Staying active isn’t just good for your health. It’s also good for your wallet. One of the best ways to maintain an active lifestyle is to choose a city that encourages and facilitates recreation. The best cities have a wide range of leisure activities, both indoor and outdoor. Those activities require varying levels of exercise and contribute to a city’s overall well-being and economy.
Consider neighborhood parks, which are instrumental to building a sense of community, boosting property values, improving public health and reducing pollution. In Washington, for instance, close proximity to a park increases a home’s value by 5 percent while the same types of spaces in Sacramento, Calif., result in nearly $20 million in health care savings. “A regular vigorous run can cut medical costs by an average of $250 a year” per individual, according to The Trust for Public Land. Recognizing these benefits, 100 major U.S. cities together invested more than $8 billion in parks and recreation in 2018.
But some cities offer more and cheaper options than others. To determine the places where recreation is a high priority, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 48 key metrics that speak to the benefits of recreational activities. In each city, we examined basic living costs, the quality of parks, the accessibility of entertainment and recreational facilities and the weather. Read on for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.
‘Entertainment & Recreational Facilities’ Rank
‘Quality of Parks’ Rank
|1||San Diego, CA||58.27||4||70||11||34|
|2||Las Vegas, NV||58.14||10||38||21||18|
|10||Los Angeles, CA||50.93||11||92||55||7|
|11||San Francisco, CA||50.25||1||99||6||49|
|13||St. Louis, MO||49.16||19||4||16||94|
|14||New Orleans, LA||49.14||20||66||8||53|
|21||El Paso, TX||47.24||87||1||28||25|
|24||New York, NY||46.84||6||100||1||55|