America’s Top Cities For A Staycation

Vacations are no longer an option for many families. As COVID-19 continues to tighten restrictions on travel, more Americans are choosing a staycation over a lengthy drive.

WalletHub has ranked the country’s best cities for a staycation. They considered more than a dozen factors like climate, accessibility to public parks, trails, walk-ability, and the cost of food.

Here’s how their list turned out:

10. Orlando, Florida

One might assume that Orlando would top this list. After all, it’s a stone’s throw from attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. Plus, it’s only a short drive to some of the best beaches in Florida. The weather is always wonderful in the Sunshine State and you won’t have a difficult time finding parks or trails.

9. Austin, Texas

The Heart of Texas is another city that has warm weather in spades. Austin is a rare breed for the Lone Star State. The city is full of lakes and public parks where people can unwind. It’s also the live music capital of the world, so finding a show may still be possible during the pandemic. If music isn’t your thing, the city boasts a wide range of renowned restaurants and bars.

8. Grand Prairie, Texas

Grand Prairie sits between two massive cities — Dallas and Fort Worth. Aside from the countless amount of activities next door, Grand Prairie is home to several popular nature preserves, lakes, and theme parks. Despite its proximity to big cities, Grand Prairie still has the charm of a smaller town.

7. Scottsdale, Arizona

This is the only desert city to make the top 10! Scottsdale is large suburb of Phoenix with a rich history. Visitors can enjoy casinos, museums, an aquarium, and hikes through the nearby desert and mountains. One of the most popular destinations is the home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

6. Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith is the smallest city in the top 10, but its lack of population is actually a big selling point. It sits on the Oklahoma border. Residents can enjoy a family-friendly staycation with state parks, museums, and historic homes. Adults can venture out to casinos as well.

5. Lincoln, Nebraska

The capital of the Cornhusker State has more culture than you would think. The Museum of American Speed, The National Museum of Roller Skating, The International Quilt Museum, Sheldon Museum of Art, and many others offer Lincolnites a unique experience. The city also boasts several popular nature spaces.

4. Charleston, South Carolina

Visiting Charleston is like stepping back in time. This coastal town has white sand beaches, historic plantations, museums, and monuments. Civil War buffs can find a plethora of places to explore. It’s comfy climate also allows for a pleasant staycation.

3. Tampa, Florida

Tampa is a city with plenty of thrills to spare. It’s home to Busch Gardens, The Florida Aquarium, and Adventure Island. But, if you prefer to enrich the mind, it also has several popular museums and walking tours. Tampa could very well have better weather than any other city on this list.

2. Boise, Idaho

Boise has the coldest climate on this list, so what makes it such a great place for a staycation? Residents love the staggering amount of natural beauty and its ties to the Oregon Trail. Boise is close to ice-capped mountains, densely forested valleys, beautiful lakes, and other scenic getaways.

1. Plano, Texas

This one may be a headscratcher, but not if you ask the residents of Plano. This Dallas suburb has more parks than you can handle. Nearly every square mile of Plano has a public park or natural space. The cost of food is low compared to other spots on this list. Plus, it’s just a short drive to one of the largest cities in the United States.

In case you were wondering how locations in our neck of the woods fared, here’s a glimpse at the rest of the list:

13. Huntsville, Alabama

21. Knoxville, Tennessee

28. Montgomery, Alabama

40. Atlanta, Georgia

48. Chattanooga, Tennessee

61. Nashville, Tennessee

77. Birmingham, Alabama