Last summer I took a bit of a staycation when my sister Carmela and brother-in-law Jon came to visit. They hadn't spent much time in Sioux Falls for decades and I think it was a very pleasant surprise for them.

I took them to Breadico for lunch one day, (awesome pizza, awful customer service) and to the Phillips Diner (delicious, fun and great service) on another and they loved both places. At home, I grilled them a rosemary brined, bacon-wrapped turkey breast on my ancient Weber grill and it was amazing, if I don't say so myself, and of course I do!

We went to Falls Park and both Jon and Carmela commented on the beautiful greenness of the park, of the entire city in fact, and lamented that where they live in Pueblo, Colorado ( the armpit of Colorado) tumbleweeds, cactus, rocks and rattlesnakes are the scenery.

I also took them on what I would call, "Patty's Parade of High Dollar Homes". They love looking at beautiful homes and dreaming, like most of us. And as everyone knows there are some very expensive homes (which would cost significantly more elsewhere) in Sioux Falls.

This exercise always leads me to contemplate the careers of the home's inhabitants and marvel how one path leads to those homes and my path has led to a shower in an unfinished basement for over 20 years!

On the last day they were here, we grabbed some KFC and had a picnic in Sherman Park. The sunshine filtered through the gorgeous trees, it was warm but not hot, there was smart talk and crackling laughter as we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The reason I bring up this story is Wallet Hub's latest study on Staycations and the Best & Worst Cities for them. It turns out Sioux Falls is a pretty good place to do one, coming in 37th out of 150 of the largest cities in the U.S. We scored very well in the "rest  and relaxation" category.

Of course the top finishers in the study all have amusement parks, world-renowned tourist attractions and four of the five - -beaches.

The top five best places for a staycation are:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. San Diego, California
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Tampa, Florida

What a surprise, huh? Not.

You can check out the complete study and find out what all the criteria and categories were at Wallet Hub's website.

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