These Are America's Best Cities for a Quickie Vacay

A new survey from Hotwire reveals the top American cities for a short vacation

Lush street in Savannah
Daniela Duncan / Getty Images

American travelers are officially fans of the "quickie." According to Hotwire's third annual "America's Best Cities for a Quickie" survey, more travelers than ever are leaning into quick vacations, eschewing the risks and unknown of international travel.

Hotwire, which defines a "quickie" as a two- or three-night getaway, usually at the last minute, found that quick domestic trips with a touch of luxury are in high demand this year.

"Our 2020 index was focused on travelers' specific preferences caused by the pandemic, with an extra focus on smaller, less crowded destinations that allowed for easier social distancing," Melissa Postier, Hotwire's director of brand, PR, and social told TripSavvy. 

However, this year, things are slightly different. A whopping 75 percent of travelers want to make up for lost time, save cash, and spend where necessary.

"We honed in on the best cities for a truly leveled-up getaway—those with the most four- and five-star hotels, upgraded amenities, and experiences that can still offer amazing savings to be used on additional experiences and activities," said Postier.

Almost 80 percent of those surveyed said they'd use the money they saved on booking a trip to better their experience. That includes enjoying an expensive meal, spa treatments, or upgrading to a luxury room.

So what cities made the cut? Well, there are 40 of them, and they're broken down into four categories based on size: major metropolises, mid-sized must-sees, small-town favorites, and itty bitty cities.

Major Metropolises  Mid-Sized Must-Sees Small Town Favorites Itty Bitty Cities
1. New York, NY 1. Atlanta, GA 1. Orlando, FL 1. Savannah, GA
2. Chicago, IL 2. Baltimore, MD 2. Fort Lauderdale, FL 2. Palm Springs, CA
3. Los Angeles, CA 3. St. Louis, MO 3. Reno, NV 3. Newport Beach, CA
4. Philadelphia, PA 4. Milwaukee, WI 4. Richmond, VA 4. Asheville, NC
5. Washington, D.C. 5. Cincinnati, OH 5. Salt Lake City, UT 5. Costa Mesa, CA
6. Boston, MA 6. New Orleans, LA 6. Madison, WI 6. Charleston, SC
7. Las Vegas, NV 7. Miami, FL 7. Buffalo, NY 7. Ann Arbor, MI
8. Houston, TX 8. Pittsburgh, PA 8. Shreveport, LA 8. Newport, RI
9. San Diego, CA 9. Lexington, KY 9. Tallahassee, FL 9. St. Augustine, FL
10. Indianapolis, IN 10. Cleveland, OH 10. Knoxville, TN 10. Atlantic City, NJ

It’s no surprise to see popular destinations like New York, Atlanta, Orlando, and Savannah top the list in each category. Other notables include Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Richmond, and Charleston.

Hotwire also ranked their quickie cities based on drivability but also leisure activities that include a solid number of restaurants, attractions, and even a low number of rainy days in a year. The survey analyzed more than 350 cities based on value, leisure, and drivability, with a maximum of 15 points allotted in each category. 

“With Hotwire, quickie trips not only allow travelers to save more compared to booking in advance, but they also allow travelers to book essentially on-demand, avoiding the issues that last-minute travel restrictions could cause for vacations planned further out. We expect this will continue to be popular with travelers,” explained Postier.

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