When it comes to celebrating Halloween, not all cities are created equal.
Trick or treating in one city's neighborhood may leave you with a ghoulish treat, a full-size candy bar, while knocking on doors in another may leave you feeling ghoulish yourself, stuck with a box of raisins.
Beyond the generosity of neighbors, there are also more strategic factors to take into consideration, such as how to get the most candy with the least amount of walking, and how to celebrate safely to make it home to enjoy your Halloween treats.
Real estate website Zillow.com took all those factors into consideration when crafting its third annual 2011 Zillow Trick-or-Treat Housing Index, released today, ranking the 20 best cities in the country for Halloween.
Zillow used its own Home Value Index and Walk Score, along with population density and local crime data, to determine the rankings.
So which city came out on top?
No need for a round of bobbing apples or a costume contest to break a tie here. The city of San Francisco came out the clear winner, topping even Seattle, which had come out on top in Zillow's previous rankings.
The top 20 cities vary in population, wealth , diversity and size.
The list includes cities from sea to shining sea, with Boston, Honolulu, Seattle and Chicago and San Francisco in the top five. But if you want a true candy rush, head West. The region is home to nine of the top 20 cities.
Zillow breaks the rankings down even further, listing the top five neighborhoods to trick or treat in each of the top 20 cities. If you're lucky enough to be in top city San Francisco, for example, head to Pacific Heights where, Zillow says, it's all treats and no tricks.
Only a week and a half remains until October 31, so finalize your costume, prepare your pumpkin bucket or pillowcase and see if your city made the best trick or treating list.
20 Best Cities to Trick or Treat:
- San Francisco
- San Jose, Calif.
- Washington, DC
- Los Angeles
- Portland, Ore.
- San Diego
- Virginia Beach, Va.
- Albuquerque, NM