We're All Going to Vegas for Memorial Day Weekend
File photo by Brian Feinzimer/L.A. Weekly
Welcome to Memorial Day weekend, the end-of-spring days that represent traditional opening festivities for summer.
While it's a bit of an amateur's time, akin to the beer holidays of St. Patrick and Cinco de Mayo, we'll give you this one: You've been working hard all spring; it's time to get a little bit stupid.
Personal finance website WalletHub recently looked at 30 metrics "to identify the most budget-friendly and fun-filled summer destinations" in the country. Those metrics include cheap travel, attractions and diverse activities, the site said.
The result is 2016's Best Summer Travel Destinations.
It looks like we're all going to Las Vegas. Sin City was the top pick. It ranked second for "attractions" and fourth for travel costs, the site said.
Our own Greater Los Angeles area ranked fourth in the nation. We came in second place for "cost of a three-star hotel." Our attractions ranked fifth nationwide.
San Diego, our neighbor to the south, ranked first for activities. It ended up 24th overall.
Meanwhile, LAX officials say they're expecting a record number of travelers, 849,000, over the holiday weekend. That would represent an 8.1 percent increase compared with 2015.
The Auto Club says this Memorial Day weekend will see the most travel among Southern Californians since before the Great Recession, in 2005, when a record 3.2 million of us got away.
The AAA says 2.89 million Southern Californians, a 2.5 percent increase compared with last year, were expected to get on planes, trains and automobiles for the holiday weekend.
"The centennial of the National Park Service, new theme park attractions, cheaper gas prices and rising personal income are some of the reasons motivating an increase in travel this holiday," said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel. "Also, some domestic airfares for the weekend are less expensive than in 2015, fueling an increase in air travel."
The top destinations for Southern Californians, according to the AAA, are:
1) Grand Canyon National Park
CSUN Womens Soccer
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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors
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UCLA Women's Soccer v California & UCLA Men's Soccer v Washington
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South Bay Lakers vs. Northern Arizona Suns
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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons
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2) San Diego
3) San Francisco
4) Las Vegas
5) Yosemite National Park
While the Auto Club of Southern California's analysis encompasses all forms of travel, it says 85 percent of our locomotion this weekend will be done in cars and trucks. So be patient.
That yard drink will still be waiting for you on the Vegas Strip. They haven't run out of them yet.
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