What City Wins Best Weather?

I was in Palm Springs last week on a short work trip, and it was hot. About 100 degrees. Then yesterday, I saw a headline that Denver had a huge snow storm this week — it’s late May for goodness’ sake!

Some people are smart and live in San Diego, but the rest of us live someplace where we are likely too cold or too hot for most of the year. I’ve tried both. I grew up in St. George, Utah which is quite hot (though there are much hotter places!). St. George hovers around 100 degrees for at least 4 months of the year. I’ve lived in Normandy, France, which gets deeply cold and our pipes would freeze. I’ve lived in New York which is unbearably cold for a way too long winter, and also has a good month or two of unbearably hot summer.

I live in Oakland now. The average high is 67°F, the average low is 51.4°F — which sounds amazing. But really, I’ve learned you’ll never regret bringing a jacket or thick sweatshirt when you head out of the house. Oakland is always a bit cooler than I think it is in my head.

Despite the late snow mentioned above, my favorite weather of anywhere I’ve lived is Denver. This is why I like it so much:

1) You get all four seasons. 2) The sun shines on most days. (Not exaggerating – 245 sunny days per year.) 3) After it snows, the sun comes out quickly and melts everything. 4) On hot summer days, there is almost always a cooling summer shower in the evening. 5) The sky is always changing, and changing quickly, as the clouds come over the Rockies and head out to the Great Plains.

While I was in Palm Springs, I had a conversation about whether I would ever move back to a place that’s really hot, and my first instinct was a strong NO! Which is odd, because I really enjoyed growing up in St. George. But I suppose living there did leave me with a dread of super hot weather.

The conversation got me thinking about: If I had to pick one, would I prefer a place that’s really cold, or a place that’s really hot? I’m still not sure what my answer is. Hah!

Do you have an opinion on this? Do you intentionally avoid living in really hot places? Or really cold ones? What city/state/area has your version of perfect weather?

58 thoughts on “What City Wins Best Weather?”

  1. Hot! I love hot weather. I feel like the world is giving me a great big hug when its 80+ degrees. I’ve always lived in the pacific northwest and I get really tired of the rain. But the payoff is beautiful green foliage year round. I’d love to try the desert for a while and see what I think.

  2. The whole front range in Colorado feels like a secret… most of the country doesn’t realize how great the weather is here… shhhh!

  3. I live in Phoenix — by choice — so that probably tells you everything you need to know about whether I prefer hot or cold weather. ;-)

    I grew up in the desert Southwest and could NEVER live anywhere that gets really cold and regularly gets snow that stays in the ground for days at a time. San Diego or Hawaii would be ideal to me, but both are WAY too expensive.

  4. I grew up in San Diego, both city and county. There are many suburbs there that are really hot in the Summer. Too much traffic in San Diego now. I lived in Boulder Co for some time. I am not a fan of living in snow. I live in Central California now, three seasons of really nice weather. Summers are horrible here. We are close to Sequoia Park. Cool weather is a quick drive up to altitude. That is how we survive. No traffic here.

  5. I live in Denver, and when I saw the title of your post, I thought, “She’s going to say Denver is her favorite climate that she’s lived in.”

    Ordinarily, I’d agree, but after having a bomb cyclone flood our kitchen in March and all the snow yesterday that killed my flowers, St. George sounds pretty dreamy!

    1. Oh no! Your poor flowers! And your poor kitchen!!

      If it makes you feel any better, we still haven’t been able to get a contractor out to our house is work on the major hole from the wind damage/tree fall/power-outage in March. : )

      1. We JUST got our holes patched up and our carpet fixed. My son was like, “Hey! The hole’s finally gone!” Yes, son. We’re not living in Miss. Havisham’s manor.😬🤦🏻‍♀️

        Home damage happens as fast as lightning and moves as slow as molasses in July to fix. Sigh.

  6. Growing up I’ve lived in Hawaii, Provo, and now San Diego. As an adult, I’ve decided I’m living here till I die! The weather is perfect – temperate, mostly sunny, and very little humidity. Of course we don’t get snow, but you can always visit it if you drive an hour or so towards the mountains! I wouldn’t say no to living some where new for a little while, but my heart will always belong here. The traffic and high cost of living are the trade off, but worth it for me.

