1 Arizona city ranked in top 10 for US ‘staycation’ destinations

Jun 10, 2024, 7:00 PM

Nine Arizona cities rank among the best "staycation" destinations in the country, a study found. (P...

Nine Arizona cities rank among the best "staycation" destinations in the country, a study found. (Pexels photo)

(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX — Planning a “staycation” this summer? Despite the heat, Tucson is ranked as a top-10 short-distance vacation destination, with Scottsdale close behind.

Personal finance company WalletHub selected 182 cities across the U.S. to consider in a study, including the 150 most-populated nationwide and the two most-populated in each state.

The 182 locations were ranked based on three categories: recreation, food/entertainment and rest/relaxation. A total of 42 metrics were considered across the three categories, such as sports parks, nightlife options and massage costs.

In one of these specific metrics, the study found four Valley cities tied for the most golf courses per capita nationwide: Peoria, Scottsdale, Tempe and Gilbert.

After considering each metric, cities were graded on a 100-point scale. Orlando received the highest grade with a 61.85 overall score. The lowest grade was given to Fremont, California, which earned a 25.23 scale.

Which Arizona cities are considered ‘staycation’ destinations?

Tucson took the state’s top spot in the staycation rankings at No. 10 in the nation, followed by Scottsdale at No. 12. Tempe, at No. 38, was the only other Arizona city in the top 50.

Here’s a rundown of how the Grand Canyon State fared in the WalletHub list:

10. Tucson: 55.70 overall score; 25th in recreation, 18th in food/entertainment and 14th in rest/relaxation. However, that may be more of a true vacation for Valley residents.

12. Scottsdale: 55.07; 46th, 25th, 2nd. Its main appeal is Old Town, which opened a new entertainment and dining venue in May called Lane Park. North of Old Town, the Four Seasons Resort sits as one of the premier resorts in the state.

38. Tempe: 48.68; 30th, 45th, 92nd. It features a number of events over the summer, including Peter Pan at ASU Gammage, comedy shows at Tempe Improv and a 4th of July Celebration at Tempe Beach Park to name just a few.

74. Phoenix: 43.91; 66th, 68th, 95th. The state’s capitol offers plenty of ways to beat the heat this summer, including flashlight nights at the Desert Botanical Garden. If you’d rather stay inside where it’s cool, check out a Diamondbacks or Mercury game or one of the many museums, such as the Musical Instrument Museum.

92. Glendale: 42.34; 104th, 105th, 50th. Visit the Westgate Entertainment District to check out a concert or Rattlers game after visiting the many shops it offers. It also features plenty of hotel options.

96. Mesa: 42.07; 102nd, 98th, 48th. See a concert at the Mesa Arts Center, learn about Arizona’s geography at the Museum of Natural History or bring the whole family to the interactive i.d.e.a. Museum.

108. Chandler: 41.11; 128th, 93rd, 44th. Some of the best retail options in the Valley are at Chandler Fashion Center. There’s also a farmer’s market worth checking out each Saturday morning.

117. Peoria; 40.20; 87th, 158th, 63rd. Check out “The Little Mermaid” being performed at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, playing from June 21-August 4.

144. Gilbert; 35.77; 152nd, 144th, 78th. With a historic downtown featuring plenty of food options and the city’s famous water tower, Gilbert also features OHSO Brewery, which took home a silver medal at the U.S. Open Beer Championships last summer.

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1 Arizona city ranked in top 10 for US ‘staycation’ destinations