After a year in which vacations were few or far between, what better way to ease back into traveling than by choosing a town where you’re sure to receive a warm welcome? As travelers begin to plan their spring and summer getaways, Expedia.com® is helping narrow down the possibilities by ranking the friendliest towns and cities for 2021.
Did a local provide an outstanding dinner recommendation? Were you greeted with smiles and hellos (or at least smiling eyes over a mask)? Was there just overall feel-good energy? These might be some of the random acts of friendliness that earned these towns the highest mentions of “friendly, friendliest, amiable,” and other word associations and related linguistic connections based on Expedia.com traveler reviews from January 2019 to December 2020.
20 of the Top Friendliest Cities in the U.S. (plus, what to do) according to Expedia users include:
- Whitefish, Montana A gateway to Glacier National Park, outdoor enthusiasts will love the outdoorsy delights this Montana town offers
- Sister Bay, Wisconsin This charming small town is fit for boaters and fisherman alike
- Manitou Springs, Colorado Art lovers will enjoy the galleries, restaurants and boutiques in Manitou Springs, and can even spring for a hot air balloon ride
- Easton, Maryland Relax at a quaint, small-town Inn
- Lihue, Hawaii Nothing beats a picturesque town amid sweeping, green valleys, with excellent views of the Pacific Ocean
- Sierra Vista, Arizona A sunny escape, this southeastern Arizona city is considered the Hummingbird Capital of the U.S.
- Kennebunkport, Maine It’s that coastal town beach escape you’ve always dreamed of
- Chincoteague, Virginia Book your island getaway to explore beaches and see wild Chincoteague ponies
- Ogunquit, Maine Explore Maine’s southern coast, rife with sandy beaches and grassy dunes
- Provincetown, Massachusetts Ease your mind in a boutique hotel located on the Northern tip of Cape Cod
- Carolina Beach, North Carolina Hit the waves and charter a private sailboat or wildlife watching cruise
- Kahului, Hawaii Waterfall and rainforest tours await
- Alamogordo, New Mexico The closest base for visiting White Sands National Park
- Manhattan, New York Eat, drink and take on the Big Apple
- Kapaʻa, Hawaii For the adventure seeker ready for off-road adventures and sweeping views
- Bar Harbor, Maine Adventure in Acadia National Park
- Grants Pass, Oregon Shop a local, vintage boutique or visit the wineries and vineyards in this Pacific Northwest town
- Deadwood, South Dakota Calling all history buffs! Visit this town to for its scenic surroundings and discover why it’s been named a National Historic Landmark
- Hilo, Hawaii Explore the Big Island with sunsets and stargazing, cultural tours or helicopter rides
- Aspen, Colorado Get an “altitude” adjustment with ski and snowboard rental packages, snowshoeing and more
In addition to promising the friendliest experience, these outdoorsy, beachy and small-town destinations are right in line with Expedia’s spring and summer 2021 travel trends as travelers look for socially distanced options and domestic beach escapes. For more on this trend which began during 2020, check out the Expedia 2021 Trends Report.
Plus – now’s a great time to book and save 20% on select hotels with the Expedia Spring Sale happening now through March 31.
Tips for travelers:
- Check restrictions including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements for both local and national destinations before you go.
- Review safety measures on Expedia.com by using the “Enhanced Cleaning” filter to narrow search results including improved cleaning, contactless check-in, social distancing and more.
- Choose flexibility by filtering for “free cancellation” or “reserve now, pay later” and making sure to select a refundable room type.
Notes to Editor:
Traveler wellbeing is our priority. Expedia understands how the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect travelers everywhere, as well as the importance of abiding by government restrictions and practicing social distancing. Travelers can visit the Expedia COVID-19 travel resource page for information to make informed travel decisions.
*Friendliest Cities list based on cities and towns with the highest percentage of positive traveler reviews mentioning words like “friendly, friendliest, amiable” from January 2019 – December 2020.
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