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Top 5 summer travel destinations and why you can always just staycation

It's been a long year, Austin. With 37% of the U.S. fully vaccinated and counting, it's time to start looking for the best places to enjoy that summer sun.

Wallethub makes your next vacation easier with a list of the best summer destinations in the U.S., but you might not even need to leave Austin to get your "Vaxxed Girl Summer" on.

Based on 42 key metrics, here are the five best summer travel destinations in the U.S. and where Austin ranked on that list.

1. Orlando, Florida

Disney World and its many amusement parks provide plenty of entertainment in Orlando. (Walt Disney World/Facebook)

With Disney World, an abundance of lakes and proximity to other Florida destinations, Orlando was ranked the No. 1 metro to travel to this summer. Orlando offered the most local attractions, the second-most attractions, and had the third-lowest local costs on the list.

Honolulu, Hawaii 

Waikiki Beach is just one of many destinations in Honolulu.

Honolulu seems obvious; lush beaches are a must after spending a year mostly indoors and away from people. The city boasts the second-most attractions on the list and was ranked the safest city to travel to. Families, couples or friends looking for a good time can all enjoy a back-to-nature experience at the U.S.'s most tropical state capitol this summer.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The French Quarter gives European flair to the Cajun-infused city of New Orleans.

With its French and Spanish influence, visiting New Orleans can seem like getting a taste of Europe. Cajun food, Bourbon Street and the city's storied past offer plenty of destinations for the summer, and the city was also ranked the second-most safe in the survey.

Austin, Texas

For those that can't exactly travel, you can always have a "staycation" in Austin, whether that means booking an Airbnb, staying at a trendy hotel or planning a day of activities like you're new in town.

Austin, with its Hill Country outdoor attractions and "Live Music Capital of the World" reputation, came in at fourth on the list. It was the only Texas city in the top 10.

Favorites of the city include taking a dip in Barton Springs, paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake, strolling through South Congress and enjoying a night out on Rainey Street. There's always the option of a short drive to visit nearby wineries and quaint Hill Country towns like Fredericksburg or Dripping Springs.

5. Atlanta, Georgia

(Georgia Aquarium/Facebook)

The city with both Southern charm and cosmopolitan appeal has plenty of attractions, from its signature "chicken biscuit" to the world's largest indoor aquarium. With a rich history steeped in Black culture and the 20th-largest economy in the world, the metro is packed with destinations, including botanical gardens, a zoo and plenty of major league sports teams. The city, sometimes called the "Capital of Hip-Hop" and a hotbed for other music genres, has a lively nightlife scene and is dotted with great eats.

A trip worth the drive—11 unique places to visit in central Texas(5 Souls Wine Co.)
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