Getting drunk: Twenty cities that don’t know how to handle their liquor

California loves to get wasted! San Diego and San Jose are the top two cities that drink stupidly, according to a survey by They lead the country in alcohol-related driving violations, a dubious distinction to say the least. So, if you step into the crosswalk in these two spots, take an extra second to look both ways.

The reasons for hitting this list vary and include proximity to colleges and nightlife, and the presence of stringent enforcement may play a key role, the survey finds. If you think a lack of enforcement puts a city at the top of the list, remember that slapping the cuffs on a lot of people increases the instances of drunk driving, which actually pushes it up. explains:

San Diego most likely tops the list because its police departments are aggressive in making DUI arrests, and officers there arrest lots of drunk drivers, says Mark McCullough, a San Diego police department spokesperson specializing in DUI issues.

To pull the list of 20 drunk driving metropolitan areas together, according to Insurance Networking News, analyzed “percentage of its car insurance online quote requests for which users reported alcohol-related driving violations.”

So, who made the top 20? Take a look below:

  1. San Diego, CA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Charlotte, NC
  4. Phoenix, AZ
  5. Columbus, OH
  6. Indianapolis, IN
  7. Los Angeles, CA
  8. San Francisco, CA
  9. Austin, TX
  10. Jacksonville, FL
  11. San Antonio, TX
  12. Dallas, TX
  13. Houston, TX
  14. Fort Worth, TX
  15. Memphis, TN
  16. Philadelphia, PA
  17. New York, NY
  18. Baltimore, MD
  19. Chicago, IL
  20. Detroit, MI

Boston got lucky on this one. It was excluded because of a lack of data – not because the drivers there are absolutely nuts.

Disclosure: I learned how to drive in Boston.

[Via Insurance Networking News, photo by davidsonscott15 via Flickr]

The sexiest city in the United States is …

Don’t waste your time looking at the coasts, if you have a map in front of you. And skip the big cities and clichés – you won’t find Las Vegas at the top. Austin, Texas is the sexiest city in the country according to a survey by Men’s Health Magazine. A number of factors contributed to the win, including birth rates, condom sales and the rate of STDs … not to mention sex toy sales.

Texas came out looking pretty good, with Dallas, Houston and San Antonio also getting props behind winner Austin. In all, seven of the 15 sexiest cities were in Texas. It must be the heat, because colder cities didn’t fare as well. It isn’t hard to be too sexy for Portland, Maine, which finished last, and Burlington, Vermont.

Some of the likely suspects failed to deliver. Vegas came in at #70, with New York following at #73. San Francisco was #74, with Miami #88.

[photo by Steve Zak Photography]

NYC tops U.S. list of most expensive cities

It’s not exactly shocking to see that New York City is the most expensive city in the United States. Groceries, gasoline and other items tend to run a tad more than twice the national average. Whether you rent or buy, you’ll spend a fortune in this city, where the average price for a home is $1.1 million and an apartment, on average, will cost $3,400 a month.

So, how can so many bloggers live here? Remember: these are averages. That means someone has to be on the underside of them.

Housing prices were also among the reasons why San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. worked their way into top spots on the list. Average home prices shot past $600,000 in all four of these cities. In Austin, the average home price is a much more modest $226,998, and it’s even more comfortable in Nashville, at $201,020.

The measure used to determine the cost of leaving in each of the cities is based on expenses in six categories: groceries, housing (rent/mortgage), healthcare, utilities, transportation and miscellaneous items. The prices of 57 goods in these categories were used.Six of the most expensive cities in the country are in California, with four of them among the top 10. Texas has four – Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Most of the costliest cities are on the two coasts, though Chicago (14), Las Vegas (18), Phoenix (25) and St. Louis (35) made the top 40.

The most surprising appearance on the list of most expensive places to live is Detroit. Even though it’s plagued by unemployment of 16.7 percent, utilities are expensive. Electricity costs an average of $243.56 a month, compared to a mere $141.64 in Atlanta.

The ten most expensive cities on the list are:

  1. New York City
  2. San Francisco
  3. San Jose
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Washington DC
  6. San Diego
  7. Boston
  8. Philadeplhia
  9. Seattle
  10. Baltimore

Check out the full list here.



[Photo via MigrantBlogger]

Enter to win a trip to San Antonio

San Antonio is celebrating 15 days of holiday giving by giving away 15 great trips to explore San Antonio. The contest started December 1, but there are still 12 more days to win a prize package for a trip to the city.

Each day, a different themed trip will be awarded. Each trip includes a three-night stay at a different San Antonio hotel, plus activities and extras like spa treatments, cooking classes, meals, gift cards, horse-drawn carriage rides, magazine subscriptions and rounds of golf.

For example, December 9th’s prize is a three-night stay at the Omni La Mansion del Rio on the Riverwalk, a $500 VISA gift card, dinner at Biga on the Banks, and a day at Enchanted Springs Ranch and Natural Bridge Caverns.

For every entry, the San Antonio CVB will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio. To win, all you need to do is enter using the online form. Entrants must be 21 years of age or older and be residents of the US. Winners will be notified by email within five days of the prize drawing and will have ten days to claim their prize.

Mirror Mazes: One more way to entertain yourself this summer

Every beach boardwalk with amusement park rides has some attraction that one wonders, is this worth it? The Marvelous Mirror Maze at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina might be worth it simply because the money you fork over for a ticket pays for an all-day experience.

This doesn’t mean you go all day, but that you can make repeat visits all day. Seems like this might be one method to not have to pay out money all day long for various attractions.

As a parent of a 6 year-old, I’d say this is a bonus. One trip through an inflatable obstacle course is never not quite enough. Almost as soon as the money is paid, the trip through is finished.

According to the description, the Marvelous Mirror Maze is a series of hallways made out of mirrors that are configured to be complicated enough to appeal to adults. Here’s a video link that highlights the experience. I noticed someone pushing a stroller through. Anyone 3 and under doesn’t pay.

There is also a mirror maze like this one in San Antonio, Texas. The one in San Antonio is across from The Alamo. One could think this is a case of where history meets kitsch. I wonder what Davy Crockett would think about that?

Another maze is in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

If you do decide to go, print off the coupon on a particular Maze’s Website. You get $1 off per person. With a family of four, that’s a gallon of gas.