It’s no surprise that the most fun cities in the United States, according to a new report released by WalletHub, are also key meeting destinations.
Las Vegas ranked No. 1 in the poll, which compared the 150 largest U.S. cities in 51 different recreational-type categories, including number of fitness clubs per capita, movie costs and average open hours of breweries. Las Vegas has the most clubs per 100,000 residents at 23.60, which is 70 times more than in Anchorage, Alaska, the city with the fewest at 0.34.
If Las Vegas is the leader among most fun cities, then Florida is the most fun state. Orlando and Miami ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Fort Lauderdale was No. 7 and Tampa was No. 11.
Some of our favorite up-and-coming meeting destinations made the most fun cities list. Salt Lake City, which will be featured in the October issue of Smart Meetings magazine, checked in at No. 5.
“The fact that we have high-end restaurants and brewpubs is always shocking to people,” says Scott Beck, president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake. “The long-held perceptions that you can’t get a drink and there’s no place to eat here are changing dramatically. The food and beverage culture here is on a scale and scope that is unexpected.”
There seems to be a strong correlation between sports towns and the Top 20 most fun cities. Cincinnati, home to pro football and baseball teams, was No. 6, while St. Louis, which has pro baseball and hockey teams, was No. 8. We’d like to salute a couple of our favorite college towns, including No. 13 Tempe, Arizona, home to Arizona State University, and No. 17 Knoxville, Tennessee, home to the University of Tennessee. (Our publisher, Eric Haase is an ASU grad. Go Sun Devils!)
Of course, our neighbor, San Francisco, made the list at No. 15. The WalletHub report concluded that San Francisco has the highest percentage of the population with walkable park access at 98.0 percent, which is 3.5 times higher than in Charlotte, North Carolina, the city with the lowest at 27.8 percent. San Francisco also has the most performing-arts theaters per 100,000 residents at 101.68, which is 26 times more than in Brownsville, Texas, the city with the fewest at 3.89.
Top 20 Most Fun Cities in America
|1||Las Vegas||11||Tampa, Florida|
|2||Orlando, Florida||12||Portland, Oregon|
|4||New Orleans||14||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|5||Salt Lake City||15||San Francisco|
|7||Fort Lauderdale, Florida||17||Knoxville, Tennessee|
|8||St. Louis||18||Reno, Nevada|