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This local area spendy but among best summer travel destinations in US

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Sonoma County is easy to get to and among the top summer destinations in the United States but travelers should expect to pay more than anywhere else in the country during their visit, according to a report out this week by financial website WalletHub.

The Santa Rosa and Petaluma metro area squeezed into WalletHub’s May 14 list of “2024’s Best Summer Travel Destinations,” ranking 99 out of 100 and coming in between Cape Coral and Fort Meyers, Florida, and the Oxnard and Thousand Oaks area in Southern California.

Among the list’s six categories, Santa Rosa and Petaluma ranked No. 1 in WalletHub’s travel costs and hassle category, meaning the area has the lowest costs and fewest hassles to reach. Yet, the area ranked No. 100, dead last, in the local cost category, meaning the area is the most expensive in the U.S. for travelers this summer.

In addition, WalletHub gathered data related to attractions, weather, activities and safety in the 100 most populated U.S. metro areas.

The travel costs and hassle category reflected the cost, duration and number of connections of both the cheapest and the shortest flights between the metro areas and the six largest U.S. airport hubs.

The local costs category include data related to gas prices, hotel rates and meal prices.

WalletHub also looked at the number and diversity of attractions, summer weather averages, the number and diversity of activities including outdoor recreation and restaurants, and the violent and property crime rates of each metro area.

The Santa Rosa and Petaluma area ranked No. 17 in safety, No. 80 in activities, No. 88 in attractions, and No. 91 in weather.

Atlanta and its surrounding metro area topped WalletHub’s list, followed by the Washington, D.C., area and the Orlando, Florida, area.

The Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim metro area topped the California areas on the list at No. 20. San Diego and its surrounding area ranked No. 34, Riverside and San Bernardino area ranked No. 53, Fresno ranked No. 70, San Francisco and Oakland ranked No. 73, Sacramento and its metro area ranked No. 86, Bakersfield ranked No. 93, and San Jose and the south Bay Area ranked No. 94.

For more information, go to wallethub.com.

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