By Paul Tooher
Chicagoland ranks as one of the best travel destinations in America, according to a new survey released by TripAdvisor.
Using a formula that measures the quantity and quality of hotel, attraction and restaurant reviews for each city in the nation over the past 12 months, Chicago moved up a spot from 2013 to rank second behind New York City among the top 25 cities in the United States to visit in 2014. Chicagoland ranked 18th among the best travel destinations worldwide.
According to TripAdvisor, “The Windy City is a cornucopia of modern art, fine dining, cutting edge comedy, and die-hard sports fans. Snap a photo of your reflection in the silver Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park before heading to Grant Park to get hit with the refreshing spray of Buckingham Fountain. There are dozens of museums and theater companies in Chicago, so a cultural experience is never hard to find. You’re sure to laugh your head off at the Second City Theater, the professional launch pad of many famous comedians.”
The travel company, which publishes a list each year of the top travel destinations worldwide, ranked Istanbul, Turkey, as the top city in the world for 2014.
San Francisco, which ranked second in the 2013 rating, dropped to third, with Las Vegas holding down fourth place and New Orleans finishing fifth.
Other U.S. cities rounding out the top 25 list included Los Angeles; San Diego; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Fla.; Houston; Honolulu; Charleston, S.C.; Boston; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio; Palm Springs, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Branson, Mo.; Atlanta; Phoenix; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; St. Louis; Nashville, Tenn.; and Miami.
And Chicagoland could soon be attracting more visitors. In April, the U.S. Travel Association held its annual meeting in the Windy City, attracting nearly 1,400 international and domestic travel buyers.