Dallas-Fort Worth Named No. 4 Best Warm-Weather Destination for Winter Travel

Dallas is a hot spot for winter travel.
Dallas is a hot spot for winter travel. Photo by Ryan Duffy on Unsplash
As winter approaches, some are getting ready to shed their pandemic-induced hibernation for a warmer climate: Dallas and the surrounding area.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington was ranked as 2021’s fourth best warm-weather destination for winter travel, according to a new study by personal finance website WalletHub. Two other Texas metropolitan areas made the top five, with Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown coming in first place and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land landing fifth.

WalletHub analyzed around 70 of the country’s biggest metropolitan areas, lumping them into “warm” and “cold” categories. The site also examined each region based on metrics such as affordability, attractions and travel costs.

One factor making winter travel safer is the fact that many Americans have now received the COVID-19 vaccine, Kelly Ann Way, an associate professor at the University of Arkansas, explained in a news release. Plus, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the decline.

The travel industry is bouncing back, as was seen during the summer months, WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told the Observer via email.

“However, because of the new Delta variant and flu concerns,” Gonzalez wrote, “the number of travelers might drop a little during the winter. We don't expect traveling to be necessarily greater than in pre-pandemic years, but we should be seeing a surge during the holidays compare[d] to last year."

In terms of Dallas’ attractions, Gonzalez said the region ranked fifth in diversity; the area includes a variety of options like museums, landmarks, concerts, nightlife and parks. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington also ranked higher in warm-weather activities such as tennis courts, music venues and baseball diamonds, plus shopping centers, amusement parks and food festivals.

Many Texans are still reeling from last February’s winter storm, but Gonzalez said potential tourists may not be deterred from traveling during the holiday season, which coincides with milder winter months. Still, for some would-be tourists, memories of Winter Storm Uri could alter plans starting early next year.

At the same time Dallas could be hit with holiday tourists, Airbnb is cracking down on New Year's Eve parties.

Earlier this week, the short-term rental business announced a plan to block certain one-night reservations of entire home listings in Dallas and other locations for NYE. Such restrictions work in tandem with the company’s continued party ban and apply to guests who don’t have a history of positive reviews.

More than 2,000 people were “deterred by our various anti-party defenses from booking entire home listings over NYE 2020 in Dallas,” an Airbnb spokesperson said by email.

Guests who’ve received good reviews can still book away.
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter