Check Out the US’s Most Fun Cities of 2024

Let’s admit it, life without fun would be monotone and boring. We all need to let ourselves go and do something exciting that makes us feel more alive. But having fun isn’t always as easy as it sounds. We all have different preferences, and it might be hard having the time of your life when you find yourself stuck in a place that’s not to your liking.

Fun can mean many different things. Depending on the person, it could be measured in the availability of live entertainment, the amount of festivals, or the diversity of options when it comes to nightlife. To others, fun is all about sports culture, comedy, and the number of restaurants and attractions.

To help us identify the most fun cities in the United States, WalletHub compared 182 major US cities across three key dimensions including nightlife and partying, entertainment and recreation, and costs. These three categories were broken down into dozens of metrics such as number of attractions, recreation venues per capita, restaurants and bars per capita, presence of concerts and festivals, and more. Each metric was rated on a 100-point scale and the average was used to calculate each city’s overall score. After the final results were out, it suddenly became very clear which US cities are all about fun! The big question remains. Are you ready to have the fun of your life in one of them?

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Nevada 2018 02 07 panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip
Image Credit: Shutterstock / randy andy

Let’s face it, the movies got this one right – there’s no better place in the States to party than the one and only Sin City. Las Vegas came in strong with an overall score of 71.38 out of 100 while ranking first in entertainment & recreation and first in nightlife & parties. On the downside, the city came in only 78th in the costs category.

As expected, Las Vegas not only has the biggest number of casinos among all cities in the country but it also features an array of attractions like fine-dining restaurants. On top of it, it is home to world-class sources of entertainment like live performances, party venues, and music festivals.

Fun fact: Las Vegas is one of a few US cities where public drinking is allowed in most places.

Orlando, Florida

Aerial view of downtown Orlando, Florida, USA, Lake Eola Park
Image Credit: Shutterstock / CreativeStudio79

The second place on this list goes to Orlando, the undisputed champion with it comes the number of amusement parks and fitness centers per capita. The city of just over 300,000 people was rated third best in nightlife & parties and third best in entertainment & recreation, earning a total score of 62.42. On the plus side, the city ranked 66th in the costs category meaning it is more affordable than 116 cities on the list.

Besides being an ideal city for those looking to get in shape, Orlando is home to entertainment venues like Universal Studios and Disney Park. It is also a sports-friendly destination with plenty of options for outdoor recreation like airboat rides, ziplining, and more activities to bring on the adrenaline rush.

Fun fact: There are over 100 city parks waiting for you to explore in Orlando.

Miami, Florida

The skyline of miami during sunrise, florida
Image Credit: Shutterstock / frank_peters

Another worthy Florida contestant is Miami, the Magic City, which rose to the third spot after ranking seventh in entertainment & recreation and being second only to Las Vegas in nightlife & parties. With a total score of 55.91, Miami’s only major downside is the absurdly high cost of living. Should you visit this place with nothing but fun in mind, remember what they say. Go big or go home!

Miami has some of the best beaches the country offers. Naturally, there’s also no shortage of water sports and activities like boating and swimming. The metropolis boasts plenty of parks, bars, and restaurants and is a common destination for spring-breakers looking to party the stress away.

Fun fact: Miami is surrounded by two national parks including Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia, USA Downtown Skyline Aerial Panorama.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kevin Ruck

If you’re looking to settle in a diverse, vibrant, and ever-busy city then Atlanta, which got a score of 55.73, might be just what you’re looking for. The birthplace of Coca-Cola ranked ninth in the entertainment & recreation category and sixth in nightlife & parties. While it’s neither on the expensive nor the cheap side, the city’s booming economy and well-paying jobs are bound to generate enough income to keep everyone busy.

Atlanta visitors and residents seldom get bored thanks to the many festivals and celebrations that take place in the city year-round. The Georgian capital is also doing an outstanding job in terms of providing people with access to fitness centers, dance clubs, and activities ranging from museum explorations to nightlife venues. Did you know that Atlanta was recently also named the 4th best US city for singles by WalletHub?

Fun fact: The Big Peach is a major film production hub that has its own film festival called Atlanta Film Festival.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco skyline and Bay Bridge at sunset, California
Image Credit: Shutterstock / IM_photo

It’s got it all. Historic neighborhoods, warm beaches, outdoor activities, and clubs with music too loud for comfort. We’re talking about San Francisco. The Californian metropolis ranked fifth with an overall score of 53.35 after securing the fifth seat in the nightlife & parties category and sixth place in entertainment & recreation.

