AUSTIN, Texas (KPEL News) - It's almost summer, and that means a lot of people either have made or will soon be making their plans for a vacation. And, on the list of the best summer destinations in the country, two Texas cities are among the elite.

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WalletHub put together its list of Top Summer Destinations for 2024, and Austin (No. 6) and El Paso (No. 9) both landed in the Top 10, making Texas a top contender for places to visit this summer.

A lot of the Top 10 cities are not surprising. Orlando has Disney and Universal theme parks, Hawaii has some of the best beaches, and Austin is a bustling center of the arts, food, and more in Texas. And you have the nation's capital, a historical icon like Philadelphia, and more.

1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
3. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
4. Urban Honolulu, HI
5. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
6. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX
7. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
8. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
9. El Paso, TX
10. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN


Austin, as mentioned, is easy to understand as a top contender, and El Paso may be a surprising pick for some, but maybe it shouldn't be. El Paso has a lot of attractive qualities and folks who have traveled there leave a lot of rave reviews.

"A true melting pot of American and Mexican culture, the combination is noticeable everywhere," TripAdvisor notes.

Here's the remainder of the Top 25, which includes another familiar Texas city: San Antonio (No. 19).

11. Salt Lake City, UT
12. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
13. Richmond, VA
14. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
15. Springfield, MO
16. Knoxville, TN
17. Tulsa, OK
18. Oklahoma City, OK
19. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
20. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
21. Raleigh-Cary, NC
22. Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI
23. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
24. St. Louis, MO-IL
25. Lafayette, LA

What Makes Austin a Top Summer Destination?

Coming in at No. 6 on the list, Austin is a popular destination for those looking for a great time with diverse activities.

In fact, the number of attractions in the Austin area is one of the reasons it ranks so high. It comes in No. 10 in the nation for Attractions, as well as No. 27 in Activities. So, clearly, options matter.

In Austin, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy during the summer months! Here are some of the best we've found.

1. Explore the outdoors: Visit Zilker Park for a picnic, hike, or swim in Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed pool.


2. Check out live music: Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," so catch a show at one of the many live music venues around the city.


3. Go paddleboarding or kayaking: Rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore Lady Bird Lake or one of the nearby rivers.


4. Visit the food trucks: Austin has a thriving food truck scene, so try some delicious eats from one of the many food truck parks around the city.

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5. Take a dip in Hamilton Pool: Cool off in this natural swimming hole located just outside of Austin, surrounded by a stunning waterfall and limestone cliffs.


6. Explore the art scene: Visit the Blanton Museum of Art or take a stroll through the graffiti park at Castle Hill for some colorful street art.


7. Enjoy outdoor movies: Watch a movie under the stars at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In or catch an outdoor screening at the Long Center.


8. Attend a festival: Austin hosts many festivals during the summer, including the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Blues on the Green concert series.

What Makes El Paso a Top Summer Destination?

El Paso, meanwhile, has a lot to offer visitors, as well.

It ranks No. 10 in the country for weather and No. 18 for safety. It also does well when matched up against other cities for cost of visiting, coming in at No. 20 in the nation. There are a bunch reasons to visit, but these are very good ones.

We looked into all of the enjoyable activities to partake in during the summer months in El Paso. Here are some of the best:

1. Visit Franklin Mountains State Park: Explore the trails, go hiking, mountain biking, or enjoy a scenic drive to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape.


2. Cool off at Wet 'N' Wild Waterworld: Beat the heat and have a blast at this water park featuring thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and pools for all ages.


3. Take a trip to Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site: Discover ancient rock art, go rock climbing, or enjoy a guided tour of this unique geological formation known for its bouldering opportunities.


4. Attend a baseball game at Southwest University Park: Catch a game of the El Paso Chihuahuas, the city's minor league baseball team, and enjoy a fun-filled day at the ballpark.


5. Explore El Paso's cultural attractions: Visit the El Paso Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of History, or take a stroll through the vibrant downtown area to experience the city's rich cultural heritage.


6. Enjoy local cuisine: Indulge in delicious Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine at one of El Paso's many authentic restaurants and eateries.


7. Take a scenic drive along Transmountain Road: Enjoy panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains on this scenic drive that traverses the Franklin Mountains.

These are just a few of the many activities to enjoy while in El Paso during the summer!


If you're looking for some other attractions in Texas, check out some of these.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins