Ahead of a winter season with above-normal temperatures and more rain than snow, according to the latest forecast from the Old Farmers’ Almanac, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its 2018’s Best Winter Holiday Destinations report.
Focusing on cost and convenience rather than scenic beauty, WalletHub compared nearly 70 of the largest U.S. metro areas grouped by warm and cold weather. Each destination was analyzed based on 36 key metrics, primarily the expense and hassle of traveling to each location, but also on other indicators, such as weather forecasts, safety and variety of activities.
Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the report’s most interesting findings:
Best Cold Destinations for Winter Travel
1 Chicago, IL 2 Washington, DC
3 Atlanta, GA
4 Cincinnati, OH
5 New York, NY
6 Boston, MA
7 Portland, OR
8 Denver, CO
9 Philadelphia, PA
10 Pittsburgh, PA
Best Warm Destinations for Winter Travel
1 Las Vegas, NV
2 Orlando, FL
3 Los Angeles, CA
4 San Diego, CA
5 Dallas, TX
6 Austin, TX
7 Houston, TX
8 San Francisco, CA
9 Tampa, FL
10 San Antonio, TX
Best vs. Worst
The average flight to a popular cold winter destination costs $279.09, lasts 3 hours and 32 minutes and has 0.27 connections. In comparison, the average flight to a popular warm winter destination costs $416.61, lasts 5 hours and has 0.53 connections.
Among cold destinations, Chicago, Illinois and Columbus, Ohio have the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $42, which is three times lower than Worcester, Massachusetts, the city with the highest at $126.
Among warm destinations, Dallas has the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $49, which is 4.7 times lower than Honolulu, the city with the highest at $230.
Among cold destinations, New York has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 7.42, which is 7.1 times more than in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the city with the fewest at 1.05.
Among warm destinations, San Francisco has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 4.91, which is 18.2 times more than in North Port, Florida, the city with the fewest at 0.27.