America’s Most Boring Cities: 2 In California Rank In Top 10

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The Mamas & the Papas, a band your parents or grandparents probably rocked to in the 1960s, once sang “California Dreamin’” and it was a big hit. But they probably didn’t have a couple Golden State cities in mind when they performed that song.

California has mountains, beaches and other features that make it the largest state by population, but that doesn’t mean every place in the state is exciting. In fact, two cities finished in the top 10 of a survey to find the “Most Boring Major U.S. City” that conducted with our sister sites.

Taking a break from covering the latest developments in the effort to legalize California sports betting, we surveyed 600 U.S. residents via’s/AskReddit subreddit and asked: “What is the most boring major U.S, city?” We only considered cities ranked within the top 50 in population for this survey.

Opinions on which city is the most boring are varied, but San Jose just missed out on earning the top spot in our poll.

America’s Most Boring Cities: Survey Results

RankCity # of Votes% of Votes
1Indianapolis, IN335.5%
2 San Jose, CA 31 5.2%
3Phoenix, AZ264.3%
4Houston, TX244.0%
5Raleigh, NC233.8%
T-6Dallas, TX223.7%
T-6Jacksonville, FL223.7%
8Columbus, OH203.3%
9Omaha, NE193.2%
10 Bakersfield, CA 18 3.0%

The nominees from the Golden State don’t even have legal California sportsbook apps as a diversion. Follow us at for the latest developments on that front.

Do You Know About San Jose?

When most people think of California’s Bay Area, they think of San Francisco or Oakland – but San Jose, at the southern tip of the bay, is actually bigger than both of those. With more than 970,000 residents, San Jose is the third-largest city in the state and 12th largest in the country.

San Jose also serves as the capital of Silicon Valley, with such companies as Adobe, eBay, PayPal and Zoom headquartered there. However, residents on a Reddit thread described the city as “a suburb that got too big” and never developed any attractions. Smaller cities in the region, they say, have built up density and offer nightlife and entertainment options that San Jose doesn’t.

Perhaps it’s time for a new version of Dionne Warwick’s “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”

One amenity the city offers is an NHL team, but the San Jose Sharks have not had much bite this season. With just 42 points, the Sharks (17-50-8) own the league’s worst record as of April 5. They were eliminated from playoff contention a long time ago, but bettors in regulated markets outside of California can still get some action on the team. FanDuel Sportsbook has the over/under on the Sharks total points this season, set at 47.5. The odds for over are -104, and for under, they are -122, with seven games remaining.

Baking in Bakersfield

Bakersfield sits in the San Joaquin Valley. It’s about 100 miles north of Los Angeles and 250 miles south of San Jose. While its population of roughly 410,000 makes it the country’s 48th-largest city, it finished much higher on the list of most boring major U.S. cities.

Being in the Valley means the temperatures can get really hot. According to, the average high in Bakersfield is 97 in July and 96 in August. And the air quality isn’t great, either. According to the American Lung Association’s Most Polluted Cities rankings, Bakersfield has the worst particle pollution (both short-term and year-round) and the third-worst ozone pollution rating in the country.

Unlike San Jose, the town does not have major professional sports. Instead, it is better known as a country music hotspot. Two of its better-known residents were two late country legends, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

That’s not to say the town hasn’t produced any athletes. In fact, 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes hails from Bakersfield. Recently traded to the Baltimore Orioles, Burnes is the co-favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award at BetMGM Sportsbook. Both he and Detroit’s Tarik Skubal are available at +700 each.

BetCalifornia never tries to be boring. Visit our site for the latest gaming news and analysis on the state’s sports teams.

USA Today photo by Ron Chenoy


Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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