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TripAdvisor released its list of trending travel destinations on the rise for 2018 for the US and beyond — and our bucket list of must-visit places just got a little bit longer. Every year, the travel company releases this list based off traveler’s reviews and ratings of accommodations, restaurants and attractions and they pair that with increases in searches and booking interest over the course of a year. The result is a mix of under-the-radar destinations which offer something for travelers of all interests and budgets as well. Below are TripAdvisor’s destinations on the rise in the United States.

1. Kapaa, Hawaii

This Hawaiian city tops TripAdvisor’s list of trending destinations in the US and the world so you know it’s a true gem. Kapaa is on the island of Kauai, nestled at the base of the Sleeping Giant Mountain, Nounou. Kapaa is very tourist-friendly and has a ton of hotels and restaurants for visitors to choose from. The pristine beaches have plenty activities to offer visitors of the island from snorkeling and kayaking to waterskiing.

2. Waco, Texas

Waco is located in central Texas and is home to a variety of museums, one most notably for its hometown hero, Dr. Pepper. It also has a fossil site — turned into a National Monument — with the bones of the Columbian Mammoth. Visitors should also explore the Brazos River and check out the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

Suspension Bridge, Waco, Texas

3. Wilmington, North Carolina

When traveling to Wilmington, you’ll want to make the most of the great outdoors. Check out the riverwalk along the Cape Fear River and stop in some of the city’s charming shops, cafés and nightlife options. There are plenty of waterfront hotels and parks located on the river too, and a stop at the Port City Marina is a must. If you’re lucky, your trip will coincide with one of the many festivals that take place here, like the Wilmington Beer Week or the world-famous North Carolina Azalea Festival.

"The Bellamy Mansion, located in historic downtown Wilmington, North Carolina"

4. Bend, Oregon

Bend is for all the adventure-lovers out there. Located on the Deschutes River, tourists can hike, fish and bike here and even ski at Mt. Bachelor. There are a ton of famous breweries and restaurants to visit after working up an appetite on the trails or slopes, and Bend is also a great family vacation spot, with many no-fee museums and ski areas for children under 12.

City of Bend, Oregon With Scenic Mountains in Distance

5. Boulder, Colorado

With over 30,000 acres of unspoiled land, 200 miles of trails and walking/biking paths that run along the river and through the city center, Boulder is a must-do for adventurers. For those feeling up to it, Boulder is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains so skiing and snowshoeing are obvious highlights of this Western city.

Boulder, Colorado flatirons with blooming Yucca plants in the foreground

6. Paso Robles, California

Paso Robles (or “Pass of the Oaks”) is located in Central California, close to mountains, beaches and deserts. It also has thermal hot springs, said to have healing powers and is home to more than 170 wineries, 26,000 acres of vineyards and 40 varietals of wine. Indeed, Paso Robles is the wine-lover destination you didn’t know you needed to visit.

Vineyards in Paso Robles Central California under springtime cloudy cumulus skies

7. Richmond, Virginia

Walk down the cobblestone streets and riverwalks of Richmond and soak up history: It’s one of the country’s original colonial settlements and is now Virginia’s capital. The city is lined with dozens of monuments and offers a brief education on the significant people that have called Richmond home throughout history. It’s not only for the history buffs, visitors can also whitewater down the James River and hike along the river or up in the hills.

Richmond, Virginia, USA downtown skyline.

8. Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville has a thriving art scene which, paired with hundreds of restaurants, shops and boutiques, makes it an up-and-comer. With plenty of annual festivals and a number of historic sites and museums, this city based at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains has scenery that’s hard to beat. Be sure to check out Greenville’s “floating” suspension bridge when exploring the city.

Falls Park in Greenville, South Carolina, USA

9. Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha is where small town and big city intersect, and down-home meets urban chic in this city with a plethora of local breweries and a thriving art and music scene. History buffs shouldn’t feel left out here, there’s the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and a museum where tourists can learn about Omaha’s pioneer history.

Downtown Omaha skyline with the Heartland of America Park, including a large fountain, in the foreground.

10. Lexington, Kentucky

The epicenter of bluegrass and the horse capital of the world, you don’t have to be a thoroughbred fan to enjoy Lexington. With an abundance of hiking trails that wind through forests, meadows and creeks — not to mention the numerous historic landmarks within the city limits — travelers should be sure to include Henry Clay’s former residence at the Ashland estate when visiting.

Photo of colorful old facades, pubs and businesses in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

These are TripAdvisor’s 2018 trending destinations across the world:

1. Ishigaki, Japan

2. Kapaa, Hawaii

3. Nairobi, Kenya

4. Halifax, Canada

5. Gdansk, Poland

6. San Jose, Costa Rica

7. Riga, Latvia

8. Rovinj, Croatia

9. Nerja, Spain

10. Casablanca, Morocco

All images courtesy of TripAdvisor. 

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