Eating, Drinking and Enjoying Your Way Across the USA

Major cities like New York, Chicago and Miami are consistently named among the go-to travel destinations, but what about those places that are just waiting to be discovered? The Hotels.com ® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®) has revealed up-and-coming destinations to fuel traveler wanderlust for less. From food and wine, to music and arts, Hotels.com is bringing those lesser-known destinations to the forefront for your next adventure.

Using the average price paid* for a hotel night by Americans in the first half of 2015, the Hotels.com travel experts recommend these cities:

Food

Los Angeles ($175) and San Francisco ($217) are consistently mentioned as two of the best food cities in the U.S., but a number of more affordable cities have received national attention for being underrated foodie destinations.

Kansas City ($131) is renowned for its sweet and spicy BBQ style and restaurants serving some of the best BBQ in the country, but its up-and-coming restaurant scene offers innovative Latin American, Japanese and Southern food options. The city is also home to a number of craft breweries and new distilleries.

Other Food Cities Under $135: Sacramento, Calif. ($113); Houston ($129); Cleveland ($133)

Wine

While Napa ($255) is the best-known wine destination in the country – offering a combination of top-notch wineries and critically acclaimed restaurants – there are many under-the-radar wine destinations to be found around the country.

Grand Junction, Colo. ($88) offers the picturesque backdrop of the Grand Valley along the Colorado River for anyone visiting Colorado’s Wine Country. In addition to the region’s 20+ wineries, the city is also a gateway for hiking, mountain biking and rafting activities.

Other Wine Cities Under $135: Salem, Ore. ($101); Walla Walla, Wash. ($120); Petaluma, Calif. ($120)

arts

Arts

New York ($245) is home to some of the best and most popular art and history museums in the world, but travelers looking to get their art fix on a budget can find it in these destinations.

Milwaukee, WI ($124) is a city full of great museums like the Milwaukee Public Museum – home to the iconic Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit, which features a three-quarter scale recreation of life in the city at the turn of the 20 th century. And the Milwaukee Art Museum is a work of art in itself, featuring a movable, wing-like brise soleil that opens up during the day and closes at night or during inclement weather.

Other Arts Cities Under $135: Tucson, Ariz. ($103); San Antonio ($131); Santa Fe, N.M. ($135)

Music

New Orleans ($191) is the birthplace of jazz and home to some of the most vibrant music clubs in the country, but these destinations also boast a unique combination of music and nightlife.

Athens, GA ($111) may be best known for being one of the greatest college towns in the country, but it also packs a strong indie rock scene. With iconic venues like the 40 Watt Club and Georgia Theater and legendary bands that call the city home, Athens definitely holds its own.

Other Music Cities Under $135: Detroit ($121); Memphis, Tenn. ($123); Madison, Wisc. ($125)

Please visit www.hotel-price-index.com for more information about average hotel prices and the most popular destinations from the first half of 2015. To find more travel ideas and tips, follow Hotels.com on Twitter at @hotelsdotcom and #HotelExperts.

*Average prices paid per night inclusive of taxes and fees and based on data from the first six months of 2015.

Stepping Out on Qantas

I cheated with another airline. I have always been a Qantas girl through and through, but some times (most times) price plays a big part ...