2021’s Best Cities for Pumpkin Lovers

couple holding jack-o-lanterns over faces

If you’re more of a Linus than a Charlie Brown, then you appreciate a good pumpkin patch. But you don’t have to wait for the Great Pumpkin to appear on Pumpkin Day or Halloween night to start enjoying all things pumpkin — or pumpkin spice.

LawnStarter compared nearly 200 of the biggest U.S. cities to rank 2021’s Best Cities for Pumpkin Lovers.

We looked for cities with easy access to pumpkin patches, lots of pumpkin-related events, and high community interest. We also searched for cities with plenty of bakeries and coffee shops, where you might be lucky enough to find delicious pumpkin treats and pumpkin spice lattes.

Check out our ranking below, followed by some highlights and lowlights.

For pumpkin nuts (or seeds), finding fall activities in these cities and surrounding areas will be as easy as pumpkin pie.

Table of Contents

  1. City Rankings
  2. Highlights and Lowlights
  3. Pumpkins By the Numbers
  4. Methodology
  5. Patch Up Your Health With Pumpkins

City Rankings 

See how each city fared in our ranking:

OVERALL RANKCityOverall ScoreAccess RankPopularity Rank
1Portland, OR49.271145
2Worcester, MA48.81238
3New York, NY47.161521
4Philadelphia, PA41.91252
5Jersey City, NJ41.351064
6Pasadena, CA40.11033
7Bridgeport, CT39.89787
8Seattle, WA39.793103
9Orlando, FL37.65657
10Aurora, IL37.48949
11Orange, CA37.183017
12Los Angeles, CA37.06519
13Oceanside, CA36.882425
14Baltimore, MD36.77648
15Providence, RI36.181339
16Huntington Beach, CA35.363818
17Yonkers, NY34.831586
18Torrance, CA34.663532
19Long Beach, CA34.344322
20Paterson, NJ34.121855
21Newark, NJ33.911873
22Chicago, IL33.883729
23Irvine, CA33.615016
23Tempe, AZ33.614133
25Escondido, CA33.582542
26Fullerton, CA33.494721
27Fort Lauderdale, FL33.271170
28Glendale, CA33.044034
29Anaheim, CA32.925513
30Milwaukee, WI32.92353
31Bellevue, WA32.645122
32Santa Clarita, CA32.64136
33Atlanta, GA32.492061
34San Diego, CA32.451764
35Garden Grove, CA32.225819
36Rochester, NY31.998115
37Pomona, CA31.915226
38Miami, FL31.71967
39Hollywood, FL31.621574
40Scottsdale, AZ31.517134
41Naperville, IL31.193648
42Washington, DC30.399010
43Santa Ana, CA30.257914
44Alexandria, VA29.968911
45Lancaster, CA29.885637
46Riverside, CA29.038615
47Corona, CA28.798720
48Buffalo, NY28.673379
49Peoria, AZ28.5812136
50Sunnyvale, CA28.314462
51Palmdale, CA28.267335
52San Francisco, CA28.175444
53Chandler, AZ27.6916124
53Springfield, MA27.698231
55Boston, MA27.586041
56Phoenix, AZ27.4331102
57Arlington, VA27.3910912
58Grand Rapids, MI27.3414147
59Las Vegas, NV27.1918131
60San Jose, CA26.936243
61Madison, WI26.8621130
62Pittsburgh, PA26.6834109
63Glendale, AZ26.6422135
64Gilbert, AZ26.627120
65Oxnard, CA26.547440
66Mesa, AZ26.428128
67Tampa, FL25.696159
68Ontario, CA25.6111324
69Moreno Valley, CA25.3411923
70Joliet, IL25.186860
71Chula Vista, CA24.9839111
71Oakland, CA24.987551
73Houston, TX24.67655
74Santa Rosa, CA24.466965
75Salt Lake City, UT24.2729160
76Cary, NC23.945396
77Hayward, CA23.798354
78Salem, OR23.7632158
79Raleigh, NC23.715787
80Honolulu, HI23.5626179
81Dallas, TX23.428163
82Sacramento, CA23.39546
83Minneapolis, MN23.2946118
84Pembroke Pines, FL23.247171
85Rancho Cucamonga, CA23.0312928
86San Bernardino, CA22.8513627
87St. Louis, MO22.5242141
88Fontana, CA22.4414130
89Durham, NC22.416392
90Nashville, TN22.2548129
91San Antonio, TX22.246791
92Columbus, OH21.8565100
