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2016’s Most Fun Cities in America

Considering relocating for a new job or planning a much needed refresh from work? If so, here’s 2016’s Most Fun Cities.

Top 20 Most Fun Cities in America
1 Las Vegas, NV 11 Tampa, FL
2 Orlando, FL 12 Portland, OR
3 Miami, FL 13 Tempe, AZ
4 New Orleans, LA 14 Pittsburgh, PA
5 Salt Lake City, UT 15 San Francisco, CA
6 Cincinnati, OH 16 Honolulu, HI
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL 17 Knoxville, TN
8 St. Louis, MO 18 Reno, NV
9 Atlanta, GA 19 Denver, CO
10 Scottsdale, AZ 20 Minneapolis, MN

Best vs. Worst

Scottsdale, Ariz., has the most public golf courses per 100,000 residents, 12.97, which is 90 times more than in New York, the city with the fewest, 0.14.

Orlando, Fla., has the most restaurants per 1,000 residents, 12.56, which is 11 times more than in Santa Clarita, Calif., the city with the fewest, 1.18.

San Francisco has the highest percentage of the population with walkable park access, 98.0 percent, which is 3.5 times higher than in Charlotte, N.C., the city with the lowest, 27.8 percent.

Madison, Wis., has the most park playgrounds per 100,000 residents, 72.96, which is 155 times more than in San Bernardino, Calif., the city with the lowest, 0.47.

San Francisco has the most performing-arts theaters per 100,000 residents, 101.68, which is 26 times more than in Brownsville, Texas, the city with the fewest, 3.89.

Scottsdale, Ariz., has the most fitness centers per 100,000 residents, 228.17, which is 20 times more than in Newark, N.J., the city with the fewest, 11.48.

Honolulu has the most festivals per 100,000 residents, 41.72, which is 131 times more than in Corpus Christi, Texas, the city with the lowest, 0.32.

Orlando, Fla., has the most bars per 100,000 residents, 215.81, which is 31 times more than in Fontana, Calif., the city with the fewest, 6.95.

Las Vegas has the most clubs per 100,000 residents, 23.60, which is 70 times more than in Anchorage, Alaska, the city with the fewest, 0.34.

Albuquerque, N.M., has the lowest average beer price per six pack, $6.65, which is 2 times lower than in Chicago and Aurora, Ill., the cities with the highest, $14.04.

Corpus Christi, Texas, the lowest movie costs, $8.47, which is 2 times lower than in Vancouver, Wash., the city with the highest, $15.09.

Where’s the Fun? This heat map shows all the hot spots in the US. 

Source: WalletHub

Looking for specific flavors of fun? Here’s the best and worst cities for things like Entertainment, Dining and more. 

Still undecided? Here’s a full list of the top 200 cities for fun, ranked for Entertainment/Recreation, Nightlife/Parties and Cost.

