It's hot outside, the kids are getting restless, and you haven't figured out where to go on family vacation this summer. If that's your current predicament, or will be in the coming weeks, consider this: just stay home.
Hear us out. A new study from personal finance website WalletHub ranked the best summer destinations in the U.S., and the Austin-Round Rock area lands in the No. 2 spot.
The report, which considered the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, "focuses primarily on the cost and convenience of traveling to each location as well as its affordability." It also "take[s] into account the number of attractions and variety of activities in each destination to ensure visitors will stay busy and entertained throughout the trip."
Austin ranks well across the six major categories: travel costs and hassles (No. 11), attractions (No. 11), activities (No. 17), weather (No. 21), local costs (No. 28), and safety (No. 31).
Not feeling an Austin staycation? These other Texas metros could be an alternative.
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranks No. 5 overall, faring best in travel costs and hassles (No. 6), local costs (No. 17), and attractions (No. 22). Even closer to home, San Antonio-New Braunfels ranks No. 12 overall. Alamo City does best in local costs (No. 7), attractions (No. 19), and travels costs and hassles (No. 23).
A surprising entry, El Paso ranks No. 18 overall, with strong showings in local costs (No. 3), weather (No. 10), and safety (No. 23). Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land immediately follows at No. 19 and performs best in travel costs and hassles (No. 8), attractions (No. 16), and activities (No. 32).
The No. 1 summer destination title goes to Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida. On the other end of the spectrum, the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California, metro area places in the unenviable, dead-last spot.