Life

The 15 best American cities to take a 'staycation' this summer

A statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse stands in front of the Cinderella's castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Florida
Matt Stroshane | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse stands in front of the Cinderella's castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Florida

Nearly half of Americans won't be taking a vacation this summer because of family obligations, money and work. While traveling far from home for a week or two might not be feasible, you might want to consider a "staycation," — a.k.a., enjoying your time and visiting sights in your own city.

If you live in Orlando, Florida; Honolulu; or Chicago, you're in luck: They are the top three best places for a staycation in the U.S., according to a recent survey from WalletHub.

The financial website's 2018 Best & Worst Cities for Staycations rankings analyzed how 182 cities in the U.S. measure up. It looked at each city's recreation, food and entertainment as well as relaxation across 40 key metrics, including the number of restaurants, amusement parks, hiking trails and public beaches. Based on these findings, each city received a score out of 100.

Orlando earned its top spot on the list with the best rank in food and entertainment. Of course, it's home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando, but it also boasts the most zoos and aquariums and the most ice cream and frozen yogurt shops per capita.

If you're looking for a relaxing time off, Honolulu; Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina and Virginia Beach, Virginia are your best bets among the top 15 staycation cities. Meanwhile Cleveland, Ohio and Philadelphia tied for No. 1 in most swimming pools per capita. Chicago has the most tennis courts; and if beer is your thing, Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; New York, New York; Oakland, California and Washington, D.C. are all tied for the cities with the most beer gardens.

Here are the top 15 best cities for staycations in the U.S., according to WalletHub.

15. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Total score: 47.56
Recreation rank: 6
Food & entertainment rank: 79
Rest & relaxation rank: 14
Fun fact: North of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is also known for its beaches and its luxury hotels.

14. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Total score: 47.57
Recreation rank: 25
Food & entertainment rank: 63
Rest & relaxation rank: 6
Fun fact: In addition to its beaches, you can visit the Naval Air Station military airport.

13. New York, New York 

Total score: 28.28
Recreation rank: 10
Food & entertainment rank: 10
Rest & relaxation rank: 122
Fun fact: New York tied with with several other cities for the most spas, beer gardens, ice cream, coffee and tea spots per capita.

12. Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Total score: 48.73
Recreation rank: 17
Food & entertainment rank: 24
Rest & relaxation rank: 20
Fun fact: The Mall of America, the biggest shopping mall in the U.S., is just a 15-minute drive from the city.

11. Atlanta, Georgia

Total score: 49.75
Recreation rank: 21
Food & entertainment rank: 11
Rest & relaxation rank: 29
Fun fact: Airbnb's most-liked Instagram listings for 2017 include a treehouse in Atlanta.

10.Charleston, South Carolina

Total score: 50.71
Recreation rank: 26
Food & entertainment rank: 28
Rest & relaxation rank: 5
Fun fact: Food tour bookings are becoming more popular in Charleston.

9. San Diego, California

Total score: 52.86
Recreation rank: 3
Food & entertainment rank: 19
Rest & relaxation rank: 23
Fun fact: It was named one of the best places to live in the U.S. in 2017.

8. San Francisco, California

Total score: 52.91
Recreation rank: 4
Food & entertainment rank: 5
Rest & relaxation rank: 98
Fun fact: It's home to the Golden Gate Bridge and the historic Alcatraz prison.

7. Las Vegas, Nevada

Total score: 53.11
Recreation rank: 45
Food & entertainment rank: 2
Rest & relaxation rank: 41
Fun fact: Vegas had more than 42 million tourists in 2017.

6. Tampa, Florida

Total score: 53.37
Recreation rank: 22
Food & entertainment rank: 12
Rest & relaxation rank: 2
Fun fact: Located along Florida's Gulf Coast, it's home to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park.

5. Portland, Oregon

Total score: 53.61
Recreation rank: 8
Food & entertainment rank: 4
Rest & relaxation rank: 63
Fun fact: It was ranked as U.S. News & World Report's fifth best city for summer vacation this year.

4. Seattle, Washington

Total score: 54.60
Recreation rank: 7
Food & entertainment rank: 3
Rest & relaxation rank: 44
Fun fact: It ranks as No. 4 most hipster city in the world.

3. Chicago, Illinois

Total score: 55.23
Recreation rank: 1
Food & entertainment rank: 7
Rest & relaxation rank: 31
Fun fact: You can take a tour of meaningful areas in former President Barack Obama's neighborhood.

2. Honolulu, Hawaii

Total score: 55.97
Recreation rank: 9
Food & entertainment rank: 8
Rest & relaxation rank: 4
Fun fact: It's also one of the best cities to find a job this year.

1. Orlando, Florida

Total score: 55.95
Recreation rank: 20
Food & entertainment rank: 1
Rest & relaxation rank: 26
Fun fact: It's one of the best cities for singles.

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Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns Universal Orlando.