Good Times Await
What’s your idea of a good time? WalletHub recently analyzed more than 180 U.S. cities based on 65 key metrics to determine which pack the strongest punch when it comes to offering the most variety of fun and cost-effective entertainment.
1. Las Vegas, Nevada
No surprise here. The Entertainment Capital of the World is the most fun city in America. Las Vegas can thank its seemingly endless lineup of festivals and shows, a plethora of mouthwatering restaurants, emerging sports scene, and lively bars and dance clubs for its position.
2. Orlando, Florida
Orlando may trail Las Vegas for the top spot, but Central Florida is no doubt a bigger hit with traveling families who are drawn to the destination’s stellar theme parks—which are also budget friendly.
3. New York, New York
New York has the most restaurants per square root of population of any city WalletHub examined. It also tied for first in terms of most park playgrounds and fitness centers per capita, as well as boasting the nation’s most accessible bars.
4. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is among the most wallet-friendly destinations to rank in the top 20 and is also home to one of the country’s most impressive roster of dance clubs.
5. Miami, Florida
If your idea of fun is trying new restaurants and working out, Miami is your city. It ranks third for most restaurants per capita and first for most fitness centers per capita.
6. Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City ties New York City for most park playgrounds per capita and ranks in the top 10 in terms of both entertainment and recreation and nightlife and parties.
7. Portland, Oregon
Portland’s nightlife and parties rank seventh in the nation and its bars are the third most accessible behind only New York and Las Vegas. The city also boasts an unmatched level of weirdness.
8. San Francisco, California
If you like to dance, the Bay Area is where you ought to be. In addition to possessing the most dance clubs per capita, San Francisco is home to most fitness centers, restaurants and festivals per square root of population.
9. New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy knows how to party so it’s no shock New Orleans is tied for first in terms of most festivals per capita. It also ranks sixth for nightlife and parties, according to WalletHub’s research.
10. San Diego, California
Only New York and Honolulu rank higher than San Diego when it comes to entertainment and recreation. It also ties San Francisco, New York and Miami for most fitness centers per capita.
11. Denver, Colorado
Denver is one of the best value destinations when it comes to the most fun cities, ranking seventh among the top 20 in terms of costs.
12. Honolulu, Hawaii
The Hawaiian capital is tied for the most acres of parkland per capita and most festivals per capita, making it the top city for fun outside of the mainland U.S.
13. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles ranks fifth for most fitness centers and dance clubs per capita, so active travelers are all but guaranteed to have a great time in this SoCal hotspot.
14. Austin, Texas
Austin is one of the most consistent destinations across each of the key dimensions, ranking 19th or better in both entertainment and recreation and nightlife and parties, as well as a respectable 54th for costs.
15. Washington, DC
The nation’s capital’s expensive price tag is the only reason it doesn’t rank higher on the list. It checks in 165th out of 182 cities in terms of costs for fun.
16. Seattle, Washington
Similarly to Washington, D.C., Seattle ranks in or just outside of the top 10 for entertainment and recreation as well as nightlife and parties but is better than only 10 other cities when it comes to costs.
17. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Like most major cities on the East Coast, cost is the biggest obstacle to having a ball in Philadelphia. It ranks middle of the pack in terms of costs, but 15th and 18th in terms of nightlife and parties and entertainment and recreation, respectively.
18. Houston, Texas
Houston ranks consistently well across the board, making it a top destination for travelers seeking fun at an affordable cost. The city’s nightlife and parties rank 14th in the country.
19. St. Louis, Missouri
No other city in the top 20 beats St. Louis when it comes to costs for fun. The Gateway to the West ranks 11th in that category and not much worse in the other key areas.
20. Tampa, Florida
Tampa is one of the best cities for fall festivals so it’s fitting that it sneaks in at No. 20. Only three other cities can say they host as many festivals per capita.
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