Top Searched Hobby Trip by State

What are the most popular trips in the U.S.? We set out to find the answer.

Using Google Trends, we narrowed down the most Googled travel-related searches by state.* We found people weren’t just searching for trips, but trips based around a specific activity.

With this knowledge, we determined the most popular types of vacations based on the state in which they were Googled. We compared search volumes for the following hobby trips in each state:

  • fishing trip
  • golf trip
  • backpacking trip
  • kayak trip
  • ski trip

Ski trips in Texas? Who knew? Kayak trips in Georgia? Wonder why!

We dove into 15 states with some of the more surprising and interesting searches. We then dug around to find out how you, too, can experience the activities in these states. The following 35 cities are displayed in alphabetical order.

Note: States with no data did not generate high enough volumes to produce comparisons.


1. Arizona

Top search: kayak trip – 35%

During an Arizona summer, the average temperature in Phoenix is 104 to107 degrees F. When the mercury rises, it’s no wonder people want to be in the water!

As everyone’s flocking to the nearest body of water, kayaking in Arizona becomes the highest search term of the above activities. Give the Colorado River a whirl. Or Float along Lake Powell to Antelope Canyon, Labyrinth Canyon, and Lone Rock Canyon. If you have Class-4 whitewater experience, head to the Colorado River and float through the magnificent Grand Canyon.

Check out other things to do at the Grand Canyon.


2. California

Top search: backpacking trip – 27%, kayak trip – 26%

hiking in the redwoods and kayaking off the california coast

Via <https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/redwood-forest-californiausa-december-3-2017-1184213380 ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Ryan Kelehar/Shutterstock and SunflowerMomma/Shutterstock

California is the land of, well, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, and even skiing! Though the state has all of the above and more, people are most interested in backpacking and kayaking in California. These two search terms were almost tied in the Golden State.

With all the scenic hiking trails, from the desert to the sea, you’ll find your fair share of backpacking trips. The ancient giants in the Redwood National Park are a must see, while the beach paths on the Lost Coast Trail are magical. You’ll find many senior-friendly and accessible trails throughout the state. Looking to get your feet wet? Kayak around caves off the coast of La Jolla or float along June Lake for epic mountain views.

Find out more about kayaking in La Jolla.


3. Florida

Top search: ski trip – 31%

Skiing was the most searched activity, but for this state, the intention may be two-fold. Snow skiing and water skiing. Though the state doesn’t have any slopes, that doesn’t stop people from snow skiing trips. According to a 2017 SnowSports Industries America and the Physical Activity Council study, a good portion of the nation’s downhill skiers hail from Florida. Alternatively, Florida is the land of water skiers, too.

Winter Haven Chain of Lakes is a major water ski destination and home to several popular water ski schools. Lake George is another prime place for water skiing in Florida. Prefer to ski powder? The closest ski resorts to Florida (by car) are both in North Carolina. Find your own winter wonderland at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort and Appalachian Ski Mountain.


4. Georgia

Top search: kayak trip – 28%

With so many lakes and rivers to choose from, it’s no surprise kayaking in Georgia received the most Google searches. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, there are plenty of water trails for seniors to explore.

For a wildlife adventure, paddle along the Altamaha River. As the second-largest watershed in the eastern U.S., it’s home to many endangered species. Don’t forget your binoculars! Or launch into Okefenokee Swamp, the largest blackwater swamp in North America. But if you’re looking for a challenge, consider the Chattahoochee River, which tends to be Classes II to IV.


5. Colorado

Top search: backpacking trip – 29%

Colorado has some of the best ski resorts in the country, but people in the state are more interested in the hiking. And with so many scenic trails, who could blame them?

Maroon Bells belongs among the best backpacking trips in Colorado. For a grand adventure, hike the 4 Pass Loop, which is just over 26 miles. The majestic views of Maroon Lake are well worth the multi-day hike. For a shorter adventure, venture to the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. The East Portal Trailhead in the James Peak Wilderness is another prime beginner’s hike.

Learn more about vacations to Rocky Mountain National Park.


