They’re coming, Key West and Miami Beach.
The tourists, that is. They’re eyeballing us and making their reservations and all too soon will be clogging highways, restaurants and beaches. We know it’s good for business after a tough year, but we’re already weary.
TripAdvisor has just released its Top 10 Most Popular Winter Destinations for Americans list, and Key West and Miami Beach are among the top five highest trending destinations. No surprise here: Tripadvisor reported tourists wanted to come here in the summer, too. What crazy person wants to be here during the heart of hurricane season? We don’t even want to be here.
Tripadvisor also recently praised these restaurants in Key West and Miami Beach on its 2021 Travelers’ Choice Restaurants Awards. The hospitality industry loves you, but you’re not helping us locals stay sane, Tripadvisor.
Winter is, of course, the perfect time to travel to Florida weatherwise, and this winter is happening after a year and a half of pandemic restrictions. Tripadvisor reports that Americans are booking trips now for winter 2021, with more than half (55 percent) saying they’re traveling this winter. Most (94 percent) say they’re staying in the United States.
Key West comes in at No. 4 on the Most Popular list, which is not exactly a shock. My God, there’s an oceanfront Margaritaville Beach House open there now — blame Jimmy Buffett. Key West even has one of the top 10 most-booked experiences in the country, Tripadvisor reports: the Key West Sunset Sail with Full Bar, Live Music & Hors D’oeuvres. A “full bar” is exactly what locals are going to require until June, and maybe even after that.
Miami Beach came in right behind Key West at No. 5. Apparently no visitors are too worried about the shootings and rowdy crowds and crime that propelled Miami Beach residents to approve a 2 a.m. last-call for alcohol referendum earlier this month.
The top destination for winter travelers is New York City, back at the top for the first time since the pandemic. New York is followed by Orlando, because who doesn’t want to jam themselves and their offspring into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and fight for a butter beer with several thousand other fans, many of them short and waving wands around?
Las Vegas ranked No. 3 on the list. The rest of the top 10 most popular winter destinations are Nashville; Chicago; Anaheim; Los Angeles; and Savannah.