Sunset Magazine Announces the Winners of the First-Ever “Sunset Travel Awards”; Reveals Top Trends for Summer Travel

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From the best lodging and cultural tourism to world-class outdoor adventure, the Sunset Travel Awards winners comprise the best of West, the fastest growing travel destination in the US. Award winners reflect some of the hottest trends in travel.

Sunset Travel Awards

The West is the fastest-growing regional travel destination in the U.S. with 40 million American travelers visiting in 2014 alone. We designed the Sunset Travel Awards to ensure visitors could find the best that our remarkable region has to offer.

Sunset, the premier guide to living in the West, today announced the winners of the first-ever Sunset Travel Awards, honoring the West’s top destinations in lodging, dining, cultural tourism, outdoor adventure, environmental stewardship and more. A full list of winners can be found online at and in the June issue of Sunset magazine.

“The West is the fastest-growing regional travel destination in the U.S. with 40 million American travelers visiting in 2014 alone,” said Peggy Northrop, Sunset Editor-in-Chief. “We designed the Sunset Travel Awards to ensure all those visitors could find the best that our remarkable region has to offer.”

As the summer travel season begins, the Sunset Travel Awards will guide travelers to the best Western destinations to match their tastes, budgets and interests. From sun worshippers to adrenaline junkies, family road trippers to food and wine lovers, travelers of all stripes will find inspiration among the list of 30 winners in 28 different categories. Summer travel-essential categories include:

  • Best Beach Town
  • Best Adventure Town
  • Best Guided Outdoor Trip
  • Best Large and Small Hotel/Resort for Families
  • Best Luxury Camping
  • Best Hotel Pool
  • Best Hotel for Pets
  • Best Vineyard/Brewery Experience
  • Best Tasting Room

Top Summer Travel Trends*

Winning selections of the Sunset Travel Awards also reflect some of the biggest trends in the way Americans are traveling today, such as:

1. West is the Best: More U.S. travelers are choosing the West over other regions
-40 million U.S. adults visited the West in 2014 (+18% year-over-year), while travel to other regions remained flat or even decreased.

  • Travel to the Midwest (-3%)
  • Travel to the Northeast (flat)
  • Travel to the South (flat)

2. Travelers can’t stop multitasking—even on vacation. Western vacation destinations need to have multiple winning features to satisfy travelers’ desire to stay busy and have it all.

-61 percent of U.S. adults who travel to the West frequently choose active vacations with lots to do.

  • 40 percent participate in outdoor sports/recreation while on their domestic vacations.
  • They are 115 percent more likely than the average U.S. adult to go shopping while on domestic vacations.
  • 136 percent more likely to dine at fine restaurants while on domestic vacations.
  • 223 percent more likely to visit a health spa or retreat while on domestic vacations.

3. Introducing the “snack-cation”: Travelers are taking shorter, more frequent vacations.

  • 48 percent say they’d rather take a few weekend vacations than one long one.
  • Western travelers are 158 percent more likely to take 9+ domestic trips per year and they are twice as likely to spend 1-4 nights away.

*Source: 2014 MRI Doublebase

Stay up-to-date on the latest travel trends in the West by liking Sunset on Facebook (, and following @SunsetMag on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest #sunsettravelawards. For the complete set of contest rules visit for more details.

About Sunset
Sunset ( is the leading lifestyle brand in the West. Through magazines and books, events and experiences, and digital and social media, Sunset covers the West's best flavors, destinations, design trends, and innovations. Sunset engages and inspires an audience of over six million educated, active and affluent consumers every month through its five regional print editions—Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Southwest and Mountain—as well as via all tablet devices and its website. In addition to its print and digital publication, Sunset showcases the region’s unique lifestyle and noteworthy destinations through its flagship events, established home programs, licensing partners, books and International Wine Competition. Sunset is produced by Time Inc., one of the largest media companies in the world.


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