To get the most out of San Francisco, one should pay a visit to the local historic sites or go see the sea lions. If going to a festival is not your thing, you could always go picnicking in one of the city’s many parks or go stretch on a jogging path or in a gym. On the downside, we’re talking about the 176th most expensive city on this list!

Fun fact: San Francisco is home to the biggest Japantown in the nation.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Downtown Skyline Aerial
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kevin Ruck

New Orleans is all about fun and frolicking with rich culture being felt every step of the way as you stroll down the historic street and enjoy jazz music in the city that hosts Mardi Gras. Since most action around the city happens in the late hours, the best bars in New Orleans open at night with parties running wild until sunrise. All this on top of a diverse music and food scene gives the city a very special charm.

New Orleans came in 18th in entertainment & recreation and 4th in nightlife & parties with an overall score of 52.49. While it’s not as expensive as San Francisco or Miami, the city comes with an above-average cost of living so be ready to do some heavy spending should you visit for fun.

Fun fact: New Orleans is home to more historic districts than any other city in the nation.

Austin, Texas

Graffiti Bridge Aerial Drone View over Austin during a Gorgeous Day along the Colorado River
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roschetzky Photography

Austin is arguably best known for its diverse live music scene in terms of being a fun city. It is also home to many parks and lakes that provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and activities like biking, hiking, swimming, and boating. On top of it all, Austin is very family-friendly so no one is left out while enjoying authentic cuisine or visiting one of its many museums.

The Texan capital secured an overall score of 51.60 and came in 7th in nightlife & parties and 20th in entertainment & recreation. If you’re looking to visit or move here, you’ll also be happy to know that Austin ranked in the top half of the most affordable cities included in this WalletHub survey.

Fun fact: Austin was previously called Waterloo.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago skyline aerial drone view from above, lake Michigan and city of Chicago downtown skyscrapers cityscape bird's view from park, Illinois, USA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / JaySi

With a score of 50.57, Chicago is the next worthy contestant on this list. The Illinois metropolis is the birthplace of Chicago-style jazz and house music which is why it is clear things never get too dull around here. The city ranked 8th in entertainment & recreation and 12th in nightlife & parties.

Chicago is known as a vibrant city with a rich culture and arts scene and lots of options when it comes to entertainment and outdoor spaces. It also offers world-class cuisine and a high number of bars and late-night dance floors that keep the party going year-round.

Fun fact: Chicago is the third largest city in the United States.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head Crater including the hotels and buildings in Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu island, Hawaii.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / okimo

Finally something a bit more exotic! Hawaii’s Honolulu is a major entertainment hotspot that attracts millions of visitors annually. From surfing to paddleboarding to going on boat tours, it’s hard to get bored when you’re surrounded by crystal-clear waters and sandy beaches. And when soaking up the sun in warm water gets too tiring, testing out different cuisines or going for a walk in the vibrant, culturally diverse city can take over.

Honolulu ranked second in entertainment and recreation thanks to tons of activities that residents and visitors can indulge in. While it only came in 22nd in terms of partying and nightlife, Honolulu definitely has some venues that will keep you busy late into the night. Due to the high costs of living, the city ranked ninth overall with a score of 49.98 out of 100.

Fun fact: Honolulu is home to the country’s only real royal palace.

New York City, New York

New York Times Square.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Luciano Mortula – LGM

The list would hardly be complete without the city that never sleeps. New York City came in as the most expensive city out of the 182 metropolises included in the WalletHub survey so it’s no surprise it didn’t come out higher on this list. On the plus side, it reached an overall score of 49.35 thanks to its ranks as the fifth-best city in entertainment & recreation and tenth-best city in nightlife & parties.

The Big Apple is fun for most people with lots of attractions and iconic landmarks like Central Park, Statue of Liberty, and Times Square waiting to be visited. This vibrant city is teeming with activity 24/7 and has it all from nightclubs and bars to parks and restaurants offering all major world cuisines.

Fun fact: New York City is home to the first pizzeria in the States.

Author: Zan Kokalj


Zan Kokalj is a veteran content writer, copywriter, and author inspired by the impact of ink on paper.

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