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Why experts say California is the most fun state in US

Florida and Nevada might be fun, but California won as this year's most fun state in the U.S. based on an annual ranking.
Why experts say California is the most fun state in US
Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-14 14:26:44-04

According to a new analysis by WalletHub, California beat out Florida and Nevada as America’s most fun state. 

The annual analysis looks at 26 different metrics, including the number of restaurants, movie theaters and golf courses per capita. The metrics also consider things like weather, time of last call and average beer and wine prices. 

The rankings tended to favor more populous states as New York, Illinois and Texas were also in the top seven. 

According to WalletHub, California has the most restaurants, movie theaters, performing arts theaters and fitness centers per capita. 

Mississippi is listed as the least fun state, followed by West Virginia and Delaware. 

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WalletHub noted that marketing states as a "fun place" can be a challenge.

In response to the data, Rick Funderburg, an associate professor at the University of Illinois, noted that states like California and Illinois don’t necessarily have to spend money promoting their states given the number of amenities that have. 

"Most respectable studies have found that state spending to promote tourism can increase visitors to a state only in markets where the state’s tourist amenities are not widely known. This makes perfect sense if you think about it," he said in response to the data. "For a lesser-populated state not widely known as a destination for tourists, like North Dakota, additional spending by the state government to bring attention to the state can have a significant impact. Yet, for a populated state with lots of well-known tourist amenities like California or Illinois, additional state-sponsored advertising is likely to have zero impact on bringing new visitors to the state."

Here is a list of the top 10 fun states in the U.S.: 

1. California

2. Florida

3. Nevada

4. New York

5. Illinois

6. Colorado

7. Texas

8. Washington

9. Minnesota

10. Louisiana


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