Top 5 Emerging Student Travel Destinations in 2023

Aug 15, 2023

For destinations that are on the rise, making names for themselves as top student travel havens, check out this list of emerging cities chosen by SYTA member tour operators.

ALABAMA  |  The Yellowhammer State, the Cotton State, the Heart of Dixie — whatever you like to call it, Alabama is a gorgeous place bordered by four other states and an ocean. Add centuries of history and the Civil Rights Trail on top of that and you have the perfect student travel destination. Students can visit a famous space center with interactive exhibits, enjoy sea life at a renowned aquarium, and learn about civil rights at museums and memorials around the state.

BRANSON  |  Located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, Branson, Missouri is filled with live entertainment, the world’s top theme parks, three pristine lakes for swimming and boating, and miles of hiking trails. Best known for live music shows, Branson boasts dozens of theaters featuring American music genres, such as rock ‘n’ roll, magic, comedy, country, gospel and bluegrass. It’s a bursting hub of live entertainment and fun education.

CLEVELAND  |  Cleveland rocks—it’s true! Students could explore the power and science behind rock music as they admire priceless memorabilia, before taking a trolley tour that covers more than 20 miles. Theaters where famous actors got their start offer elevated exposure to the professional arts. You could even learn about Tatoo! (Not that tattoo.) Travel back in time with museums featuring everything from diamonds to dinosaurs. Some serious rollercoaster and other ride fun happens nearby.

NEW ORLEANS  |  New Orleans teems with rich culture, one-of-a-kind stories and celebrations coveted worldwide. Students are afforded the opportunity to learn about the French Quarter on foot, the beauty of the natural world on dry land and underwater, and in-depth World War II history. Whether you’re seeking exposure to world-class jazz and musical heritage or a chance to perform alongside some of the world’s most renowned musical artists, students are sure to leave feeling inspired.

PHILADELPHIA  |  Home to the most historic square mile in the country, Philadelphia allows students to see where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were drafted and signed, among other notable occurrences. The City of Brotherly Love isn’t short on fun, either. The performing arts and hands-on learning are brought to life at various venues including a museum that encourages them to touch everything. Students will throw their hands up in victory, just like a famous fictional boxer native to Philly.