93Hialeah, FL21.798075
94Kansas City, MO21.3549144
95Fort Collins, CO21.359114
96Syracuse, NY21.0345159
97Fort Worth, TX20.299869
98Tacoma, WA20.1166121
99Thornton, CO20.0277107
100Fremont, CA19.9212352
101Dayton, OH19.3484105
102Frisco, TX19.299982
103Miramar, FL19.0610773
104Aurora, CO18.9288106
105Grand Prairie, TX18.7710481
106Richmond, VA18.6211668
107St. Petersburg, FL18.4311472
108Modesto, CA18.1815445
108Cincinnati, OH18.18100101
110Elk Grove, CA17.7414858
111Vancouver, WA17.6370161
112Stockton, CA17.6215950
113Plano, TX17.4811782
114Henderson, NV17.4372162
115Austin, TX17.3211589
116Greensboro, NC17.2614266
117Charlotte, NC17.0116056
118Rockford, IL16.7317347
119Denver, CO16.5712288
120Arlington, TX16.4912876
121Detroit, MI16.4412097
122Salinas, CA16.1112494
123Garland, TX15.7814080
124Murfreesboro, TN15.47111116
125Winston-Salem, NC15.4513490
126Knoxville, TN15.4393155
127Pasadena, TX15.1613199
127North Las Vegas, NV15.1691163
129Cleveland, OH15.0515086
130Akron, OH14.9713598
131Reno, NV14.7785177
132New Orleans, LA14.5102153
133Tulsa, OK14.4294172
134Lakewood, CO14.32133108
134Savannah, GA14.32101157
136Tucson, AZ14.1897168
137Mesquite, TX14.0516778
138Eugene, OR14.0492182
139McKinney, TX14.0116584
140St. Paul, MN13.99118132
141Spokane, WA13.5196185
142Spring Valley, NV13.3105169
143Toledo, OH12.9617295
144Omaha, NE12.92110167
145Overland Park, KS12.79121148
146Irving, TX12.7817977
147Little Rock, AR12.65103187
148Colorado Springs, CO12.43161110
149Springfield, MO12.29108180
150Chattanooga, TN12.28139137
151Chesapeake, VA12.21149126
152Cape Coral, FL12.2130143
153Bakersfield, CA12.19127146
154Boise City, ID11.84112183
155Huntsville, AL11.82144140
156Norfolk, VA11.3169117
157Jacksonville, FL11.14156138
158Virginia Beach, VA11.08166125
159Indianapolis, IN11.03175112
159Metairie, LA11.03137156
161Louisville, KY11157139
162Birmingham, AL10.91143154
163Fort Wayne, IN10.82146150
164Oklahoma City, OK10.62132171
165Port St. Lucie, FL10.6182104
166Baton Rouge, LA10.51153149
167Des Moines, IA10.35126181
168Lincoln, NE9.95138176
169Lexington, KY9.89178127
170Macon, GA9.819585
171Fayetteville, NC9.6519293
172Olathe, KS9.62164152
173Tallahassee, FL9.61145175
174Memphis, TN9.1163165
175Fresno, CA9.09162166
176Clarksville, TN9.04177142
177Wichita, KS8.99147184
178Killeen, TX8.74186123
179Sioux Falls, SD8.45151188
180Columbus, GA8.44188119
181Anchorage, AK8.15155191
182Newport News, VA8.02191113
183Albuquerque, NM8.01168178
184Shreveport, LA7.49170186
185Jackson, MS7.3171189
186Augusta, GA6.97180170
187Corpus Christi, TX6.59174190
188Mobile, AL6.27183173
189Amarillo, TX6.2176197
190McAllen, TX5.32181193
191Lubbock, TX5.08184192
192Montgomery, AL4.9194164
193El Paso, TX4.75190174
194Brownsville, TX4.08189194
195Kansas City, KS3.55196151
196Midland, TX3.36193196
197Laredo, TX1.22197195
Infographic showing 2021's best cities for pumpkin lovers, a ranking based on access to pumpkin patches, pumpkin-related events, bakeries, coffee shops, and more

Highlights and Lowlights

Portland: City of Roses or City of Pumpkins?

Our No. 1 best city for pumpkin lovers is Portland, Oregon, where you’ll find plenty of pumpkin patches to visit and lots of opportunities to grab a pumpkin spice latte. 

Portland took the top spot in the “Access” category because its counties have the most pumpkin patches, and it boasts the second-highest number of coffee shops among all the cities in our ranking. 

