The Best (And Worst) Cities To Be Quarantined

By Kathy Morris - Apr. 22, 2020

No one wants to be quarantined and everyone is just trying to make the best of it.

However, some cities are better places to be stuck at home than others. We often think about what cities have to offer in terms of night life, dining out, and exciting things to do. However, for the millions of Americans stuck at home in formerly exciting cities, the nearby theme park or vibrant theatre scene aren’t doing much.

What do they care about? Spacious apartments, speedy internet, plentiful take-out options, and nearby green space.

We set out to find the cities where those sheltering in place have it the relative best.

Best Cities To Be Quarantined

  1. Scottsdale, AZ
  2. Irvine, CA
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Virginia Beach, VA
  6. Chandler, AZ
  7. San Jose, CA
  8. Raleigh, NC
  9. Orlando, Fl
  10. Austin, TX

Scottsdale, Arizona is the best city in the US to be quarantined. Residents of Scottsdale and other cities that make up the top 10 may not be enjoying their time stuck at home. However, they do enjoy larger than average apartments and faster internet to help them stream away their troubles. If that’s not enough, when they do get outside, there is plentiful green space to get some fresh air while socially distancing.

Keep reading to see why these 10 cities made the grade, or jump to the bottom to see where your city landed.

How We Determined The Best (And Worst) Cities To Be Quarantined

We ranked each city 1 to 99 in four areas:

  • Average apartment size
  • Amount of parkland per person
  • Percent of residents with broadband internet
  • Number of takeout options

Average apartment size comes from RENTCafe. The bigger the apartment, the better for stir-crazy quarantiners. Not only can space make working from home, working out from home, and hobbies better, it also helps distance yourself from family and roommates. This doesn’t take into consideration city house size, or home owners, and just looks at apartment rentals.

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The amount of parkland came from the Trust For Public Land. The more public green space per 1,000 residents, the higher the city ranked. We looked at the number of restaurants listed for each city on Doordash. The more restaurants available for delivery, the more food options residents can get without leaving their house.

Finally, we used the trusty US Census to see the percentage of residents in each city with broadband internet– including cable, fiber, or DSL. Not only does fast internet help with working from home, it also helps residents engage in video communication with friends, play online games, and stream entertainment.

1. Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Joseph Plotz | CC BY-SA 3.0

Park Land Per 1k People: 124.3
Broadband Internet: 81.8%
Apartment Size: 946 sq ft
Take-out Options: 1060

Scottsdale is the best city in the US to be quarantined. Why makes being stuck at home sweeter in Scottsdale than other places? First of all, those homes are pretty big. The average Scottsdale apartment is 964 square feet. That’s almost double the size of what they’re coping with in Honolulu. Throw in over a thousand restaurants with delivery and lots of public land and it’s easy to see that things could be a lot worse than Scottdale.

2. Irvine, CA

Irvine, CA

Source: Public domain

Park Land Per 1k People: 39.1
Broadband Internet: 86.1%
Apartment Size: 912 sq ft
Take-out Options: 1695

In 2nd place, we have Irvine, California. 86% of residents in Irvine had broadband internet– the third highest rate in the nation. That speedy internet means more folks in Irvine can prop their feet up, stream Netflix, and order from one of the many delicious restaurants a stone’s throwaway.

3. Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas|Summerlin North, NV

Source: Wikipedia User Rsilva13 | CC BY-SA 4.0

Park Land Per 1k People: 70.5
Broadband Internet: 71.6%
Apartment Size: 884 sq ft
Take-out Options: 1755

Las Vegas is known for their vibrant nightlife, but apparently it’s a good place to stay home. The third best place to stay home in the nation, to be precise. What makes Vegas so great? Outside of the strip, they have beautiful, sprawling nature for the perfect stay-cation. Las Vegas has the 7th highest amount of parks per resident

4. San Diego, CA

San Diego|Kensington, CA

Source: Flickr User mliu92 | CC BY-SA 2.0

Park Land Per 1k People: 34.9
Broadband Internet: 80.7%
Apartment Size: 848 sq ft
Take-out Options: 2463

San Diego residents may have small apartments, but great internet and world class food show space isn’t everything.

5. Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Jason Pratt (Fi | CC BY 2.0

Park Land Per 1k People: 54.9
Broadband Internet: 81%
Apartment Size: 973 sq ft
Take-out Options: 540

Virginia Beach residents have the 3rd largest apartments. If that isn’t enough, Virginia Beach has a large amount of public land for people to take in some fresh air when they get too stir crazy.

6. Chandler, AZ

Chandler, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Ixnayonthetimma | GFDL

Park Land Per 1k People: 23.4
Broadband Internet: 82.4%
Apartment Size: 922 sq ft
Take-out Options: 910

The booming city of Chandler may have slowed down significantly, but residents at home have a lot to be grateful for. For one, roomy housing gives them more space to live their lives at home. Chandler also has the 5th best internet access of any citizen.

7. San Jose, CA

San Jacinto, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Ymblanter | CC BY-SA 3.0

Park Land Per 1k People: 15.8
Broadband Internet: 81.6%
Apartment Size: 879 sq ft
Take-out Options: 1458

In the heart of silicon valley, many tech workers are now working from their smallish apartments. Lucky for them, 81% of the city has broadband internet, so when they complain to their friends about those tiny apartments, the video picture is great quality. Throw in some great dining options, and the apartments aren’t so bad.

8. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Atlpedia | CC BY-SA 3.0

Park Land Per 1k People: 29.6
Broadband Internet: 79.2%
Apartment Size: 962 sq ft
Take-out Options: 550

In 8th place we have Raleigh, North Carolina, edging out its sister city Durham by over 60 spots. Raleigh’s roomy apartments, excellent internet, and high amount of public leisure space make it one of the best cities to be quarantined.

9. Orlando, Fl

Orlando-Fl

Source:Pixabay User RGruber

Park Land Per 1k People: 10.8
Broadband Internet: 73.5%
Apartment Size: 949 sq ft
Take-out Options: 1596

While Orlando has been economically rocked by theme park closures, residents sheltering in place have some advantages of those in other cities. Orlando is a sprawling city, with spacious housing. The city also has a surprising amount of take out options, 1596 to be exact.

10. Austin, TX

Austin, TX

Source: Wikipedia User Argash | GFDL

Park Land Per 1k People: 22.9
Broadband Internet: 80.9%
Apartment Size: 859 sq ft
Take-out Options: 1564

In 10th place we have Austin, Texas. While Austin is known for keeping it weird and a vibrant tech scene, it is also the 10th best city to be quarantined. While Austin has the second smallest apartments in the top 10 (only smaller than San Diego), they also have fast internet and a decent amount of outdoor space per resident for a nice change of scenery.

Summary On The Best Cities To Be Quarantined

Overall, while everyone is struggling with quarantine– residents in some cities have a few advantages to help them cope.

Fast internet, spacious apartments, take-out, and beautiful parks don’t make up for the lack of human contact and everyday normality. However, they certainly help. Sure, binge watching Tiger King and ordering no-contact delivery is probably not how you imagined an exciting Saturday night a few months ago, but it could be a lot worse.

Don’t believe me? Just imagine spending every day, all day in a studio with dial up, no nearby parks, and a few crummy dining options.

Where do quarantined residents have it the worst?

  1. Newark, NJ
  2. Hialeah, Fl
  3. Paterson, NJ
  4. Buffalo, NY
  5. Laredo, TX
  6. Tucson, AZ
  7. Cleveland, OH
  8. Arlington, TX
  9. McAllen, TX
  10. Boston, MA

