The Most Popular Student Performance Travel Destinations – 2016 Edition
As the school year comes to a close, we highlight the destinations that were most popular with performance groups in 2016. From the Gulf Coast to the shores of Lake Michigan, this year’s list includes destinations you’d expect along with some that may surprise you. All of them are worth considering for your next performance tour.
With one in four groups choosing to travel to the Orlando area in 2016, the “Theme Park Capital of the World” continues its reign as the king of performance travel destinations, and rightfully so. Groups perform for thousands, participate in unique workshops, and experience thrilling attractions at the world’s top theme parks. Most groups also spend an evening or two in the area’s student friendly shopping, dining and entertainment districts. When groups need some time away from the parks and performances, they head to the shores of Cocoa or Clearwater beach for some time in the Florida surf and sun. In the coming years, major new attractions and experiences will be introduced, further solidifying Central Florida’s popularity and position at the top of our rankings.
New York City
Ranking a close second on our list is The Big Apple. Many groups start by working their way through the city’s top attractions, including Times Square, Central Park, Fifth Avenue and the Statue of Liberty. Recent years have also brought new attractions to the city, including the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and One World Observatory atop One World Trade Center. What keeps groups returning year-after-year? None other than the one-of-a-kind performance venues and the world class entertainment found at the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and on Broadway.
The second city may be third on our list, but it will always be our kind of town. Groups love the chance to get up close and personal with a T-Rex, mine for coal, see four states at once from atop the Willis Tower and meet eye-to-eye with dolphins. The fun continues into the night with Broadway-style productions, student-friendly comedy shows, and the world famous Chicago Symphony Orchestra. After a university clinic or performance at one of Chicago’s many landmarks, groups like to cap off their visit with a stroll down the Magnificent Mile or by enjoying the calm serenity of Millennium Park. With so much to see and do, groups will likely continue to blow into the Windy City for years into the future.
Home to a musical history and heritage that has earned it the nickname “Music City,” Nashville is one of the nation’s music industry epicenters. Groups rave about the newly expanded Country Music Hall of Fame and the recording experience at RCA Studios, the same studio where Elvis recorded many of his hits. What do groups remember most fondly about their time in Music City? Taking in a performance of the Grand Ole Opry where, from up-and-coming artists to country superstars, you never know who may be performing! Its one-of-a-kind attractions, sumptuous southern cooking and musical experiences have made Nashville a #1 hit with student groups.
With a lively mix of Creole culture and southern charm, the Crescent City has much to offer student groups. Many receive their introduction to the city by munching on beignets in the French Quarter and visiting the warehouse where Mardi Gras floats are stored and built. Groups then head further out and hop on a flat boat to visit alligators in the swamp, or learn about Creole plantation life at Laura’s Plantation. Most raved about is the opportunity to take in a performance of the world famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Groups can then test their own chops with a clinic a Tulane University, or a performance in Jackson Square. With so much to see and do, groups keep letting the good times roll in The Big Easy.
The Rest of the Best
Though they didn’t make the top five these other destinations were popular with our groups this year.
There’s a good chance you’ll be considering one of these destinations for your next tour, and with so many amazing experiences to be had in each, it can be hard to pick between them. We’re here to help answer any questions, so you can pick the destination that’s right for your group.
Newsletter: Get helpful tips and performance group travel news: