Travelers Flocking To Cities For Sweaty Summer Vacation This Year

While many big city dwellers will be clamoring to get out of sweaty urban areas this summer, millions of tourists are expected to swarm in during the summer months. And they’re even going to subject themselves to hot, sticky public transportation to save money.

According to a survey by non-profit public transportation advocate group, The American Public Transportation Association (via WNYC.org), cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York are among the top 10 city destinations for travelers this summer.

While I can’t vouch as well for the extreme sweatiness of the other cities on the list, I can say that New York is a sweltering hellhole of humid torture in the summer months. That being said, about 57% of the 6.8 million travelers landing in the city this summer say they will take public transportation to avoid having to find parking and to save money.

Forty-two percent of city vacationers will use public transportation to sightsee, 31 percent will take a train or bus when dining or heading out for a night on the town and 28 percent will use it for shopping.

Twenty-nine percent will travel to and from their place of lodging, and 28 percent will use public transportation to travel to and from the airport during their visit, the survey found.

That boils down to a whole lot of melty moments, so make sure to swill plenty of water, folks!

Heading to urban centers might be a reflection of the trend that many Americans are staying closer to home this year, perhaps another sign that we’re trying to save money on the actual traveling part of traveling.

Other cities with the most visitors this summer will be Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boston and Atlanta.

Cities Are Hot Vacation Destinations This Summer, Survey Shows [WNYC.org]

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  1. AgostoBehemoth says:

    cities = ick

    beach/mountains – :)

  2. That guy. says:

    It makes sense, in that many people are within a reasonable road trip distance from a major city (so dealing with airports), and there is plenty to do in such a dense area.

    Hotel rates are probably better too, compaired to beach areas.

  3. FatLynn says:

    As I walk past Union Station (Chicago) every day, I get to play my favorite game: Tourist or Panhandler?

    • HenryES says:

      This is pretty easy in DC, especially in rush hour on Metro. In addition to the FBI hats & tshirts they bought from a street vendor, they are among the few having a conversation on the train.

      • FatLynn says:

        Virtually every panhandler starts off with “can I ask you for directions?” which is why I have to make the snap judgement.

        • fredbiscotti says:

          Chicago panhandlers almost always start out with “can I ask you a question?”

          To which I reply “you just did,” and keep walking. By the time they regain their hustle, I’m usually out of “questioning” reach.

          • The Colonel says:

            In Cincinnati I always new I was going to be asked for money when I heard “Hey Big Guy.”

  4. bhr says:

    This is the dumbest “study” ever.

    Look at their top 5: Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco.

    You’ve got the three biggest metro areas in the country plus #7 (incredibly tourist friendly nations capital) and #11 (Incredibly tourist friendly west coast city).

    Of course people head to those places for vacations.

  5. nbs2 says:

    One of the few things that I will enjoy about my upcoming move to Houston – getting off the tourist list. Nothing makes a morning frustrating more quickly than walking up the escalator only to come to a sudden stop as you rear end the guy in front of you as you realize that you are so far back in the standing-on-the-left nightmare that even yelling for the person at the front to walk would do no good since they wouldn’t hear you.

    Goodbye Shady Grove, Dupont Circle and Farragut North. Hello having to drive to work since city planners and residents have no idea/desire to build a functional mass transit system and are likely too imcompetent to do so. Yeah, I’m not starting my new relationship on the best foot.

  6. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Summer vacation this year is a week and a half seeing Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.
    We’re making the drive up from NJ, and we’re going to park and either walk or use transit / taxi where needed.

    Why waste half the trip looking for parking in an unfamiliar place?

    • oldwiz65 says:

      Stay off the subway in Montreal – the college kids are tossing smoke bombs. Apparently it’s some sort of protest, and they don’t care if people are injured. I would avoid Quebec City unless you can speak good French – they hate tourists who can’t speak French. I used to love to visit Quebec City, but it’s just become too hostile to English speakers so I no longer visit.

      • Unstable says:

        Not sure how long ago you visited Quebec city but the few times I’ve been there in the summer months (past 2-3 years) I was stunned to see almost all the locals speak english with tourists, and without any attitude. When it comes to tourism, all of a sudden english ain’t a bad thing.

        • FatLynn says:

          I read that Parisians used to hate Americans, and then they realized that Americans tip above and beyond the automatic service fee, and so they got over it.

        • oldwiz65 says:

          It’s been at least 5 years since I was in Quebec. Lovely city, great food, great history, unfriendly people.

      • Onesnap says:

        I’m heading to Quebec City in a few weeks. The hotel and restaurant staff has been very nice in all my calls so far. I think when the people are treated with respect they will treat you in a respectful manner.

        • who? says:

          A friend of mine just got back from Quebec. He likes it. He goes every summer for work. The only problem he had this year was that he got trapped in his hotel for a couple of hours because one of the big student protests was happening in front of the hotel, and the cops wouldn’t let him go out. Other than that, he gets treated very well every time he goes.

  7. CrankyOwl says:

    You could always visit Portland in the summer, where it’s warm but seldom humid :)

    • Coffee says:

      As a Washington resident, I love visiting both Portland and Seattle in the summertime…both cities are beautiful in their own ways, and each has a nice downtown, although personally, I prefer Portland’s.

    • pixiegirl says:

      I must come at all the wrong times it’s always warm & humid when I visit in the summer. One summer I had heat exhaustion, probably due to the lack of AC while walking around shopping it was hotter inside the stores than it was outside. I do enjoy the mild winter visits, a great break from the blistering cold & snow from chicago.

  8. Lyn Torden says:

    Reykjavik is less sweaty this time of year. And it’s technically in North America.

    • Onesnap says:

      I’ve been there 3 times and never used the phrase ‘America’ to describe it. At this point it is everything America is not.

  9. cynner says:

    Come to San Francisco, get harassed by panhandlers, and freeze your ass off!

    • CrankyOwl says:

      As Mark Twain said “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”

    • nishioka says:

      As a frequent (at least once a year) visitor to San Francisco, I feel like I can take part in the “guess who’s a tourist” game. 1) People wearing shorts, 2) People calling the city “Frisco”.

  10. momtimestwo says:

    I live in Nashville. It’s so hot and humid here I don’t see how anyone can have fun.

    • jamar0303 says:

      By staying in the malls. At least that’s how I do it every summer. Couldn’t possibly justify the $1.5k plane ticket from Shanghai otherwise.

  11. Onesnap says:

    Or you could just rent my lake house in Maine (we rent it out on a weekly basis). Compared to last year area rentals are down. Perhaps that’s because everyone is taking a city vacation this year?

  12. who? says:

    As someone who has been to 5 of the top 7 in July….

    Las Vegas?…..OMG. I can’t believe the number of people who would subject themselves to that place in July by choice. 100 degrees at 10 pm? Crowds everywhere? No thanks. I only go there because I’m being paid to go there for work. Given a choice, I’d rather stay home.

    DC? Pretty much the same thing, only with humidity.

    NYC, on the other hand….yeah, it was hot, but I had a great time. There were a lot of fun things to do, even in July.

    Boston was fun. There was a free Boston Pops concert down on the river the weekend I was there. The weather was humid, but not so hot.

    San Francisco…I went to a Giants game. The only time I’ve ever bought a ski hat at a baseball game. Brrrr…..

    • NotEd says:

      I got married in July in Vegas almost 10 years ago. There is nothing more romantic that almost dying of heat stroke because it is 114 gegrees in the shade. Except for when it rained, when the temp went down to the high 80s and you feel like you are in a steam room for about 5 minutes after it ends until the earth’s toasty exterior scared the water back off of it.
      (Ok, it was that hot but not nearly as fatal to anyone involved.)

    • Kate says:

      I used to work in SF on the swing shift and commute in from a hot little town in the valley. Every day I would leave in this nasty heat, get to SF where it would be just kind of warm and then have to shiver like crazy on the artic walk back to my car late at night. You just can’t believe how cold it will get when the temp is up in the 90′s during the day.

  13. Remmy75 says:

    I love the summer months in Boston. Especially when I am standing on a corner waiting to cross the street and a duck boat pulls up. I feel like I am part of the attraction!

    Also at lunch time when I am walking to get something to eat, and a tour bus pulls up to Copley Square and 100 tourists come piling off the bus, i run the other way!

    Of course I will be the other side of that when my family goes to Washington, DC this summer for our vacation!

    • who? says:

      Yeah, living in a tourist destination can be entertaining. Most days it’s fine, but then there’ll be a day when I go to get a taillight for my car, and while I’m in the store my car gets blocked in by a tour bus disgorging hundreds (it seems) of people on some damn micro brew tour. Or the day I’m trying to go to work, and the freeway ramp is blocked by a car with Missouri plates, because the driver can’t figure out how to merge onto a Southern California freeway. So he sits there, waiting (and waiting) for an opening….eventually I drove up on the curb to get around him.

  14. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I’ll be in Los Angeles at the end of August. Hot, yes, but not as bad as SW Missouri. Although, I was looking at the forecast yesterday, thinking I’d set up the pool when I got back from Tucson, and holy crap, it’s gonna be COLD.

  15. Outrun1986 says:

    The worst place to be this summer is going to be Japan, all of their nuclear reactors have shut down, which means they won’t have enough power to fuel all the air conditioners this summer. Some places will be without air conditioning, the government has told them to conserve, and the Japanese take that very seriously, to the point where they would rather pass out than use the air. It happens to get very very very hot and humid in Japan during the summer, point being, I wouldn’t be traveling there this summer if it can be avoided, at least for now.

    99% of indoor places you go in the USA are going to be air conditioned, so if you are travelling at least you can cool off by ducking into someplace that has air conditioning or planning a vacation with mostly indoor activities. Unless you are outdoors or at an outdoor event with no buildings nearby.

    • nishioka says:

      I spent a summer in Japan without air conditioning. Going to the grocery store or convenience store just to bask in the air conditioning became a daily ritual.

      • Outrun1986 says:

        I have a friend who travels to Japan frequently, while I love everything about Japan, I wouldn’t want to go there in the summer, even if it was my only choice. I hate the heat enough to want to avoid it. I think I would rather go in the winter.

        • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

          I don’t know how hot Japan is compared to Manila during the summer. I lived in the Midwest now, and went back to Manila in the cusp of summer, holy hell I felt the heat!

          It is hot, sticky, humid, and dusty. But ice cream and icy goodies never tasted better!

        • jamar0303 says:

          I’m going to Osaka in the summer because it’s the closest testing center with open spaces to where I am now. You have officially scared the poop out of me.

        • nishioka says:

          Hokkaido is a much friendlier part of the country to visit if you can’t take the heat. I can’t either, I start getting crabby once it gets past 65-68 outside. There were about 6 weeks in July and August where it was constantly in the 80s during the day, and that kind of drove me nuts, but the rest of the year I was happy as a clam. At least the really hot and rainy season doesn’t get that far north, for the most part.

          Even better if you’re a fan of the snow, because they get tons of that in the winter.

  16. ovalseven says:

    pet peeve: “Sticky” is not a meteorological condition. The weather is never sticky, people are because they’re sweaty.

  17. Sunrisecarole says:

    Yeah, tell me about tourists…and snowbirds…I live in Ft Lauderdale. They keep my taxes down, so I welcome them even though it seems to double the number of cars on the road.

  18. Cacao says:

    Holy heck, riding the NYC subway in the summer is like descending into the bowels of hell. But it gets you where you need to go.

  19. Shorebreak says:

    “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”
    - This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but until the attribution can be verified, the quote should not be regarded as authentic.

  20. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    You are correct–these whiny kids really don’t understand the real world. In Quebec, universtity education has been by far the lowest in Canada for who knows when–about 50% of what someone in Ontario pays–and when the provincial government finally says “sorry, we really can’t afford this, there’s a Conservative government in Ottawa and we’re not getting our gravy train equaliztion payments we got when the Liberals under a Quebecer Prime Minister were in power,” the kids have nothing better to do…er….scream bloody murder. You think there were a 3-month long G20 summit in Montreal. Alas, no.

  21. Schildkrote says:

    “That boils down to a whole lot of melty moments, so make sure to swill plenty of water, folks!”

    That’s not what “swill” means, Senior Editor.

  22. soj4life says:

    People want to go to cities in the summer? There is a reason why the shore is a popular destination, it gets too hot in the concrete jungle, science proves this. My parents had us go to nyc for july 4th one year, the heat and stench from the subway was enough to just walk the extra 10 or 20 blocks.