“I like Hollywood. I just like Minneapolis a little bit better.” - Prince

When you think of ideal summer destinations, do you think Minneapolis/St. Paul? Well, the folks over at WalletHub do and have even gone as far as listing the Twin Cities metro area among the top 50 best places to visit in the U.S. this summer. 

The question you're probably asking at this point is: what would make the Twin Cities area a top summer travel destination?

Is it the Mall of America? Nah, that's been named one of the worst tourist traps in the U.S.

Could it be the surprisingly underrated food scene? Perhaps, but that alone isn't enough to land The Cities among the top summer travel spots.

RELATED: Will Minnesota's Summer Be Hot or the Hottest?

While those two attractions might have played a role in the rankings, for this study, WalletHub focused on two specific criteria that are top of mind for most of us right now -- affordability and convenience.

How the Best Travel Destinations Were Determined

best summer destinations 2024

The cost of traveling can be a real summer bummer -- airline ticket prices are astronomical, gas prices remain high, and food costs are through the roof.

With that in mind, 100 of the largest metro areas were analyzed using six key categories to determine the affordability and convenience of traveling to each destination. WalletHub notes that attractions, weather, and safety are also part of the methodology because no matter how cheap it is to get somewhere, you still want to be entertained and have a good time.

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Categories for Best Summer Travel Destinations Ranking:

  1. Travel Costs & Hassles
  2. Local Costs
  3. Attractions
  4. Weather
  5. Activities
  6. Safety
minnesota summer travel

“When picking a summer travel destination, it’s easy to focus just on the types of activities you want to do or certain cities you’ve always wanted to see," says WalletHub Analyst Cassandra Happe. "However, choosing a destination that’s not only entertaining but also affordable is important when travel, dining, and activity costs have surged so much in recent years. It can also allow you to have a longer, more relaxing trip,” Happe continued.

RELATED: Minnesota's Biggest Outdoor Water Park Unveils Opening Date

Well said, Ms. Happe. Anyone traveling on a budget would agree that cutting costs will most certainly lead to a more enjoyable trip, and that is what ultimately lands Minnesota's Twin Cities among the top 50 best places to visit this summer.

The Twin Cities Metro Ranks 35th Best Summer Travel Destination

twin cities best summer destination place to visit

The Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area is the 35th best place to visit in summer out of the 100 metro areas analyzed. Here is how the Twin Cities ranked in each category:

  • Travel Costs & Hassles: 30th
  • Local Costs: 37th
  • Attractions: 32nd
  • Weather: 75th
  • Activities: 26th
  • Safety: 48th

Two Wisconsin cities also made the list -- Milwaukee (#50) and Madison (#54). Read more about the best Wisconsin summer travel destinations here.

The Top 10 Summer Travel Destinations in the U.S.

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Washington DC
  3. Orlando, FL
  4. Urban Honolulu, HI
  5. Tampa, FL
  6. Austin, TX
  7. Philadelphia, PA
  8. Chicago, IL
  9. El Paso, TX
  10. Cincinnati, OH

Check out the interactive map of the entire list of best summer travel destinations in the U.S. below:

Keeping in line with finding affordable entertainment, whether you live in Minnesota or are planning to visit, you'll likely find something that interests you on this huge and useful list of free things to do all over the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Check it out below.

LOOK: Highest-rated Free Things to do in Minnesota, According to Tripadvisor

Stacker compiled a list of the highest rated free things to do in Minnesota from Tripadvisor.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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