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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 Forbes.com, 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

Jamie Gumbrecht

September 10th, 2009
12:33 am

Not Going To Use My Usual Name — you make a very good point, but unfortunately, the blog comment areas on AJC.com and AccessAtlanta.com haven’t proven themselves to be an effective forum to discuss race. Perhaps this is because we allow anonymous comments, or because we don’t have enough time or people to engage in a weightier conversation. Regardless, my choice is to keep the discussion on a level more appropriate to this venue, and in other posts, we’ve seen interesting ideas about entertainment emerge by keeping race and politics out of the discussion. Thanks for the thoughtful points, though!

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

September 9th, 2009
10:39 pm

Jamie said, “We’re not talking about race.”

Honestly, I don’t think you can talk about anything in Atlanta in any depth without talking about race, and that would include entertainment. Neighborhoods are still largely segregated, churches are *extremely* segregated, and even many entertainments are (voluntarily) segregated.

I believe Atlanta may have made the list because it’s a vibrant place for people of color.

Truth

September 9th, 2009
2:15 pm

Enter your comments here

Norwood

September 9th, 2009
2:04 pm

MiamiDolphins2010SBowl!!! – Too many black people?? You have issues and should probably leave. That’s cool, go on up to Chicago. There will be some black people waiting to welcome you…..

Jeff

September 9th, 2009
1:45 pm

TI, either you are a moron or have never been to Philly. There is much more history, culture, art, theater, etc. than there is or ever will be in this sunbelt city.

miss marta

September 9th, 2009
1:32 pm

i forgot to mention dad’s garage. BIG ups to awesome improv comedy!!

miss marta

September 9th, 2009
1:28 pm

i love atlanta! i’m from the midwest, and have been here for about 15 years. what i love is there is always something to do. i love live music, and atlanta is known for having a thriving music scene. it’s a shame that buckhead (or buckhood as it turned out to be) is gone, because it was fun to go out and bar hop with friends. but the place got downright trashy, especially some of the bars – bar and mako’s anybody? – and all the sunday/monday night shootings. that hasn’t stopped me from hitting up east atlanta, midtown, grant park, little five, va-hi, all great parts of town in their own right.

who doesn’t like sitting at turner field on beautiful sunny afternoon and clear night and taking in a braves game? we have professional football, basketball, and hockey as well. choose one or all of them. i’ve never had a bad time at any of them.

but i live in the city. most people don’t, and a lot of people commenting here don’t live in atlanta – JOHN’S CREEK IS NOT ATLANTA. there are events every day and night of the week here. i chose city life over suburban life for the career, cultural and social opportunities, and i haven’t been let down.

Truth

September 9th, 2009
1:16 pm

Duluth – Thanks for the info (informative and civil, much appreciated) . I am of the opinion that the only thing Atlanta really lacks is proximity to water. (I also must admit I do not get the appeal of San Francisco. Nice yes, fun I would need to see more. I know they have some odd festivals)

I guess I have a problem with the methodology – New York is big, there is a lot going on, true. If there are 3000 good places to eat in NY and lets say 750 in Atlanta, that is still a two year supply of places to eat without going back to any of the ones you have already tried and really liked. More can sometimes equal better but at a point more is just more. That said, I have no REAL problem with the rankings. Almost all major shows / concert tours eventually some to Atlanta. I love NY but there are a significant number of people who would never feel comfortable in NYC just because of the sheer size (Some people LOVE NYC for that very reason and for them there is no substitute and I definitely understand that). How can those other people have fun if they don’t even feel comfortable. Atlanta is on a scale most people can handle and it also less expensive. You can also head into Atlanta grab a hotel room hit some bars / lounge visit a museum or two it does not cost a fortune

transplanted

September 9th, 2009
1:14 pm

I wish I was in Atlanta. I live in Dallas now because of job. Atlanta is a great city with many nice people. Just look at the front page and entertainment section of the local paper and decide for yourself.

Truth

September 9th, 2009
1:03 pm

Duluth – Thanks for the info (informative and civil, much appreciated) . I am of the opinion that the only thing Atlanta really lacks is proximity to water. (I also must admit I do not get the appeal of San Francisco. Nice yes, fun I would need to see more. I know they have some odd festivals)

I guess I have a problem with the methodology – New York is big, there is a lot going on, true. If there are 3000 good places to eat in NY and lets say 750 in Atlanta, that is still a two year supply of places to eat without going back to any of the ones you have already tried and really liked. More can sometimes equal better but at a point more is just more. That said, I have no REAL problem with the rankings. Almost all major shows / concert tours eventually some to Atlanta. I love NY but there are a significant number of people who would never feel comfortable in NYC just because of the sheer size (Some people LOVE NYC for that very reason and for them there is no substitute and I definitely understand that). How can those other people have fun if they don’t even feel comfortable. Atlanta is on a scale most people can handle and it also less expensive. You can also head into Atlanta grab a hotel room hit some bars / lounge visit a museum or two it does not cost a fortune.