The 20 Best Places to Live in the U.S. for the Weather in 2018

Where would you move to enjoy blue skies and sunshine year-round?

By Devon Thorsby, Editor, Real Estate |June 22, 2018, at 1:55 p.m.

The 20 Best Places to Live in the U.S. for the Weather in 2018

Slideshow

Avoid the extremes in these metro areas.

Orange Roofs Buildings Coastline Pacific Ocean Santa Barbara California

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How you take to the weather where you live can be a major factor in how much you enjoy living there. U.S. News went on the hunt for the metro areas – out of the 125 largest in the U.S. considered for the Best Places to Live ranking – that offer the most moderate temperatures and plenty of sunshine. We used data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, factoring in the average number of cloudy days and the average number of days above 90 degrees or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Those with the fewest cloudy days and the most balanced temperatures made our list. Read on for the Best Places to Live in the U.S. for the Weather.

20. Little Rock, Arkansas

20. Little Rock, Arkansas

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 65
Metro Population: 727,371
Median Home Price: $143,217
Median Annual Salary: $43,050
Days Below Freezing: 55
Days Above 90 Degrees: 75
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 219

The capital of Arkansas typically has 55 days with lows below 32 degrees and 75 days above 90 degrees during the year. With 219 days of clear or partly cloudy skies, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the weather in Little Rock.

Learn more about Little Rock.

18. Memphis, Tennessee (tie)

18. Memphis, Tennessee (tie)

Memphis downtown skyline w/ trees and Wolf Rover and boats and harbor in the foreground.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 117
Metro Population: 1,341,339
Median Home Price: $142,908
Median Annual Salary: $42,940
Days Below Freezing: 53
Days Above 90 Degrees: 68
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 214

Tied with the next place on the list and located along the Mississippi River in southwestern Tennessee, Memphis offers residents an average of 53 days with a low temperature below freezing and 68 days that peak above 90 degrees.

Learn more about Memphis.

18. Greenville, South Carolina (tie)

18. Greenville, South Carolina (tie)

Greenville, South Carolina, USA downtown buildings.

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Best Places 2018 Rank: 31
Metro Population: 862,064
Median Home Price: $159,692
Median Annual Salary: $42,290
Days Below Freezing: 61
Days Above 90 Degrees: 40
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 221

Located in the northwestern portion of South Carolina, Greenville enjoys milder weather partly due to its proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Of the 221 days residents can spot some sun throughout the year, a little over half are clear days, with an average of 100 partly cloudy days.

Learn more about Greenville.

17. Birmingham, Alabama

17. Birmingham, Alabama

Downtown Birmingham, Alabama, from Vulcan Park

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 95
Metro Population: 1,141,309
Median Home Price: $158,108
Median Annual Salary: $46,440
Days Below Freezing: 51
Days Above 90 Degrees: 61
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 210

Birmingham comes in at No. 17 with a decent number of both hot and cold days, although residents experience, on average, 10 more days above 90 degrees during the year than they endure temperatures below 32 degrees. With 155 completely cloudy days out of the year, Birmingham residents typically see just 99 fully clear days annually.

Learn more about Birmingham.

15. Modesto, California (tie)

15. Modesto, California (tie)

This beautiful park in Modesto California is on the east side off of Yosemite Blvd. with picnic area and tables along with lawn, landscaping and beautiful water spray in the small lake  with colorful trees and reflections in the water.

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Best Places 2018 Rank: 118
Metro Population: 795,562
Median Home Price: $236,252
Median Annual Salary: $45,230
Days Below Freezing: 22
Days Above 90 Degrees: 82
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 261

Tied at No. 15 with nearby Stockton, California, Modesto enjoys a good deal of days above 90 degrees, with 82 hot days a year, on average. But cold nights are far less frequent. The Modesto area typically hits freezing temperatures or below 22 days throughout the year.

Learn more about Modesto.

15. Stockton (tie)

15. Stockton (tie)

Waterfront Cityscape of All American City Award Recipient, Stockton, California, Reflected in River at Weber Point

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Best Places 2018 Rank: 124
Metro Population: 714,860
Median Home Price: $321,658
Median Annual Salary: $46,020
Days Below Freezing: 22
Days Above 90 Degrees: 82
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 261

Similar in population size to Modesto, neighboring Stockton also occupies the No. 15 spot. With an average of only 104 cloudy days per year, residents are lucky enough to enjoy some sun more than 70 percent of the year.

