By USA TODAY
Which U.S. cities offer the most bang for the vacation buck?
One current tally, compiled using statistical modeling, examined 50 top cities to determine best values in terms of air fares, hotel and car rental rates, the prevalence of discounts, and the availability of affordable entertainment options.
Not surprisingly, many top-draw destinations -- New York and San Francisco, among them -- didn't make the cut. But, then, neither did Las Vegas.
In general, the best direction to head for vacation bargains is south -- and avoid the coasts.
That, according to Hotwire.com's annual analysis of the top 10 value destinations, now in its seventh year.
Tied for first place: Orlando and Atlanta. Orlando also placed first last year, thanks to overall low prices. Atlanta scored points for the abundance of local discounts.
Tied for second place: Tampa (up from No. 6 in 2012) and Dallas-Fort Worth, due to low prices and discounts.
Phoenix ranked next, thanks to abundant low-cost entertainment options.
Rounding out the top 10: Raleigh, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Houston; St. Louis; and Sacramento, Calif.