FILE _ Piedmont Park Atlanta

Piedmont Park in Atlanta

(The Center Square) – Atlanta is one of the top cities in the U.S. for recreation activities, according to a recent report by the personal finance website WalletHub.

Georgia's capital city ranked seventh out of the country's 100 largest cities for its recreation friendliness.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation accounts for 2% of Georgia's gross domestic product, or $12.4 billion. It also accounts for 2.2% of the state's workforce. The U.S. Department of Commerce ranked the state in top 10 among other states for its economic value from boating, fishing, hunting, motorcycling and recreational flying.

WalletHub compared a sample of the 100 most populated U.S. cities based on their entertainment and recreational facilities, costs, quality of parks and weather. Atlanta was ranked ninth for its facilities.

The city is home to the world's largest aquarium, the Fox Theatre and the World of Coca Cola. Atlanta also has more than 300 parks.

University of Houston Associate Professor Jason Draper said many Americans developed a "somewhat renewed interest" in outdoor activities such as walking, running, biking and exercising during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The pandemic also created an increased awareness and need for new protocols for many service industries, including parks and recreation services," Draper said. "But as we learned more about the pandemic, outdoor activities were proven to be relatively safe and encouraged."

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' office did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for five years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.