city is also a popular spot for gay tourism and scores about 30 percent of votes among top ten destinations in US for 2011.

7. Colorado Mountains

About 25 percent of the votes favor Colorado Mountains for skiing and snow funs during winter holidays of 2011. The Southwest region of Colorado, which has predominant presence of mountains in the United States, is blessed to receive early season snowfall every year, attracting skiers and snowboarders. The region that boasts of Rocky Mountains as well, abounds in ski resorts including Monarch Mountain Resort, Durango Mountain Resort to name a few. Ranges such as Echo Mountain near the city of Denver are the most sought after areas for cheap skiing and snowboard activities in Colorado. Steamboat Springs, an internationally known town for winter resort holidays, happens to be the spot for so many skiing competitions and hence, calls for a visit for all snow fanatics.

8. Big Island, Hawaii

The largest island in United States, Big Island is also called the Island of Hawaii and is a volcanic island attracting tourists to its magnificent aura. The island with its active volcanoes that sometimes offers views of lava being poured out into the sea draws enthusiasts, scientists, students, geologists and the like. The interest in visiting this vibrant island is expected to grow this year with nearly 24 percent of the votes of travel agencies in US favoring it in 2011.

9. Miami South Beach, Florida

South Beach is a section of the beach city on Atlantic coast in Florida, Miami. Nightclubs, hotels, restaurants and the like keep tourists hooked to the place. Miami itself attracts over 12 million tourists every year, according to tourism figures of the city, of which most are expected to visit the South Beach area as well. Leisure travel agencies favor the spot with about 24 percent of votes.

10. Kauai, Hawaii

Ranked last in top ten most popular US destinations for 2011, Kauai is yet another but geologically the oldest island in Hawaii that has ample to draw visitors in the name of movie tourism. The island has been featured in over seventy Hollywood films and is gaining popularity for its landscapes, valleys, beaches and many picturesque locations. For 2011, the island scores over many other prominent islands in Hawaii with about 18 percent of the votes.

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