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Chapter 4: Americans' Travel Habits

Some Texas cities are not only rising in popularity, but in price

San Francisco broke into the top five most expensive cities in 2012

San Diego debuts at number 19 on the top 20 most expensive U.S. cities list

I Left My Heart (and Wallet!) in Texas

Familiar favorites such as New York, Honolulu, Boston, and Miami top the chart once again for cities with the highest price tag. However, in 2012, several Texas and California cities began making their way up the ranks, stealing some spotlight from the more consistently pricey locales.

Odessa-Midland makes its debut, jumping from 46th most expensive U.S. city in 2011 to 12th in 2012, a result of what is being called "Oil Boom 2.0." Ranked first (Odessa) and second (Midland) best small towns for jobs by Forbes Magazine, so many people have rushed to this West Texas region that housing options are limited, and thus, hotels have become a temporary alternative. Victoria, TX also made a notable jump to 14th most expensive in 2012, compared to 31st most expensive the year prior.

San Francisco broke into the top five most expensive cities in 2012, swapping places with the picturesque, coastal city of Santa Barbara, now in 7th. What’s more, the prices in San Diego seem to be congruent with its popularity, which the last few HPIs have indicated has been steadily on the rise. The sunny, southern city enters the Top 20 Most Expensive U.S. Cities list for the first time at number 19 with an ADR of $135.

Most Expensive U.S. Cities

Rank City (DMA) 2012 2011 YoY ADR
1. New York, NY $217 $208 5%
2. Honolulu, HI $209 $175 19%
3. Boston, MA $175 $166 5%
4. Miami, FL $159 $150 6%
5. San Francisco, CA $159 $144 10%
6. New Orleans, LA $156 $146 7%
7. Santa Barbara, CA $155 $147 6%
8. Panama City, FL $150 $138 9%
9. Chicago, IL $148 $139 6%
10. Monterey, CA $148 $137 8%
11. Idaho Falls, ID $146 $137 6%
12. Midland-Odessa, TX $144 $112 29%
13. Washington, D.C. $144 $143 1%
14. Victoria, TX $142 $121 17%
15. Anchorage, AK $141 $138 2%
16. Providence, RI $140 $136 3%
17. Burlington, VT $138 $131 5%
18. Charleston, SC $138 $120 15%
19. San Diego, CA $135 $128 6%
20. Portland, ME $135 $130 4%