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AAA ranks Seattle among top Memorial Day weekend travel destinations

Businesses on the Seattle waterfront will likely be welcoming an influx of tourists over the holiday weekend.

SEATTLE — Estimates say more than 39 million people are planning to travel away from home this Memorial Day weekend.

A solid number of those looking to travel will be heading to the Seattle area, as a report from AAA shows Seattle ranked as the number two U.S. destination for Memorial Day weekend travelers.

The predicted influx is a welcome sight for businesses on the Seattle waterfront. Boat tours are filled up, and people crowd the sidewalks.

"It was kind of a ghost town for a while, but now it's usually shoulder to shoulder tourists everywhere," said Darren Patton, an employee at The Frankfurter on Pier 55.

The lines grow as people wait to get a bite to eat at shops like The Frankfurter. On sunny days like Sunday, Patton makes hundreds of hotdogs.

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"Yeah, it's nice to see people around again, if not just for business to see people happy and walking around," said Patton.

It's bringing the waterfront to life for shops that depend on tourist traffic.

"Our Christmas is definitely in the summertime," said Ye Olde Curiosity Shop Manager Neal James.

Christmas could be coming early this year, as AAA forecasts 39.2 million people will travel this Memorial Day weekend.

It's no surprise to Carl Jackson, who was visiting Seattle from Nevada.

"Technically should be number one because I'm already ready to come back. Just being honest,” said Jackson. “I love it out here. It's fantastic."

Sunday's foot traffic might be foreshadowing the summer to come.

"We're ready for things to get back to normal, and obviously, it's going to be a little bit until it gets back to normal, but with the people coming back, it's going to be good," said James.

According to AAA, the top Memorial Day travel destination is Orlando, followed by Seattle, then Miami. The top international destination is Vancouver, Canada.

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