Despite its easy access to pumpkin goodies, Portland ranked No. 145 in Popularity. That’s because it fell to No. 159 for (pumpk)inspired events and festivals, even though it ranked No. 23 for community interest (based on Google search data). So where do all the pumpkin lovers go to celebrate their favorite gourds?

One place you might find them is the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta, where around 20,000 folks gather every year to kayak in the Tualatin Commons lake — using gigantic pumpkins as their boats. Unfortunately, the event has been canceled this year because of the pandemic. 

Día de los Muertos Takes Texas

Texas is one of the largest pumpkin producers in the country, so why did cities in the Lone Star State fare so poorly in our ranking? Houston is the highest-ranking Texas city at No. 73, and seven others landed in our bottom 10.

Texans seem to have a general lack of interest in pumpkins. Most of the largest Texas cities ranked low for pumpkin-related Google searches and the number of pumpkin-themed events held nearby. Texas might be full of pumpkins, but the pumpkin lovers are elsewhere. 

One reason could be the popularity of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead in English) in Texas. Thanks to neighboring Mexico and the large Latino population, you’re more likely to find Texans celebrating Día de los Muertos with sugar skulls and marigolds than decorating their front porches with jack-o’-lanterns. 

Illinois: Land of Pumpkin

Illinois produced about 564 million pounds of pumpkins in 2020, making it the largest pumpkin grower in the U.S. by a long, punkin chunkin’ shot. For perspective, the country’s next four largest pumpkin producers (California, Indiana, Texas, and Virginia) yielded about 400 million pounds combined.

You’ll find four Illinois cities in our top 100 best cities for pumpkin lovers: Aurora (No. 10), Chicago (No. 22), Naperville (No. 41), and Joliet (No. 70).

All four cities are about a two-hour drive from the small town of Morton, which has been dubbed the Pumpkin Capital of the World since 1978 because around 85% of the world’s canned pumpkin comes from Libby’s Processing Plant in town. Morton wasn’t quite large enough to make it into our ranking, but it’s certainly a must-see site for pumpkin fanatics. 

Morton is home to the annual Morton Pumpkin Festival, a huge event that attracts about 75,000 visitors each year (more than four times the town’s population). The festival includes lots of pumpkin-themed activities, such as a pumpkin weigh-off, a pumpkin carving contest, and a pumpkin parade.

Pumpkins By the Numbers

Methodology

We ranked 197 of the biggest U.S. cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 197) based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across all the weighted metrics listed below. 

MetricWeightingMin. ValueMax. ValueBest
Access
Number of Pumpkin Patches3040Max. Value
Farmers Markets per 100,000 Residents1014.9Max. Value
Bakeries per 100,000 Residents1026.35Max. Value
Coffee Shops per 100,000 Residents1039.76Max. Value
Popularity
Average Monthly Google Searches for "Pumpkins" and "Pumpkin Spice" Over Past Month108200Max. Value
Number of Pumpkin Festivals and Events352364Max. Value

Sources: East TN Family Fun, Eventbrite, Google Ads, PumpkinPatchesAndMore.org, TripAdvisor, and Yelp

Patch Up Your Health With Pumpkins

Pumpkins look pretty on your porch, sure, but there are much better reasons to love them, especially in a time when we’re thinking about our health more than ever. 

Did you know that pumpkins have a spooky number of health benefits? Some people even consider pumpkin a superfood among the ranks of kale and avocado. 

According to the Utah State University Extension, pumpkin is a good source of these nutrients:

  • Vitamin A: Boosts the immune system, supports good vision, and keeps skin healthy and smooth
  • Fiber: Keeps the digestive system regular and supports heart health
  • Zinc: Supports healthy metabolism and helps the immune system function properly
  • Iron: Supports healthy growth and development and increases energy levels
  • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats: Lowers cholesterol levels and helps the body function

So, when you’re done carving your jack-o’-lanterns this year, save the pumpkin guts and seeds. Roast the seeds for a tasty and nutritious snack, and use the guts to make pumpkin bread, soup, cider, and other dishes. You’ll find that your body loves pumpkins as much as you do!

And when you’re over all things pumpkin for a while, LawnStarter can help with 8 Creative Ideas for What to do with your Pumpkins after Halloween

Want your pumpkins and other fall decorations to stand out this year? Surround them with a lush, healthy, and trim lawn with help from LawnStarter’s local pros. When you’re ready for the decorations to come down, we have you covered for post-Halloween yard cleanups, too.

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin is a writer and indoor plant enthusiast hailing from Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her two cats around the house and trying to keep her houseplants alive.