If you’re selecting Missouri destinations for the Fourth of July, personal finance website Wallethub suggests you choose St. Louis over Kansas City.
The site rated the largest 100 cities in the U.S. based on how well they balance holiday cost and fun. St. Louis broke the top 20, ranking at number 16 while Kansas City was almost in the bottom quarter at Number 71.
The cities were compared under 19 metrics within five categories – Fourth of July celebrations, affordability, attractions, safety, and weather.
The most heavily weighted category was celebrations which accounted for 40 of a total 100 points possible. It was composed of factors such as the number of Fourth of July festivals, the average ticket price for an Independence Day party ticket and duration of fireworks shows.
A presentation in St. Louis billed as “America’s Biggest Birthday Party” is rated by Conde Nast Traveler as among the best in the country for fireworks along with displays in New York, Dallas, and Washington, DC. Fair St. Louis will release 15,000 pounds of fireworks over three nights (July 4, 6, and 7).
St. Louis came in 23rd for celebration while Kansas City was in the bottom third at number 70. St. Louis scored best for affordability coming in at number 9.
Kansas City’s highest score was in the weather category where it ranked 20th, while it failed to crack the top 60 in any other category. St. Louis also rank high, number 13, for attractions.
St. Louis’ high standing for affordability means it scores well for having affordable 4.5+ star restaurants, lower-priced three-star hotels and for offering inexpensive hamburgers and beer & wine prices.
Wallethub notes that it calculated “Beer” prices based on the cost of a six-pack of 12-ounce Heineken containers, excluding any deposit while the “Wine” price refers to a 1.5-liter bottle of Chablis, Chenin Blanc or any white table wine.
There was no special consideration in the survey for the price of Budweiser beer, possibly an oversight when determining affordability in St. Louis, the home of Anheuser-Busch.
There was also no measurement in the survey to determine the quality of barbecue, a popular meal during the summertime. Kansas City is revered in many circles for having the finest barbecue in the nation.
Based on the criteria for judging weather, Kansas City’s relatively favorable ranking at number 20 means it has a lower possibility of precipitation on the Fourth of July and will have warm if not hot weather. Wallethub’s tabulation penalizes cities if their forecasted temperatures on Independence Day is colder than the holiday’s average temperature.
Both St. Louis and Kansas City rank especially low for safety, at numbers’ 85 and 92 respectively. The category figures in factors such as crime as well as pedestrian and DUI related fatalities. Walkability and access to public transit are also part of the equation to determine safety.
If Missourians wanted to travel within the Midwest region for the mid-summer holiday, Chicago would be the chosen destination in the Wallethub survey, where it ranks number three behind New York and Los Angeles. The Windy City received high marks in the categories of attractions, safety, and weather.
As far as the Fourth falling on a Wednesday this year, Nathan Novemsky, Professor of Psychology at the Yale School of Management thinks most Americans will either opt to stay close to home or take a much longer than normal trip and time off from work.
“I would guess a lot fewer people will travel given it is hard to make a long weekend out of it, but those who do, may be in for an especially long weekend,” said Novemsky. “That might mean fewer of those medium length trips to a beach a few hours away, and more people either jumping in with both feet, maybe even getting on a plane. And lots more people doing the day trip to nearby beaches or family.”
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