Travel Tips

The 10 Best Big Cities for Spring Activities in 2021

Kara Jillian Brown

Photo: Stocksy / McKinsey Jordan
The pandemic has made outdoor space more sacred than ever before. As the vaccine rollout continues, outdoor space provides opportunities for loved ones to safely see each other in a distanced, well-ventilated fashion. But having access to great public outdoor options depends on where you live.

Lawn care startup LawnStarter compared 200 of the biggest cities in the United States to create rankings for the best cities for spring outdoor activities. These rankings were determined by generating scores for outdoor activities, visitor-friendliness, and spring climate.

Outdoor activities examined the number of attractions, number of public gardens per 100,000 residents, number of arboreta (botanical gardens devoted to trees) per 100,000 residents, number of trails, number of camping sites, and average yard size. Visitor-friendliness scores considered the walk score, bike score, pedestrian fatalities per capita, natural hazard index score, and violent crime rate. Spring climate examined the average monthly temperature in spring, average monthly precipitation in inches in spring, average amount of sunshine in spring, yearly average number of very cold days in spring, yearly average number of very hot days in spring, and air quality.

The best big cities during springtime

1. San Francisco

Home to 220 parks, San Francisco ranked as the best big city for spring activities. Out of the 200 cities listed, it ranks 17th for outdoor activities, 6th for visitor-friendliness, and 51st for spring climate. Highs in San Francisco average in the low-to-mid-60s in the spring.

2. Portland, Oregon

Full of natural parks filled with trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, Portland ranks 5th for outdoor activities, 11th for visitor-friendliness, and 103rd for spring climate. March highs land in the low 50s and gradually increase to the high 60s through May.

3. Honolulu

Brimming with beautiful beaches, Honolulu ranks 11th for outdoor activities, 101st for visitor-friendliness, and 1st for spring climate. Highs in Honolulu stay in the 70s throughout spring.

4. Mesa, Arizona

Arizona's third-largest city, this desert destination ranks 93rd for outdoor activities, 8th for visitor-friendliness, and 33rd for spring climate. Spring highs in Mesa, AZ start in the mid-70s in March and climb to the low 90s through May.

5. Washington, D.C.

This bustling yet green city ranks 13th for outdoor activities, 8th for visitor-friendliness, and 110th for spring climate. Highs begin in the mid-50s in March and climb to the mid-70s through May.

6. Tuscon, Arizona

Known for getting 350 days of sunshine a year, Tucson ranks 10th for outdoor activities, 98th for visitor-friendliness, and 4th for spring climate. Highs begin in the mid-70s in March and heat up to the mid-80s through May.

7. Los Angeles

California cities make up nearly a third of this list, starting with Los Angeles, which ranks 10th for outdoor activities, 98th for visitor-friendliness, and 4th for spring climate. Spring in Los Angeles is pretty moderate, with highs in March in the high 60s and May highs in the low 70s.

8. Long Beach, California

Living up to its name, Long Beach is great for those looking to spend time near the ocean. It ranks 32nd for outdoor activities, 33rd for visitor-friendliness, and 18th for spring climate. Spring highs stay in the high 60s to low 70s.

9. Huntington Beach, California

Also known as Surf City, Huntington Beach ranks 44th for outdoor activities, 34th for visitor-friendliness, and 5th for spring climate. Spring highs stay in the mid-to-high 60s.

10. Las Vegas

Though home to tons of indoor fun, Las Vegas is great for getting outside. It ranks 19 for outdoor activities, 74 for visitor-friendliness, and 26 for spring climate. March highs are in the mid-60s while May highs are in the low-80s.

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