Apparently Las Vegas Is the “Happiest Travel Destination” in the US

(Except that it's actually definitely not.)

Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Grant Cai

If you were to ask me what I thought the happiest destination in the ol’ US of A was, I probably wouldn’t be able to narrow it down to a list of 10. I’m not even sure I could name five that I thought deserving of the appellation (mostly because I don’t consider this country to be particularly happy, but I guess happiness is a sliding scale). That said, nothing — and I mean nothing — could have prepared me for the news that the number one happiest destination in the U.S. is…Las Vegas.

That’s right. According to a new study from Club Med, which compiled data from the 50 most visited tourist destinations in North America, Sin City is said to spark the most joy among travelers. The survey was reportedly centered around nine metrics: crime, safety, pollution, cost of domestic beers, number of outdoor activities, day trips, spas and wellness centers, LGBTQ+ friendliness and overall happiness score. Based on that criteria, Las Vegas was found to have an index score of 73.7. The others were as follows:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada (73.7)
  2. New Orleans, Louisiana (26.8)
  3. Vancouver, Canada (23.2)
  4. San Francisco, California (22.4)
  5. Washington, D.C. (21.2)
  6. Los Angeles, California (19.8)
  7. Toronto, Canada (19.8)
  8. Halifax, Canada (19.8)
  9. Portland, Oregon (19.3)
  10. Nashville, Tennesse (19.3)

In short: not only did Vegas come out on top — it absolutely obliterated the competition, by Club Med’s standards. Though, as someone who has spent at least a little time in Las Vegas (evidenced by the neon flamingo tattoo I have on my left hip, inspired by Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and acquired under less-than-excellent conditions), and a lot of time a lot of other places — I have a hard time believing it’s truly the happiest destination in all of North America. When I think of Vegas, I think of seedy casinos and cigarette vending machines (the latter of which does admittedly make me kind of happy), but I certainly don’t think of bliss. Try anxiety. Or, more appropriately, hangxiety.

Of course, it does stand to reason that I just haven’t experienced the city in all of it’s euphoric glory — if I’d won an exorbitant amount of money while there as opposed to the alternative, I’d likely feel differently — but nevertheless, this conclusion feels flawed at best. Like, what about, I don’t know, San Diego?

But hey — I guess that’s why they call it Sin City.


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