A new study from PlayNJ finds which states offer the most when it comes to entertaining their tourists, and finds that California tops the list overall, but is only 13th when it comes to happiness – and Texas takes second place thanks to dominating the sports options.
American culture, weather, and landscape differs drastically from state to state – from busy city life in New York to the quieter climes of Utah. And everywhere has something different to do for entertainment and relaxation – but which states have the most to do?
In a new piece of research from PlayNJ, you can find which states offer the highest number of theatre, theme parks, sports stadiums, and more, including tourism income and happiness, in order to find if your state tops the charts for top trips.
Let Me Entertain You
While the overall winner was California thanks to its high tourism income, with Texas as a runner-up, the top winners for each metric were much more spread out:
- Happiness – Hawaii – it seems that entertainment options don’t necessarily equal happiness, as Hawaii only reaches #20 on the overall rankings, but was the number one result when it came to happiness.
- Casinos – Nevada – it’ll come as a surprise to no one that Las Vegas pushed Nevada to the top of the charts when it comes to number of casinos. What happens in Vegas…
- Theme Parks – New Jersey – it turns out that New Jersey is the theme park capital of America, with 30 available for residents and visitors. The next entry on the list was Tennessee, which had 29.
- Sports Stadiums and Zoos – Texas – the Southern state came out on top when it came to seeing both animals and sports teams. Go Cowboys!
- TripAdvisor’s Things to Do – Florida – some states offer completely unique experiences that can’t be assigned to any other category. According to TripAdvisor, the place with the most things to see and do is Florida.
- Theatres – Illinois – Illinois made it into the top ten states overall at #9, but its stand-out success was in the number of theatres: 98, 4 more than the next most successful, Missouri, and 86 more than the worst, North Dakota.
- Tourism Income – California – Cali’s tourism spend blew all the others out of the water, reaching $126.3 billion in 2016, over $37 billion more than the runner-up, Florida.
The top five states came from all across the US and were supported by different forms of entertainment. Remarkably, the highest any of them reached in terms of happiness was the position of 10th happiest state – Texas.
- California – California’s big win was in its tourism, but it also scored highly when it came to both zoos and sports stadiums, only losing out to Texas on each.
- Texas – The only state to win on more than one metric, Texas is the American sports hub, and also home to the most zoos.
- Florida – Florida has a lot going on, according to TripAdvisor, including hundreds of miles of beaches and the Everglades.
- New York – New York, New York, the city so good they named it twice – and built a lot of casinos, theatres, zoos, and sports stadiums.
- Nevada – The glittering lights of Las Vegas have drawn tourists to Vegas for years, and there was never any chance that Nevada would be let down by its casino options, which pulled it into the top five. It also fared well on theatres and, also unsurprisingly, tourism income.
For more of America’s most entertaining states, check out the full map on PlayNJ here.