Bookmark this seriously up-and-coming vacation spot you’ve probably never heard of


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Photo: Stocksy/Brandon Alms

Okay, not to ruffle any geographic feathers, but Ohio isn’t exactly a common hot spot at the top of travel bucket lists. With the warm, sandy beaches of Florida, the mesmerizing cactus-lined hiking trails in Arizona, and the insanely-impressive food scene in Austin, there are certainly other destinations on your radar. But it might be time to re-examine your wanderlusting priorities; that midwestern state just so happens to be home to one of the most up-and-coming spots in the country.

HomeAway‘s 2019 Trend Report looked at data from its domestic and international demand over the last year and found Hocking Hills, Ohio, is the fastest-growing destination. The growth of the area—which is nicknamed Southeastern Ohio’s “Scenic Wonderland,” BTW—has completely sky-rocketed, increasing more than 130 percent in the past 12 months, according to the vacation rental marketplace—which has more than two million places in 190 countries. And in the past three years, there was a 375 percent increase. Basically, if you want to visit, you better book a space to stay—stat.

It really only takes one look at a photo of the area to understand what all the fuss is about. The destination—which is about an hour from Columbus—is home to a state park of the same name that’s all sorts of stunning. While you’re there, you can experience a true escape staying in cabins and cottages surrounded by greenery, walk through caves, (literally) go chasing waterfalls, canoe or kayak down the river. Basically any and every outdoor experience you can imagine is available—no passport required.

Here’s where the next destination on your bucket list should be. Or, discover the cold-busting travel hack Meghan Markle stole from Leonardo DiCaprio.

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