When you think of the most fun states what do you think of? Your idea of fun may influence your opinion. Love shopping? New York probably takes the cake. Love outdoor adventure? You probably rank states like Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming high. Are you a beach person? The most fun state to you is somewhere on the coast. But in general, if you’re thinking of the most fun states for the most significant amount of people? Florida and California would be my first guesses. Our friends over at WalletHub recently conducted a survey of the most fun states in the country. And yes California and Florida did rank 1 and 2 respectively. But North Carolina, we ranked in the top 3rd as one of the most fun filled states.

Not just that but if you’ve got a little bit of a rivalry between us and our neighbors both to the south, ie South Carolina, we beat them too. Yes, even the tourist paradise of Myrtle Beach and classic southern history of Charleston, couldn’t top North Carolina! We also beat our other neighbors, Virginia, Tennesee, and Georgia. Something to be proud of for sure!

So what are these rankings based on? WalletHub used several metrics including things like movie costs to the accessibility of national parks to nightlife options per capita. Other fun options included attractions, restaurants, ski resorts, golf courses, fairs, marinas, and more. So all very fun things! Keep reading to see where North Carolina ranks for fun and what makes our state so much more fun than others! Want to read the full WalletHub study? It’s available here.

  • Top 10 Most Fun States

    Los Angeles, West Coast Palm Tree Sunshine themed background,


    1. California
    2. Florida
    3. Nevada
    4. New York
    5. Illinois
    6. Colorado
    7. Texas
    8. Washington
    9. Minnesota
    10. Lousiana

    The top 7 on this list, I absolutely wouldn’t question. From California which has mountains, beaches, cities, theme parks, and the sheer size well it makes perfect sense. Then you move to Florida the theme park capital of the world and a city that has every tourist option you could ever imagine and then some (Orlando). Not to mention miles of coastline, the keys, and a space center. Nevada has Vegas, New York and Illinois are home to some of the biggest most exciting cities in the country. Colorado ranks high for the previously mentioned outdoor adventurers. And Texas, well it’s Texas.

    And while I’d probably rank the other cities on this list pretty high, they don’t stand out quite as apparent to me as the top 7.

  • 15. North Carolina

    Craggy Gardens Pinnacle Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Blue Ridge Mountains.


    North Carolina ranked at number 15. So pretty high comparatively. Some of the metrics responsible for our high ranking include:

    • 8th – Restaurants per Capita
    • 19th – Movie Theaters per Capita
    • 10th – Golf Courses & Country Clubs per Capita
    • 16th – Amusement Parks per Capita
    • 29th – Performing-Arts Theaters per Capita
    • 9th – Fitness Centers per Capita

    I’d also add in the proximity to both the beach and the mountains. But regardless of why I’ll take the rankings! Good job NC you’re fun.

  • 19. South Carolina

    Myrtle beach Boardwalk south Carolina

    Larry Gibson

    As I previously mentioned I would have thought Myrtle Beach and Charleston would have ranked South Carolina over North Carolina. But I’d guess the number of larger cities gave us the edge. But SC wasn’t too far behind. They ranked 16th in entertainment and recreation.

  • Our Other Neighbors

    Nashvile TN skyline with red sunset and birds

    Jonathan Ross

    21. Georgia

    24. Virginia

    25. Tennessee

    All the other neighboring states ranked pretty close. All of these states also offer numerous options for fun. In fact, in the past year, I’ve visited all of them for vacation. Yes, they are convenient but they also offer lots of options for fun. Whether it’s Savannah Georgia, one of my favorite cities in the world, or the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. Virginia offers beaches, mountains, Charlottesville wine country, history with Williamsburg and Jamestown, as well as theme parks and proximity to DC. And Tennesee from the Smoky Mountains, to Nasvhille, and Memphis there is no shortage of fun to be had.

  • The Biggest Surprise

    Hawaiian sunset with sailboat and mountains

    Jonathan Ross

    I’m sorry there is no way you can tell me that Hawaii ranks 26th on a scale of fun. 26th, that’s in the bottom half of all states. I’ve never been to Hawaii and yes I can see that they probably don’t have high number of things like movie theaters and obviously they don’t have ski resorts. But there is no way, they are at the bottom. No way at all.

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