Croatia, Ireland Among Most Popular Vacation Destinations for Clevelanders This Summer

click to enlarge Many Clevelanders are travelling to Croatia this year. - WILLIAM JOHN GAUTHIER/FLICKR
William John Gauthier/flickr
Many Clevelanders are travelling to Croatia this year.
With summer officially kicking off Friday, we at Scene wanted to know where Clevelanders are most likely to vacation when they choose to hit the road.

As Lisa Fuard, the owner of Cleveland's Kaufman Travel, tells Scene, the determining factors in summer travel are affordability and how much time vacationers have available — essentially, the old time vs. money debate.

Last year, Iceland was the most popular place to be (along with the never-not-popular Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island and Disney World), but this year we're heading to some surprising locales in large numbers.

With some destinations abroad and others just across the U.S., local travel agents tell Scene the details of the gorgeous places Clevelanders have picked out:

Right across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, Croatia has been one of the most popular travel spots this year, says Sherri Gouddou, the sales manager at Kollander World Travel in Euclid. Croatia is "gorgeous" and "attractive to begin with," filled with historical architecture and many citizens speak English, Gouddou explains. Plus, Croatia is similar to Italy, yet is more affordable and easier to get around since it's smaller. (For Game of Thrones fans, Croatia's seaside town of Dubrovnik doubles as King's Landing in the show.)

Many things draw people to Italy, such as the food, beauty, history and overall culture, Kaufman Travel's Fuard says. Upon stepping back in Ohio, people tell her they want to go back, she says. The country was also one of the top destinations for patrons of Kollander World Travel.

France and Greece
Paris, France is a popular destination this year, which is pretty common, Fuard says. However, this year people are also heading over to Normandy in large numbers, in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Clevelanders are also visiting Greece frequently, mainly on its islands in the Aegean Sea (it's important to get those great Instagram photos, obviously).

Ireland: Game of Thrones Style
HBO's Game of Thrones may be over, but fans of the TV show can still experience Westeros in a new way. Traveling to various film locales is apparently a big draw for Clevelanders this summer, says Vanessa Rodriguez, the business development manager of The Travel Connection in Aurora, and GOT tours in Ireland have never been more popular. 

National Parks
Other Clevelanders are opting to stick with domestic trips, and they're exploring more than the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Parks like Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Yosemite National Park in California are gathering many adventurous Clevelanders, Gouddou says. 

River Cruises
River cruising has also become popular within the U.S., with popular tours taking place on the Mississippi River and the Snake River, Rodriguez says. On a river cruise, people can get the same experience as a traditional cruise without needing to worry about having a passport.

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