San Antonio’s not so hot on new list of best U.S. summer travel destinations

San Antonio's not so hot on new list of best U.S. summer travel destinations

Well, this is awkward. Despite San Antonio’s great review by WalletHub as a top destination for summer travel, a staycation may not be in the future for locals after all — at least according to a new report by Forbes Advisor. This study seems more experiential than WalletHub’s more economical calculations, indicating that perhaps you get what you pay for. (At least road trips still sound like a good idea.)

The Forbes report listed the best and worst cities for summer travel, and San Antonio fell right in the middle of the worst list at No. 20. It’s a bit of a surprise, but people may just be saving their San Antonio travel for the much more hospitable spring and fall.

The study, published June 1, compared 43 of the most populous U.S. cities across 16 metrics in three major categories: City experience, air travel experience, and driving experience.

Dallas earned an overall score of 43.45 out of a total 100 possible points. At least it beat Jacksonville, Florida, which earned a perfect (and dreadful) score of 100 points to solidify itself as the No. 1 worst vacation destination for summer travel.

This is how Forbes breaks down San Antonio’s ranking across the three key dimensions:

  • 54.22 – City experience score
  • 40.52 – Air travel experience score
  • 33.73 – Driving experience score

San Antonio languished because it carries the fifth-highest number of extreme temperature days across Texas in the summer, plus the ninth worst walk score. No one wants to pack that many T-shirt changes.

Bummer Texas destinations
Dallas fared the worst of the Texas cities at No. 13 thanks to city’s extreme weather (AKA, the unforgiving Texas heat) combined with a higher-than-normal number of damage claims at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport, according to the report. San Antonio shares the heat, of course, but the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is pretty popular — as much as air travel can be, anyway.

“Dallas’ two major airports have the sixth highest number of property loss and damage claims during the summer (1.3 per 100,000 domestic passengers),” the report said. “The city also has the seventh highest number of extreme temperature days in the summer (76 on average).”

Austin (No. 24) went unanalyzed in a press release that panned Dallas, El Paso, and San Antonio, and praised Houston. It seems that since Austin fell just outside of the two extremes — either worst 20 or best 10 — the report’s author just didn’t offer details. Its scores were similar to San Antonio’s.

Since Austin and San Antonio fared better than Dallas in the overall rankings, it seems that Central Texas is a far better place to be during the summer when it comes to statewide vacations.

Tragically, El Paso was just plain boring at No. 15: It had the second-fewest tourist attractions with four or more stars on Tripadvisor. Parking was also lacking, and summer flights were disrupted often.

While other Texas cities were ranked among the worst summer travel destinations, Houston climbed up to No. 10 on Forbes’ ranking of the best summer travel destinations in the country.

“Visitors to Houston enjoy the lowest median hotel price during the summer ($122.33 per night) and the city’s two major airports reimburse the second highest percentage of summer property loss and damage claims in full (52.4 percent on average),” the report said.

Texas travelers may want to consider going out of state to places like Minneapolis, Minnesota, which was ranked the No. 1 best summer travel destination in the U.S.

The top 10 best U.S. summer travel destinations are:

  • No. 1 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • No. 2 – Long Beach, California
  • No. 3 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 4 – Seattle, Washington
  • No. 5 – Omaha, Nebraska
  • No. 6 – San Diego, California
  • No. 7 – San Francisco, California
  • No. 8 – Columbus, Ohio
  • No. 9 – Chicago, Illinois
  • No. 10 – Houston, Texas

Forbes Advisor determined each city’s ranking based on travel experience data from Expedia, Tripadvisor, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AAA, The U.S. Census Bureau, and more. Metrics included a city’s crime rate; median hotel prices during the summer season; the percentage of delayed, canceled, or diverted flights during the summer; among others.

The full report can be found on

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