On the lookout for a good travel value? There are plenty of good deals in travel in the United States, and this list of U.S. travel values in 2015 has plenty of options. Many of these cities are off the radar, while others are near major destinations. The Best Value City index highlighting 50 undiscovered U.S. cities was compiled by trivago.com, and is based on a combination of consumer ratings and average hotel prices. If you’re looking for a value in travel in the U.S. then read on.
I love a good value in travel, but I also enjoy visiting a destination with worthwhile experiences. I think trivago’s list has a little bit of both. I wrote about it in this week’s The Daily Traveler column for The Daily News, and thought I’d go a little more in depth here.
There is a heavy dose of the South and Midwest on the list, with the top 10 coming from those regions: Macon, Ga.; Branson, Mo.’ Montgomery, Ala.; Lincoln, Neb.; Wichita, Kan.; Augusta, Ga.; Tulsa, Okla.; Springfield, Mo.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Little Rock, Ark.
These aren’t exactly Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago or New York City, but if you’re the type of traveler who enjoys experiencing off-the-radar spots as much as big cities, amusement parks and beaches, this list might just have some gems.
And if you want to get away for a couple of days, the average hotel price in Macon ($77), Branson ($84), Montgomery ($89), Lincoln ($93) and Wichita ($96) are hard to beat.
There are lots of college towns on this list, and I’ve always had a blast in college towns. Durham, N.C., ranked No. 13 with an average hotel price of $101 brings more than just the home of Duke University. It’s part of the Research Triangle where there is a lot to do in Chapel Hill and Raleigh (No. 16, $97).
Lexington, Ky., (No. 22, $104) is home to the University of Kentucky and near the Bourbon Trail. Madison, Wis., (No. 27, $109) is also a fabulous college town with a lot of fun in the city.
I found it interesting that the East Tennessee resort communities of Pigeon Forge (No. 20, $82) and Gatlinburg (No. 25, $91) are on the list. Along with Knoxville in the top 10 and Chattanooga coming in at No. 28 with an average hotel price of $97, that’s a lot of affordable options in and around the Great Smoky Mountains.
- Little Rock (No. 10, $94): Home to the Clinton presidential library, a cool downtown shopping and entertainment scene and plenty of outdoors options surrounding the city.
- Mobile, Ala. (No. 11, $96): Sitting along Mobile Bay, this historic city has plenty of Southern charm, great seafood restaurants and is near the cool arts community of Fairhope and less than an hour from the beach.
- Fort Worth, Texas (No. 17, $114): Fort Worth is part of the massive Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex where there is plenty to do. Fort Worth holds its own with great art museums, the historic Fort Worth Stockyards and a great downtown entertainment district.
- Albuquerque, N.M. (No. 24, $89): If you’ve followed this blog for long you know I love New Mexico. We had a great time in Albuquerque during the Balloon Fiesta in 2013.
- Jacksonville, Fla. (No. 26, $94): OK, so it’s not on the beach but Jacksonville is adjacent to it. That works for me.
- Indianapolis (No. 42, $113): Another one of my favorite cities, Indianapolis has great restaurants, plenty of things for kids, an awesome craft beer scene and a downtown that is second to none.
- Columbus, Ohio (No. 43, $113): I’ve spent a lot of time in Columbus visiting family and friends. A great German district, a downtown filled with breweries and it’s a college town – what’s not to like?
- Houston (No. 46, $132), Charlotte, N.C., (No. 47, $113) and Kansas City, Mo., (No. 49, $114) prove this list has some big cities. Along with Sacramento, Calif., at No. 50 with an average price of $114, these are all cities I want to spend more time in.
Editor’s Note: I have zero affiliation with trivago. I just thought this data was really cool. Actually, I think a lot of the data they provide is interesting. You’ll probably read more of it here from time to time.