  7. Definitely colder weather…colder than Buenos Aires, where I live. Summers seem to get hotter every year. And winters are starting to disappear. Maybe you get 10 cold days…

  8. I grew up in the hot desert, but I’ve done my time in colder climates. I honestly wouldn’t care if I never saw snow again! But at the same time, I wouldn’t mind living somewhere that really, truly had four seasons and there were only three, mayyyyyybe four months of the year where snow was possible…but more than that is too much! So I’ve lived in places colder than Denver, but Denver is still too cold for me.

  9. I’ve lived in Northern and Southern CA. A part of my heart will always live in the SF Bay area but the absence of real autumn and winter always bothered me and the intense heat of summer inland of the bay was too much. Southern CA was not my style. We had perpetual summer, a month of “June Gloom” (which was probably my favorite) and then wind and fire season. NO THANK YOU. I’ve lived in Boulder, Colorado for the past 8 years and I never want to live anywhere else. Yes, waking up to snow on Tuesday morning was not my idea of fun. The snow certainly did some garden damage… but it’s recovering. I agree with everything you said. Winters are comparatively mild, spring is unpredictable but can be lovely, summer is peach season (Palisade peaches are the BEST I’ve ever eaten), and autumn is lovely.

  10. I live in Brisbane, Queensland Australia and it is hot all the time. I hate it! If my family wasn’t here I would move in a heartbeat. Our average ‘winter’ weather is about 21 degrees Celsius which according to google is 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit. You can easily get by with only a cardigan for winter. I can’t imagine living somewhere with snow, I think I would love it but maybe the reality is different. I’ve been to the snow once in my life and seen it on mountains in the distance once, which is more than most of my family and friends.

    1. I’m from Brisbane too! I hated the heat so much (my house had no air con!) so I moved to Vancouver, Canada! I arrived in January and it was a bit of a shock to the system. Then it started snowing and it was so foreign to me. It was beautiful to look at but then driving in it was terrible. Luckily in Vancouver it only snows for 10 days of the season.

  11. I grew up in Northern Utah and had zero issues with any snow or hot weather. It’s all I knew. Then I moved to New York and HATED the weather. It’s nice (meaning not too cold or hot and not oppressively humid) for maybe two weeks in the fall and two weeks in the spring. Ha! It’s why we left, actually. Well, it was near the top of my list of reasons to move. ;)

    Then we moved back to Utah and lived near the mouth of a canyon. It was so much worse in the winter than I ever remembered living in UT as a kid. So, so, so cold and miserable inversions, etc. I’ve never minded the hot summer weather too much. Dry heat FTW!

    Now we live in Boise. I was hesitant to move to ID because I detest snow and winter. But as promised, the weather on this side of the state is pretty wonderful. Four distinct seasons, very little snow in the valley, melts quickly if it does snow, gorgeous weather in the autumn and spring, delightful periods of rain, a few weeks of high 90s to low 100s in the summer. Very long summer days because of our latitude. The proximity to the Pacific time zone makes them feel even longer. Minimal humidity. It’s very pleasant. We do get pretty bad winter inversions that can last weeks at a time, but we didn’t have one this last winter. It was so mild.

    That being said, the climate I most prefer is found on the North Shore of Oahu. Haha! Humid and rainy every day at some point, especially in the mornings, but with nice breezes and sunshine, no daylight savings time, and equal days and nights year-round. I’d move there tomorrow if it was feasible.

      1. Another Utah-transplant Boise girl here. I also love the weather in Boise. There are lots of sunny days. Winter is much milder than Utah. My least favorite time is August because it is over 100 a lot and can get smokey for a few weeks. But many months of very nice weather to enjoy the river and foothills.

        1. Sheri Lee Johnson

          Boise for sure!! I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, lived in Chicago for 8 years and Seattle for 10 (currently) but we lived in Boise for a year. It was a hard year for me personally but the weather is HEAVEN and I will tell anyone who will listen. 4 picture perfect seasons, 3 months long each. I mean they are each IDYLLIC. The summer was a bit too hot for me but I was also pregnant. It’s a dry heat, too which helps. You can be at the ski hill in 30 minutes from downtown. It’s incredible. If I had family there I would live there and the weather might be the biggest draw of all. Oh, and like someone else said the forever long daylight! It is a dream.

