Top 25 Cities for a Summer ‘Staycation’

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If you're short on time and money, you can still have a lot of fun on a small budget -- especially if you live in one of these cities.

Summer is vacation season for many families. But summer can also be staycation season — especially if you’re short on vacation days, watching your budget or just trying to avoid long security lines at airports.

With that in mind, WalletHub has ranked the 150 most populated cities in America to determine which offer the best staycation opportunities. The rankings are based on an analysis of 28 metrics, such as the numbers of parks, cultural attractions and beaches.

Staycations are defined as vacations spent at or near your home.

Connie Magnuson — director of the University of Minnesota’s Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies program — tells WalletHub that staycations can offer the same benefits as vacations:

“Vacations and staycations are all about creating memories and enjoying life. You can make that happen anywhere.”

The top 25 cities in WalletHub’s ranking for staycations by their residents are:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  3. Tampa, Florida
  4. Salt Lake City
  5. Scottsdale, Arizona
  6. Atlanta
  7. Las Vegas
  8. Minneapolis
  9. St. Petersburg, Florida
  10. Honolulu
  11. Springfield, Missouri
  12. Cincinnati
  13. Spokane, Washington
  14. St. Louis
  15. New Orleans
  16. Jackson, Mississippi
  17. Portland, Oregon
  18. Reno, Nevada
  19. Boise, Idaho
  20. Knoxville, Tennessee
  21. Miami
  22. Tempe, Arizona
  23. San Francisco
  24. Madison, Wisconsin
  25. Richmond, Virginia

To make the most of your staycation, experts interviewed by WalletHub suggest:

  • “Try to prepare as much as possible beforehand by grocery shopping, running errands, paying bills, cleaning the house, etc. and commit to saving those kinds of obligations until after [your] staycation is over.” — Matt Ostermeyer, associate professor of practice, University of Arizona’s College of Education
  • “Turn off all electronics!” — Mary Fortune, associate professor, California State University’s Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism Department
  • “Try to do things and visit places in your own area that are ones that you don’t normally do and visit.” — Michael Pretes, professor, University of North Alabama’s Department of Geography

Have you ever taken a staycation? What advice would you offer to first-time staycationers? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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