It's safe to say Austinites are used to landing on best-of lists and sharing their city with tourists. And, like it or not, both trends will continue.
Despite the blazing summer heat, people are still more than willing to join the fun this summer, with Austin securing the No. 4 spot on a new list of 2022’s Best Summer Travel Destinations.
Ranking ahead of Austin, from first to third, respectively, are Orlando, Florida; Washington, D.C.; and Tampa, Florida — long-standing travel destinations with very specific attractions. Austin, instead, charms through its general social buzz and legendary word-of-mouth popularity.
The report is from personal finance site WalletHub, which ranked U.S. metros based on travel costs and hassles, local costs, attractions, weather, activities, and safety. Austin did not make the upper or lower five rankings in any of these categories, making it even clearer that its strength is in offering a well-rounded experience. The area’s highest ranking was in attractions, and the lowest was in safety, with neither ranking being particularly low or high.
In Texas, San Antonio makes the top 10 (at No. 10), while El Paso (No. 21) beats out Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 31), Houston (No. 58), Corpus Christi (No. 62), and McAllen (No. 92).
Although the analysis doesn’t highlight any measurable draws to Austin, it breaks down the area’s best category, attractions, simply into number and diversity. In other words, the many different things to do around town went the farthest to clinch Austin’s final spot in the top five destinations. Its second best category was weather, followed by activities. Some of the 25 measurables in the latter category seem like easy wins for this city: restaurants per capita (with added weight to customer rating and affordability), music venues per capita, quality of parks, and several metrics for hiking and swimming.
Thankfully for Austinites just trying to enjoy home, this small win is at best validating, and at worst more of the same. And don’t forget: Tourists absolutely do have to listen to you talk about your favorite local band. That’s the price of tourism.