Overall Rank City Total Score ‘Entertainment & Recreation’ Rank ‘Nightlife & Parties’ Rank ‘Costs’ Rank
1 Las Vegas, NV 68.40 3 1 103
2 Orlando, FL 68.17 1 4 19
3 Miami, FL 59.61 8 2 95
4 New Orleans, LA 57.47 19 3 74
5 Salt Lake City, UT 57.36 2 15 38
6 Cincinnati, OH 56.15 6 11 15
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL 55.85 9 6 75
8 St. Louis, MO 55.81 14 8 6
9 Atlanta, GA 54.72 11 7 86
10 Scottsdale, AZ 54.30 16 10 13
11 Tampa, FL 53.58 7 14 25
12 Portland, OR 53.13 17 5 108
13 Tempe, AZ 50.32 18 23 22
14 Pittsburgh, PA 49.90 10 22 84
15 San Francisco, CA 49.24 5 12 145
16 Honolulu, HI 48.97 4 19 136
17 Knoxville, TN 48.14 33 21 29
18 Reno, NV 48.05 27 18 44
19 Denver, CO 48.03 21 16 89
20 Minneapolis, MN 47.71 15 26 77
21 Washington, DC 45.57 22 13 127
22 Richmond, VA 45.30 25 36 47
23 Providence, RI 44.59 86 9 111
24 Sacramento, CA 44.19 30 25 88
25 Baton Rouge, LA 44.17 37 28 61
26 Buffalo, NY 44.02 29 38 40
27 Seattle, WA 43.80 12 27 141
28 Springfield, MO 43.61 56 53 1
29 Madison, WI 43.48 23 41 97
30 Spokane, WA 43.42 34 43 53
31 Kansas City, MO 43.29 74 20 36
32 Austin, TX 43.20 42 31 48
33 Birmingham, AL 42.81 62 30 43
34 Rochester, NY 42.65 20 40 107
35 San Diego, CA 42.04 13 72 109
36 Omaha, NE 42.02 39 66 8
37 Tucson, AZ 41.92 38 69 10
38 Boise, ID 41.82 28 83 39
39 St. Petersburg, FL 41.78 31 47 67
40 Virginia Beach, VA 41.57 44 50 56
41 Raleigh, NC 41.52 57 34 51
42 Cleveland, OH 41.33 50 33 71
43 Grand Rapids, MI 41.11 47 39 94
44 Mobile, AL 40.91 119 35 34
45 Henderson, NV 40.79 51 29 102
46 Norfolk, VA 40.73 43 57 70
47 Chattanooga, TN 40.50 40 51 93
48 Sioux Falls, SD 40.16 68 58 59
49 Oakland, CA 39.74 55 17 140
50 Tacoma, WA 39.37 73 24 114
51 Huntsville, AL 39.37 102 42 55
52 Milwaukee, WI 39.35 66 61 14
53 Tallahassee, FL 39.24 82 45 58
54 St. Paul, MN 39.06 35 80 91
55 Winston-Salem, NC 38.68 70 56 62
56 Albuquerque, NM 38.19 61 93 31
57 Durham, NC 38.11 84 65 28
58 Akron, OH 37.98 104 64 45
59 Greensboro, NC 37.89 75 63 35
60 Glendale, CA 37.76 48 46 123
61 Philadelphia, PA 37.52 60 52 90
62 Colorado Springs, CO 37.36 64 94 33
63 Tulsa, OK 37.36 80 106 7
64 Overland Park, KS 37.31 78 90 54
65 Plano, TX 37.30 59 75 73
66 Mesa, AZ 37.14 100 88 9
67 Anaheim, CA 37.07 63 32 120
68 Modesto, CA 37.05 85 85 66
69 Detroit, MI 36.95 101 68 27
69 Lexington-Fayette, KY 36.95 72 86 24
71 Lincoln, NE 36.84 53 103 80
72 Huntington Beach, CA 36.47 24 79 138
73 Boston, MA 36.37 36 37 147
74 Louisville, KY 36.14 96 98 17
75 Houston, TX 36.06 113 48 63
76 Shreveport, LA 35.98 138 92 26
77 Fayetteville, NC 35.98 87 91 87
78 Nashville, TN 35.97 94 62 79
79 Long Beach, CA 35.81 58 49 124
80 Baltimore, MD 35.75 67 81 76
81 Chicago, IL 35.71 49 59 130
82 Glendale, AZ 35.70 77 95 49
83 Wichita, KS 35.51 125 102 16
84 Memphis, TN 35.48 142 54 23
85 Chandler, AZ 35.45 106 77 60
86 Des Moines, IA 35.44 128 101 42
87 Jacksonville, FL 35.34 93 105 21
88 Indianapolis, IN 35.27 110 107 3
89 Columbus, OH 35.19 120 89 11
90 Worcester, MA 35.12 137 44 106
91 Dallas, TX 34.94 118 67 65
92 San Bernardino, CA 34.91 109 70 105
93 Pembroke Pines, FL 34.77 114 73 104
94 Amarillo, TX 34.76 121 142 30
95 Stockton, CA 34.63 79 111 83
96 Newport News, VA 34.08 146 99 64
97 Irvine, CA 34.01 32 115 143
98 Peoria, AZ 33.90 90 122 69
99 Oceanside, CA 33.80 46 112 117
100 Columbus, GA 33.72 71 148 68
101 Cape Coral, FL 33.72 45 123 96
102 Vancouver, WA 33.65 52 78 135
103 Fort Wayne, IN 33.60 89 138 18
104 Oklahoma City, OK 33.55 133 109 20
105 Corpus Christi, TX 33.39 83 136 46
106 Santa Rosa, CA 33.28 26 97 146
107 Little Rock, AR 32.89 136 121 57
108 Lubbock, TX 32.83 81 129 78
109 Charlotte, NC 32.76 132 84 72
110 Los Angeles, CA 32.73 69 76 126
111 Jackson, MS 32.70 122 147 52
112 Garden Grove, CA 32.68 65 71 142
113 Phoenix, AZ 32.59 124 132 4
114 San Antonio, TX 32.52 131 87 82
115 Augusta, GA 32.51 129 130 81
116 Santa Ana, CA 32.45 88 82 125
117 Toledo, OH 32.35 130 117 37
118 El Paso, TX 32.28 127 140 12
119 Garland, TX 31.83 112 131 92
120 Santa Clarita, CA 31.78 76 96 137
121 New York, NY 31.58 54 55 150
122 North Las Vegas, NV 31.42 140 60 116
123 Bakersfield, CA 31.19 123 126 85
124 Hialeah, FL 31.04 107 114 112
125 Arlington, TX 30.98 97 108 118
126 Riverside, CA 30.82 108 113 113
127 Anchorage, AK 30.66 41 145 139
128 Port St. Lucie, FL 30.29 105 133 99
129 Irving, TX 29.97 116 143 100
130 Chesapeake, VA 29.80 141 116 101
131 Newark, NJ 29.73 126 110 121
132 Gilbert, AZ 29.71 145 127 32
133 Montgomery, AL 29.65 147 146 41
134 Aurora, CO 29.64 111 118 110
135 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 29.63 91 120 128
136 San Jose, CA 29.30 99 119 122
137 Grand Prairie, TX 29.03 115 144 115
138 Brownsville, TX 29.03 149 150 5
139 Aurora, IL 28.71 117 124 131
140 Jersey City, NJ 28.40 135 100 129
141 Fresno, CA 28.36 144 141 50
142 Fort Worth, TX 28.33 139 134 98
143 Moreno Valley, CA 28.16 103 125 132
144 Laredo, TX 27.69 148 149 2
145 Ontario, CA 27.54 95 139 134
146 Fontana, CA 27.42 134 137 119
147 Chula Vista, CA 27.21 143 104 133
148 Fremont, CA 27.15 98 128 144
149 Yonkers, NY 26.19 150 74 148
150 Oxnard, CA 24.61 92 135 149
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Methodology