6. Illinois

Top search: kayak trip – 23% and ski trip – 23%

When it comes to adventure vacations in Illinois, kayak and ski trips tied for the top place. Thanks to warm summers and chilly winters, locals and travelers can experience the best of both worlds.

Cool off this summer with a paddle down Kishwaukee River, also known as The Kish. Look out for herons and river otters! For more kayaking in Illinois, head toward the Middle Fork of Vermilion River. It’s a designated National Wild and Scenic River. Prefer to count down the days until the first snow? The skiing in Illinois brings endless opportunities, as the state has several resorts. Chestnut Mountain Resort features 19 trails, while Snowstar has 14 of its own.


7. Connecticut

Top search: golf trip – 35%

Did you know Connecticut hosted the nation’s first women-only golf tournament in 1917? This state has a long history with the sport, and it’s still on the forefront of everyone’s minds. In Connecticut, people are searching for golf trip vacations above all others. Fortunately, they don’t have to venture far; there are tons of amazing golf resorts in Connecticut.

Tee off at Connecticut Golf Course. And swing at Lake of Isles, which is often rated as one of the best courses in New England. The resort has two courses that overlook a 90-acre lake. Or bring your clubs to The Golf Club at Oxford Greens, near the Naugatuck State Forest. If your grandkids are in tow, consider putting a round at the Swiss-themed Matterhorn Mini Golf course in Canton.


8. Texas

Top search: ski trip – 36%

Texas may not have slopes of its own, but that doesn’t stop Texans from searching for fresh powder. Like Florida, Texas has one of the highest numbers of downhill skiers, when compared to the rest of the nation. This according to a 2017 SnowSports Industries America and the Physical Activity Council study.

By car, the closest ski resorts are in neighboring New Mexico. Just west of Texas, this state is home to nine ski resorts, such as Red River, Sipapu, and Angel Fire Resort. If you don’t mind hopping on an early flight, you could be on the slopes in Utah by midday. Fly into Salt Lake City, and you’ll find ten ski resorts within an hour’s drive of the airport. Pick your poison, from Snowbird and Alta to Park City Mountain and Deer Valley.


9. Oregon

Top search: backpacking trip – 41%

Ski slopes, kayaking waterways, fishing holes, and backpacking trails? Yes, Oregon has it all. But when we compare their search volumes, backpacking trips take the cake in this state. And with amazing trails through the Cascade Range and the Oregon Coast, we can’t say we’re surprised.

For your next backpacking trip, set your sights on Green Lakes. Set in Central Oregon, this 11-mile trail has rushing creeks, wildflowers, and the three Green Lakes. Prefer a seaside setting? Take on a portion of the Oregon Coast. It runs from Fort Stevens State Park to Crissey Field State Recreation Site. Better yet, head to Klamath Falls trails, an area known for fantastic birdwatching. If you plan on visiting several parks, consider purchasing an annual parks pass. Seniors receive discounted rates!


10. North Carolina

Top search: golf trip – 26%

Move over, South Carolina! The neighboring state often gets all the golf attention, but it’s North Carolinians who are searching for golf trips above all. With more than 400 public and semi-private golf courses, this state knows a thing or two about the greens.

Even Arnold Palmer practiced on courses in NC, so you’re in good hands. Take a swing on Pinehurst No.2, which calls itself Home of American Golf. Or book a tee time at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines. Many of the golf courses offer special senior discounts, too. Between Tobacco Road Golf Course and Linville Golf Club, you’ll lower your golf score in no time!

Take a look at North Carolina hotels near golf courses.


11. Ohio

Top search: backpacking trip – 23% and golf trip – 22%

When it comes to activity trips in Ohio, the searches around backpacking and golfing vacations are neck and neck! Because the search interest was so similar, why not combine your adventures trips? Backpacking with a side of golfing sounds like the ultimate getaway.

Explore the trails at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is the state’s only national park. Trot along the trail to Brandywine Falls, and then hit the greens in time for tee time. Sleepy Hollow Golf Course is right next door. Another option: hike through Shawnee State Forest (the state’s largest forest!) and then play a round at the Shawnee State Park Golf Course.


