These Are the Best U.S. Cities for a Staycation This Year

Grand Prairie, Texas is at the top of this year's list.

This is absolutely the year to take a staycation.

In years past, a staycation may have been simply an alternative to not being able to get away for an extended vacation. However, this is 2020 we're talking about, so staying home is all the rage (and also mandatory, depending on where you live). So yes, staying in your home state is not only the right thing to do, it's the cool thing to do this year.

To help people around the nation make the most of their time off in 2020, WalletHub compiled a list of the best and worst staycation cities in America.

To determine the best staycation spots, WalletHub's analysts compared 180 U.S. cities across 15 different dimensions including recreation, food and entertainment, and rest and relaxation.

"Our data set ranges from parks per capita to the average home square footage and the idealness of summer weather," the website explained in a blog post.

Orlando Florida
Getty Images/WIN-Initiative RM

Each metric, WalletHub noted, was graded on a 100-point scale — with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for staycationers — and calculated the total score for each city based on its weighted average. So really, the findings proved that there is something for everyone in each city, but some simply offer a bit more than others.

Still, if you're interested in only visiting the best of the best, the top 10 cities for staycations in America include Orlando; Austin; Grand Prairie, TX; Scottsdale; Fort Smith, AR; Lincoln, NE; Charleston; Tampa; Boise; and coming in at number one: Plano, TX. It came in with an overall score of 66.88, ranking number two for "rest and relaxation" and 18th for its "recreation" rank.

Conversely, Pearl City, HI ranked dead last for its staycation amenities.

As for how to fully enjoy a staycation in 2020, Heather Burket, associate professor in the department of health and rehabilitation sciences at Temple University, says it's key to stay healthy and to think holistically.

"Consider holistic wellness when choosing activities to engage in with your family and on your own so that you don't get bored," she shared in the findings. "Make a list of activities that you or your children enjoy engaging in independently or together that can benefit your social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual wellness. Some of these tasks may be work or chore related, others more leisure-based. Make sure to leave some time for some personal relaxation in your schedule."

Barnett added, families can prepare for a staycation by getting ready for lots of around the house fun. She listed sidewalk chalk painting, scavenger hunts, hiking, biking, and game nights as a few of her favorites, adding, "Whatever leisure your family chooses to engage in, make sure to follow CDC and state-mandated guidelines for physical distancing, thorough handwashing, and wearing masks when you leave home to stay safe." Check out the complete list of cities here.

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