The Best Cities To Be Quarantined, Ranked From Best To Worst

Rank City Parkland Internet Apartment_Size Take_Out_Options
1 Scottsdale, AZ 124 81 946 1,060
2 Irvine, CA 39 86 912 1,695
3 Las Vegas, NV 70 71 884 1,755
4 San Diego, CA 34 80 848 2,463
5 Virginia Beach, VA 54 81 973 540
6 Chandler, AZ 23 82 922 910
7 San Jose, CA 15 81 879 1,458
8 Raleigh, NC 29 79 962 550
9 Orlando, Fl 10 73 949 1,596
9 Austin, TX 22 80 859 1,564
11 Jacksonville, Fl 74 67 959 770
12 Las Vegas, NV 26 68 884 1,755
13 Tampa, FL 14 71 920 1,238
14 Plano, TX 15 69 940 1,357
15 Atlanta, GA 11 67 987 2,697
15 San Antonio, TX 20 82 847 1,298
17 Nashville-Davidson, TN 52 69 889 996
18 Chesapeake, VA 233 71 980 144
19 Omaha, NE 24 71 928 462
20 Gilbert, AZ 5 88 969 778
21 Fremont, CA 106 87 684 782
22 Chandler, AZ 6 82 922 910
23 Louisville, KY 23 66 929 621
24 Henderson, NV 32 54 970 624
25 Dallas, TX 21 63 837 2,645
26 Columbus, OH 18 63 887 1,032
27 New Orleans, LA 71 56 871 861
28 Lexington-Fayette, KY 14 74 903 325
28 Oklahoma, OK 40 65 848 705
30 Phoenix, AZ 31 66 783 1,541
31 Madison, WI 26 80 842 254
32 Denver, CO 9 74 832 1,193
33 Charlotte, NC 13 50 948 959
33 Glendale, CA 8 64 865 3,045
35 Colorado Springs, CO 24 77 822 387
36 Aurora, CO 29 72 821 408
37 Indianapolis, IN 13 62 878 1,054
37 Anaheim, CA 7 71 842 1,281
39 Honolulu, HI 34 71 544 803
40 St. Petersburg, FL 24 72 862 129
40 Seattle, WA 9 81 711 1,336
42 Los Angeles, CA 9 69 771 3,885
43 Boise, ID 19 69 881 198
43 Oakland, CA 9 71 792 1,440
45 San Francisco, CA 6 78 737 2,344
46 Bakersfield, CA 14 70 870 345
47 St. Paul, MN 16 64 825 910
48 Richmond, VA 9 69 868 767
49 Cincinnati, Ohio 22 39 869 1,030
50 Santa Ana, CA 2 66 863 1,916
50 Fort Worth, TX 14 65 859 591
52 Pittsburgh, PA 11 70 811 861
53 Sacramento, CA 10 71 820 777
53 Portland, OR 23 42 802 1,717
53 Anchorage, AK 2,992 76 697 155
56 Alburquerque, NM 48 65 810 456
57 Memphis, TN 13 57 917 474
58 Miami, FL 3 54 879 3,178
59 Greensboro, NC 26 40 937 193
60 Chula Vista, CA 8 76 874 199
60 Reno, NV 13 70 838 341
62 Tulsa, OK 22 63 820 598
62 Hayward, CA 11 70 819 597
64 Winston-Salem, NC 15 63 920 10
64 Long Beach, CA 6 71 801 1,218
64 New York City, NY 4 70 733 3,669
67 Lincoln, NE 13 56 942 200
68 El Paso, TX 43 59 812 438
69 Corpus Christi, TX 26 62 843 203
70 Kansas City, KS 36 58 792 581
71 St. Louis, MO 11 59 833 739
72 Irving, TX 8 68 848 531
73 Lubbock, TX 9 65 902 188
74 Fort Wayne, IN 9 68 876 165
74 Chicago, IL 4 64 733 4,778
76 Norfolk, VA 7 58 881 609
77 Baltimore, MD 7 57 818 1,295
78 Durham, NC 10 28 935 439
79 Washington DC 12 38 736 1,660
80 Baton Rogue, Louisiana 5 62 944 284
80 Riverside, CA 11 54 846 591
82 Minneapolis, MN 12 50 785 1,141
83 Fresno, CA 5 63 892 404
84 Milwaukee, WI 10 58 852 415
85 Mesa, Arizona 5 69 818 600
86 Toledo, OH 11 69 811 161
86 Philadelphia, PA 6 38 801 1,856
88 Detroit, MI 8 45 791 1,431
89 Boston, MA 7 40 817 1,219
89 Wichita, KS 12 67 787 319
91 McAllen, TX 3 61 915 175
92 Arlington, TX 12 32 818 582
93 Cleveland, OH 7 47 796 997
94 Tucson, AZ 8 65 762 375
95 Laredo, TX 5 33 922 76
96 Buffalo, NY 7 49 782 701
97 Paterson, NJ 6 49 562 664
98 Hialeah, Fl 90.0% 52 825 243
99 Newark, NJ 3 37 707 658

Kathy Morris

Author

Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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