We're all for planning amazing, life-changing, bucket list trips to far off destinations, yet sometimes we'd really just rather stay close to home and enjoy a good old-fashioned staycation. But just how easy is it to feel like you're on a fun getaway without straying too far outside your zip code? The good people at WalletHub had the exact same question, so they set out to rank 182 U.S. cities on their staycation potential.
So what was the criteria?
The cities chosen for comparison included the 150 most populous cities in America, plus the next top two most populous cities in each state for a total of 182. There were three basic categories to judge: recreation, food and entertainment and rest and relaxation, which were broken into specific attractions and given numerical values. (For example, WalletHub looked at how many playgrounds there are, the average cost of two tickets to the movies, the number of museums in the area and the prevalence of affordable restaurants with ratings of at least 4.5 stars.)
And the number one best city in America for a staycation is...
Honolulu, Hawaii. Honestly, we're not all that surprised given that the gorgeous island city is also an incredibly popular destination vacation spot (plus, you know, the fact that it has more tennis courts and spas per capita than any other city on the list). The rest of the top ten, in order: Orlando, FL; Chicago, IL; San Diego, CA; Portland, OR; Charleston, SC; Seattle, WA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Tampa, FL and San Fransisco, CA.
What about the worst?
The cities that could use a little improvement in the "entertaining at-home vacation" department include Chula Vista, CA; Oxnard, CA; Yonkers NY; Bridgeport, CT and Irving, TX. However, many of these places are just a short day-trip from cities ranked much higher on the list, meaning you could easily have a fun weekend without having to fly or drive for hours to get there.