Unveiling Jacksonville, Florida: The Surprising Leader in the Worst U.S. Cities for Summer Travel

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





When we dream of the perfect summer getaway, it’s easy to imagine golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a vibrant coastal atmosphere. But recent revelations suggest that there’s more to a memorable travel experience than meets the eye.

In a comprehensive study by Forbes Advisor, researchers delved into the 50 most populous cities across the United States, aiming to uncover the best and worst destinations for summer travel. Beyond the superficial charm, the analysis considered a range of factors, from city amenities to air travel logistics and driving conditions.

Employing a robust framework comprising 16 distinct metrics, the study provided a nuanced evaluation of each city. Among these metrics, the overall city experience emerged as the cornerstone, encompassing nine key factors:

1. Crime rate
2. Median hotel prices during the summer season
3. Median cost of tours and activities
4. Average price of a two-person meal
5. Average number of extreme temperature days
6. Number of tourist attractions and restaurants with four or more stars on Tripadvisor
7. Walk Score
8. Transit Score

The study’s findings cast a spotlight on Jacksonville, Florida, emerging as an unexpected frontrunner for the title of the worst summer travel destination. Despite its picturesque beaches and lively coastal ambiance, Jacksonville received a dismal perfect score of 100, highlighting its shortcomings as a summer vacation hotspot. Factors such as poor walkability, limited public transportation, high crime rates, and a scarcity of top-rated dining options contributed to its unfavorable ranking.

Joining Jacksonville in the top five worst cities for summer travel are Colorado Springs, Colorado; Fresno, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

However, amidst the gloomy outlook, the study also unveiled the crème de la crème of summer travel destinations in the United States. Cities like Minneapolis, Minnesota; Long Beach, California; Washington, D.C.; Seattle, Washington; and Omaha, Nebraska emerged as beacons of travel excellence, offering a seamless blend of urban amenities, hassle-free air travel, and navigable roadways.

As travelers gear up for their summer adventures, these insights serve as a compass, guiding them toward destinations that promise unforgettable experiences minus the typical travel headaches. Whether immersing oneself in the cultural richness of Washington, D.C., or indulging in the coastal allure of Long Beach, the possibilities for summer escapades are endless.

For those seeking further travel inspiration, a wealth of resources awaits, providing insights into the latest hotel openings, passport-free getaways, and coveted beach destinations. Armed with this knowledge, travelers can embark on their journey with confidence, ready to craft their perfect summer getaway.

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