The Top 10 Cities for Backyard Barbecues

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and the start of grilling season! Across the nation people will dust off their grill and invite their neighbors over for a good old-fashioned backyard barbecue. While many cities are known for their barbecue restaurants, chances are this weekend most people will be grilling at home; so which cities can lay claim to having the best backyard gatherings?

To find out, Redfin looked at 22 major metropolitan areas nationwide to see which could host the best barbecues based on the types of homes in the area. We analyzed the percentage of single family homes for sale with large yards (defined as lot sizes between .25 and four acres), decks, and built-in barbecues – all the features needed to host the ideal summer celebration. Philadelphia came out on top, with the perfect combination of all three.

The following cities made the top 10 list:

1) Philadelphia, PA


Large yards: 46.5%   Decks: 25.8%   BBQs: 1.9%

“Philadelphia is rich in history with a diverse cultural population. Backyard barbecues or neighborhood block parties are the norm among our many tight knit communities, with Memorial Day kicking off the season. Swim clubs will be opening this weekend, the bands will be marching in local parades, and Philly fans will take their tailgating parties from the stadium parking lots to their backyards. Bring on the dogs, burgers and wings!” said Linda McCarthy, a Redfin Agent in Philadelphia.

2) Seattle, WA


Large yards: 36.9%   Decks: 30.5%   BBQs: 3.4%

“It’s Copper River Salmon season here in the Northwest and Seattleites are busy washing the moss off their patio furniture and busting out the barbecues for Memorial Day weekend. Many of my clients who are looking to buy a new home this summer are looking for a home with a large outdoor deck or sunny patio to maximize their ability to enjoy these precious days of summer. I have a tip for new buyers: if a seller is leaving the area, the patio furniture and barbecue are often the first things they are willing to leave behind, which can make for a pleasant bonus upon closing! So, pick up some of Tom Douglas’ ‘Rub with Love,’ some fresh asparagus at the farmer’s market, and a good local microbrew, and let the fun begin!” said Allie Howard, a Redfin Agent in Seattle.

3.) Boston, MA


Large yards: 60.2%   Decks: 30.4%   BBQs: 1.0%

“The Boston area is a place where outdoor cooking rules as soon as the weather gets mild – and sometimes when it’s not so mild. From rooftops in South Boston to the sprawling lawns of Weston, families take to the grill the minute the Sox get back from spring training. The ‘burbs’ tend to have large backyards, and in the summer barbecues reach epic proportions; whole streets get shut down for neighborhood feasts or old fashioned New England clambakes. Don’t have a yard? The city’s parks fill up with would-be Top-Chefs . . . and a true Bostonian likes a burnt hot dog with yellow mustard, lobster, pickles, and Boston baked beans! You know it’s officially summer when you can smell the charcoal in the air,” said Peter Phinney, a Redfin Agent in Boston.

4.) San Diego, CA


Large yards: 41.9%   Decks: 16.2%   BBQs: 12.8%

“When buyers look at homes in San Diego, the backyard is at the top of their priority list!  With extravagant swimming pools, built-in barbecues and luxe patio furniture, you’ll find a lot of evening sunset dining and pool parties on the weekends. The new construction builders have also caught on to this trend of outdoor living by offering ‘California rooms,’ which are rooms that allow for indoor dining to extend out to exterior patio areas. With great weather year-round, homeowners are able to enjoy life outdoors all the time in San Diego,” said Angela Avilez, a Redfin Agent in San Diego.

5.) Ventura, CA


Large yards: 41.8%   Decks: 15.2%   BBQs: 14.5%

“The Ventura area has a laid back feel and relaxed vibe that make enjoying the weather outdoors with family and friends ideal for backyard barbecues. For that reason there are a lot of homes with great outdoor entertaining spaces,” said John Underwood, a Redfin Agent in Southern California.

6.) Washington, D.C.


Large yards: 55.1%   Decks: 25.1%   BBQs: 0.6%

“Memorial Day weekend is a popular time of year for backyard barbecues in Washington D.C., because it’s usually not too hot and humid. D.C. is a very diverse city with many vibrant traditions. Some people love to put Old Bay Seasoning on everything, from fries to burgers to clams. Others love Carolina or Texas BBQ, which means you’ll often find people arguing over where the best ribs come from,” said Philip Gvinter, a Redfin Agent in Washington D.C.

7.) Baltimore, MD


Large yards: 53.4%   Decks: 27.2%   BBQs: 0.5%

“In Baltimore, Memorial Day weekend is about sitting on the back deck for a crab feast, enjoying our first of many steamed Maryland Blue Crabs with Old Bay Seasoning. And if we are lucky, there might be an Orioles game to listen to during the crab feast!Fortunately there are a lot of Colonial Style homes in the area that typically have decks in the backyard, providing the perfect setting for a barbecue,” said Lynn Ikle, a Redfin Agent in Baltimore.

8.) Raleigh, NC


Large yards: 67.9%   Decks: 23.8%   BBQs: 0.3%

“Most homes in Raleigh sit on large lots with plenty of room for entertaining. But if you ask the locals why Raleigh is a good place for a backyard barbecue, chances are they’ll say it’s because of the type of barbecue we do here. The pulled pork with vinegar sauce can’t be beat!” said Allen Wyde, a Redfin Agent in the Research Triangle area.

9.) Inland Empire, CA


Large yards: 37.4%   Decks: 9.5%   BBQs: 9.9%

“With predictably warm weather, big backyards, and pools at seemingly every other home, the Inland Empire is a great place to kick off the summer at a Memorial Day barbecue! You can’t travel far in the Inland Empire between Memorial Day and Labor Day without taking in the sounds of kids splashing in a pool or the smells of hot dogs on a grill,” said Paul Reid, a Redfin Agent in the Inland Empire.

10.) Denver, CO


Large yards: 32.9%   Decks: 24.8%   BBQs: 1.5%

“You don’t live in Colorado if you don’t like the outdoors. Residents here love big backyards to enjoy with their families, plant gardens and, simply, breathe the clean air and enjoy the views. In the surrounding suburbs, it’s not uncommon to have a prairie dog barking for some barbecue!” said David Bennett, a Redfin Agent in Denver.

Need backyard design inspiration?

Check out the Outdoor Living Spaces Redfin Collection, which highlights beautiful outdoor entertaining spaces from around the country. The Collection is a great source for backyard design and decoration ideas from homeowners who have placed their home on the market.