America’s Best Cities for a Quickie: Surprising destinations for easy getaways

America’s Best Cities for a Quickie: Surprising destinations for easy getaways

While jet-setting abroad may be off the table this summer, many Americans are turning to their own backyard for a change of scenery after months of stay-at-home orders. In fact, more than four in five (81%) of adults agree that after quarantine, quick, local trips are the perfect way to test the waters before investing in a longer vacation according to a recent survey – but these trips will be accompanied by added safety precautions. Key changes travelers plan to make include traveling more by car (50%), visiting less crowded spots (43%), researching a hotel’s cleanliness procedures (29%) and traveling close to home in case of emergency (26%).

In 2019, travel experts brought new meaning to the term ‘quickie’ when they released the “America’s Best Cities for a Quickie Index” which ranked 40 U.S. destinations predominantly based on factors like leisure and entertainment for a two to three-night getaway. But with trip planning looking a bit different this year and impacted by a rapidly changing health and safety landscape, recent traveler preferences called for new city ranking factors such as savings on last-minute bookings, driveability and population.

To create the 2020 index, industry experts analyzed more than 300 cities coast-to-coast, compiling more than 10,000 data points and taking into account today’s most pressing travel factors, including Ease of Arrival – Driveability (30%), Best Bang for Your Buck – Value (30%), Things to Do – Leisure (30%) and Population (10%) as travelers look to escape crowded destinations.

America’s Best Cities for a Quickie Index 2020 – Top 40

Major Metropolises

  1. Las Vegas, NV
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. Memphis, TN
  7. Indianapolis, IN
  8. Austin, TX
  9. Denver, CO
  10. Portland, OR
Mid-Size Must-Sees

  1. St. Louis, MO
  2. Tampa, FL
  3. Atlanta, GA
  4. Arlington, VA
  5. Tucson, AZ
  6. Tulsa, OK
  7. Virginia Beach, VA
  8. Pittsburgh, PA
  9. Miami, FL
  10. Cincinnati, OH
Small Town Favorites

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  1. Orlando, FL
  2. Scottsdale, AZ
  3. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  4. Reno, NV
  5. Salt Lake City, UT
  6. Springfield, MO
  7. Madison, WI
  8. Shreveport, LA
  9. Tallahassee, FL
  10. Toledo, OH
Itty Bitty City

  1. Charleston, SC
  2. Newport Beach, CA
  3. Santa Barbara, CA
  4. South Bend, IN
  5. Sarasota, FL
  6. Savannah, GA
  7. Temecula, CA
  8. Troy, AL
  9. Wilmington, DE
  10. Atlantic City, NJ

What Makes A Great Quickie City? 

When it came to ranking the best cities for a “quickie,” these top 40 cities scored big in the following categories:

  • Ease of Arrival – Driveability (30%):
    • Short drive time (number of top 50 U.S. metro areas within 250 miles)
  • Best Bang for Your Buck – Value (30%):
    • High hotel demand
    • Lowest average hotel daily rate
    • Biggest last-minute savings
  • Things to Do – Leisure (30%):
    • Most number of bars and restaurants
    • Most things to do (sites and attractions)
    • Least number of rainy days
  • Population (10%)
    • Higher priority to those with smaller populations

With 20 fresh destinations on this year’s Index, three categories saw new cities hit the #1 spot. Las Vegas kept its claim as the top Major Metropolis for a quickie, thanks in particular to its high value and leisure scores and moderate population. To ensure a safe and seamless trip, travel experts strongly recommend checking the most recent local travel guidelines for your city and destination before booking. They have also been working closely with their hotel partners to communicate property cleanliness precautions during checkout to indicate enhanced health and safety measures taken to protect travelers.

No one is certain how much longer COVID-19 will disrupt travel plans, so quick getaways can help Americans enjoy a change of scenery right now without making major commitments. In the midst of everything, Americans are craving a much needed break. People are taking certain precautions such as staying within driving distance of home and waiting until the last-minute to book so there’s no risk of their plans changing.

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