It's hot outside, the kids are getting restless, and you haven't figured out what the family's doing this summer. If that's your current predicament, or will be in the coming weeks, consider this: just stay home.
Hear us out. A new study from personal finance website WalletHub ranked the best summer destinations in the U.S., and the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area lands in the No. 19 spot.
The report, which considered the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, "focuses primarily on the cost and convenience of traveling to each location as well as its affordability." It also "take[s] into account the number of attractions and variety of activities in each destination to ensure visitors will stay busy and entertained throughout the trip."
The study ranks Houston across six major categories. The Bayou City does best in travel costs and hassles (No. 8), and attractions (No. 16), but could improve in activities (No. 32), weather (No. 50), local cost (No. 58), and safety (No. 78).
Not feeling a Houston staycation? These other Texas metros could be an alternative.
Austin-Round Rock ranks No. 2 overall, faring best in travel costs and hassles (No. 11), attractions (No. 11), and activities (No. 17). Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranks No. 5 overall, doing best in travel costs and hassles (No. 6), local costs (No. 17), and attractions (No. 22).
San Antonio-New Braunfels ranks No. 12 overall, performing best in local costs (No. 7), attractions (No. 19), and travel costs and hassles (No. 23). A surprising entry, El Paso ranks No. 18 overall, with strong showings in local costs (No. 3), weather (No. 10), and safety (No. 23).
The No. 1 summer destination title goes to Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida. On the other end of the spectrum, the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California, metro area places in the unenviable, dead-last spot.