July is National Parks and Recreation Month and even though we're heading full speed ahead toward the dog days of summer, getting outside is still important for our physical and mental health. Here are 2023's best cities for recreation.
All supporting data was provided by Wallet Hub. Elements compared were the accessibility of entertainment and recreational facilities, the quality of parks, and the weather.
Best Cities for Recreation in 2023
1. Las Vegas
If you get yourself off the strip, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation.
Tampa Bay has many parks, green spaces, wildlife-watching opportunities, and many more fun, family-friendly outdoor spaces.
Hike, paddle, stroll, golf, and more in Cincy.
Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs are full of parks, gardens, and green spaces. If you're a Hunger Games fan, check out Bellwood Quarry, which was the backdrop for a scene in Mockingjay Part 1 where Katniss first sings the song, The Hanging Tree.
Trails, lakes, and rivers in the Sonoran Desert – Scottsdale has almost endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you want the ultimate outdoor experience in Scottsdale, see the outdoors from a hot air balloon.
7. San Diego
Balboa Park is one of North America's most iconic urban and cultural spaces.
With miles of beautiful beaches and spectacular hikes, such as Diamond Head and Koko Head, it's no surprise that this Hawaiian city ranked in the top ten cities with the best outdoor recreation.
9. St Louis
Forest Park is the city's most well-known green space. Home to hiking and bike trails, a tennis center, and a skating rink, Forest Park has so many options for outdoor recreation. The St Louis Zoo is also located in Forest Park.
In addition to miles of lakefront trails and a river to kayak in, Chicago is home to many skate parks, urban playgrounds, and other green spaces.
Fun Facts – Best versus Worst
San Francisco and Boston have the highest share of the population with walkable park access, 100 percent, which is 3.1 times higher than Indianapolis, the city with the lowest at 32 percent. San Francisco also has the highest spending on parks per capita, $515, which is 15.6 times higher than Jersey City, New Jersey with the lowest at $33.
San Francisco comes in on top again with the most bike rental facilities per square root of the population, 0.049433. That is 35 times higher than Kansas City, Missouri, which rounds out the bottom on the bike rental metric at 0.001411.
New York has the most playgrounds per square root of the population, 0.660085, which is 13 times more than Hialeah, Florida, the city with the fewest at 0.050668.