When it comes to party cities, or more broadly, "party states," let's be honest: of the Tri-States, Iowa and Wisconsin aren't top of mind. You'd be justified in believing California, Texas, or maybe Tennessee would give you the best night out. But when you do a deep dive into other areas beyond volume of bars and nightclubs, you might be surprised at the results.

The website 247WallSt. looked at all 50 states and broke down data related to all the things that make a night out worthwhile. The 24/7 Tempo team revived a report by Nasty Gal, a retailer that specializes in fashion for young women, in order to compile their list. Here's specifically what they looked at:

Y105 logo
Get our free mobile app
  • Average price of a cocktail
  • Average cost of a cab
  • Average price of a fast food meal
  • Bars and clubs (per 100,000 residents)
  • Safety


The answer is Wisconsin! Wisconsin scored the highest at 78.26 (out of 100). When you consider the affordability of cocktails and meals in the Wisconsin area, not to mention the volume of homey dive bars, it's not as big of a shock to consider that the Cheese State came in at #1 overall on this list.

Here are the numbers for Wisconsin:

Photo Credit: monkeybusinessimages, Getty Stock
Photo Credit: monkeybusinessimages, Getty Stock
  • Total score: 78.26/100
  • Average cocktail price: $7.30
  • Average cab cost: $23.00 per 5 miles
  • Average fast food meal price: $8.00
  • Bars and clubs per 100,000 residents: 19
  • Safety score: 54.67/100

You might be surprised to discover that another Tri-State cracked the top ten too! That state would be Iowa.

The Hawkeye State ranked #5, boasting a low meal cost and almost equally affordable cocktails compared to Wisconsin. While its bar/club average was lower, its cab cost was significantly lower too. Here's a look at the numbers for Iowa:

  • Total score: 72.00/100
  • Average cocktail price: $8.00
  • Average cab cost: $16.00 per 5 miles
  • Average fast food meal price: $7.66
  • Bars and clubs per 100,000 residents: 12
  • Safety score: 55.16/100

Finally, Illinois, while outside of the top ten, still cracked the top 20, placing 19th on 247WallSt's list. Their cocktail price was almost double that of Iowa and Wisconsin (Chicago surely skews that), but surprisingly, the meal cost was just a little more. Here are the numbers:

  • Total score: 63.42/100
  • Average cocktail price: $15.00
  • Average cab cost: $12.14 per 5 miles
  • Average fast food meal price: $8.50
  • Bars and clubs per 100,000 residents: 9
  • Safety score: 51.17/100

It was a pleasant surprise to see all of the Tri-States rank very highly on 247WallSt's list. View the complete results here!

A Tour of Potosi Brewery

A brief look at Potosi Brewery in scenic southern Wisconsin.

More From Y105