ANGEL MADISON

While many families are ready to hit the road or fly to a far-flung destination for summer vacation, others are planning to keep things closer to home with a staycation. WalletHub recently released its Best & Worst Cities for Staycations for 2021 and plenty of the usual suspects including Honolulu, Orlando and San Francisco came in at the top of the list. No one can argue the fact that these are all deamy places for a staycation (if you’re lucky enough to live there!) but as proud New Jerseyans, we take issue with the fact that Newark (one of our best day trips picks) came in as one of the very worst places to staycation.

Sure, cities like Charleston or Las Vegas have lots to offer when it comes to hometown fun (they were also at the top of the list). But as any true resident of the Garden State knows, Newark is actually an interesting, diverse and fun place to explore.

From the Newark Museum of Art which is home to a large collection of American, Asian and African art to the New Jersey Historical Society, which chronicles NJ’s past, present and future, Newark has a lot to offer when it comes to culture. For natural beauty, Branch Brook Park can’t be beat — it’s the best place to view cherry blossoms in the spring.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra plays regularly at NJPAC, and the theatre venue also features a number of touring productions including ballet and dance. If you’re looking to see a big arena concert, the Prudential Center is where some of the biggest acts perform and it’s also home to the New Jersey Devils hockey team.

Now that we’ve cleared up why you shouldn’t throw shade at Newark, here are the top 10 places to staycation this summer according to the study:

  1. Honolulu, HI
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. San Francisco, CA
  4. Charleston, SC
  5. Las Vegas, NV
  6. Portland, ME
  7. Chicago, IL
  8. Seattle, WA
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Cincinnati, OH

Other cities joining Newark at the bottom of the staycation list were Montgomery, AL, Aurora, CO and Hialeah, FL.

WalletHub determined the best and worst cities for staycations by comparing more than 180 cities across 46 key metrics. “Our data set ranges from parks per capita to restaurant-meal costs to the share of residents who are vaccinated,” said the study authors.

Click here for the full list and happy staycationing!

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