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Best U.S. Winter Holiday Destinations - 2021

Warm or Cold Destinations for Holiday

Cold winter days are ahead and we are sharing with you the best United States destinations for you to consider traveling this winter.

The favorite winter destinations are from the personal-finance website WalletHub that released its 2021’s Best Winter Holiday Destinations report.

Focusing on cost and convenience rather than scenic beauty, WalletHub compared nearly 70 of the largest U.S. metro areas grouped by warm and cold weather. Each destination was analyzed based on 39 key metrics, primarily the expense and hassle of traveling to each location but also on other indicators, such as weather forecasts, safety and variety of activities.

Best Cold Destinations for Winter Travel Best Warm Destinations for Winter Travel
1. Atlanta, GA 1. Austin, TX
2. Washington, DC 2. Las Vegas, NV
3. New York, NY 3. San Diego, CA
4. St. Louis, MO 4. Dallas, TX
5. Albuquerque, NM 5. Houston, TX
6. Chicago, IL 6. San Antonio, TX
7. Denver, CO 7. Phoenix, AZ
8. Cincinnati, OH 8. San Francisco, CA
9. Kansas City, MO 9. Tampa, FL
10. Boston, MA 10. Orlando, FL

Top Cold-Weather Destinations

 

Rank 

Cold Destination
(MSA)

Total Score 

Travel Costs & Hassles 

Local Costs 

Attractions 

Weather 

Cold-Weather Activities 

Safety 

1 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA 67.38 3 6 9 2 1 28
2 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 62.78 13 18 4 5 8 1
3 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 62.23 21 32 1 10 6 5
4 St. Louis, MO-IL 61.72 7 1 10 7 9 27
5 Albuquerque, NM 61.61 17 3 13 1 21 32
6 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 61.25 6 28 2 23 2 6
7 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 59.66 14 8 8 9 4 19
8 Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 58.98 5 2 18 14 10 23
9 Kansas City, MO-KS 57.12 4 11 22 3 27 30
10 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 55.42 20 29 6 12 12 2
11 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 54.93 22 26 3 15 3 16
12 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 53.80 1 22 12 27 13 3
13 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 53.68 23 31 7 6 17 14
14 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 53.60 24 24 5 16 7 13
15 Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 52.23 10 5 17 19 16 29
16 Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 52.14 8 13 24 20 22 9
17 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 51.94 15 21 11 11 23 22
18 Columbus, OH 51.93 11 7 19 17 20 25
19 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 51.92 9 4 15 26 15 26
20 Pittsburgh, PA 51.51 19 9 14 21 11 21
21 Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT 50.54 26 12 31 4 30 7
22 Salt Lake City, UT 49.45 27 16 21 18 5 24
23 Cleveland-Elyria, OH 47.97 12 15 20 29 18 20
24 Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 47.47 2 10 23 28 31 15
25 Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI 45.72 16 20 16 25 25 31
26 Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY 44.69 25 17 26 32 19 11
27 Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI 44.25 18 14 28 30 26 17
28 Rochester, NY 43.67 28 19 25 31 14 10
29 Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 43.47 29 27 27 13 24 18
30 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 40.97 30 23 29 24 28 8
31 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 40.67 31 25 32 8 32 4
32 Worcester, MA-CT 29.89 32 30 30 21 29 12

Top Warm-Weather Destinations

Rank 

Warm Destination
(MSA)

Total Score 

Travel Costs & Hassles 

Local Costs 

Attractions 

Weather 

Warm-Weather Activities 

Safety 

1 Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX 66.69 2 12 10 6 13 19
2 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 66.66 9 21 2 11 3 18
3 San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA 66.22 17 27 4 3 4 3
4 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 66.08 1 13 12 2 15 26
5 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 61.48 3 4 9 23 10 30
6 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 60.94 6 8 11 12 11 28
7 Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ 60.67 8 17 16 1 19 22
8 San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA 59.75 16 34 3 26 5 6
9 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 58.37 12 23 15 8 6 16
10 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 56.75 11 11 5 37 1 15
11 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 56.63 14 24 18 4 20 1
12 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 56.15 18 31 1 33 7 7
13 Jacksonville, FL 54.00 5 7 17 32 16 23
14 Charleston-North Charleston, SC 53.84 4 35 14 12 17 31
15 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 53.68 15 30 6 30 8 10
16 Urban Honolulu, HI 53.09 37 37 7 5 2 2
17 New Orleans-Metairie, LA 52.72 7 16 8 36 9 32
18 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 52.43 19 2 24 9 30 27
19 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 52.30 12 14 25 10 22 25
20 Baton Rouge, LA 50.24 21 5 21 7 18 36
21 Tucson, AZ 49.98 10 19 13 34 14 17
22 Salinas, CA 47.37 34 15 30 14 28 5
23 Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 47.24 24 20 19 25 12 20
24 Killeen-Temple, TX 46.78 20 6 35 19 34 29
25 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 46.08 23 3 37 20 37 12
26 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 43.93 28 1 31 31 27 21
27 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 43.26 30 28 23 15 25 9
28 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 43.05 27 33 29 17 23 14
29 Mobile, AL 41.85 29 9 22 24 24 35
30 Lafayette, LA 41.24 22 25 26 21 21 34
31 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 40.97 31 29 36 16 36 13
32 Corpus Christi, TX 40.78 25 10 20 29 26 33
33 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 40.18 36 32 32 18 31 11
34 Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA 38.24 26 22 34 35 33 8
35 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 38.11 35 26 27 22 35 24
36 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 37.37 32 36 33 27 29 4
37 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 35.44 33 18 28 28 32 37

 

Best vs. Worst

  • The average flight to a popular cold winter destination costs $359.92, lasts 3 hours and 19 minutes and has 0.22 connections. In comparison, the average flight to a popular warm winter destination costs $458.43, lasts 5 hours and 35 minutes and has 0.48 connections.
     
  • Among cold destinations, Louisville, Kentucky, has the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $43, which is 2.8 times lower than Worcester, Massachusetts, the city with the highest at $119. 
     
  • Among warm destinations, Augusta, Georgia, has the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $43, which is 3.9 times lower than Honolulu, the city with the highest at $168. 
     
  • Among cold destinations, Chicago has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 6.052004, which is 6.3 times more than in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the city with the fewest at 0.964293. 
     
  • Among warm destinations, Orlando has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 7.246160, which is 28.7 times more than in Deltona, Florida, the city with the fewest at 0.252768.

 

To view the full report, please visit WalletHub

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