This is where the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool can help. It lets you enter one or more phrases, and will report how many people search for each of the phrases in an average month. It can also filter that number down to just a certain location. So you can see which phrases are more popular in the US or in Canada. And it can also suggest other related phrases for which people search.
Let's take a look at Beech Mountain. One way to start is just to search for that phrase. Check "broad" and "only show ideas closely related to my search terms". It should look like this
|Google Adwords / Keyword Tool|
|Google Adwords / Keyword Search|
The same approach can be used to compare the popularity of multiple search terms, by entering them on separate lines in the search box. And if you want to filter down to just the number of searches that are for the term you enter exactly - instead of search phrases that include your search terms - you can click "Exact" over on the left.