America's Best Cities for Summer Travel 2010
From NYC to Honolulu, the best and worst U.S. cities for a summer vacation.
“There’s almost no place else I’d rather be than the Twin
Cities in the summer,” says New York City resident Fernando Oliveira, who
attended Macalester College in Minneapolis/St. Paul and prefers the cultured
but outdoorsy Land of 10,000 Lakes to the Big Apple, which he says “gets that
nasty summer stench” once temperatures start to rise.
As many travelers know, choosing the right summer
destination is essential—and for some, that ideal spot is a city. So what makes
a great urban getaway in June, July, and August? Looking at the results of Travel
+ Leisure’s annual America’s
Favorite Cities survey, we found that the recipe is simple:
weather: It’s no surprise that some of the hottest cities in the summer
ranked the lowest.
With the kids home June through August, cities with offerings for the whole
clan fared best.
parks and easy access to the outdoors: Out of the 10 cities voted the best
for summer travel, 8 also landed in the Top 10 for parks.
farmers’ markets: Simple pleasures make a difference; great local produce
and purveyors helped sway opinions.
Oliveira isn’t alone in his seasonal attraction to Minneapolis/St.
Paul. The Twin Cities—which enjoy a comfy average summer temperature of 71
degrees—earned the No. 5 spot for summer travel on the survey. But it’s not
just about the weather. This time of year, you can stroll around Harriet and
Calhoun lakes, take in an outdoor concert, or savor a scoop of small-batch
artisanal ice cream at Sebastian Joe’s. Check out the expansive Lyndale
farmers’ market, which sells everything from sweet, just-picked strawberries to
local cheeses. And on the odd chance of a heat wave, there’s also the
nearby—and air-conditioned—Mall of America, home to an indoor water park and
perennial favorite, also fared well as a summer getaway, placing No. 9. Sure,
it fell short in the farmers’ markets category, but we have a sneaking
suspicion that fresh pineapple isn’t as high on people’s list of priorities as,
Which cities didn’t do so well? New York, for
one, landed in the bottom 10—perhaps because respondents don’t find Gotham to be family-friendly, or maybe because July and August can be brutally hot. (If
folks think New Yorkers are unpleasant normally, just imagine them overheated and cranky.)
And while Miami overall
garnered raves for its good weather, the Florida city’s miles of beaches were
not enough to compensate for the summer’s rainfall and intense humidity. Of
course, travelers would rather have a wild spring
break than a summer vacation in this party town anyway.
Read on to see how your favorite city fared. Disagree with
the results? Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts!