Gatlinburg, Myrtle Beach top destinations for vacationing locals

When Dayton-Springfield area residents travel for vacation this summer, chances are they are headed for one of four top destinations - Gatlinburg, Tenn., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Florida’s Panhandle, or the Lake Cumberland region of Kentucky.

That’s the take from AAA of the Miami Valley based on hundreds of requests made to travel planners. Vacationers are lining up their last fling of the season, AAA spokeswoman Cindy Antrican said.

The only downside to that are the prices at the pump, Antrican said, adding that Ohio for the moment seems to be leading the way for the largest gas price increases compared to other parts of the country during the past two weeks.

On the bright side, you have a good chance of paying less for gasoline once you reach your destination.

“So, maybe you don’t want to be in a rush to fill that tank as you head out,” Antrican said.

Over the past two weeks Ohio gas prices have increased nearly 15 cents. Antrican said that pump prices at the most requested destinations are as much as 30 cents less than what Ohio drivers are paying.

As of Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of gas here is $3.54. A month ago, it was $3.73.

Over the past 14 days, average retail prices have dropped in 42 states and Washington D.C. The current national average for gas is $3.47 per gallon. The average for gas across the state of Ohio is $3.50 per gallon.

Conversely, the price has increased in eight Midwestern and Central states, led by Ohio.

Antrican said that these increases can be traced back to refinery problems and maintenance at several facilities supplying the region: two in Kansas - Holly Frontier in El Dorado and the Coffeyville plant; BP’s refinery in Whiting, Ind.; and ExxonMobil’s refinery in Joliet, Ill.

Top four Travel Destination Requests/Average Gas Price

Gatlinburg, TN - $3.23

Myrtle Beach SC - $3.17

Destin/Panhandle FL - $3.36

Lake Cumberland area KY - $3.41

Source: AAA

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