FILE - Welcome to Washington State

A roadside welcome sign in Spokane, Wash.

(The Center Square) – It may not live up to the barrel of monkeys standard, but Washington state came in at No. 7 on WalletHub’s list of states that are the most fun to visit.

The personal finance website compared all 50 states across 26 key indicators that balance a good time with affordability, including movie costs, accessibility to national parks, and casinos per capita.

“While Americans were limited in their recreation opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the distribution of the vaccine has helped the leisure and hospitality sectors reopen, and there are plenty of options now,” the report states.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez elaborated on Washington’s top 10 finish.

“Washington is the seventh most fun state to visit in America,” she reiterated in an email to The Center Square. “It has a large number of attractions and movie theaters, high beach quality and access to scenic byways. The state also has the largest amount of personal spending on recreation services per capita, almost $1,800, as well as a high amount of state and local direct general expenditures on parks and recreation.”

The Evergreen State ranked No. 1 in terms of personal expenditures on recreation services per capita, ahead of Colorado, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Virginia.

Other Washington rankings include restaurants per capita (No. 11), movie theaters per capita (No. 9), golf courses and country clubs per capita (No. 30), performing-arts theaters per capita (No. 9), fitness centers per capita (No. 12), access to national parks (No. 19), casinos per capita (No. 12), and variety of arts, entertainment, and recreation establishments (No. 29).

“Washington's nightlife played an important part in the state's ranking, too,” Gonzalez noted. “More specifically, the large number of nightlife options, music festivals and performing arts theaters, along with the fact that bars are open long into the night are what make the state one of the most fun ones.”

Oregon, Washington’s neighbor to the south, just missed the top 10, coming in at No. 11. Idaho, Washington’s neighbor to the east, came in at No. 34.

Per WalletHub, the 10 most fun states to visit in America are:

1. California

2. Florida

3. Nevada

4. New York

5. Illinois

6. Colorado

7. Washington

8. Texas

9. Minnesota

10. Louisiana

Per WalletHub, the 10 least fun states to visit in America are:

50. West Virginia

49. Mississippi

48. Delaware

47. Rhode Island

46. Arkansas

45. Vermont

44. Alabama

43. Connecticut

42. New Hampshire

41. Kentucky

Staff Reporter

Brett Davis reports on Washington state government for The Center Square. He previously worked for public policy organizations the Freedom Foundation and Washington Farm Bureau, as well as various community newspapers.