As the summer heats up, everyone’s travel plans also increase. From coast to coast, travelers are embarking on family vacations, couples’ getaways, multi-generational trips and more. And, after two long years of the coronavirus pandemic, it feels good to jet-set.
To help you with your travel plans, personal finance website WalletHub recently released its top summer 2022 travel destinations – a list of metropolitan areas across the country that have the highest ratings for metrics such as budget compatibility, the number of activities, the weather and the number of COVID -19 cases (also known as the ideal places for holidays).
Here, we take a look at the top 10 places in the United States that are perfect for traveling this summer, according to data from WalletHub. And for more vacation ideas, check out The Top 10 National Parks That Need To Be On Your Bucket List.
Coming in at number 10 on WalletHub’s list, San Antonio won’t disappoint summer travelers thanks to all of its history and culture. You can start exploring the city’s historic missions at the Alamo before heading to the other missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
Then, take a riverboat trip along San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk, then enjoy a meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants. Families will love the variety of rides at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and animal encounters at SeaWorld & Aquatica San Antonio.
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According to the WalletHub report, Cincinnati has the second-lowest travel costs and least travel hassle, making it an attractive choice for many Americans. A great starting point is one of the many walking tours that touch on the city’s history. Families will have fun at Kings Island, Newport Aquarium, Cincinnati Zoo and Hauck Botanical Gardens.
You can also delve into the team’s history at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum before seeing the team in action. A fun and free activity is to check out ArtWorks public art and murals throughout downtown Cincy.
Having the third lowest travel costs and least travel hassle by WalletHub, Minneapolis offers a fun-filled summer destination. For example, at the Mall of America, you can shop until you drop. Then you can ride the rides at Nickelodeon Universe, the indoor amusement park.
Outside, you can ride the city’s many biking and hiking trails, or visit the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden or the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. If they’re in town when you visit, watching the Minnesota Twins or Minnesota United FC game is a can’t-miss activity.
RELATED: 10 American Islands to Add to Your Wishlist: No Passport Required.
Ranked #2 for most activities, Honolulu contains so much history, art and culture, and outdoor recreation, it will be hard to do it all. For example, the Bishop Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, and Iolani Palace offer art lovers the opportunity to view some of the most notable collections in the world. Of course, Pearl Harbor is an essential stopover to honor those who died fighting for their country. Oh, and Honolulu’s food scene will have you coming back again and again.
Although Los Angeles landed 6th overall, given that the city is ranked 2nd in WalletHub’s report for most attractions, you won’t be short of things to do. Entertainment junkies can catch one of the many TV tapings or visit the famous movie studios.
Outdoor enthusiasts can hit the beach or explore the area’s miles of hiking trails, and sports fans can see their favorite teams in action with rugby, baseball, soccer and more on the field. .
Taking fifth place overall, Salt Lake City was also the #5 city for lowest travel costs and least travel hassle, according to WalletHub. Surrounded by Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountain Range, outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of hiking and biking trails as well as fishing, rafting, and kayaking.
Other outdoor attractions include Red Butte Garden, Hogle Utah Zoo, and Gilgal Sculpture Garden.
RELATED: Top 10 American Cities Every Traveler Should See.
With a thriving music scene, Austin has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment. But when the scene is silent, you will find something to occupy yourself. For example, you can go on one of the city’s many bike paths or hike along some of the urban trails within the city limits.
A fun summer activity is to swim in one of the natural spring-fed pools, such as Barton Springs or the Deep Eddy Pools. For those interested in the area’s past and present, you can sign up for one of the walking tours that take participants through the city center, highlighting many notable citizens and historical sites.
Ranked #3 overall and the second safest destination in the WalletHub report, Tampa is often known as the home of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. But, while this amusement park is a major attraction, it’s not the only experience Tampa has to offer. Visitors can also add ZooTampa, the Florida Aquarium, and the Glazer Children’s Museum to their itinerary.
Outdoor activities range from manatee encounters to fishing to the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens.
Steeped in history, Washington, DC is packed with sights and attractions at every turn, many of which are free to the public. Visitors can spend an entire day touring the many monuments and memorials in and around the National Mall, plus several additional days exploring the Smithsonian museums.
When planning visits to attractions like the White House and the Washington Monument, it’s important to get tickets in advance online…they go fast.
Orlando not only took the top spot in the WalletHub study, but also ranked #1 for most activities. Obviously, Disney, Universal and other theme parks remain a big draw, but Orlando also offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, including kayaking, hiking, fishing, and more.
The city also offers a wealth of artistic and cultural attractions, many of which are free, including the Lake Nona Sculpture Garden, CityArts (a collection of art galleries), and the Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture.
For more travel ideas and tips, check out Each State’s Top Tourist Attraction.