5 Texas cities make a splash as best places for family-friendly vacations
FUN FOR THE FAM
Fort Worth families looking to create lasting memories - or just really need a last-minute getaway for spring break - don’t need to look outside their state.
In a new report from lawn care company Lawn Love, five Texas cities ranked high as Best Cities for Kid-Friendly Vacations. Houston scored No. 8, San Antonio landed at No. 10, and Dallas came in at No. 11. A little further down the list, Austin scored No. 29, and (for those wanting a great staycation location) Fort Worth came in at No. 44.
Not bad, considering 200 of America’s largest cities were ranked using 23 metrics, including affordability, family-friendly accommodations, attractions, transportation options, and more.
Houston, the highest rated Texas city, was classified as the third safest city for kid-friendly vacations, and earned the No. 6 spot in the category of “getting around." In the category of most amusement and theme parks, Houston ranked No. 5 in a three-way tie with San Diego, California and Denver, Colorado. Houston also tied at No. 3 with Baltimore, Maryland in the category of most children’s hospitals.
San Antonio was hot on Houston's heels, just making the top 10 with its highest ranking in "having fun" (No. 5), the highest of any Texas city. It also had a high ranking in safety (No. 8), and all its scores were above average, including the lowest ranking in "eating" (No. 97).
Dallas - a hotel-rich city - scored highest in the category of "staying" (No. 11). Dallas also did well in the "having fun" category (No. 14). The city ranked 21st for "getting around," and an inexplicable 53rd for "eating."
Austin did better than average on most metrics except affordability (No. 115 of 200). In an odd order, the city's best rankings were "getting around" or ease of transportation (No. 30), followed closely by "having fun" (No. 36).
Fort Worth lagged behind these four Texas counterparts, but still made the 78th percentile and beat cities like Killeen (the worst in Texas at No. 192). It did very well in "staying" (No. 16) and better than average in all other metrics than eating (No. 116), which sees to have dragged the overall ranking down significantly.
"Let folks carve out time for themselves and the activities they want to do and ensure that there are activities for everyone to do together," she suggests. "My 92-year-old father-in-law didn’t want to go to the beach – and that was fine. We went while he read. But we all did take walks, eat meals, and watch TV together – and it was wonderful."
Sharp also recommends families plan ahead when deciding their mode of travel, and to limit use of technology once at their destination in order to connect and bond with each other.
The full top 10 list of best US cities for kid-friendly vacations includes:
- No. 1 New York City, New York
- No. 2 Orlando, Florida
- No. 3 Miami, Florida
- No. 4 Las Vegas, Nevada
- No. 5 Chicago, Illinois
- No. 6 Tampa, Florida
- No. 7 San Francisco, California
- No. 8 Houston, Texas
- No. 9 Los Angeles, California
- No. 10 San Antonio, Texas
More information about Lawn Love’s report can be found at lawnlove.com.