Best Summer Travel Destinations: 2 FL Metros Among Top 10 Nationally

FLORIDA — Two Florida metros are ideal for summer travel this year, according to WalletHub’s latest ranking released Tuesday.

Metro Orlando and Tampa secured the No. 3 and 5 spots respectively for Best Summer Travel Destinations 2024, topping tourist faves such as Chicago, Illinois and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Personal-finance website WalletHub released a list of 100 US destinations likely for summer travel based on travel costs and hassles, local costs, attractions, weather, activities and safety.

“When picking a summer travel destination, it’s easy to focus just on the types of activities you want to do or certain cities you’ve always wanted to see,” WalletHub Analyst Cassandra Happe, said in the report.

“However, choosing a destination that’s not only entertaining but also affordable is important when travel, dining and activity costs have surged so much in recent years. It can also allow you to have a longer, more relaxing trip.”

In the end, the experts chose Orlando and Tampa for the top 10.

WalletHub hinted Orlando’s theme parks make the southern town attractive.

“The cheapest flights to Orlando from other major cities have zero connections and cost as little as $308. Surprisingly, the lowest nightly rate for a three-star hotel room in Orlando is only $55, which is very reasonable. The metro area has plenty of affordable, high-quality restaurants to choose from, too. Orlando also ranks highly when it comes to the prevalence of water parks, boat tours, ice cream shops, coffee shops, shopping centers and spas, providing venues to both get thrills and relax, ” WalletHub said in its report.

WalletHub did not dive in-depth why Tampa was chosen.

Here’s how metro Orlando ranked:

  • Total Score: 65.90
  • Travel costs and hassles: 23
  • Local costs: 30
  • Attractions: 6
  • Weather: 62
  • Activities: 2
  • Safety: 46

Here’s how metro Tampa ranked:

  • Total Score: 63.16
  • Travel costs and hassles: 18
  • Local costs: 47
  • Attractions: 24
  • Weather: 40
  • Activities: 11
  • Safety: 22

Other Florida areas that made the list are: Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach (No. 14), Jacksonville (No. 40), Pensacola/Ferry Pass/Brent (No. 58), Palm Bay/Melbourne/Titusville (No. 75), Deltona/Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach (No. 83), North Port/Sarasota/Bradenton (No. 88) and Cape Coral/Fort Myers (No. 98).

Cape Coral has one of the highest costs and one of the most hassles in the nation, according to the rankings.

Cape Coral, Palm Bay and Deltona filled the No. 98-100 slots each for attractions.