santa wears sunglasses here
San Antonio warms up as a top 5 winter vacation spot in the U.S., per report
Somewhere between the arctic blast that recently chilled the state and the triple digit temperatures of the last few months, San Antonio is one of the top destinations for winter vacationers looking for a warm place to spend their holidays, a new report by WalletHub found.
The 2023 edition of WalletHub's "Best Winter Holiday Destinations" list divided 70 of the biggest U.S. metropolitan areas into two categories: the top "warm" and "cold" weather destinations. The study evaluated every metro based on 37 factors, including travel costs, local costs, weather predictions, safety, and more.
San Antonio-New Braunfels ranked No. 5 with a score of 62.39 points (out of a possible 100), maintaining its position in the top five for the second consecutive year. Just above San Antonio was Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (No. 4), Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown (No. 3), San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, California (No. 2), and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada (No. 1).
For the purpose of the study, "cold" weather was determined to be less than or equal to 46 degrees Fahrenheit, while "warm" weather was greater than or equal to 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Both guidelines were analyzed based on the 50-year average December temperatures.
The report found that San Antonio had the third-lowest travel cost and hassles out of all cities that were examined. That can be attributed to the busy yet stress-free San Antonio International Airport, which is constantly improving and adding new flights to its travel calendar.
Luckily for Texans, the cheerful holiday season begins in November. There's plenty of time to make those festive weekend plans, from ice rinks to cowboy Santa appearances throughout the Hill Country and the rest of the state.
As expected, most of the best warm weather destinations in the report fall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The highest concentration of warm weather places is in the Sunshine State of Florida (10 metros), followed closely behind by Texas (nine metros), then California (eight metros).
However, Texas cities dominated the top 10. After Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio is Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, which ranked No. 8.
According to Linchi Kwok, a professor of hospitality management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, winter holiday travel around the country is going to be impacted by the current economy. That could possibly make other Texas destinations like Dallas, Austin, or Houston more enticing for San Antonio residents.
"While Americans still want to travel this winter, they may pick a destination closer to home and find ways to stretch the dollar," Kwok said.
Oddly enough, if locals would like to get away and enjoy some cold weather, the report would send them to Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia (No. 1). Not exactly the picture of a winter wonderland. Chicago, at No. 3, is the highest ranked cold destination in the Northern states.
The top 10 best warm weather winter vacation destinations are:
- No. 1 – Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada
- No. 2 – San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, California
- No. 3 – Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Texas
- No. 4 – Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
- No. 5 – San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas
- No. 6 – Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina
- No. 7 – San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, California
- No. 8 – Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas
- No. 9 – Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Arizona
- No. 10 – Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California