July is National Park and Recreation Month. We are lucky here in North Carolina that we have several National Parks and opportunities for outdoor recreation. That’s why I was surprised to see that a North Carolina city ranked as one of the worst for Outdoor recreation. The personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Best & Worst Cities for Recreation.

The cities at the top of the list offer residents a wide range of leisure activities, both indoor and outdoor. Activities require varying levels of exercise and athletic ability. And surprisingly all the major NC cities ranked towards the bottom of the list. Which considering we have theme parks, greenways, mountains, beaches, etc all within a reasonable driving distance is interesting. I personally, having lived in two North Carolina cities have never felt that I had a lack of options for recreation. But clearly, it could be better in other places! WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 47 key indicators of recreation-friendliness. For each city, they examined the accessibility of entertainment and recreational facilities, the quality of parks, and the weather.

Read WalletHub’s full article here or keep reading to see where the NC cities ranked as well as the Top 10 best and worst cities for recreation!

  • Worst Cities For Recreation

  • 91. Memphis, TN


    Beale St, Memphis

  • 92. Aurora, CO

    Aurora CO

    Aerial View of Aurora, Colorado in Autumn

  • 93. Durham, NC

    Durham NC

    Durham, North Carolina, USA downtown cityscape.

  • 94. Garland, TX


    State flag of Texas waving in the wind. Dramatic sky background. 3d illustration.

  • 95. Oakland, CA

    Oakland, CA

    Aerial view of Oakland, CA from the bay

  • 96. Irving, TX


  • 97. Newark, NJ

    Newark New Jersey

    Newark, New Jersey, USA skyline on the Passaic River.

  • 98. Jersey City, NJ

    Jersey City

    Skyline of Jersey City, New Jersey along path in Liberty State Park

  • 99. Chula Vista, CA

    Chula Vista

    Houses, roofs and the mountain, Chula Vista, California, USA.

  • 100. Fort Wayne, IN

    Fort Wayne, ID

    Aerial view over the downtown city skyline of Fort Wayne Indiana USA

  • Best Cities For Recreation

  • 10. New Orleans, LA

    New Orleans

    Bourbon St, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA cityscape of bars and retaurants at twilight.

  • 9. Honolulu, HI


    HONOLULU, HI – JANUARY 18: The sun rises over the 16th green prior to the final round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club on January 18, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • 8. Atlanta, GA

    Atlanta, GA

  • 7. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque, NM

    Hot air balloons drifting over the Rio Grande river in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • 6. San Diego, CA

    San Diego

  • 5. Scottsdale, AZ


    View of Scottsdale, Arizona’s waterfront in downtown Scottsdale

  • 4. Tampa, FL


    Tampa, Florida, USA downtown skyline on the bay at dawn.

  • 3. Cincinnati, OH

    Cincinnati, OH

    The John A. Roebling Bridge was built in 1866 to connect Covington Kentucky to Cincinnati , Ohio. It spans the Ohio River.

  • 2. Orlando, FL

    Orlando, FL

    Orlando downtown skyline panorama over Lake Eola at night with urban skyscrapers, tropic palm tree and clear sky.

  • 1. Las Vega, NV


    Aerial view of Las Vegas strip in Nevada as seen at night USA

  • Where Other NC Cities Ranked

    Charlotte: 74th

    Winston Salem: 75th

    Raleigh: 78th

    Greensboro: 87th


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