Liberty State Park, Jersey City New Jersey

While Jersey City may be America’s most culturally diverse city and home to the New York area’s best pizzeria, the financial website WalletHub is giving it a failing grade for recreation. In a study of the 100 largest municipalities in the U.S., Jersey City came in at number 94, one place behind Newark and a whopping 64 places behind New York City.

But some locals aren’t taking the slight lying down.

Paula Mahayosnand, the President of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, rejects WalletHub’s ranking out of hand, extolling Jersey City’s recreational options with irrepressible enthusiasm. “People don’t realize what Jersey City has. It’s awesome. You can go on a nature walk in Lincoln Park or visit a natural habitat in Caven Point. We have programs on birds of prey and yoga classes.”

Friends of Liberty State Park President Sam Pesin is firmly in Mahayosnand’s camp. “Jersey City has wonderful parks, from Liberty State Park to the city and county parks. There are plenty of opportunities for passive and active recreation. And the DEP is planning 60 more acres of active recreation in Liberty State Park.”

City council candidates Frank “Educational” Gilmore, Chris Gadsden and Pedro Figueroa have, however, highlighted the need for more recreational centers and options for at-risk youths in Jersey City.

To determine the best and worst cities for recreation, WalletHub compared a sample of the 100 most populated U.S. cities across four key dimensions: Entertainment and Recreational Facilities, Costs, Quality of Parks and Weather.

While New York City came in at number 7 for “Entertainment and Recreational Facilities,” Jersey City placed a distant 76. Jersey City did better on “Costs,” placing 87 to New York City’s 100.  New York City placed 1 for the “Quality of Parks” while Jersey City came in at 58. Unsurprisingly, Jersey City and New York City tied at 55 for “Weather.”

For Jersey City, this isn’t the first critical review from the folks at WalletHub. Only last month, they panned Jersey City’s playgrounds.

To see the full ranking and for an explanation of WalletHub’s methodology, go to here.

Aaron is a writer, musician and lawyer. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Aaron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He received a J.D....