12. Iowa

Top search: fishing trip – 57%

Did you know muskellunge are the largest fish in the Iowa Great Lakes? These muskies can swim up to 30 miles per hour! Cast a line and find out for yourself why so many are in search of the best fishing in Iowa.

The best part of Iowa? You can fish any time of the year, as ice fishing is extremely popular in this region. Summer or winter, head to the Iowa Great Lakes, which include several interconnected lakes and waterways. Or invite your grandkids along for a fishing excursion at Prairie Rose Lake in Harlan. This family-friendly lake is great for catching bass, catfish, and bluegill.


13. Indiana

Top search: kayak trip – 36%

Kayaking in Indiana earned a place at the top of the searches in this state. When the temperatures heat up here, the kayak opportunities are endless. Slip into a kayak and get ready to explore nature in the best way possible.

Launch your kayak in Tippecanoe Lake, nicknamed Lake Tippy. Created by glaciers, it’s the deepest lake in the state. Meanwhile, a peaceful float down Flatrock River meanders past sycamore and willow trees. For a more urban adventure, paddle along the Downtown Canal. This loop goes through downtown Indianapolis.


14. Nebraska

Top search: fishing trip – 60%

According to Statistica, fishing is the second most popular outdoor activity in the nation. And when it comes to Nebraska, the people want to fish! The state has roughly 450 streams and lakes open for public fishing. Between fly fishing in the summer and ice fishing in the winter, fishing is a year-round sport in this neck of the woods.

Looking to chase some walleye, wipers, trophy-sized trout? Lure them in at Lake McConaughy. Prefer to hook some white bass and crappies? Head to Sherman Reservoir. Fishing with your grandchildren? Catch bluegill at one of the ponds, like Baright at Mahoney State Park. And if you’re looking for the real prize, test your luck in the Missouri River, where anglers have caught triple-digit catfish!


15. Tennessee

Top search: golf trip – 30%

People in Tennessee have their eyes on the green. And we’re not talking about the Smokey Mountains! In this state, golfing trips were at the top of mind for people Googling hobby vacations.

Whether you’re looking for a golfing staycation or an adventure across the state, there are pristine courses all over Tennessee. Chip and pitch at the Course at Sewanee or play a round at Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory. For one of the most scenic courses you’ll ever play, beeline to Bear Trace at Harrison Bay State Park. Always ask about senior discounts on the greens, too.


16. Alaska

Top search: fishing trip


17. Arkansas

Top search: fishing trip


18. Delaware

Top search: no data


19. Hawaii

Top search: no data


20. Idaho

Top search: fishing trip


21. Kansas

Top search: fishing trip


22. Kentucky

Top search: ski trip


23. Louisiana

Top search: ski trip


24. Maine

Top search: fishing trip


25. Maryland

Top search: ski trip


26. Massachusetts

Top search: ski trip


27. Michigan

Top search: ski trip


28. Minnesota

Top search: fishing trip


29. Mississippi

Top search: ski trip


30. Missouri

Top search: fishing trip


31. Montana

Top search: fishing trip


32. Nevada

Top search: fishing trip


33. New Hampshire

Top search: ski trip


34. New Jersey

Top search: ski trip


35. New Mexico

Top search: ski trip


36. New York

Top search: ski trip


37. Alabama

Top search: ski trip


38. North Dakota

Top search: no data


39. Oklahoma

Top search: fishing trip


40. Pennsylvania

Top search: ski trip


41. Rhode Island

Top search: ski trip


42. South Carolina

Top search: ski trip


43. South Dakota

Top search: no data


44. Utah

Top search: backpacking trip


45. Vermont

Top search: ski trip


46. Virginia

Top search: kayak trip


47. Washington

Top search: backpacking trip


48. West Virginia

Top search: no data


49. Wisconsin

Top search: fishing trip


50. Wyoming

Top search: no data

Using Google Trends, we determined the most Googled hobby travel searches in each state. We narrowed down the search terms to include fishing trip, golf trip, backpacking trip, kayak trip, and ski trip. Using those specific terms, we compared their search volumes by each state. The data covers searches that occurred between July 11, 2018 and July 11, 2019. States with no data did not have high enough search volumes to generate numbers.

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