In order to identify the most fun cities in America, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities across three key categories: 1) Entertainment & Recreation, 2) Nightlife & Parties and 3) Costs.

We evaluated these categories using 51 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 indicating the greatest number and variety of fun and cost-effective options.

We then calculated overall scores for each city using the weighted average across all metrics, which we then used to construct our final ranking.

Entertainment & Recreation – Total Points: 40

  • Number of Coffee & Tea Shops per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Public Beaches per Capita: Half Weight (~0.65 Points)
  • Number of Tennis Courts per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Public Golf Courses per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Public Swimming Pools per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Ball Diamonds per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Basketball Hoops per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Bike-Rental Facilities per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Fishing Spots per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Hiking Trails per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Boat Tours & Water Sports per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Water Parks per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Restaurants per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Ice Cream & Frozen-Yogurt Shops per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Movie Theaters per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Attractions: Double Weight (~2.58 Points)
  • WalletHub “Sports Fans” Ranking: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
    Note: Includes football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.
  • Percentage of the Population with Walkable Park Access: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Percentage of Designed Parkland Areas: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Presence on TripAdvisor’s “Top 25 Parks” List: Half Weight (~0.65 Points)
  • Number of Park Playgrounds per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Parkland as Percentage of City Area: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Acres of Parkland per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • WalletHub “Weather” Ranking: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Arcades per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Amusement Parks per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Performing-Arts Theaters per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Sport Venues per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Fitness Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Recreational-Sport Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
  • Number of Festivals per Capita: Full Weight (~1.29 Points)
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Nightlife & Parties – Total Points: 40

  • “Access to Bars” Grade: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
    Note: This grade is a combination of bars per capita and bars per square mile, a measure of both availability (per capita) and proximity (per square mile).
  • Number of Dance Clubs per Capita: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Number of Casinos per Capita: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Number of Beer Gardens per Capita: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Number of Music Venues per Capita: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Dance Party Index: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Number of Arts & Crafts-Supplies Establishments per Capita: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Public Drinking Allowed: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Time of Last Call: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Average Open Hours of Breweries: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)

Costs – Total Points: 20

  • Average Price of Party Ticket: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Average Beer Price: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Average Wine Price: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Average Food Price (Pizza & Burger): Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Prevalence of Affordable Restaurants Rated at Least 4.5 Stars: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Movie Costs: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Bowling Costs: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Average Fitness-Club Fee: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Price for a 3-Star Hotel Room: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Cost of Living: Double Weight (~3.64 Points)

Written by

Elizabeth is the Marketing Manager at PROTECH. Comments and feedback can be directed to her at elizabethb@protechfl.com.