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Easter is typically a big consumer holiday that rakes in billions and gives Americans toothaches. In fact, 80% of Americans celebrated the holiday last year, and this year consumers are expected to spend $24 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, grocery stores will offer an abundance of seasonal foods like chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps, as well as extra eggs for people who want to dye them. For Christians, however, Easter is less of a commercial event than a holy experience. It not only marks the end of Lent — a 40-day period of fasting, reflection, prayer and repentance followed directly by Easter Sunday — but it also celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and represents the “new covenant” between God and humanity. In observance of the holiday, many families will attend services.
Some Americans will feel the Easter spirit more than others, depending on where they live. In order to determine the best cities for celebrating Easter, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across four key dimensions: 1) Easter Observers, 2) Easter Traditions, 3) Kids’ Easter and 4) Easter Weather. Metrics looked at things like the number of candy and chocolate stores, churches per capita, park space, and weather patterns. The best places to celebrate include great spring weather, a family-friendly atmosphere, and great places to celebrate the occasion.
Desert destinations offer a sunny holiday
The Easter bunny in Las Vegas – courtesy of Kenny Eliason
In many southwestern cities, warm and dry weather can make the Easter holiday a great time to visit (just be careful—some higher altitude desert towns can see serious snow this time of year, too). Three desert climate towns make the top 10 for WalletHub’s list: Albuquerque, New Mexico ranks 9th, Las Vegas, Nevada ranks eighth, and El Paso, Texas takes third place.
Las Vegas ties with New York City for the most candy and chocolate stores and ties in 3rd place (with North Las Vegas) for the best Easter season weather. However, it may not be the best place for those interested in a church setting or family-friendly Easter (Sin City ranks 39th and 48th in the Easter Observers and Kid’s Easter categories, respectively).
El Paso, TX ranks third overall and third for the size of the Christian population, seventh in the Easter Observers category, and twelfth in the Kids’ Easter category, so those seeking a traditional and family-friendly Easter will find this town fits the bill. There are plenty of egg hunts planned for Easter weekend.
Florida cities take the top spot for traditions
Miami, Florida – courtesy of aurora.kreativ
Miami ranks seventh overall, and Orlando comes right ahead in sixth, for the best cities to celebrate Easter. In the Easter Traditions, category, they both come out on top—Miami is first, and Orlando is second. If you’re looking for great Easter gifts and decorations, Florida has you covered: Miami comes in fourth for the most flower and gift shops per capita, while Orlando ties in first place for the most flower and gift shops. Orlando also comes in fifth for most churches per capita.
While both Florida towns got points off in the weather category—as an afternoon thunderstorm isn’t unusual for the state—visitors can still expect wonderfully warm days, and many storms pass quickly. As such, there are plenty of fun outdoor events like egg hunts, farm and zoo events, Easter Bunny photo ops, and more.
Southern towns full of the Easter spirit
Church in New Orleans – courtesy of JR Harris
It’s no surprise that Southern towns come out on top when it comes to a holiday typically spent at church—after all, these places make up the Bible Belt. Birmingham, Alabama ranks fifth overall, thanks to its first place rank for the most churches per capita of any city. And while New Orleans is most often considered for its big parties the other side of Lent (Mardi Gras), plenty will be celebrating Easter—they have the second largest Christian population.
New Orleans ranked fourth overall for the best place to spend Easter. As a mostly Catholic town, there are many places to attend services on Sunday morning. Afterwards, visitors won’t want to miss the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade.
Most festive Northern cities
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – courtesy of Yuhan Du
While colder-climate towns may not spring to mind when it comes to enjoying April (at this point, most people are tired of the rain and snow), two northern cities made WalletHub’s top spots. Buffalo, New York ranks second overall, thanks to a second place finish for most churches per capita and fifth place rank for percentage of the population that identifies as Christian. This year, Buffalo has several fun events for all ages happening around the city, including brunches, Easter Bunny sightings, and even a unique egg hunt/ghost hunt experience.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania came out as the number one best place to celebrate Easter. The town performed well in almost all categories and, impressively, has the fourth highest number of chocolate and candy stores (which may make up for an otherwise lackluster finish in the “Kids’ Easter” category). Downtown Pittsburgh is also home to several great restaurants that make an ideal place to celebrate.
— Visit WalletHub to view the full list of rankings.

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