Atlanta Outpaces Chicago as Best Vacation Spot for ‘Cold-Weather Lovers,' Ranking Says

The Chicago area is a popular tourist attraction during the summer months, but according to a new ranking, the city and surrounding suburbs hold up well even as the mercury plunges in the depths of winter.

The ranking, published by the consumer website WalletHub, ranks the Chicago area as the sixth-best “winter vacation destination for cold-weather lovers.”

The website’s rankings were computed based on several factors, including costs of travel and local costs, attractions, and of course, weather. The rankings then grouped cities into “warm” or “cold” categories, using flight data, safety indicators and weather predictions.

Nearly 70 of the country’s largest metro areas were included in the ranking, according to WalletHub.

The city of Atlanta, along with the suburbs of Sandy Springs and Alpharetta, were ranked as the top “cold weather” destination during the winter. Washington D.C. checked in at No. 2, with the New York-Newark metropolitan area finishing third.

St. Louis represented the Midwest’s highest finisher in fourth place, and Albuquerque, New Mexico ranked fifth.

Naperville and Elgin were also included in the Chicago metropolitan area for purposes of the ranking.

According to the rankings, Chicago ranks sixth in the country in terms of travel costs and hassles, but struggled badly in local costs, ranking 28th in the nation. The city also ranked 23rd in terms of weather, but more than made up for that in terms of attractions, finishing in second place, just behind New York.

In terms of warm weather destinations for the winter, Austin, Texas came in first place, with Las Vegas, San Diego, Dallas and Houston rounding out the top five.

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