These Are the 20 Most Fun Cities in America
Having fun can seem pretty subjective, because there are so many different ways to do it. Some people like to bar hop or ride roller coasters while others like to curl up with a book or watch a good movie. But it turns out, there actually is a metric for measuring how fun a city can be.
Data researchers at WalletHub conducted a study to figure out the most fun cities in America in 2017, comparing 150 of the largest U.S. cities based on 58 key metrics, such as fitness centers per capita, movie costs, and average open hours of breweries. A full list of the metrics can be found on WalletHub's website.
Overall, the analysts behind the study evaluated three key dimensions: entertainment and recreation, nightlife and parties, and costs of activities. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the greatest number and variety of fun, cost-effective things to do.
In some cases, the population size was also taken into account to avoid over compensating in certain areas, like “tea and coffee shops per capita” — a metric that would differ greatly in a populated place like New York City versus a less crowded one like Denver or Cincinnati.
Finally, they determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank the cities in the sample. Naturally, the cities that rose to the top are the largest and most desirable vacation cities in the U.S., including Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, and New Orleans.
According to the study, here are the top 20 most fun cities in America.
Las Vegas, Nevada
You can take your pick of Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.
New York City
See a Broadway show, visit a museum, or dine at a five-star restaurant in New York City.
Visit the beach, the botanical gardens, or sample some authentic Cuban cuisine in Miami.
There are plenty of coffee shops, rare bookstores, and art galleries to visit in Portland.
Visit the Georgia Aquarium, the High Museum of Art, or stop by SweetWater Brewing Company for a pint while you’re in Atlanta.
San Francisco, California
Victorian architecture, bay cruises, and the famous Golden Gate Park make visiting San Francisco a one-of-a-kind trip.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Wandering the French Quarter and listening to some jazz are just a few of the amazing things you can do in New Orleans.
Visit Millennium Park or take in a comedy show at the famous Second City Theater while you’re in the Windy City.
San Diego, California
Sunbathe in La Jolla and take the kids to the zoo for a fun day in San Diego.
While you’re in the Mile High City, stop at the art museum, the zoo, or visit the many parks and breweries.
Los Angeles, California
Spend the day at the beach and the evening sampling all the nightlife Los Angeles has to offer.
See the zoo, botanical garden, and more things to do in Cincinnati.
St. Louis, Missouri
Visit the Gateway Arch, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and more in St. Louis.
Busch Gardens, the aquarium, and plenty of great seafood is waiting for you in Tampa.
Art museums, parks, and plenty of historical sites are just some of the reasons to visit Philadelphia.
See our nation’s capital by walking down the National Mall and visiting the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
Music lovers will enjoy all the live shows that Austin has to offer, as well as its delicious restaurants and lively bars.
Sip on Seattle’s best coffee, visit the Space Needle, and witness where the grunge rock movement began.