Summer Vacation Ideas: A Ranking of America’s Most Fun Cities and States

With warm weather and longer days, summertime means fun time for most people. Since these sunny days last but a few months a year, most people try to pack as much excitement as possible into their summer. To determine the best destinations for revelry, WalletHub conducted full studies on The Most Fun States and The Most Fun Cities in America. Check out the breakdown below to see where you should spend your summer vacation for peak pleasure.

10 Most Fun States

Kammock California State Flag Hammock
Kammock/Instagram

If you can explore one state this summer, make sure it’s one of these:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Nevada
  4. Florida
  5. Illinois
  6. Washington
  7. Texas
  8. Colorado
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Minnesota

Top Spots for Entertainment and Recreation

new york city brooklyn bridge park

WalletHub compares states and cities in two key categories: “Entertainment and Recreation” and “Nightlife.: Considerations for Entertainment and Recreation include number and variety of entertainment establishments, weather conditions, restaurants, amusement parks, golf courses, movie theaters, arcades, fitness centers, marinas, shoreline mileage, beach quality, state fairs and events, access to National Parks, personal spending on recreation per capita, and state and local spending on parks and recreation per capita.

10 Best States for Entertainment and Recreation:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Florida
  4. Illinois
  5. Nevada
  6. Texas
  7. Washington
  8. Colorado
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Minnesota

States with the Highest Variety of Entertainment Establishments:

  1. Maine
  2. Vermont
  3. Nevada
  4. Minnesota
  5. Tennessee

States with the Best Access to National Parks:

  1. Alaska
  2. Wyoming
  3. Montana
  4. South Dakota
  5. New Mexico

Cities with the Most Restaurants per Capita:

  1. New York, New York
  2. Orlando, Florida
  3. Las Vegas, Nevada
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Atlanta, Georgia

Cities with the Lowest Movie Costs:

  1. Port St. Lucie, Florida
  2. Corpus Christi, Texas
  3. Montgomery, Alabama
  4. Bakersfield, California
  5. Springfield, Missouri

Top Spots for Nightlife

las vegas nevada sunrise

Considerations for Nightlife include average beer & wine prices, movie costs, nightlife options per Capita, access to bar, time of last call, music festival, performing-arts theaters, and casinos. WalletHub also ranked America’s Most Fun Cities in similar categories.

Top 10 States for Nightlife:

  1. Nevada
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Illinois
  4. New York
  5. Louisiana
  6. Ohio
  7. California
  8. Washington
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Colorado

States with the Most Performing Arts Theaters per Capita:

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. Illinois
  4. Minnesota
  5. Massachusetts

Cities with the Most Accessible Bars per Capita:

  1. New York, New York
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  4. Portland, Oregon
  5. Washington, D.C.

Cities with the Most Dance Clubs per Capita:

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Atlanta, Georgia
  4. Los Angeles, California
  5. Orlando, Florida

Cities with the Lowest Average Beer Cost:

  1. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  2. Laredo, Texas
  3. Birmingham, Alabama
  4. Cleveland, Ohio
  5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

If you’re still drafting your perfect summer plan, check out WalletHub’s full list of fun states and fun cities to help you get the most bang for your buck and squeeze in as much entertainment as you can before the autumn chill begins to creep back in. Both reports also include interviews with experts who weigh in on topics like how to have fun on a budget, drinking in public, and the pros and cons of marijuana legalization when it comes to tourism.