With entertainment accounting for 4.7% of average annual consumer expenditures in the U.S., a new report on 2023’s Most Fun Cities in America.

To help Americans find the cities with the greatest selection of cheap, fun activities, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 65 key metrics, ranging from fitness clubs per capita to movie costs to the average business hours of breweries.

Top 20 Most Fun Cities in America
1. Las Vegas, NV 11. Cincinnati, OH
2. Orlando, FL 12. Denver, CO
3. Miami, FL 13. Portland, OR
4. Atlanta, GA 14. St. Louis, MO
5. San Francisco, CA 15. Washington, DC
6. New Orleans, LA 16. San Diego, CA
7. Austin, TX 17. Tampa, FL
8. Chicago, IL 18. Fort Lauderdale, FL
9. Honolulu, HI 19. Houston, TX
10. New York, NY 20. Los Angeles, CA

Key Stats

  • Miami has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 7.5234, which is 17.9 times more than Pearl City, Hawaii, the city with the fewest at 0.4199.
  • Boston has the highest share of the population with walkable park access, 99.74 percent, which is 3.1 times higher than Indianapolis, the city with the lowest at 32.50 percent.
  • New York has the most playgrounds (per square root of population), 13 times more than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the fewest.
  • San Francisco has the most dance clubs (per square root of population), which is 80.6 times more than Henderson, Nevada, the city with the fewest.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has the lowest average beer price (per six-pack), $8.06, which is 1.6 times lower than in Miami and Hialeah, Florida, the cities with the highest at $12.88.
  • Fargo, North Dakota, has the lowest movie cost, $6.24, which is 2.8 times lower than in Oxnard, California, the city with the highest at $17.40.

Most Fun Cities in America

Americans spend over $3,400 annually on entertainment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but exactly how we get our fix of fun differs from person to person – and city to city. For example, Las Vegas is the most fun city overall, according to a new report by the personal-finance website WalletHub, which analyzed 65 key indicators across three dimensions: entertainment and recreation, nightlife and parties, and costs. Orlando, FL, Miami, Atlanta, and San Francisco took the other top spots.

“Las Vegas, the most fun city overall, naturally has the most casinos of any city. For those who aren’t gamblers, Vegas has an especially high number of music festivals and music venues, as the city is renowned for its performers,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub Analyst. “Sin City is a beautiful place for partiers, given that it’s one of the only cities that allows public drinking in most or all places, and it has a very late last call.”

20 Most Fun Cities 

1. Las Vegas, NV 11. Cincinnati, OH
2. Orlando, FL 12. Denver, CO
3. Miami, FL 13. Portland, OR
4. Atlanta, GA 14. St. Louis, MO
5. San Francisco, CA 15. Washington, DC
6. New Orleans, LA 16. San Diego, CA
7. Austin, TX 17. Tampa, FL
8. Chicago, IL 18. Fort Lauderdale, FL
9. Honolulu, HI 19. Houston, TX
10. New York, NY 20. Los Angeles, CA

 

Each of the most fun cities has its charms. Second-place Orlando unsurprisingly leads the nation when it comes to theme parks, hosting iconic locations like Disney World and Universal Studios. Miami – one of the most famous spring break cities – boasts attractive beaches and parkland, with over 88% of the city’s residents living within half a mile of a park. Atlanta, renowned for its music culture, ranks as the best city for dance parties.

“Finding a city that matches your unique brand of fun is important,” Happe said. “All cities have a variety of activities, but some shine more than others when it comes to things like parks and beaches, live music and comedy, partying, sports culture, or fine dining. Picking a city to spend a weekend in is easy, but moving to a city where you’ll have fun regularly requires more research.”

There are a few steps you can take when trying to determine whether a city you’re considering moving to will offer you an adequate amount of fun.

Tips for Seeking Out Fun Cities

  • Spend as much time as possible before committing to a move. Spending a few days in a city can give you a brief glimpse of what its culture and entertainment are like, but that’s only a small sample size, and the glamor may wear off with a longer stay. The more time you spend in a city, the better idea you will have about whether you’d like to stay long-term. Try visiting without attending a specific event – that will challenge you to find ways to have fun on the fly.
  • Talk to locals. No one knows how to have fun in a city better than the people who live there. Talk to people about your interests and ask them what opportunities the city has for pursuing them.
  • Look for a city that has a good mix of activities. If you want to have a well-balanced social life, look for cities that have an abundance of indoor and outdoor activities, with good daytime options and a robust nightlife. That way, you can vary the ways you have fun so you won’t get bored.
  • Embrace the culture. Look for cities with a diverse cultural and entertainment scene. Consider the availability of theaters, live music venues, art galleries, museums, and other cultural attractions. A city with a rich cultural environment often provides a wide range of entertainment options. You’ll also be able to meet people from different walks of life who may introduce you to activities you never knew you’d be interested in.

Source: WalletHub