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Published: Jul 25, 2016
2016: Best & Worst Cities for Recreation -- Study

With July being National Park and Recreation Month and America’s largest cities investing more than $6.9 billion on park and recreation in 2015, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016's Best & Worst Cities for Recreation.

To highlight the relative benefit of public spaces and recreational activities for consumers and economies across the country, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities in terms of 35 key metrics, ranging from parkland acreage to the cost of movie tickets.

  Best Cities for Recreation   Worst Cities for Recreation
  1 Orlando, FL   91 New York, NY
  2 Tampa, FL   92 Memphis, TN
  3 Scottsdale, AZ   93 Aurora, CO
  4 Cincinnati, OH   94 Newark, NJ
  5 Las Vegas, NV   95 Jersey City, NJ
  6 St. Louis, MO   96 Hialeah, FL
  7 Atlanta, GA   97 Irving, TX
  8 Boise, ID   98 San Antonio, TX
  9 Minneapolis, MN   99 Charlotte, NC
  10 Honolulu, HI   100 Chula Vista, CA
Best vs. Worst
  • Madison, Wis., has the highest number of park playgrounds per 100,000 residents, 72.96, which is 155 times higher than in San Bernardino, Calif., the city with the lowest, 0.47.  
  • San Francisco has the highest percentage of the population with walkable park access, 98.04 percent, which is four times higher than in Charlotte, N.C., the city with the lowest, 27.77 percent.  
  • Seattle has the highest spending on parks per capita, $294, which is 18 times higher than in Detroit, the city with the lowest, $17.  
  • San Francisco has the highest number of bike-rental facilities per 100,000 residents, 7.24, which is 27 times higher than in Arlington, Texas, the city with the lowest, 0.27.  
  • Seattle has the highest number of coffee shops per 100,000 residents, 109.43, which is 30 times higher than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the lowest, 3.67. 

For the full report and to see where your city ranks, please visit here.
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