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RANKED: The best (and worst) states for summer socials

RANKED: The best (and worst) states for summer socials

With summer just around the corner, we’ve taken a look at all the U.S. has to offer to find out which states are the best - and worst! - for summer days out and socializing with friends.


The method

We’ve used eight different criteria to develop a unique ranking system that rates each state’s suitability for summer socials based on:

  • Size of population
  • Median age of state population
  • Number of state parks
  • Number of beaches (incl. Rivers, lakes, reservoirs, creeks etc.)
  • Summer weather (average July temperature in °F)
  • Number of colleges and universities
  • Average price of a 24-pack of beer ($)
  • Marijuana legality

We assigned each criteria with a value that, when added together, awarded each state with a score out of 300, with the higher numbers being the best ranked and the lower numbers being the worst. 

This has allowed us to see which states are the best and worst for summer socials, based on Cycling Frog’s unique criteria, and with some surprising results… 


The top ten

California, Massachusetts, and New York came up top in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively, with Florida and Michigan following close behind. 

Other states that made the top ten include Texas, Virginia, Iowa, Illinois and New Jersey

These states share similarities in that marijuana is legal to some degree, there are plenty of colleges and universities which indicates a large student population and presumably a social culture to suit, and there are a greater number of beaches and state parks per person, based on up-to-date population figures.  


The best states for summer socials

California



It comes as no surprise that the ‘Golden State’ comes out top as the best for summer socials. With over 300 state parks and beaches to hang out and enjoy, reasonably priced beer and reliable temperatures, California is the safest bet if you’re looking for somewhere to have some summer fun. Marijuana and all of its associated cannabinoids are completely legal for recreational use too - bonus! 


Massachusetts


Close second is Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, there’s a beach or park for every 40,000 people. This may sound insignificant, but this is notably fewer people per beach or park than the majority of U.S. states, meaning there are more outdoor destinations for people to hang out and enjoy, and they’re not likely to be as busy at any one time. 


Massachusetts also boasts over 100 colleges and universities, which means there’s plenty of students to party with, and the usual price of a 24-pack of beer is just $18.24, so it doesn’t cost the earth to relax and have a good time. 


New York

 

New York has one of the largest populations of any U.S. state, and it’s not hard to see why so many people put down roots here. It also has one of the largest numbers of colleges and universities of any state in the country with 240 institutes - over three times more than the average 71  per state! Cannabis is legal in New York for adults 21 and older, beer is $3 below average at around $15.48 per pack, and there are over 200 parks and beaches to visit, so New York is a solid choice to have fun with friends this summer. 


The worst states for summer socials

Wyoming

 

We’re not in the business of bashing Wyoming - or any state, for that matter - but according to our research, it is the worst for summer socials across the board. This is because Wyoming has only 14 state parks and beaches for outdoor recreation, just 10 colleges and universities, and the price of beer is the second highest out of all the U.S. states at a whopping $26.68 per pack. The state also has some of the strictest cannabis laws in the United States! We’re sure there are umpteen reasons to visit and enjoy Wyoming, but it’s maybe not the best destination if you’re looking for carefree summer fun this year.


Alabama


Alabama ranks pretty poorly based on our research for similar reasons. There are only 21 state parks and 5 beaches to be shared amongst a population of nearly 5 million people, and just 60 colleges and universities. Beer is also around a dollar more than the U.S. average at $19.65 per 24-pack, and cannabis is illegal for recreational use. 


Nebraska


It’s the same story for the ‘Beef State’, Nebraska, largely due to the lack of managed or protected parks and outdoor spaces. In a state of nearly 2 million people, there are only 8 state parks and zero beaches along rivers, lakes, or reservoirs to note, indicating fewer outdoor spaces to head to to explore and enjoy the summer sun. 


Traveling with cannabis

If you plan on traveling with cannabis or cannabinoids this summer, remember that the rules on what you can and can’t do vary from state-to-state and aren’t always easily understood. For example, you could be traveling between states in the U.S. and find yourself moving from a cannabis-friendly state to an unfriendly state rather suddenly. Running afoul of some state’s cannabis use rules can still land you in a bit of trouble, so remember to do your research and take extra precautions - particularly if you’re traveling by air. 


The results in full

State

Score

Position

California

298

1

Massachusetts

282

2

New York

274

3

Florida

273

4

Michigan

261

5

Texas

257

6

Virginia

257

7

Iowa

252

8

Illinois

245

9

New Jersey

245

9

Washington

244

11

Missouri

243

12

Connecticut

241

13

North Carolina

240

14

Arkansas

239

15

Oregon

239

16

Utah

237

17

Arizona

237

18

Alaska

231

19

South Dakota

231

20

Mississippi

229

21

South Carolina

226

22

New Hampshire

224

23

Wisconsin

220

24

Minnesota

213

25

Hawaii

212

26

Rhode Island

211

27

Louisiana

207

28

Colorado

207

29

Montana

207

29

Kansas

205

31

Vermont

202

32

Kentucky

198

33

West Virginia

198

33

Ohio

196

35

Pennsylvania

196

35

North Dakota

195

37

New Mexico

191

38

Oklahoma

191

38

Indiana

182

40

Georgia

180

41

Idaho

170

42

Maine

169

43

Tennessee

168

44

Maryland

164

45

Delaware

157

46

Nevada

157

47

Nebraska

156

48

Alabama

142

49

Wyoming

127

50


For a full breakdown of the criteria used, please click here.


If you would like to use or refer to this research at all, please credit Cycling Frog with a link to this webpage. 

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FDA DISCLAIMER The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require this notice.

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