June 20, 2017

Philly (nearly) tops ranking of best U.S. vacation destinations

Travel Vacations
Liberty Bell Matt Rourke/AP Photo

Shown is the Liberty Bell on Thursday, May 5, 2016, in Philadelphia.

It may not feel this way as you commute to work and carry out your daily drudgery, but you, Philadelphians, are living in Vacationland, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The publisher released its 2017 rankings of the best vacation destinations in the U.S., and Philadelphia ranked No. 2, second only to New York. In third place is the idyllic beaches of Honolulu-Oahu. So whenever you’re dreaming of sinking your toes deep in the sand, find some solace and consider that Ben Franklin impersonators and the Constitution have provided this city a more coveted position than the beach.

Rounding out the top five U.S. destinations are Maui at No. 4 and San Francisco at No. 5. 

This year’s list is quite a shift from its predecessor, which ranked the Grand Canyon as the best destination in the U.S. for 2016-2017. In second and third place were Maui and Yellowstone National Park, respectively.

Ranking methodology is based equally on user and editor scores, allocating 50 percent weight of scores to user votes. Editors consider destinations based on culture, people, food, shopping, family, nightlife, adventure, romance, and accessibility. 

Philly’s title as the country's only World Heritage City helped boost its status, and U.S. News & World Report notes that the dining scene “encompasses more than just the ubiquitous cheesesteak” and ranks the city as the 15th best foodie city in America.

U.S. News & World Report hits heavy on Philadelphia's history, suggesting all the traditional tourism standbys: The Liberty Bell, Reading Terminal Market, Independence Hall, etc. The magazine is also quite fond of Philly’s museum culture, particularly the Franklin Institute and Please Touch Museum.

Check out more of this year's rankings, including international and Caribbean destinations, here.