Learn more about Stockton.

14. Sacramento, California

14. Sacramento, California

Clouds over cityscape of  Downtown Sacramento at sunset.

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Best Places 2018 Rank: 92
Metro Population: 2,242,542
Median Home Price: $362,858
Median Annual Salary: $54,690
Days Below Freezing: 18
Days Above 90 Degrees: 73
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 265

A bit milder on both the cold and hot ends of the spectrum, Sacramento is about 75 miles north of Stockton and Modesto. The Northern California metro area – and the state’s capital city – averages 265 clear or partly cloudy days per year.

Learn more about Sacramento.

13. San Juan, Puerto Rico

13. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Aerial view of San Felipe Fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Getty Images

Best Places 2018 Rank: 125
Metro Population: 2,230,563
Median Home Price: $153,900
Median Annual Salary: $29,610
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 65
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 276

Puerto Rico’s capital city sees 65 days that hit above 90 degrees but no days dipping below freezing temperatures. San Juan’s location in the Caribbean means it has an elevated risk of storms during hurricane season. But those storms certainly aren’t the whole story, as the San Juan area averages 276 clear or partly cloudy days annually.

Learn more about San Juan.

(*The median home price for San Juan was not available, so median home value per Data USA is listed.)

12. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

12. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

A royalty free DSLR action photo of dramatic colors as they emblazon the sky at a resort beach during sunrise/sunset. Cast in silhouette are a ferris wheel, hotel condominiums, beachcombers, and a long seaside dock.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 74
Metro Population: 419,585
Median Home Value: $142,200*
Median Annual Salary: $35,650
Days Below Freezing: 41
Days Above 90 Degrees: 44
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 215

The popular tourist destination in coastal South Carolina doesn’t reach above 90 degrees more than 44 days a year, on average. Still, residents and visitors alike don’t have to worry about too many gloomy days – typically 215 days per year are either clear or partly cloudy.

Learn more about Myrtle Beach.

(*The median home price for Myrtle Beach was not available, so median home value is listed.)

11. Fayetteville, Arkansas

11. Fayetteville, Arkansas

Aerial of downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas in the summer time.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 5
Metro Population: 503,642
Median Home Price: $182,508
Median Annual Salary: $44,980
Days Below Freezing: 72
Days Above 90 Degrees: 77
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 218

This Arkansas metro area has roughly 30 more cold and hot days per year than Myrtle Beach, but the weather extremes balance each other out. Additionally, Fayetteville sees three more clear or partly cloudy days per year.

Learn more about Fayetteville.

10. Atlanta

10. Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia downtown aerial view.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 47
Metro Population: 5,612,777
Median Home Price: $192,892
Median Annual Salary: $50,720
Days Below Freezing: 44
Days Above 90 Degrees: 43
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 217

Atlanta gets some cool nights and its fair share of hot days, but those almost completely cancel each other out across an entire year. With an average of 149 cloudy days per year, Georgia’s capital has more gloomy days than others on the list, but the sun is certainly present most days.

Read more about Atlanta.

9. Tulsa, Oklahoma

9. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa skyline, pond, and fountains

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 84
Metro Population: 970,603
Median Home Price: $148,788
Median Annual Salary: $44,840
Days Below Freezing: 76
Days Above 90 Degrees: 73
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 235

The first of two Oklahoma metro areas on the list, Tulsa comes in at No. 9 with a difference of just three days between the average nights dipping below freezing and average days peaking at 90 degrees or above.

Learn more about Tulsa.

8. Oklahoma City

8. Oklahoma City

This is a pano of the downtown area at sunset.

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Best Places 2018 Rank: 63
Metro Population: 1,337,075
Median Home Price: $150,533
Median Annual Salary: $45,280
Days Below Freezing: 76
Days Above 90 Degrees: 71
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 235

While Oklahoma City experiences plenty of cold nights and hot days, a near-even balance between the two makes either extreme seem more tolerable for a full year. Of those 235 days where residents see at least some sun, 139 of those, on average, are completely clear.

Learn more about Oklahoma City.

7. Los Angeles

7. Los Angeles

Beautiful sunset of Los Angeles downtown skyline and palm trees in foreground

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Best Places 2018 Rank: 101
Metro Population: 18,463,122
Median Home Price: $526,442
Median Annual Salary: $53,379
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 21
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 263

Not the only SoCal metro area on the list, Los Angeles averages just 103 cloudy days per year. With no nights of freezing temperatures and 21 days over 90 degrees, the City of Angels makes for a great place to enjoy warm weather without extremes.

