Airbnb reveals the most trending U.S. city for 2020 – and it’s surprising

Based on booking data, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the most trending U.S. city for 2020 on Airbnb. 

Airbnb unveiled the top cities in the world to book for 2020 after forecasting growing interest in “lesser known and eco-conscious destinations across the world.” Known for breweries and baseball, Milwaukee came in at No 1 on the list that included the top 20 destinations.

Eugene, Oregon was the second most trending U.S. city, placing No. 7 on the list, and Cape Canaveral, Florida, was the third and final U.S. city, placing No. 12 on the list.

Downtown skyline with Buildings along the Milwaukee River, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo: Airbnb

The top 20 places to visit in 2020 was based on internal data for bookings made for 2020 as of September 2019 vs bookings made for 2018 as of September 2018, according to Airbnb.

Here is the full list.

1. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2. Bilbao, Spain

3. Buriram, Thailand

4. Sunbury, Victoria, Australia

5. Romania

6. Xi’an, China

7. Eugene, Oregon

8. Luxembourg

9. Guadalajara, Mexico

10. Vanuatu

11. Cali, Colombia

12. Cape Canaveral, Florida

13. Aberdeen, Scotland

14. Courtenay, BC, Canada

15. Ubatuba, Brazil

16. Les Contamines-Montjoie, France

17. Tokyo, Japan

18. Kerala, India

19. Malindi, Kenya

20. Masstricht, Netherlands

The top factor for many cities on the Top 20 list? Destinations were preparing for big events next year, such as the Democratic National Convention taking place in Milwaukee on July 13 to July 16, 2020. As a result of the event, and thousands of people looking to attend, hotel availability is already at high occupancy, and travelers are even booking properties near the airport. “There are only so many hotels to go around in a given area,” according to Juan Perez Jr of Chicago Tribune. 

While the DNC may be reason alone for catapulting Milwaukee to the top of the list, Airbnb declared their research showed the top 20 trending destinations for 2020 were based on year-over-year growth in bookings. In fact, Milwaukee has the highest with a 729% YoY increase.

“This historic gem on the shores of Lake Michigan often slips under the radar but has a terrific bar and restaurant scene and fascinating cultural attractions that include a Calatrava-designed art museum. And with over 105 miles of scenic bike lanes, it’s easy to see why Milwaukee is experiencing an upsurge in interest among guests on Airbnb,” according to Airbnb. 

Airbnb isn’t the only one who thinks Milwaukee slips under the radar. Vogue magazine said the city is the Midwest’s coolest and most underrated city, and Thrillist declares Milwaukee is America’s most misunderstood city. 

The dining scene is also on the rise. Milwaukee has five James Beard nominations in 2018, including popular chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite of DanDan, EsterEv and Fauntleroy.

Have you been to Milwaukee? Let us know your thoughts below. 

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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