Best Places to Live

2011 10 Best Places for a Staycation

With the cost of gas and airfare prices on the rise, the dream of taking a family vacation or even a weekend getaway can quickly turn into a budgeting nightmare.

But who couldn't use a break? And if you're lucky enough to live in one of these 10 cities, you'll certainly get it without getting gouged at the pump.

This year, instead of the much-hyped vacation destinations, we're offering you a look at the best places to take a staycation. For those unfamiliar with the term, a staycation is just what it sounds like – a vacation that you take near or at your home. It involves all the activities and attractions your city has to offer. You can make it as low-key or luxurious as you choose. The main rule is do as little traveling as possible, saving on gas and transportation costs so you can use that money for other things.

Stay at home and enjoy a few day trips or check into a nearby hotel and let someone else do the cleaning and bed-making for a true vacation feel. We've highlighted 10 great cities that are staycation destinations. We've included suggestions for hotels, things to do and places to eat. So grab your sun block or hiking shoes and get ready to get away by staying put.

Ranking Criteria
Lots of attractions
Great restaurants
Hotel discounts for locals
Public transportation options
  • 10

    Vancouver, WA

    Population: 168,050
    Jeff Adkins

    The scenery alone in Vancouver, WA, is enough to make anyone think twice about leaving. Surrounded by the Coast Mountains and not far from the majestic Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood, the city sites are impressive. But residents know that Vancouver is pretty impressive even without its mountain enclosure.

    Where to Stay

    The Luxurious: The Heathman Lodge

    The Affordable: Hilton Vancouver

    The Quaint: Briar Rose Inn Bed & Breakfast

    What to Do

    Outdoors: Esther Short Park, climb Mount Hood or Mount St. Helens

    Attractions: National Historic Reserve Historic Site, Pearson Airfield and Museum, Slocum House Theatre Company

    Nightlife/Food: Brickhouse Bar and Grill, Halftime Tavern, Allen's Crosley Lanes, Pop Culture

    Where to Eat

    Dinner for Two: Tommy O's Pacific Rim Bistro

    For the Family: Vancouver Pizza Company

    Quick Fix: Wiener Wagon