Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hotwire's 10 Hottest Cities for Travel Deals

They’ve done the research.  They’ve analyzed the data.  So, here’s the annual list of the Top 10 cities offering the hottest travel deals.

  1. Orlando
  2. Atlanta
  3. Tampa
  4. Dallas-Fort Worth
  5. Phoenix
  6. Raleigh
  7. Charlotte
  8. Houston
  9. St. Louis
  10. Sacramento
  11. Orlando


Orlando hits the top spot again in 2013 by offering vacationers almost everything they could want. With its low prices (Low Price Rating: 89) and amazing entertainment options (Entertainment Rating: 85), it’s easy to see why this city is so popular with tourists. Orlando is the theme-park capital of the world, home to Disney World and more.  Take a look:
Enter the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. ($88 - $123)
Saturday nights in Old Town, featuring rock concerts and classic-car cruising. (Free)
Guided tours of the Daytona Speedway, home of the Daytona 500. ($15 - $20, children 5 and under free)
Take a day trip to Daytona Beach, known as the World's Most Famous Beach. (Free)
Georgia on your mind? Well it should be because it's consistently rated highly in the Travel Value Index. Atlanta is not only home to some of the best travel discounts (Discount Rating: 91), but also some of the country's largest cultural institutions. Enjoy these great bargains:
The World of Coca-Cola Tour. (Free - $16)
CNN Studio Tour, a behind-the-scenes look at the 24-hour news service. ($11 - $15)
Centennial Olympic Park, an open-air park where the 1996 Olympic Games were held. (Free)
From its vibrant waterfront and brilliant sunsets to the rollercoaster thrill rides of Busch Gardens, Tampa is a red-hot destination, especially for those seeking great travel deals (Low Price Rating: 85). With its unique blend of urban excitement and beautiful natural surroundings, Tampa's ranked as the 5th best outdoor city by Forbes. Popular attractions and theme parks include: Adventure Island, Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Aquarium.
Lowry Park Zoo is recognized as the number one zoo in the U.S. by both Parents and Child magazines. (Free - $24.95)
Tee time anyone? Have your pick from dozens of pristine golf courses overlooking the beautiful blue waters.
Tampa is home to the best light tackle sport fishing in the world. (Free)
The Florida Aquarium. (Free - $21.95)
Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center. (Free)
Dallas-Fort Worth
Say howdy to Dallas-Fort Worth... as it again gets high marks on this year's Travel Value Index. Dallas-Fort Worth consistently makes this list because of its amazing discounts (Discount Rating: 100) on a wide variety of quality hotels and affordable entertainment (Entertainment Rating: 65). The city known for big barbecuing and shopping also has plenty more to offer, like these great destinations:
Hiking and biking trails connecting White Rock Lake and White Rock Creek Park. (Free)
Texas Wild exhibit at the Fort Worth Zoo. (Free - $12)
Visit Fair Park's Hall of State and African American museums. (Free)
Scoring high marks on our list again is the desert oasis of Phoenix. With low prices on world-class hotels and resorts (Low Price Rating: 73), Phoenix also offers outdoor adventures, golf courses, a wide selection of shopping, and nearly perfect year-round weather. Take a look:
Mosey around Old Town Scottsdale, "The West's Most Western Town". (Free)
Tour the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden. (Free - $18)
Tour Taliesin West, the winter residence of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. (Tours range from $17 - $32)
One of the reasons that Raleigh, the "City of Oaks", makes our list is because of its many world-class museums, and their free admission. It’s got great travel deals (Low Price Rating: 100) that make this laid back metropolis a hit with visitors. With its great shopping, dinning, parks and historical sites, the Raleigh experience has something for everybody.
The Museum Of Natural Science is not only a great place to learn, you can actually have the opportunity to watch scientists work, too. (Free)
Take in the beauty of master artists, such as Rodin, at the North Carolina Museum of Art. (Free)
The North Carolina State capitol building is a great place to learn about our government in action and is a great example Greek Revival Style architecture. (Free)
Southern charm and cosmopolitan character are just part of what helped put Charlotte on this list. This growing financial center is also a hit for travelers looking for bargains (Low Price Rating: 78). Close to both the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Coast, the “Queen City” is rich in history and full of fun attractions like:
Race on down to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and learn about the history and heritage of NASCAR. ($12.95 - $19.95)
Strike it rich at the Reed Gold Mine where you can tour an underground mine tunnel. (Free)
Take a nature stroll through the beautiful Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens and visit their Orchid Conservatory. ($6 - $12)
The nation's fourth-largest city offers something for everyone. With its impressive array of skyscrapers, parks, museums and shops, downtown Houston exudes both cosmopolitan vivacity and old-school Southern charm. This town ranks high on our list for offering big discounts on travel (Discount Rating: 94) and sunny year-round weather. Enjoy these activities:
The Museum District, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and Hermann Park - home of Houston's zoo. (Free - $14)
Take a stroll near downtown Houston, where the main drag of Montrose runs along Westheimer Boulevard; it's full of antique stores and coffee shops and ethnic restaurants. (Free)
Don't forget the Space Center Houston. Young space cadets will especially love Kids Space Place. (Buy online and save, $13.95 - $17.95)
Saint Louis
Located on the banks of the Mississippi, this town, known for its barbeque ribs and soulful music scene, is a great destination for travel values (Discount Rating: 86). St. Louis also scores high marks for having more major free attractions than anyplace other than our nation’s capitol. You won’t get the "blues" with all the fun the "Gateway City" has to offer. Check it out:
The St. Louis Zoo is considered one of the best zoological parks in the country. (Free)
No trip to St. Louis would be complete without a visit to the iconic Gateway Arch. For the full experience you need to ride 630 feet to the top and check out the one-of-a-kind views. ($5 - $10 for tram ride)
St. Louis Science Center will enlighten and entertain children and adults alike. (Free, $10 Parking)
Eureka, we’ve found a little nugget of a travel value in the heart of California’s gold country. Sacramento, the capitol of California, has great deals on travel (Discount Rating: 94) and plenty of culture, history and entertainment, at reasonable prices (Entertainment Rating: 70), to keep vacationers happy. Whether it’s checking out a museum or strolling through Old Town Sacramento visitors will think they hit the mother lode.
Modeled after the U.S. Capitol, the California State Capitol Building and Museum are a great place to visit to learn about the state’s government and history. (Free)
What better place to learn about California’s car culture than the California Automobile Museum? ($8- $14)
You can rent a bike or just take walk along the American River Bike Trail, to get out and enjoy some beautiful natural sites. (Free)

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