Taking the travel temperature

Sunny Dallas-Fort Worth rises to No. 4 hot spot for winter travel in new ranking

Sunny DFW rises to No. 4 hot spot for winter travel in new ranking

Dallas Arts District with holiday lights
It's cool to stick around Dallas in the wintertime. Photo courtesy of Omni Dallas Hotel

If you’re hunting for a warm-weather destination this winter, you might just look in your own backyard.

Dallas-Fort Worth ranks fourth on a new WalletHub list of the best winter destinations for lovers of warm weather.

Obviously, the ranking excludes any mention of last winter’s crippling ice storm that ravaged all of Texas. 

To determine the best winter destinations, WalletHub compared 69 of the most populated U.S. metros across six categories: travel costs and hassles, local costs, attractions, weather, activities, and safety.

Proving that the survey was conducted before recent Southwest and American Airlines cancellations and snafus, Dallas outranks everyone else in the "travel costs and hassles" category (No. 1). It also ranks high in weather (No. 2), attractions (No. 12), local costs (No. 13), activities (No. 15), and safety (No. 26).

With its abundance of spectacular light displays, ample shopping, and myriad festive attractions, it's no wonder the whole DFW area is consistently named one of the best places to celebrate Christmas.

Austin grabbed the No. 1 ranking in the new winter destinations survey, performing well in the travel costs and hassles category (No. 2) and weather category (No. 6). It lands at No. 10 for attractions, No. 12 for local costs, No. 13 for warm-weather activities, and No. 19 for safety.

“The outlook for the winter travel season looks good. Drive-to destinations will still be preferred for most travelers,” Stacy Tomas, assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management at Oklahoma State University, tells WalletHub.

Between Austin and Dallas in the winter-weather ranking are No. 2 Las Vegas and No. 3 San Diego.

Among other major metros in Texas, Houston, and San Antonio hold down the No. 5, and No. 6 spots, respectively.

“Traveling within your region is a great way to have a fun and relaxing trip while also saving time and money,” Tomas says. “It is also a great way to spend money locally, with small businesses, which are the backbone of the travel industry.”