Feel-Good Vacay: 7 of the Happiest Cities to Visit in North America
It's that time of the year again when vacation is on the brain. Planning where to go and what to do is stressful enough, so why not take a trip to one of the happiest cities in North America? Change your perception of global hot-spots and discover your next summer bucket list destination!
Fremont, California, United States
The city of Fremont tops many “happy city” lists, and it’s easy to see why. With an average of 264 sunny days per year, the people of Fremont have access to many outdoor activities (hello, endorphins!) and tons of sunshine (hello, vitamin D!). According to WalletHub, Fremont is #1:
- In emotional and physical well-being.
- In lowest depression rate.
- For community and environment.
- For income and employment.
What To Do in Fremont, California
Head to Fremont and take advantage of what makes it so happy-go-lucky. Get outside, take in the sun, and amp up your serotonin levels. You can frolic in the Coyote Hills Regional Park meadows, dip at the Aqua Adventure Waterpark, or even stroll one of the many hiking trails.
To get a higher dose of nature's goodness, venture to Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area and enjoy a day at a sandy swimming beach, picnic with the family, or go fishing.
Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, Mexico
With extraordinary history, endearing appeal, and affordable cost of living, Guanajuato City is the lively hub of Guanajuato state but boasts a small-town feel. A side of the country that’s primarily untouched by foreign influence, Guanajuato City’s gracious people, stunning architecture, and bright buildings exude positivity in all the best ways.
What To Do in Guanajuato City, Mexico
Thanks to its adjacent mines that promoted the growth and recognition of the capital, Guanajuato City is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There's so much to see and do; travelers can't help but take it slow, savor the sights, and disconnect.
While you’re there, admire the southern mountain, Cerro Los Agustinos, standing tall at 7,280 feet, snatch some scrumptious enchiladas mineras (named the city’s most famous dish!), and watch the town come alive at night with mariachi bands and Jardin de la Union.
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Moderate in size and surrounded by the waters of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the Cataraqui River, Kingston, Ontario, is home to a younger demographic, various universities, a gorgeous waterfront, and a vibrant downtown. With a hopeful and happy population, this city is dripping with dopamine-releasing creative activities.
What To Do in Kingston, Ontario
Kingston welcomes guests to an unbelievable live music scene, the world’s biggest film festival dedicated to Canadian-made productions, and awesome antiquing. After immersing yourself in the arts, stick around for unforgettable shopping at the province’s oldest public market, featuring handcrafted goods and local produce.
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Consistently ranked among the friendliest cities in the U.S., Charleston is the epitome of southern hospitality. If the unparalleled politeness doesn't bring a smile to your face, the quaint cobblestone streets, aesthetically pleasing pastel homes, and all-encompassing charm surely will.
What To Do in Charleston, South Carolina
This notable port town is a vacation treasure for every type of guest to enjoy. History buffs can explore Fort Sumter National Monument, shoppers can stroll King Street, beach bums can relax on the islands, and thrill-seekers can take a haunted ghost tour around graveyards, famous buildings, and neighborhoods.
Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Nestled in the Cook Inlet, Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city and a must-see for anyone chasing a serotonin boost. This city is well-known for its strong ties to its native roots, and from that pride comes a lot of joy from the locals.
What To Do in Anchorage, Alaska
Learn about Alaska’s indigenous people and find out where all that happiness comes from at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Then, feed your soul and discover the breathtaking mountains, glaciers, and coastal trails. And the best part? If you plan your trip between September and April, you can catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
While New York City is commonly called the ultimate melting pot, Toronto gives the U.S. metropolis a run for its money by being one of the world's happiest multicultural communities. It’s a place where everyone belongs, and so do you!
What To Do in Toronto, Ontario
From the Koreatown and Greektown neighborhoods to Little Italy and Little Tibet, Toronto is perfect for those who want to sample the finest aspects of our world’s rich flavors. To finish the day, get a bird’s eye view of the city by going up the famous CN Tower. Being 1,800 feet in the air will give you an adrenaline rush that’ll keep you searching for more adventures.
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
A beach town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta is ideally situated between the ocean and the Sierra Madre mountains. An economic paradise for residents and visitors alike, you’ll find bliss and delight in the area’s leisurely lifestyle.
What To Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The superb weather, pristine beaches, and kindness of the population are just part of what makes Puerto Vallarta so cheery. This gorgeous coastal resort town has plenty of shopping and nightlife to entertain you for a luxurious stay—not to mention the clear-blue waters of Conchas Cinchas Beach or Amapas Beach. Visitors are also encouraged to breathe in nature at the Mirador de La Cruz and capture great sunset views between the arches at Plaza de Armas.
Pack your bags for an uplifting experience!
Visiting the happiest cities in North America can be transformative. On your trip, you’ll enjoy the beautiful architecture, good food, captivating history, and warmth of local people. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, see our money-saving road trip tips. And, of course, you can’t forget the essential travel gadgets to take with you. Happy traveling!