Learn more about Los Angeles.

6. Honolulu

6. Honolulu

Sunrise at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

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Best Places 2018 Rank: 35
Metro Population: 986,999
Median Home Price: $581,658
Median Annual Salary: $51,080
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 24
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 271

That tropical vacation wasn’t too good to be true – Hawaii’s weather really is that nice all the time. Honolulu’s island location is the perfect spot if you want to avoid freezing lows at night and experience few days above 90 degrees.

Learn more about Honolulu.

4. San Jose, California (tie)

4. San Jose, California (tie)

San Jose, USA - March 3, 2015: Downtown San Jose California, featuring the hotel DeAnza, Office towers, traffic light and Almaden Bl road sign. Photographed on a sunny day with clear blue sky. No traffic on the street.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 17
Metro Population: 1,943,107
Median Home Price: $932,108
Median Annual Salary: $78,990
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 2
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 260

Tied for fourth place with a close Bay Area neighbor, San Jose averages only two days above 90 degrees per year and doesn’t experience freezing temperatures at all. It’s no wonder the city is the capital of Silicon Valley – tech startups can’t resist the ideal weather.

Learn more about San Jose.

4. San Francisco (tie)

4. San Francisco (tie)

California Street Cable Car in San Francisco

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Best Places 2018 Rank: 20
Metro Population: 4,577,530
Median Home Price: $790,233
Median Annual Salary: $69,110
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 2
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 260

Known for its rolling fog, it may come as a surprise that San Francisco comes in at No. 4 on the list. But that fog often burns off by the afternoon – and 260 days out of the year are typically clear or partly cloudy.

Learn more about San Francisco.

3. San Diego

3. San Diego

The iconic "Big Dipper" roller coaster at Belmont Park featured in the center of this aerial photograph of Mission Beach in San Diego, California.  The downtown skyline is visible in the distance.  I shot this image nearing dusk after a storm had cleared from an altitude of about 300 feet during a helicopter photo flight.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 30
Metro Population: 3,253,356
Median Home Price: $521,067
Median Annual Salary: $55,480
Days Below Freezing: 0
Days Above 90 Degrees: 3
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 263

With no freezing days and an average of just three days over 90 degrees, San Diego is No. 3 on the list of Best Places to Live in the U.S. for the Weather. And with just 102 cloudy days per year on average, you’ll be spending plenty of time on the beach enjoying the blue skies and sunshine.

Learn more about San Diego.

2. Salinas, California

2. Salinas, California

Strawberry fields in the Salinas Valley of central California juxtapose with urban residential housing in the adjacent foothills.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 114
Metro Population: 430,201
Median Home Price: $478,521
Median Annual Salary: $47,660
Days Below Freezing: 6
Days Above 90 Degrees: 3
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 267

Located just inland from Monterey Bay and south of the San Francisco Bay Area, Salinas offers residents only six nights below freezing and three above 90 degrees, on average, throughout the year.

Learn more about Salinas.

1. Santa Barbara, California

1. Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara: people at scenic old wooden pier in Santa Barbara in sunset. The pier was completed in 1872 and was the longest pier at that time in the USA.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2018 Rank: 68
Metro Population: 439,395
Median Home Price: $464,392
Median Annual Salary: $53,090
Days Below Freezing: 6
Days Above 90 Degrees: 3
Mean Number of Clear or Partly Cloudy Days: 286

A little northwest of Los Angeles along the California coast, Santa Barbara benefits from beach breezes and the beauty of Los Padres National Forest. With as few as 79 cloudy days per year, on average, Santa Barbara tops the list of Best Places to Live in the U.S. for the Weather.

Learn more about Santa Barbara.

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Devon Thorsby is the Real Estate editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she writes consumer-focused articles about the homebuying and selling process, home improvement, tenant rights and the state of the housing market.

She has appeared in media interviews across the U.S. including National Public Radio, WTOP (Washington, D.C.) and KOH (Reno, Nevada) and various print publications, as well as having served on panels discussing real estate development, city planning policy and homebuilding.

Previously, she served as a researcher of commercial real estate transactions and information, and is currently a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Thorsby studied Political Science at the University of Michigan, where she also served as a news reporter and editor for the student newspaper The Michigan Daily. Follow her on Twitter or write to her at dthorsby@usnews.com.

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