City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlanta among Forbes’ Top 10 fun cities, but it’s no New York

Apparently we’re not the most fun city in the United States, nor are we among the top five cities. According to a one new ranking, Atlanta isn’t even the best spot in the southeast to have a good time. But! We are on the list released this month by, that data-happy purveyor of random rankings. Atlanta falls sixth on its list of America’s Most Entertaining Cities.

Atlanta has previously appeared on Forbes’ lists of great places to retire, not-so-great places for working moms and affordable places to live. It recently lost the title of best city for singles, apparently because we all lived happily ever after, or maybe because our rankings for nightlife and culture were kinda lousy.

Indeed, I believe I’m spoon-feeding the list-making beast just by mentioning this set of rankings. Open wide!

Our, um, competition:

1. New York
2. Chicago
3. Los Angeles
4. Miami (tie)
4. Washington, D.C. (tie)
6. Atlanta
7. Boston (tie)
7. Philadelphia
9. San Francisco
10. Dallas

Just how fun is Atlanta?

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In the story, Forbes said it calculated the rankings using metropolitan statistical areas and stats from AOL City Guides for bars, restaurants, nightclubs, live theater venues, museums and sporting venues, then added in sports teams and previous Best Cities for the Outdoors rankings. These aren’t per capita rankings, so it favors more populous cities, but also points out that, hey: New York is big, there’s a lot going on and you get to pick from all of it, not just your statistical allotment of sports bars and community theaters.

So what do you think — do Forbes’ numbers provide an accurate comparison of fun to be had in Atlanta, versus other cities? Do you pay attention to lists like these when deciding where to live or travel? Mostly, do you feel like there’s enough fun stuff going on here for you to stay busy and happy here in Atlanta? Share you thoughts in the comments!

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49 comments Add your comment


September 9th, 2009
10:41 am

I moved here in 1983. Without sounding like a an old geezer, back then Atlanta was THE place to be: young, clean, fresh, and poised for greatness. How many people – residents and visitors alike – think of Atlanta in those terms now?

Philadelphia Phil

September 9th, 2009
10:37 am

This joint is the pits.


September 9th, 2009
10:30 am

OF course we can all see who is first. Big Apple BABY…


September 9th, 2009
10:20 am

This is hilarious! Atlanta a fun city? What is fun about it now that the thugs ruined it? Decatur was nice back in the day, that is long gone. Buckhead as we know used to be fun, but they invaded Buckhead, caused crime, and screwed that up. Underground used to be cool but now is a gathering for the thugs. Midtown is OK but can get very dangerous at night. The only thing left for us normal people are The Highlands. I am sure it is only a matter of time before the thugs screw that up as well. They are doing a great job at Tech and GSU!


September 9th, 2009
10:01 am

JohnF – there is plenty to do. Ever been to the High Museum? Fernbank for the movies? Woodruf? Atlanta History Museum? Then there are things like Dave & Busters, Andretti, bowling, movies, parks, nature trails. If you enjoy eating out there are hundreds of restaurants of just about every ethnic food.

Atlanta nightlife is not it used to be before all the muggings and shootings in Buckhead. We used to have one of the most unique nightspots in the country but then people started to move in town in great numbers and didn’t like the traffic and noise. Mayor Franklin changed the 24 hour rule and made everyone else shut down earlier didn’t help either. We are years removed from the clubbing section of Buckhead, yet out of towners always want to go down there.


September 9th, 2009
9:45 am

I’ve lived in Atlanta since 1986. If you are young (and mostly single) and don’t mind driving most places, Atlanta is a blast. Once you get older and develop more mature taste though…there’s just not that much to do.


September 9th, 2009
9:43 am

The thing is that Atlanta isn’t supposed to be New York or Chicago (and never will be!) That’s why I love Atlanta so much – because it’s NOT either of those places; it’s distinct and different in its own right. If I want to experience what Chicago or New York or Los Angeles is like, I can just go there.


September 9th, 2009
9:33 am

Apparently Forbes forgot about the DUI factor present in any sort of fun in this sheet hole that pretends to be a city. What good are all the bars and nightclubs if you have to teetotal for the drive home? We need to stop treating public transportation as poor-only transportation. Build it everywhere and it increases petty crime nowhere. Even with some potentially added petty crime, wouldn’t it be worth the lives saved from our almost daily traffic fatalities?


September 9th, 2009
9:15 am

Jamie Gumbrecht – your article is trollish. Atlanta makes the top ten and you start by saying, “Apparently we’re not the most fun city in the United States, nor are we among the top five cities. Atlanta isn’t even the best spot in the southeast to have a good time” Silly woman you are!!!


September 9th, 2009
9:14 am

This past weekend Atlanta hosted College football games, Braves game, and major Nascar race. And let’s not forget the Dracon*Con fair……there’s always something to do in Atlanta area!