A Florida staycation turns out to be the best of all, particularly in the metro areas of Orlando and Tampa. Both rank in the top five destinations for the best stay-at-home vacation in the US. The two areas, popular for both relocation and holidays in the US, bring together all the right ingredients for the perfect staycation.
A recent survey by WalletHub ranked 150 metro areas in the US in terms of how staycation friendly they are. Taking into account recreation facilities, food and entertainment, and opportunities for rest and relaxation, the survey revealed the best place to take a holiday at home.
Florida Staycation no surprise
Given that Florida ranks among the world’s most popular holiday destinations as well as American’s favourite holiday spot, it isn’t surprising to discover the Sunshine State’s high ranking in the staycation list. The state received a record number of domestic visitors in 2017 and figures for Q1 this year promised more of the same.
Orlando sits at the top of the best places for a staycation in the US with the highest ranking nationwide. With a total score of 63.66, Orlando easily beats its nearest rival, Chicago. Known as America’s theme-park capital, Orlando takes first position in the food and entertainment category. For recreation, the metro area comes in 13th place and for rest and relaxation, 20th.
Slightly further down the list with 58.80 points, but still in the top five is Tampa. This metro area on the coast takes third place for rest and relaxation, and 15th for both recreation and food and entertainment. Also in the top five for the best staycations in the US are Chicago, San Diego and Seattle.
Orlando staycation has it all
As well as a seemingly endless list of theme parks, Orlando comes out top for several other facilities in the recreation category. Orlando ties in first place with Cincinnati and Scottsdale for the highest number of public golf courses per capita.
It shares the top position for zoos and aquariums with Miami, another favourite Florida staycation spot. In the rest and relaxation, Orlando joins Fort Lauderdale, New York, Honolulu and Las Vegas in the top position for the most spas.
In the food category, Orlando ranks at the top for ice cream parlours along with New York and Las Vegas. No Florida locations feature in the top rankings for beer gardens (dominated by New York and Houston) or coffee and tea shops, a category ruled by New York and metro areas in California.
Ingredients for best staycation
The WalletHub survey also asked a panel of experts to give their opinion on the top things to consider when looking at the best place for a staycation. Among the main recommendations were the following:
Stay nearby – the majority of experts recommended that a staycation should involve travelling no more than an hour to visit attractions. Both Orlando and Tampa have prime scenery and attractions within an hour’s drive of their metro areas.
Outdoor activities – the experts are unanimous that being able to do things outside makes for a successful holiday at home. Florida staycations come up trumps here too since the state has stunning coastal and everglade scenery within easy reach of most metro areas. Tampa enjoys proximity to the beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches and Orlando lies a short drive away from several attractive beaches including Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach.
“A significant proportion of tourism in the Sunshine State comes from in-state visitors, meaning Florida staycations are popular and important for the economy,” comments Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “Staycation clients are therefore worth bearing in mind when buying a property in Florida with the view to using it for holiday lets.”
BRIC Group, an investment company specialising in global real estate opportunities, offers US real estate investments including turnkey properties in Florida and Houston, and land plots in Florida. BRIC Group is also developing The Coral resort, in Northeast Brazil, a luxury beachfront resort with land and villa investment opportunities. BRIC Group has been creating wealth for its clients since 1996 and has offices in Brazil, Dubai (consulting office), Hungary, Spain and the US.