Monday, June 1, 2009

Emerald City top town for big fun

Snails hide smiling birthday boy's
face stuck with record 43 snails
While Seattle takes first place among fun towns, California is the state where you'll find the most fun and Silicon Valley geeks apparently aren't just tinkering with technology.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com
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Deadline Newsroom - When Kraft Food's Ritz Cracker
division commissioned Bert Sperling's to find fun in America, data that included outdoor recreation resources, fun spending, sports and recreation, in-home entertainment didn't point them to New York City or even Las Vegas as the top "FUNomenal Place."

No, Seattle, got the nod as No. 1 on the list of "Ritz Cracker FUNomenal Places."

That's because Emerald City residents have higher than average participation in social activities such as block parties and barbecues, they rank near the top in several other fun categories, including skiing, access to amusement parks, and a plethora of dog parts -- 17 in total.

Seattle residents also spend a high percentage of their income on doing fun stuff, including above average spending on gyms, sporting events, movies and theater, bicycles, and musical instruments.

Seattle is also surrounded by more verdant forests and parks than any other major U.S. metro area, and its nearby oceans, rivers, and lakes make the city a great location for fun.

Ritz released the fun town findings in conjunction with its 75th anniversary.

After Seattle came Minneapolis, MN; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; Washington, DC; San Jose, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Boston, MA; San Diego, CA; and New York, NY.

California, with four cities in the Top 10, was the top state for fun and it's not just about the Sun.

San Francisco, CA was the top spot for active fun. City residents spend more money annually for their park system than any other city in our study, and with 26 off-leash dog parks, the City by the Bay had the most dog parks per person.

Who says tech geeks don't have fun. In San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley, 400 hiking trails, high levels of spending on sporting events, movies, recreation lessons and bicycles; and nearby windsurfing, water surfing and snow sports makes it a hit for fun seekers.

Forget celebrity watching. Los Angeles scored high marks for its eight major amusement parks and a host of museums, sports teams and nearby state and local parks.

And San Diego year-round mild temperatures and dry weather make it tough to stay indoors and easy to spend the day surfing, windsurfing, biking, and running, according to the study.

The "Ritz Cracker FUNomenal Places" study evaluated 50 of the largest metro areas in the United States, and identified the most fun cities using a variety of data, including outdoor recreation resources, spending on fun activities, sports and recreation, and in-home entertainment, as well as participation in and spending on social activities.

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Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist, parlayed 30 years of old-school journalism into a digital real estate news service, the San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews Group, including DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service and Web site, and the Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's news back shop.

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