“Fun” looks a bit different for everyone, but some factors are universal: nice weather and a menu of entertaining, affordable activities, for example, almost always help create a fun environment.
Now that summer is here, people’s calendars will be filling up with outdoor concerts, vacations and other festivities — and if you’re lucky enough to take time off from work this season, you might be wondering where to go and what to do to get the most out of your summer.
Some places make it easier for you to enjoy yourself than others – at least according to a new report from WalletHub, which identifies the most fun states in America.
To determine the list, the personal finance website compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions: “entertainment and recreation” and “nightlife.”
More than 25 metrics were used, including restaurants and amusement parks per capita, shoreline mileage as well as access to national parks, and metrics were weighted differently. To calculate the overall score, each state’s weighted average across all metrics was used.
Here are the 10 most fun states in America, according to WalletHub’s report:
Total score: 63.60
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 1
Nightlife ranking: 3
Total score: 61.26
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 2
Nightlife ranking: 8
Total score: 59.84
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 4
Nightlife ranking: 1
4. New York
Total score: 56.11
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 3
Nightlife ranking: 7
Total score: 55.33
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 5
Nightlife ranking: 4
Total score: 51.38
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 6
Nightlife ranking: 10
Total score: 50.64
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 8
Nightlife ranking: 9
Total score: 50.27
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 7
Nightlife ranking: 13
Total score: 45.21
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 11
Nightlife ranking: 6
Total score: 44.53
Entertainment & recreation ranking: 14
Nightlife ranking: 2
It’s no surprise that coastal states with thriving tourism industries such as California, Florida and New York top the list, as these destinations have been consistently ranked on travel blogs and reports as some of the best places to visit in the U.S.
Other states scored well on more specific metrics to secure a spot in the top 10: Louisiana, home to New Orleans, was recognized for its nightlife, while Texas, the birthplace of Six Flags, was tops for the most amusement parks per capita.
WalletHub also considered accessibility to scenic byways, the number of state fairs and the average price of beer and wine, among other factors, to compile its ranking.
Some states on the list, including California, Colorado and Florida, spend “a great deal” to promote local tourism, Tom Lehman, an economics professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, told WalletHub. While it is difficult to measure the direct impact of state-sponsored campaigns on tourist promotion, such campaigns tend to have “some minor positive impact on the level of out-of-state visitors and revenues,” he added.
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