The Best U.S. Cities for Thrill Seekers

header image for the best cities for thrill seekers
header image for the best cities for thrill seekers

Are you a daredevil at heart with an insatiable appetite for adrenaline-pumping adventures? Does the thought of gravity-defying thrills make your heart skip a beat? Well, buckle up, thrill seekers, because we’ve scoured the Yelp data from coast to coast and crunched the numbers to bring you the ultimate list of U.S. cities that will make your palms sweat and your pulse race!

Whether it’s skydiving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, or any other death-defying pursuit, these U.S. cities will leave you breathless, giddy, and ready for more! Read on to see if your city made the cut. Lights, camera, adrenaline!

The Most Thrilling U.S. Cities Across the Nation

U.S. map showing the best cities for thrill seekers 

Extreme sports are all about pushing your physical and mental limits, overcoming fears, and feeling a sense of accomplishment. These cities totally get it. So without further ado, here are the most thrilling U.S. cities!

Whether you want to scale a mountain or explore the high seas, San Diego, California, has you covered. Ever popular with tourists, the city has perfect bike rental, jet ski rental, kayak rental, ATV rental, and rock climbing location scores. With its beautiful coast, mild climate, and varied terrain, it’s no wonder San Diego tops our list!

The fact that Las Vegas, Nevada (#9), a city known for its over-the-top entertainment and high-stakes gambling, has the most bungee jumping locations nationwide might not be a coincidence! With 11 different spots to take the plunge, Las Vegas is the perfect place to bounce back and definitely deserves its place on our list.

If you’re more interested in tearing up the trails on an ATV, Boston, Massachusetts (#7), is the place to be. With 54 rental locations to choose from, you won’t have any trouble finding a sweet ride and a spot to take it for a spin.

Orlando, Florida (#11), is the ultimate destination for those who want to soar above it all. With 19 skydiving locations, more than any other U.S. city, there’s no shortage of opportunities to step out of a plane and experience the thrill of a lifetime. Don’t forget to admire the view before you pull the parachute!

Looking Closer at the Thrills in California

A California map showing the best cities for thrill seekers 

If thrilling adventures are your thing, California is your playground. Our study reveals the Golden State is home to the top three overall best cities for thrill seekers and five of the top 10 cities, making it the ultimate state for adrenaline junkies. Heart-pumping excitement isn’t just limited to the top-ranked cities. In total, seven of the nine California cities we included in our study made it into the top 25, which is no small feat!

It’s no wonder LA is known as the City of Angels. Los Angeles is the place to be for those looking to climb to new heights, with 52 rock climbing locations (more than any other U.S. city). Of course, if you prefer to keep your feet on the pedals, you’re always a stone’s throw from one of the 226 bike rental locations, so you can beat the traffic and explore the city under your own power.

Love the combination of water and speed? Then San Diego is for you. This sunny oceanside city is world famous for its near-perfect weather and has more jet ski rentals than any other city in the U.S., with a total of 53 rental locations.

Good old-fashioned thrill rides are not to be overlooked when it comes to heart-pounding fun! Riverside boasts an incredible 919 amusement places and arcades with something for thrill seekers of all ages!

Full Data Set

You can view our complete data set used to compile this ranking in the table above. 

Closing Thoughts

Our study reveals that thrill seekers have plenty of options in the United States. Why is that, you might ask? At Shane Co., we think it’s because we’re a nation of thrill seekers. With adventure sports, it’s not just about the adrenaline rush, the epic selfies, or the bragging rights (although those are great too!). There’s also the incredible camaraderie we share as we push each other to the limits and bond over inevitable bruises and broken bones.

Nothing brings you closer to your significant other than toeing the line of danger. To some, popping the question can be even more nerve-wracking than skydiving. To ease your jitters, turn to Shane Co.’s collection of timeless engagement rings.


In order to identify the best cities for thrill seekers, we analyzed data for 10 different ranking factors in the largest 100 U.S. cities. We assigned cities with a score of 0 to 5 for each factor, with a score of 5 representing the most opportunities for thrill seekers. We determined each city’s total score from the total of its individual factor scores. Individual factor scores were then added together to give each city a final score from 0 to 100. Higher scores indicate cities are better for thrill seekers. A full list of ranking factors is outlined below:

  • No. of ATV Rentals
  • No. of Bungee Jumping Locations
  • No. of Skydiving Locations
  • No. of Rock Climbing Locations
  • No. of Kayak Rentals
  • No. of Jet Ski Rentals
  • No. of Hot Air Balloons
  • No. of Hiking Trails
  • No. of Amusement Places & Arcades
  • No. of Bike Rentals
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