  12. I’m a California girl-I grew up in the Bay Area, and loved it-and now am in San Diego where I think the weather is pretty much perfect. In between, we lived in Chicago (brrrr) and Maryland. I loved the fall and spring on the east coast-but I really did not like the humidity of summer (and not a fan of super cold weather/snow/ice either.)

  13. I grew up in AZ and live in NC now. I love nearly everything about it. It is pretty nice year round except January, July and August. Four real seasons, the city shuts down if it snows a single flake so this desert girl doesn’t have to drive in it. The summer is unbearable outside during the day if you’re not in a pool but the evenings are frequently nice. Not bad!

  14. I live in Indiana and the weather here is my least favorite of anywhere I’ve ever lived. Polar vortex in the winter, 105 and suffocatingly humid in the summer. It is literally too cold (bc of the humidity) in the winter to go outside—the humidity plus extreme cold means unprotected skin will freeze in minutes—and in the summer you get heat exhaustion if you’re outside too long. And did I mention the humidity? Basically the same weather as NYC where it’s gorgeous for two weeks in spring and two in fall…I visited my sister in NYC this year in January and we were like yep, same exact weather.

  15. I’m happy with the weather in Jersey City.
    Yes, it snows in the winter and I still walk 30 minutes to work. The teachers at my school say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” So we have outdoor recess down to 20° and I dress accordingly. Honestly, when I moved here from Boston I got rid of my more extreme cold weather clothes! The summer is too hot but we have a/c and the beach isn’t too far away. Right now is my favourite- cool mornings, sunny afternoons, open windows, and no mosquitos! The Autumn is similar plus the leaves change color. I love it.

  16. Lesley Larson

    I grew up in the East Bay, and remember my mom often stating that the perfect weather there would bring me back to settle there as an adult. Id just roll my eyes, because I didn’t get it! It seemed like a factor only an old lady would consider important!

    In my adult life I’ve lived in Houston (so humid and hot!!) Newfoundland (if summer in St. John’s arrives at all, it’ll be the most lovely day of the year!) and now Qatar, in the the Middle East (summers of 140* F, dust and humidity!) Though I’ve loved all the places I’ve lived, at 35 years old I now understand how much the weather matters! To my mother’s credit, she has been willing to visit me in the worst season of all my locations. And I savor the temperate weather when I go back to the SF Bay Area for a visit!

    1. Lesley Larson

      Oops, I crossed C* with F*… Doha, Qatar averages 40* C for the long summer, (around 105* F) but can sometimes creep towards 50* C!

  17. For me, snow is just not an option, never has been. I used to prefer a chill to a sweat, however because of age perhaps, I am leaning towards being warmer rather than any thing else. I currently live in the Mojave Desert, and frankly, if I could just figure out a way to stop the daggoned wind I’d be a happier person!

    To be honest, if I could just snap my fingers and live without worry of finance, I would choose to live/retire very near a university in as southern CA as possible, first choice would be University of San Diego or the Scripps Institute, near Torrey Pines and La Jolla. The weather would be amazing, the views spectacular, and you have whale watching for free. : ) The big idea -weather aside, is being surrounded by young academics has a tendency to bring with it an energized community with all forms of local entertainment aimed at young adults, physical activity, opportunities for campus activities and classes, and just being with a higher population of younger people would keep a mind active and challenged as well. I am four square against “retirement” communities -I want to be educated and challenged by youth as long as possible!

    But ya, that money thing.

    1. I grew up in the Mojave Desert (Apple Valley to be precise), and the wind is INTENSE. I remember having such painful ears during PE in winter, from the cold wind blowing in them! Didn’t mind the summer heat as a kid because I could basically just spend it in the pool. We used to wake up on summer mornings, put on our bathing suits, and take them off when we went to bed. When we got out of the pool, they would keep us cool until they dried (which was fast in the dry heat), and that was our cue to retreat to the air conditioning.

      Now I live in Berkeley. My children, having grown up in the inner Bay Area, basically melt in anything over 85 degrees. ;) I admit that my heat tolerance has gone down too. I don’t love the weather in the summers here, when I want a real summer and it tends to be foggy and chilly, but we are lucky to get to travel and visit family a lot then.

      I think the weather on the Peninsula is pretty awesome, but I prefer the culture in the East Bay.

