There is nothing more wholesome than gathering with friends and family for a backyard pool party. One person mans the grill, one makes the strawberry daiquiris, and one is on sunscreen duty. As the weather warms up and we’re in the middle of a great exodus from cities due to remote work opportunities and increased rent prices, one might begin to wonder which cities are the best equipped to have a little fun in the sun this summer.
We ranked the 100 largest U.S. cities on a variety of factors like the average days of precipitation and the number of homes with a pool to find out which ones are able to throw the best backyard pool parties. For many of the cities we analyzed, summertime fun might be best found in their own backyards. Read on to find out the best cities for backyard pool parties!
The 20 Best U.S. Cities for a Backyard Pool Party
Las Vegas ranks as the best U.S. city for a backyard pool party with an overall score of 71.5 out of 100. The Sin City had an average of 0.2 in. of precipitation and an average of 13.60% of humidity from April to August, making the dry heat and clear skies optimal for backyard staycations.
El Paso, with a score of 71.2 out of 100, is the second-best U.S. city for throwing a backyard pool party. With a Gallup community well-being rating of 64 (the second highest in our dataset), relatively low costs for pool party refreshments, and a dry heat during the summer months, it’s no wonder the Southwestern city is so well positioned to throw a great pool party.
Coming in third with an overall pool party score of 71.0 out of 100 is Boise. Known for its hiking, botanical gardens, and Greenbelt, Boise excels in our ranking because of its low average precipitation (0.7 inches) and maximum UV Index (5.2 out of 10) in the spring and summer months. Its also home to the largest percentage of residents who report wearing sunscreen (43.3%).
Wichita was just barely edged out for a top 3 spot in our ranking, coming in at fourth with a score of 70.8 out of 100. Wichita boasts a large average lawn size (0.23 acres) and low costs for pool party essentials like beer, water, and fresh fruit. Its low deviation from 80°F from April to August also makes it a pool party destination!
Rounding out the top 5 is Bakersfield with an overall score of 70.1 out of 100. Known as being the “Country Music Capital of the West Coast,” Bakersfield ranks so highly thanks in part to its low average rainfall (0.3 inches) and humidity (25.2%) from April to August. That means you can enjoy perfect pool party conditions while listening to that famous Bakersfield Sound this summer.
The 10 Worst U.S. Cities for a Backyard Pool Party
It’s no secret that New York City isn’t known for its accessibility to pools and greenery. Our factors determined New York City to be the worst city to throw a pool party. If the thought of sharing a crowded pool with your fellow New Yorkers doesn’t sound fun to you, you can always run through the Washington Square Fountain to cool off.
Washington, D.C. places third with a pool party score of 40.7 out of 100. You’d be hard-pressed to find a home with a backyard pool, as there are only 0.016 homes for sale with a pool per 100k people. Since the water can get pretty dirty in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, visitors are advised not to take a dip in it. Perhaps, you can substitute a big pool party by taking turns sticking your heads in the freezer — or not.
Surprisingly, Birmingham ranks as the fifth-worst city for backyard pool parties. Although in an area with great pool party temperatures, its high average levels of humidity (59.8%) and precipitation (4.2 inches), and low levels of residents who report wearing sunscreen (21.1%) land it on our list of cities to avoid when it comes to backyard pool partying.
The Best Cities for a Backyard Pool Party for Each Category
To narrow down our list of 100 cities even further, we decided to simplify our factors into 3 main categories: real estate, cost, and weather. Perhaps your dream home comes with a beautiful in-ground pool, complete with an outdoor kitchen, fireplace pit, and canopy pergola.
If you’re looking for a fancy backyard to host the best pool parties, consider the top 3 ranking real estate cities in the state of Florida: Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Daytona Beach. Data compiled by Zillow and Allied Van Lines show that the top residents migrating to Florida are arriving from the state of New York, perhaps in search of bigger backyards and the best pool parties.
For the most cost-effective city to throw a backyard bash, plan a trip to El Paso, nicknamed the Sun City. El Paso, located in the western part of Texas offers cheap options for all your pool party essentials like beer, soda, and chicken fillets. With inflation at a 40-year-high, the cost of goods should not prevent you from throwing a neighborhood pool party and having some summertime fun with your friends.
For the best weather, consider adding Provo to your list of best places to visit this summer. With an overall weather ranking score of 30.8 out of 35, you won’t need to worry about scheduling a rain date for your pool party invites. Boise ranked second with Sacramento placing third. California enjoys the luxury of a Mediterranean climate with little rain during the summer months. It’s the same type of climate found in parts of countries like Italy, Spain, and France, making it a top choice for the best pool party places.
Costs To Consider When Planning a Backyard Pool Party
To gauge your guest list and final budget, it’s important to determine the costs associated with throwing a pool party first. We looked at a variety of factors like the cost of ground beef, chicken fillets, fruit, water, beer, soda, chips, condiments, sandwich toppings, buns, paper plates, paper towels, plastic utensils, sunscreen, and monthly utility and maintenance costs for a pool.
We found that the average cost to throw a pool party was $385.92. We made sure not to skimp on any of the necessities and took the average cost of 3 bags of chips, 4 pounds of ground beef, 6 liters of soda, and a 24-pack case of beer so you and your guests have plenty of fuel to power you through a big pool party.
Where Does Your City Rank?
Wondering how your city stacks up? The table below gives you a look at every city included in our study and its data for each ranking factor.
We set out to find the U.S. cities that are most equipped to host the best pool parties. To accomplish this, we ranked the 100 most populous U.S. cities based on factors that would be important for such occasions. We broke these factors down into 3 main categories: real estate, cost, and weather. A full list of the data points we used in our analysis can be found below.
|Real Estate Factors|
|The Number of Homes for Sale With a Pool per 100k People||3.00||Movoto|
|Average Lawn Size||1.25||Lawn Starter|
|Community Well-being Ratings||0.75||Gallup|
|% of Population That Reports Using Sunscreen||1.00||City-data|
|Average Home Size||1.00||Movoto|
|Cost of Chicken Fillets||0.50||Numbeo|
|Cost of Water||1.00||Numbeo|
|Cost of Domestic Beer||1.50||Numbeo|
|Cost of Soft Drinks||1.50||Numbeo|
|Cost of Summer Dress||0.50||Numbeo|
|Cost of Fruit “Salad”||1.00||Numbeo|
|Average Precipitation (April – August)||2.25||U.S. Climate Data|
|Average High-Temperature Deviation From 80°F (April – August)||2.25||U.S. Climate Data|
|Average % of Humidity (April – August)||1.00||City-data|
|Average Maximum UV Index (April – August)||1.50||Weather Atlas|
We assigned weights to each factor depending on how important it would be when planning a backyard pool party. Based on those weights, we determined an individual factor score for each city. Those individual factor scores were then added together to give each city a score from 0 to 100. A higher score indicates that a city is better suited to throw a backyard pool party.
We loved finding out which cities were most well-equipped to handle the best pool parties. There’s no better way to beat the heat than to grab some friends and sip on an Adirondack Tangerine Summer Dream with your toes in the water.
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of our pool party hotspots around the country, like San Antonio or Fort Myers, then it sounds like your summer plans should already be made. Whether you plan on starting a whirlpool or just basking in the summer heat, there is nothing like a good old-fashioned pool party to get your tan on!