Big Bear, Palm Springs among top 10 destinations as shelter-in-place lifted, Airbnb says

Big Bear Lake and Palm Springs are two of the top 10 destinations travelers are searching for as they begin to book short-term rentals after sheltering in place restrictions are slowly lifted during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research from Airbnb.

The vacation rental platform says those two cities were among the top 10 trending destinations in the United States, which also include:

  • Miramar Beach, FL
  • Panama City Beach, FL
  • Smoky Mountains
  • Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Destin, FL
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Branson, MO
  • Port Aransas, TX 

Idyllwild and Lake Arrowhead have also seen strong growth in bookings, Airbnb said

The city of Palm Springs on June 8 hung a banner along Palm Canyon Drive to remind people that face masks are required after receiving complaints that many people were not following the new rule. 

It’s little surprise that inland Southern California destinations are top-of-mind for travelers in a moment when travel is peaking after about three months of a shelter-in-place order.

A survey commissioned by Airbnb found that nearly half of respondents said they want to stay within a day’s drive for their first trip after lockdown — indicating that people in populus coastal areas will be driving to find an easy, safe getaway.

“Since the pandemic began, the percentage of bookings made on Airbnb within 200 miles, a roundtrip travelers can generally complete on one tank of gas, has grown from one-third in February to over half in May,” Airbnb said in a statement.

The state has said hotels can open for leisure travelers no earlier than Friday at the discretion of local county health officials. In Riverside County, local officials already gave the go-ahead for vacation rental properties to open around Memorial Day weekend, following in the footsteps of San Bernardino County in mid-May.


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