Should You Stay(cation) Or Should You Go?
PHOTO: Orlando, the number one city for a staycation. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Despite the uptick in the economy, it’s surprising to learn that nearly 66 percent of Americans are not planning to take a vacation this year, according to the personal finance website WalletHub.
Today, WalletHub released the findings from its report on 2016’s Best & Worst Cities for Staycations, and the results were interesting, if not downright fascinating.
For instance, one would think big cities like Los Angeles and New York would offer numerous things to do, but they ranked 143rd and 148th, respectively, out of the 150 largest cities in the country as the worst for having a staycation.
To help Americans find the best staycation spots in the U.S. — and the ones worth leaving home for — WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities across three key dimensions: 1) Recreation, 2) Food & Entertainment and 3) Rest & Relaxation, covering 28 relevant metrics including such things as number of public golf courses per 100,000 residents, movie costs, bowling costs, number of beer gardens, and more.
Each metric was given a value between 0 and 100, wherein 100 represents the most favorable conditions for staycations and 0 the least. The overall score was calculated using the weighted average across all metrics and the cities were ranked accordingly.
The best cities for staycations? Not surprisingly, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Fla., were one, two and three, respectively, followed by Salt Lake City, Utah; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Atlanta, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, St. Petersburg and Honolulu.
The 10 worst? Fremont, Calif, followed by Chesapeake, Va., Los Angeles, Fresno, Fort Worth, Yonkers, N.Y., Santa Ana, Calif., New York, Oxnard, Calif., and Chula Vista, Calif.
Here are some examples of the metrics:
• New Orleans has the most museums per 100,000 residents, 23.34, which is 79 times more than in Aurora, Colo., the city with the fewest, 0.29.
• Columbus, Ga., has the most parks per 100,000 residents, 213.37, which is 22.5 times more than in Hialeah, Fla., the city with the fewest, 9.47.
• Seattle has the most coffee shops per 100,000 residents, 109.43, which is nearly 30 times more than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the fewest, 3.67.
• Orlando, Fla., has the most ice-cream and frozen-yogurt shops per 100,000 residents, 57.15, which is 13 times more than in Detroit, the city with the fewest, 4.31.
• Columbus, Ga., has the most tennis courts per 100,000 residents, 70.11, which is 26 times higher than in Gilbert, Ariz., the city with the fewest, 2.69.
• Buffalo, N.Y., has the lowest bowling costs, $3.09, which is nearly four times less expensive than in New York City, the city with the highest, $12.28.
• Fort Wayne, Ind., has the lowest beauty-salon costs, $22.42, which is nearly three times less expensive than in New York City, the city with the highest, $66.18.
• Columbus, Ga., has the lowest cost of house-cleaning services, $110, which is four times less expensive than in Salt Lake City, the city with the highest, $454.
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