2021’s Best Summer Travel Destinations

RIVERSIDE — This community, located 60 miles east of Los Angeles, is listed on WalletHub’s 2021’s Best Summer Travel Destinations. It is no mystery.

Riverside boasts a number of firsts, including Southern California’s first polo field and golf course. The city also gave birth to the California citrus industry, an entire empire built around the sweet and zesty navel orange. Two dozen nationally registered historic sites and more than 100 city landmarks commemorate this city’s flavorful history, which you can get a taste of on the downtown walking tour, downloadable here or available at the Mission Inn Museum, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, and Riverside City Hall.

You may stop in at California Citrus State Historic Park to learn how citrus became king in Southern California. On a ranger-led tour, taste oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit that grow on the property. Look for more of the city’s citrus past in the Marketplace District’s packing houses and the manicured orange trees lining its downtown streets.

As Riverside flourished, a local family opened the Glenwood Cottages guest house, which later grew into the world-famous Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, the largest Mission Revival–style building in the United States, according to VisitCalifornia.com. The inn’s guest list has included presidents Nixon and Reagan, film stars and royalty. The unmissable block-long inn is adorned with flying buttresses, archways, courtyards, stained-glass windows, a bell tower, a circular wrought-iron staircase, a chapel with a gold altar and more than $7 million worth of antiques. Spend a night here—or two—or take the 75-minute tour, offered daily. From the inn’s rooftop, the 360-degree view includes nearby Mount Rubidoux, once owned by the inn’s founder. Year-round, the mountain beckons visitors to climb to its white-cross-topped summit. A paved, one-mile trail leads to the top.

Riverside is just one of the top 20 travel destinations.

With the COVID-19 vaccine available to all Americans and the number of daily travelers passing through TSA checkpoints over 10 times higher than last year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Best Summer Travel Destinations.

To help travelers plan the perfect summer getaway, WalletHub compared 100 metro areas across 42 key indicators of budget- and fun-friendliness. The data set ranges from the cost of the cheapest flight to the number of attractions to COVID-19 cases.
Top 20 Summer Travel Destinations
1. Orlando, FL
2. Honolulu, HI
3. New Orleans, LA
4. Austin, TX
5. Atlanta, GA
6. Salt Lake City, UT
7. Tulsa, OK
8. Los Angeles, CA
9. Oklahoma City, OK
10. Little Rock, AR
11. Washington, DC
12. Springfield, MO
13. San Antonio, TX
14. Wichita, KS
15. Tampa, FL
16. Tucson, AZ
17. Miami, FL
18. Riverside, CA
19. Albuquerque, NM
20. Raleigh, NC

Best vs. Worst

  • The average flight to a popular summer destination costs $293.73, lasts 3 hours and 44 minutes and has 0.3 connections.
  • The Los Angeles metro area is the most attractive destination on the West Coast and the Atlanta metro area is the most attractive destination on the East Coast.
  • Florida, Oklahoma and Texas are home to the most top summer destinations in the U.S., each with two metro areas in the top 15. Oppositely, Michigan and Pennsylvania have the largest numbers of the most unpopular summer destinations, each with two metro areas.
  • The Orlando metro area has the lowest nightly rate for a three-star hotel room, $32, which is 4.9 times less expensive than in Santa Rosa, the metro area with the highest at $157.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, click here.

Image Sources

  • Riverside: Shutterstock