Monday, June 26, 2017

Best and worst places to spend the 4th? Apparently, we don’t care.

Hot on the heels of a report detailing the most popular places to spend the Fourth of July weekend comes a study of the best and worst places to celebrate Independence Day. The differences between the two are surprising.

According to booking site Reservations.com, Las Vegas is the most popular spot to spend the long weekend ahead, based on the hotel reservations being made through its system. However, a study by WalletHub.com shows Vegas isn’t even in the Top 20 of best places to spend the 4th. What gives?

The WalletHub study looked at five key dimensions: Fourth of July celebrations, affordability, attractions and activities, safety and accessibility, and the Fourth of July weather forecast, which compared the forecast high to the 75-degree day it set as the ideal temperature. It then ranked 100 of the nation’s cities for its report.

Considering those five dimensions, Atlanta, San Francisco, Buffalo, N.Y., Washington, DC and San Diego are the top five cities to spend Independence Day weekend. Each of those cities have a number of things to offer, though the categories often differ from each other.

Buffalo has the best Fourth of July celebrations considering number, legality, length of the fireworks shows and their affordability. It ranks No. 13 for the overall quality of its attractions and activities and No. 21 for safety and accessibility. However, it is not the most affordable, ranking No. 71 in the affordability index.

San Francisco ranks No. 2 for the overall quality of its attractions and activities, No. 4 when it comes to ideal Fourth of July weather, and a respectable No. 12 for its celebrations. Surprisingly, it ranked better than Buffalo in affordability, at No. 64.

Atlanta ranks No. 2 for its Fourth of July celebrations and No. 7 for the overall quality of its attractions and activities. Weather is not bad, at No. 14 and it is the No. 34 most affordable city, but safety and accessibility is clearly not its strong suit: the city ranks No. 86 in that area.

Our nation’s capital ranks No. 4 for celebrations, No. 5 for safety and accessibility, and No. 10 for attractions and activities. It is, however, fairly expensive and ranks No. 68 for affordability, and it’s hot and muggy in the summer, earning it a ranking of No. 86 for the weather.

At No. 5 overall, San Diego’s best attribute is the weather. It was ranked the No. 7 city by that metric. It ranked No. 13 in celebrations, No. 18 for attractions and activities, No. 36 for safety and accessibility, and No. 65 for affordability.

Data wonks can get their full fix of figures here.

Some other interesting statistics came out of this study, including the prices and quantities of the things we munch, slurp and guzzle during our revelry. And, it turns out, money may not be the prime consideration when it comes time to celebrate.

Last year, Americans spend an estimated $1 billion on beer alone for the 4th of July holiday, which is the nation’s top beer-drinking holiday. We also spent $389 million on chicken, $388m on fresh ground beef, and a startling $318m on chips.

The metropolitan area with the lowest average beer and wine prices? Phoenix. Six cities in the Valley of the Sun had the cheapest hooch: Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale and Gilbert. The most expensive? Anchorage; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; and New York.

The cheapest three-star hotels can be found in the metro Las Vegas area; Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz.; and Reno, Nev. The most expensive are in Colorado Springs; Anchorage; Norfolk and Chesapeake, Va.; and Honolulu.

What does it all mean? Comparing the information from the WalletHub study to the data download from Reservations.com, it looks like we Americans are going to do what we want to do. And in a very large measure, isn’t that what a vacation is all about?

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Infographic provided by WalletHub
View the entire graphic here.

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