The Hottest New Trend in Christian Travel

Since 2020, when borders closed and international travel paused, the desire to travel domestically has risen to a crescendo. People started exploring their cities, states and countries. As a result, road trips soared in popularity as Americans discovered that social distancing was not difficult, especially in our national parks and wide-open spaces. 

Travelers are still rediscovering their own backyards. Starting in 2021 and very likely to continue in the future, domestic travel is booming. Cities are building hotels and developers are adding cultural attractions as Americans fill in the gaps in their bucket lists with destinations closer to home.

That’s why publications like Travel + Leisure have refocused some of their high-profile lists of top travel destinations. In December, their highly anticipated 50 Best Places to Travel focused entirely on places within the United States. We expect this travel trend to stay for a long time and already love these top locations closer to home that may interest you as well.

Wild Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

Its wildness and grandeur—not to mention its distance from the rest of the contiguous states—makes Alaska feel more unique. This wilderness outpost in our backyard is well worth visiting. The Inside Passage has been one of our most popular cruise destinations for decades. Cities like Juneau and Ketchikan also deserve a place on every traveler’s wish list.

The best way to enjoy the glaciers, rainforests and breathtaking landscape of Alaska is on a cruise ship. As society reopens, we are helping ministry partners like David Jeremiah, Salem Media and Gaither Homecoming plan Alaska cruises in the late summer.

America’s Heartland

Cincinnati, Ohio

Travel + Leisure put Cincinnati, Lexington and Nashville on their “Best Places to Travel” list. If the high rankings of these cities surprise you, then this is your insider tip to point your travel compass toward Middle America. These cities are bursting with culture, tradition and energy.

They are also where our Ark Tour Experience events in August and September of 2021 will take you. Built around the “40 Days and 40 Nights of Gospel Music” festival at the Ark Encounter, our itineraries take travelers to this acclaimed Christian attraction for an amazing line-up of concerts and dynamic messages from Bible teachers like David Jeremiah. They also give travelers an opportunity to explore Cincinnati, one of America’s hidden gems. While Cincinnati is featured in every Ark Encounter schedule, other itineraries introduce travelers to Lexington, Louisville, and Nashville. 

From the rolling pastures of horse country to the music history of Nashville, America’s Heartland is guaranteed to enthrall travelers with unforgettable sights, sounds and stories.

Washington, D.C.

Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The stately halls and monuments of the District tell the story of what it means to be an American, and its diverse architecture, attractions, and restaurants keep it relevant for every kind of tourist. 

In recent years, Christian travelers have popularized tours highlighting the biblical ideas behind our nation’s founding. The Bible and its principles have been a constant presence in America’s history, which is one reason that The Museum of the Bible is one of D.C.’s most prominent new landmarks. This groundbreaking museum overlooks the National Mall and is home to one of the world’s largest collections of biblical texts, artifacts, original papyri and more.

The American Southwest

Monument Valley, Arizona

There’s nothing like peering, awestruck, over the edge of the Grand Canyon or feeling the wild isolation and enormous skies of places like Lake Powell or Escalante National Monument. Then there are the alien rock formations in Arches National Park and the cinematic expanse of Monument Valley.

The breathtaking wonder of these places displays the vast creativity of God. All over the world, when people think of the United States, they imagine these vistas. Visit them in person and you won’t just be immersed in stunning natural beauty. You’ll find yourself whispering prayers of gratitude to the Master Artist behind these scenes.

The Gulf Coast

Relax in a tropical paradise

Travel + Leisure identified Florida’s Gulf Coast—the stretch of coastline from Tampa up into the Panhandle’s “Emerald Coast”—as one of its top places to travel last year. We agree. The waters are calm and warm, the powder beaches offer epic sunset viewing, and the seafood is among the best in the contiguous United States. 

Our travel experts love the availability of beach houses and condo rentals right next to the clear water. The surreal dunes of Gulf Islands National Seashore and trails of Henderson Beach State Park offer further enticement. If any part of the United States offers that familiar white-sand-and-turquoise-water Caribbean appeal, it’s this stretch of Florida.

All of these captivating destinations must be experienced in person and this is the year to do it. From the Ark Encounter in Ohio to Alaska’s grandeur to the stark beauty of the Southwest, let’s go! It’s time to pack a suitcase, gather the family and make plans to get away with God.

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