When it comes to living in California, residents know the Golden State is tough to beat. Between the beaches, the mountains and everything in between, the left coast has known for a long time that they're the best coast. Now, a new study from WalletHub is backing that assertion up and expanding Californians' egos (not that we needed the help).
According to the study, the nation's most populous state is also the nation's #1 state for restaurants, movie theaters, amusement parks, performance arts theaters and fitness centers per capita. However, California needs to work on its golf course and gambling game, as the state ranks at only 14th for golf courses and 12th in casinos per capita.
California is also home to several of the most 'fun' cities in America with San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles all appearing in the top twenty most fun cities in the U.S.
Of course, selling California as a "fun place" to live can be difficult without using the right strategy. Margaret A Young, the Department Director and Professor of Marketing in the College of Business at Texas Woman's University says state-sponsored ad campaigns can be vital to bringing in new tourists to the area.
"Most states develop a strategic direction and focus on specific industries. For example, New Mexico focuses on arts and culture tourism, promoting Native American culture. On the other hand, Texas promotes western culture in addition to their multiple professional sports teams and opportunities for family fun. Over time, these become branding opportunities for the state," Young said.
One way for California to promote itself as the 'funnest' state in the union could be the fact that California joined the recreational marijuana club back in January, something experts say tourism officials could use to encourage more people to visit the state.
"States that have legalized marijuana have benefited greatly in terms of the tax base expansion, and that's definitely a positive thing," Young said. "Colorado reported $76 million in total revenues in 2014 attributable to cannabis; while Washington state's first year revenue was $83 million in excise taxes and licensing fees. Weed tourism brings new groups of people who would not otherwise come in to the state to spend in the local economy."
Some of the other fun states in the U.S. you can visit include New York, Nevada, Florida, and Illinois. Some of the least fun: West Virginia, Mississippi, Delaware and Rhode Island.
No matter where you end up partying in the good ol' U.S. of A. you're sure to have a good time.
To determine how 'fun' each state was, WalletHub used 26 relevant metrics to compare the fifty states across two key categories, "Entertainment & Recreation" and "Nightlife."
The data used for the study's findings was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Park Service, Council for Community and Economic Research, TripAdvisor, Beachapedia, America's Scenic Byways, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, CarnivalWarehouse.com, Thrillist, Music Festival Wizard and WalletHub.
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