  18. I live in your hometown! We moved to St. George three years ago, mostly for the weather. I don’t miss cold, snowy, weather at all, though I have come to dread the summer months. I would choose hot over cold any day.

  19. I live in Denver, and I think that it is practically perfect in every way! Grew up on the East Coast. Hated the rain, clouds, and humidity.

  20. I grew up in Hurricane, UT so I can relate. I didn’t know any different than it just being super hot for half of the year–but then I never needed anything more than a light jacket in winter. Now I live in Cedar City, which despite only being 35 minutes away from Hurricane, it’s at 6,000 ft elevation and the weather is totally different. We just had snow the other day. I dread the long, drawn out winters and there’s a lot of wind. The summers are great, though. While everyone’s melting their faces off in Hurricane and St. George, we are 10-15 degrees cooler and can always find even lower temps up Cedar Mountain.

    We lived in Albuquerque, NM for a couple of years and that was by far the most temperate, pleasant climate we have ever lived in.

    1. Kate the Great

      I was born and raised in Albuquerque, and here’s what they always say there: “We’ve got perfect weather and big skies and that’s about it.” Of course, I was a disgruntled teenager who was just pulling at apron strings. I think maybe every teenager thinks that about the place they live, until they move away.

  21. I live in Bangkok right now and I miss having winter. I miss seasons actually. The fall is when I get homesick, and that is because it was so beautiful back home. We still own our house in West Virginia and I can honestly say that I could live there for the rest of my life. We didn’t have air conditioning, it stayed that cool in our house during the summer! It does get cold in the winter, but that only lasts for about three or four months max! I can’t wait to move back, but I am trying to enjoy living in the tropics, even if it gets grossly hot here.

  22. I grew up in Oakland and now live in Contra Costa county, where the days are significantly warmer. I’m all for the temperate climate, but I’m a summer girl at heart and love being outside to enjoy warm nights.

  23. I live in Ohio and I like having four distinct seasons. I would miss them if I moved somewhere with a milder climate! But I do hate the humidity. I’ve always wanted to go somewhere with “dry heat.” I’ve never experienced it and I honestly can’t even imagine!

    I did live in London for a semester, and I was really into the weather there, too. It got COLD, but little snow and spring came very early.

  24. Not a lot of comments from cold-weather lovers so I’ll add my two cents. I live in Portland, Maine where we usually have gorgeous winters full of snow and sunshine. Summer here is perfect – usually hovers right in the low 70s, again with lots of sun. And fall in New England is beautiful. But spring can be rough for sure – it’s basically rained every day March – May and we’re still barely hitting 60 degree days. Coastal living is so great for more temperate climates though!

  25. Mexico city has the best weather in the world; cool nights all year long, it’s sunny almost every day at least once a day, it’s never too cold never too hot (some days can be very hot, but never very long). That’s what I miss most.

  26. I live near Boston, and no one brags about the weather here, but I actually like it. The winter feels like a time for quiet reflection and self-care (baking, candles, hot tea, long baths), and then in the spring we all come out of our hovels and celebrate.

    I spent a college semester in Santa Fe, NM, and what struck me about the weather was how quickly I came to take sunny days for granted. There’s nothing like the unmitigated joy of a college campus in New England on the first mild day of spring – NO ONE takes it for granted. Everyone is giddy and frolicking and sunbathing, even if it’s just 50 degrees.

    I feel like getting through a tough winter builds character, somehow, and makes me feel connected to my Scandinavian ancestors. And the sun reflecting off the snow makes the house so bright!

    I don’t love extreme cold OR heat, but cold weather feels like something I can bundle up and get through. Hot and humid days, by contrast, make me feel weirdly panicky, like I’m trapped in my house.

  27. I feel the same as Heather in Boston!

    I’m in Chicago, which has objectively terrible weather – extreme temperature changes, plenty of rain, and heat & humidity, low low chills. Living in a city and taking public transit to work means that I’m out in that weather a lot, mid-winter gray snow and all. But I like it. Not all day every day, but I love the heat, which we get in the summer, and I love winter and snow. The only time of year I don’t like is March-May, when we’re all so ready for winter to be done and the weather is ultra unpredictable – just this week, with highs alternating among the low 80s to the mid-50s). How do you even dress for that?

