The Best Cities for Winter Holiday Travel

Can't think of where to go this December for a vacation? Consider this recently released analysis of the best cities for winter holiday travel.

Can’t think of where to go this December for a vacation? Consider WalletHub’s recently released analysis of the best cities for winter holiday travel. For those who like cold weather, the study rated the Atlanta region as the top destination and for warm weather-lovers, the Las Vegas area came in at number one.

Before fore you book those tickets, know that the study concentrated on 69 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), so your exceptional but out-of-the-way ski area or your favorite secluded bit of beach wasn’t even considered.

Also, the experts defined “cold weather” as a destination with an average December temperature of 46-degrees Fahrenheit or less, and “warm weather” as an area with 57-degrees Fahrenheit or more. That covers many places where you can’t snowboard for the slush and you can’t swim for the chilly waters. Regions that fell between the 46-F and 57-F, were knocked out of the study altogether.

WalletHub’s experts analyzed each MSA based on the price of flights plus the hassles of reaching the destination by air; cost of hotels; number and diversity of attractions; weather conditions; and the number and type of either cold or warm weather activities.

Out of a possible score of 100, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA, won the cold weather rankings with a 64.19 and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV, won the warm weather ratings with a 69.05.

Occasionally, we found the “big data” analysis lacked a bit of real world logic. For example, Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT, ranked 18th as a cold weather destination, beating Minneapolis-St. Paul (number 19) and Pittsburgh (number 21), both of which offer vibrant cultural scenes and interesting attractions. Honolulu came in as the last place for warm weather, with a ranking of 37 and an overall score of 30.23. Yes, Honolulu is a long plane ride away and hotels can be pricey, but last place for a warm destination? Not on my list.

In any event, the survey provides an interesting slant on what cities to visit this winter, especially for those looking to stretch their budgets. Click here for the full report.

WalletHub’s Top 10 Cold-Weather Destinations

Source: WalletHub

1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA (64.19)

2. Albuquerque, NM (62.56)

3. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (59.89)

4. St. Louis, MO-IL (58.34)

5. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (58.20)

6. Kansas City, MO-KS (57.98)

7. Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (56.93)

8. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (56.64)

9. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (56.54)

10. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN (56.25)

WalletHub’s Top 10 Warm-Weather Destinations

Source: WalletHub

1. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (69.05)

2. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (66.80)

3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (66.16)

4. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (65.78)

5. Tucson, AZ (64.09)

6. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (62.82)

7. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (61.57)

8. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL (60.46)

9. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (60.43)

10. Austin-Round Rock, TX (57.95)

What are your favorite winter travel destinations? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.