Summer travel season is upon us, and as more Americans continue to get vaccinated and COVID-19 restrictions lift around the country, travelers in search of a safe, budget-friendly, and attraction-packed getaway are looking to Texas.
According to a recent report from finance site WalletHub detailing 2021’s Best Summer Travel Destinations, the Lone Star State boasts seven hot spots ideal for escaping the doldrums. In order to create the list, WalletHub analyzed 100 of the largest metro areas across 42 key indicators, including the cost of the cheapest flight to each destination and the number of local attractions.
The Austin/Round Rock/Georgetown area was the highest-ranking Texas metro on the list, coming in at No. 4 with an overall score of 70.4 out of a possible 100. The report also notes the Austin area’s relatively low local costs, good weather, and an array of local attractions that draw travelers, particularly during the summer months, like Barton Springs Pool, the Congress Avenue bats, and plenty of outdoor activities.
Not far behind was the San Antonio/New Braunfels metro area, which landed at No. 13 on the list, with an overall score of 64.3.
Other Texas communities named among the best summer travel destinations include:
- Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, No. 29, with a total score of 59.43
- Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land, No. 46, with a total score of 57.43
- El Paso, No. 51, with a total score of 56.75
- Corpus Christi, No. 64, with a total score of 54.38
- McAllen/Edinburg/Mission, No. 93, with a total score of 45.12
The border town of McAllen is the only Texas destination named in the top five for the report’s specific metrics. Though its ranking as the No. 5 spot with the highest travel costs and most hassles won’t win McAllen any awards, the city also ranked as the No. 1 destination with the lowest local costs.
The overall No. 1 summer destination, according to the report, is the Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford, Florida area, home to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, as well as other theme park attractions.