  28. New Yorker here. Upstate, that is. :) We get the l-o-n-g winters and very very hot summers that you mentioned about NYC. But we still think it’s wonderful because schools and cost of living always win out. Upstate is affordable and allows income for travel to all of the wonderful cities within driving distance and a potential trip to the sun if it gets to be too much.

    Love what you say about Denver, though. Heading back this fall for a quick trip. Gorgeous city!!

  29. I have read so many bloggers say how cold NYC gets, and I kind of laugh about those claims. It barely gets below 30 degrees unless there’s a cold snap. Snow melts quickly. Spring weather and trees budding and all sorts of delightful things happen a full month before most of NH, which is what I’m used to. Of course, it’s all relative. I’m in awe of places like northern MN and its bitter winters. But NYC doesn’t usually have real winter. Just kind of winter.

  30. I have to put in a plug for my lovely home of Lake Tahoe, CA/NV. I’m a born and raised midwesterner and those winters are looong, cold, and gray. Winters are long here in Tahoe (snowed this week) but snowy and most importantly, sunny! There are endless opportunities for outdoor play in the winter with huge amounts of snow and sunshine and summer on the shores of Lake Tahoe can’t be beat! Other perks – no humidity, minimal bugs, stunning scenery; now, about the cost of living…

  31. San Jose, California! Grew up in Germany with long, cold, damp, grey winters. I love that you can play outside all year round here. I miss having snow, just a little bit, but I guess you can’t have it all. I love walks in the park on rather chilly (around 45 degrees) winter days.

  32. Gotta give a shout-out to Seattle, which is also unexpected to some I imagine. I’ve lived in the midwest (through grad school), the high desert of S. Cal, the Bay area, and Seattle. I love our ever-present backdrop of snow-capped mountains and towering evergreens with water, water everywhere. Our spring starts in January and goes until June. Something is flowering in my yard and all over the city year-round. We rarely get snow but can get to it in under an hour. (My boys went snowboarding weekly starting in 4th grade.) Winters can be gray and damp but the temps are also mild (40s). Intermittent mists are more common than gullywashers. Then when summer arrives (earlier every year due to global warming), we have LONG sun-filled days with cerulean skies and NO BITING BUGS or humidity. We eat most meals outside from May-Sept. I don’t have screens on my windows! There is fall color in October/November and we feel the change of seasons. I actually don’t mind the cooler moisture b/c it feels right for my aging skin. My husband jokes that I have a preferential temperature range of 65-75 which is what we have for five months of the year.

    1. I was waiting for someone to say Seattle!
      Having grown up in the midwest, then school on the east coast (Boston/NYC/Philly), I was prepared to loathe the ‘rain’ in Seattle but I love it and never want to leave. There’s a short stretch right after the holidays that I dread that’s really dark and dreary, but that’s it. Spring is lovely, so many flowers!, and summer is an absolute dream. The light on the long summer evenings June is pretty much perfect.

    2. Love Seattle!! So green, and the rain is generally very gentle and calming. I don’t think I’d mind living there.

  33. I live in temperate so cal, which draws a lot…A LOT…of people. But it’s getting too hot here due to climate change and my body prefers a very narrow range of temperature. My ideal climate is cool and humid and there’s only a couple places in the world like that, Seattle being one!!! It’s my dream to be able to move up there. I’m secretly hoping my kid gets into UW so I can visit her all the time

  34. Palo Alto, CA. Gorgeous spring and fall. Temperate summer. No A/C needed, but a whole house fan helps out when we have a ‘heat wave’. Rainy cold winter. Heat necessary. Just perfect.

    1. Palo Alto also has beautiful fall colors … if I could afford PA, I’d live there in a flash (San Jose right now, which is pretty good as well).

  35. One thing no one has mentioned–when you live someplace with lousy weather it creates a real camaraderie and sense of community–like you are all suffering together.
    I live in the Midwest–which clearly gets a bad rap– and I love the weather. I get bored of just about anything very easily and weather is no exception. I love the changes in season. I adore fall–the color crunch and the smell. I love the first two months of winter with the excitement of snow and adventure and hibernation (not the last two months so much–but it is like childbirth–once Spring comes you can’t remember how much it hurt). Spring is spectacular and such a miracle–every day there is some new surprise in my neighborhood. Summer is humid, but usually isn’t super hot here and thunderstorms are magnificent. Plus my yard is like the Garden of Eden and I never have to water anything ever.
    I’ve lived all over the US and in a few different countries around the world in lots of different climates–pretty much anything you can imagine–and I don’t think we’ll ever to back to a temperate or warm climate. I’d get too bored. Plus I wouldn’t have anything to talk about with my neighbors.

