In a world of increasing urban living, outdoor living is probably at an all-time premium for many of us. Now one study has ranked US cities to find which ones are the best for outdoor space.

Travel News - new orleans park
Jackson Square, New Orleans. Photo by Edwin Remsberg

The team at Pots Planters & More examined 100 cities across the country to find which were the most favourable for lovers of the outdoors. Public parks were a huge factor in the rankings; they look at the number of acres available per 1000 residents, how many people were in walking distance of the parks and how much public money was spent on their upkeep.

Other factors that also contributed to the rankings were the quality of the air, the average annual temperature and house and rent prices. Overall, the top 25 list has a good geographical spread, a mix of bigger and smaller cities and even places usually more known for their harsh seasonal weather - like El Paso or Madison - than being a top choice for spending time outdoors.

Travel News - honololu for outdoor lovers
It's unsurprising stunning Honolulu made the top five. Photo by Pgiam/Getty Images

New Orleans took the top spot, an achievement the study authors partially attribute to the sustainable building efforts after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. This, combined with the high number and quality of parks, good air quality and a relatively comfortable temperature all year round makes it a solid first place winner.

Here are the top ten best US cities for outdoor space:

1. New Orleans
2. North Las Vegas
3. Albuquerque
4. Jacksonville
5. Honolulu
6. El Paso
7. Corpus Christi
8. Toledo
9. Oklahoma City
10. Buffalo

Travel News - toledo ohio parks
Toledo and its parks made the top ten. Photo by Stephanie Noritz

You can see the full list of 25 and their individual rankings for factors here.

Explore related stories


Where to go in 2024: when to visit our Best in Travel winners

Oct 25, 2023 • 19 min read