The Best Winter Holiday Destinations in the U.S., According to New Data

WalletHub analyzed data from 69 of the most populated US metro areas.

Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

Whether you like it or not, the¬†winter holidays are already around the corner, and if you’re thinking about taking off to some fun destination, you should probably start getting your ducks in a row. If it isn’t to make sure you still find availability (winter holiday destinations fill up fast!), it is definitely to try and save some money.

But we get it, and we agree-traveling during those times is financially difficult for most, and it can be hard to find a destination that is not only fun and entertaining but also reasonably priced. But a new study by the personal finance website WalletHub might help you narrow down your list of destination options.

The website just released a new report on the best winter holiday destinations of the year, and it has nothing to do with scenic beauty or how festive a city is or isn’t. Rather, it ranks both cold and warm destinations depending on how expensive they are versus how much they have to offer, plus other factors. It’s a best value winter destination ranking, if you will.

To get more specific, WalletHub took into consideration 69 of the most populated US metro areas grouped by warm and cold weather. Then, it compared them across six crucial dimensions, including travel costs and hassles, local costs, attractions, weather, activities, and safety. Each dimension groups in different factors according to which the areas were analyzed. For example, the travel costs and hassles category includes the cost of the cheapest flight, the cost of the shortest flight, and the share of delayed flights, among others. The attractions dimension, instead, is based on both the number of attractions and their diversity.

With a total score of 66.77, Atlanta was named the best cold destination for winter travel, while Las Vegas sat at the top of the best warm destinations for winter travel ranking. Right behind Atlanta, on the cold front, we find Washington DC and Chicago. Second on the warm destination list, instead, is San Diego, while Austin took the third spot.

Take a look at both rankings below:

Top cold weather destinations for winter travel 2023

1. Atlanta
2. Washington DC
3. Chicago
4. New York City
5. Denver
6. Cincinnati
7. St. Louis
8. Kansas City, Missouri
9. Philadelphia
10. Boston

Top warm weather destinations for winter travel 2023

1. Las Vegas
2. San Diego
3. Austin
4. Dallas
5. San Antonio
6. Charleston, South Carolina
7. San Francisco
8. Houston
9. Phoenix
10. Los Angeles

For more information and to look at the full report and its breakdown of factors contributing to the ranking, you can visit this website.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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