Where Rec is Wrecked

North Texas falls flat with some of America's worst cities for recreation

North Texas falls flat with some of the worst cities for recreation

Klyde Warren Park
Parks and rec just don't score highly in North Texas. Photo by Thomas McConnell

North Texas simply doesn't cut it when it comes to recreation. That's according to WalletHub, which set out to find the U.S. cities that are the best (and worst) for public spaces and recreational facilities.

With sad little scores, four North Texas cities — including Dallas — rank among the worst in the country. Dallas comes in at No. 85 out of 100; Fort Worth (No. 89), Arlington (No. 90), and Irving (No. 97) fare worse.

If some of this sounds familiar it's because WalletHub did a study in June, using much of the same criteria, that crowned Dallas one of the worst places to staycation. Things such as number of public golf courses, parks, hiking trails, water parks, shopping centers, and swimming pools were scored, along with nightlife options, zoos, museums, cultural attractions, affordable restaurants, coffee and tea shops, and beer gardens per capita.

In this study, quality of parks were weighted more heavily, and weather played a part. Regarding the former, Dallas ranks No. 63 out of 100. Climate is our worst score, No. 72. Poor Irving ranks No. 84 for entertainment and recreational facilities and No. 79 for costs.

The highest ranked Texas city is El Paso, at No. 34, and San Antonio is the worst, at No. 98.

There is one surprise at the top, which is mostly dominated by golf-heavy destinations: Cleveland comes in at No. 4, following Orlando, Florida; Tampa, Florida; and Scottsdale, Arizona. Las Vegas finishes out the top five.