  36. I grew up in Hawaii near the beach, and really hated getting sunburned and being too hot. I read books set in England and always thought I had grown up in the wrong place! As a teen, we moved further up to a higher elevation on the volcano and it was very cloudy, misty, and cool. The rest of my family hated it, but I LOVED it! I do miss the moisture levels of the air in Hawaii – when I go back to visit, after a few days I can visibly see my skin plump up with moisture! I did finally get to visit England and thought it was heaven. I went to college in New England and got to experience a proper Autumn for the first time and thought that was amazzzzzzing. I’ve lived in Seattle area for over 20 years now and I love it mostly. The grey winters get to me after a while. But fall is lovely, and summers are great, and all in all I think it’s a wonderful weather environment here!

  37. I grew up in southern Nevada, between Vegas and Death Valley, so intense dry, heat was my norm. I balked at people from humid places that claimed that their heat was worse. Then I grew up and moved to Japan. It’s ridiculously humid and hot. So for me, the key to good weather is all about the humidity. I don’t love it as dry as the American west is, but the mushi atsui (humid heat) of Japan is killer. You sweat and it never evaporates. It’s like being stuck in a post-shower bathroom all day. Luckily it only lasts for 2 months…and it’s gorgeous.

  38. After spending the overwhelming majority of my life in the South, we moved from Austin to Seattle, and I love it! It’s not too hot and no mosquitoes (maybe one or two). A neighbor who had just visited Austin and thought the city was geared toward outdoor living was shocked when I told him—while having drinks on our deck—that we’d eaten outside more here in two months than in 20 years. The window of it not being too hot or too buggy there is very small. And we love being able to go camping in the summer!

  39. I live in NYC and I pretty much love the weather here. As someone else said, not every day, but on balance it’s good. I like having four distinct seasons, yet none of them are extreme. Having grown up in Oklahoma, I prefer a cooler summer. Temps in NYC are neither as hot as I experience growing up nor does summer last as long as it did in Oklahoma.

    I love that there’s plenty of sun in the winter. I spent a year in Pittsburgh doing my master’s and while I loved the city, the endlessly grey winter was depressing.

    Spring can be a challenge. You’re ready for warm days and while the sky will be blue, flowers blooming, it’s still only 50 degrees! Argh. But fall is flat out the best ever.

  40. My dream is to split time in two locations :) But I’m interested how many folks love Colorado weather. We visited for a week and mid-march and the weather was beautiful. But the lack of moisture freaked me out… my skin got dry within an hour, and as a gardener, it was disconcerting to see the lack of plant variety and aridity of the soil. Four seasons and abundant rainfall are must-haves for me.

    1. Both my sons went to Colorado College so we made many trips there over the course of six years. I got a bloody nose almost every time due to the dry air. My eldest son had to revert from contacts to glasses. Seriously, they sweep the snow vs. shovel. When my boys would come home to Seattle they’d immediately start deep breathing and savoring the moist air. I’m also a gardener and appreciate all the variety of species I can grow in the PNW.

  41. Kristian Olson

    I love northern CO weather! I live a bit north of there in Wyoming and also got the same snow this week as Denver did, but… Denver truly has all four seasons and all four are so beautiful. For some reason, you cross the state line and Wyoming’s seasons are: WINTER from, like mid-September to late April/May; About two weeks of iffy spring and then 90+ degrees and road construction season from May/June to August. And never ending wind.

  42. South Louisiana is just too freaking hot. My favorite weather is definitely Spokane, WA. Sounds a lot like Denver weather. I’m off to be steamed to death walking to my mailbox.

  43. Born and raised in SoCal lives here all my life. Just made the decision to move to Boston for my husband’s job. Moved there in March and to be honest I’m quite terrified already if I will survive winter. But I’m giving him a year to do his thing and I’m hightailing back to Cali. Plus ticks…yeah no thank you

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