Atlanta named 2018’s 3rd best cold weather destination in new ranking

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Your guide to ice skating in metro Atlanta SKATE Atlantic Station, Atlanta's largest outdoor, open-air ice rink, opens its gate to the public in November. For a grand skating experience that really delivers, glide across the Astor Rink at St. Regis. Avalon on Ice will open from November to January. Experience an old-fashioned holiday tradition at the Ice Rink at Sugar Hill.

Metro Atlanta just earned some major bragging rights.

The region was ranked the third best cold destination for winter travel in personal finance website WalletHub's new ranking based on six key dimensions: travel costs and hassles; costs in destination; attractions; weather; activities and safety.

» RELATED: 11 can't-miss Atlanta festivals in November

Analysts over at the site compared 130 of the country’s most populated metro areas across those six dimensions and further evaluated them using 36 relevant metrics, including  cost of cheapest flight, number of attractions, ice-skating rinks per capita and violent-crime rate.

The top winter vacation destination in the United States for cold-weather lovers is the Chicago metro area, according to WalletHub. The region ranked in the top five for cold-weather activities, attractions and travel costs/hassles.

Source: WalletHub

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria came in second, followed by our very own Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro.

» RELATED: Prepare to be wowed: 6 must-see festivals of trees around Atlanta

Here’s more on how metro Atlanta fared:

  • Overall rank: 3
  • Travel costs and hassles: 2
  • Local costs: 9
  • Attractions: 8
  • Weather: 2
  • Cold-weather activities: 2
  • Safety: 22

This certainly isn’t the first time Atlanta’s getting some love as a wintry escape.

In 2016, the metro was named WalletHub's top cold-weather winter holiday destination in the country.

» RELATED: 5 romantic glamping and other winter escapes near Atlanta

And last year, Atlanta proper ranked 11th in the country in a ranking of the 60 largest metros.

This winter, visitors and residents have tons to look forward to.

» RELATED: Atlanta named best cold-weather winter holiday destination in the nation

Though Marietta Square is losing its ice skating rink this yearPonce City Market will be opening up its rooftop rink for the second year — and Mall of Georgia's rink is already open for business.

Some can't-miss events include the Atlanta Christkindl Market at Atlantic Station; Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens; the Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights and, of course, don't forget to visit Snow Mountain.

2018’s 10 best winter destinations for cold-weather lovers, according to WalletHub:

  1. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin
  2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.
  3. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell
  4. Cincinnati
  5. New York-Newark-Jersey City
  6. Boston-Cambridge-Newton
  7. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro
  8. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
  9. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington
  10. Pittsburgh

Explore the full ranking at