It's becoming increasingly apparent that Fort Lauderdale is the most awesome place on Earth.
In the past few weeks, we've seen different national outlets taking notice of the Venice of America and ranking Fort Lauderdale high in some important categories, such as greenest midsized city, best downtown, best city to park your car, and most exciting midsized city.
Now comes one that directly impacts our economy: most affordable summer destination.
The folks over at GOBankingRates.com ranked the 25 most affordable popular summer destinations and placed Fort Lauderdale third on the list.
Tampa came in at number two, but come on. Fort Lauderdale beaches, bars, restaurants, and people blow Tampa away. The yacht capital of the world beats the strip club capital of the world any day.
But we digress.
GoBanking combed through data from CheapOair and Cvent Inc. to figure out expenses, while also factoring in attractions and landmarks for each city.
For example, they found that from June to September 2013, the most expensive round-trip airfare within the U.S. averaged out at a whopping $799.19.
But a round trip to Fort Lauderdale came out to just $261.56, according to CheapOair.
And nightly hotel costs in Fort Lauderdale average $129, according to Cvent Inc.
"With 31 percent of travelers planning to shell out more than $1,000 each on their summer vacations, travel expenses weigh heavily on vacationers' wallets -- especially airfare costs," the website says. "GOBankingRates investigated the 100 most popular city destinations during the summer months, and uncovered which locales provide the most affordable summer vacation spots."
Fort Lauderdale came in third, just after Tampa, with Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, taking the top spot.
Average Round-Trip Flight: $261.56
Located just east of the Fort Lauderdale area is the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area, which is home to some of the country's most dangerous predators and endangered animals. Adventurers can stop at several recreation areas and hop aboard an airboat for a tour of the unique landscape that this Fort Lauderdale attraction has to offer.
If encountering a crocodile makes travelers anxious, they still have the option to lie beachside on Fort Lauderdale's inviting stretch of sand.
The website also points out great shopping spots such as Las Olas Boulevard as well as Fort Lauderdale's museums, art galleries, and Bonnet House Museum and Gardens and points out how the Everglades, with its tours and airboat rides, is just a stone's throw away.
And then there's the nightlife and, of course, the beaches.
As for other Florida cities: West Palm Beach came in fourth, Orlando 12th, Fort Myers 15th, Sarasota 20th, and Miami ranked near the bottom at 22nd.
CHEST-BUMP, FORT LAUDERDALE!
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