Move to One of Top 10 Sunniest Cities in the US

Trevor Wheelwright
Researcher & Writer
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Published on January 13, 2021
2 min read

For those looking for a fresh start in a new place, moving to a sunnier spot may give you that extra dose of vitamin D and the boost you need.

The benefits of moderate sun exposure and vitamin D may include improved moods, sleep, bone growth, a more robust immune system, lower blood pressure, and even weight loss.1 But aside from that, having more sunny days means it’s easier to get outside and have some fun—or at least relax knowing you don’t have to shovel snow.

If you’d rather throw on more sunscreen and fewer layers, but you’re not quite sure where to go, we can help. Using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data, we ranked America’s sunniest cities based on the most to least annual clear days.2

Best cities for endless sunshine

For the most sun year-round, Arizona is your best bet, with Yuma, Phoenix, and Tucson taking top spots on the list. But Yuma stands far above the others as the sunniest with 242 days of sunshine—that’s two-thirds of the year lookin’ at clear skies.

You can stay golden in plenty of parts of California. And while beachcombers may want to relocate to Los Angeles, most of California’s sunniest places are further inland, like Bishop, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Sacramento.

Outside of Arizona and California, you won’t be taking much of a gamble on the weather in Las Vegas, Nevada, which has 210 days of sun annually. El Paso, Texas, also spends more than half its time in the sunshine.

Prioritizing the sun isn’t on everyone’s moving checklist, but knowing what kind of weather you’re getting into can undoubtedly affect your decision.


The least sunny cities in America

By contrast, you’ll see the least amount of sunshine in Alaska, which takes up six out of the top ten spots on the least sunny cities’ list.

Looking to hang out in Hawaii for retirement? Hilo, Hawaii, receives about three to four times more rain every year than the national average—so you won’t be seeing much sun on the rainy side of the Big Island.3

America’s 10 least sunny cities

Rank
City
State
Annual sunny days
% of the year in sunshine
1

Cold Bay

AK

10

2.70%

2

Paul Island

AK

18

4.90%

3

Hilo

HI

36

9.80%

4

Annette

AK

40

10.90%

5

Yakutat

AK

41

11.20%

6 (tie)

Juneau

AK

44

12.00%

6 (tie)

Washington

NH

44

12.00%

8

Elkins

WV

48

13.20%

9

Astoria

OR

50

13.70%

10 (tie)

King Salmon

AK

51

13.90%

10 (tie)

Quillayute

WA

51

13.90%

And it may surprise no one to see Oregon and Washington in the least sunny cities’ list. (Heck, even New Hampshire’s least sunny city is named Washington!). The Pacific Northwest, in particular, has some spectacular sunny days but sees more clouds than the rest of us.

Wondering what life is like in cities that get little sunshine? Check out our gloomiest cities report, which looks at America’s most populous cities and ranks them by cloudy days.


Sunniest cities in America

Rank
City
State
Annual sunny days
% of the year in sunshine

1

YUMA

AZ

242

66.30%

2

PHOENIX

AZ

211

57.81%

3

LAS VEGAS

NV

210

57.53%

4

BISHOP

CA

201

55.07%

5

FRESNO

CA

194

53.15%

6

TUCSON

AZ

193

52.88%

6

EL PASO

TX

193

52.88%

8

BAKERSFIELD

CA

191

52.33%

9

SACRAMENTO

CA

188

51.51%

10

LOS ANGELES

CA

186

50.96%

11

STOCKTON

CA

184

50.41%

12

WINSLOW

AZ

177

48.49%

13

SANTA MARIA

CA

176

48.22%

14

BLUE CANYON

CA

174

47.67%

15

REDDING

CA

172

47.12%

16

ROSWELL

NM

168

46.03%

17

ALBUQUERQUE

NM

167

45.75%

18

ODESSA

TX

165

45.21%

19

MOUNT SHASTA

CA

164

44.93%

20

FLAGSTAFF

AZ

162

44.38%

20

CLAYTON

NM

162

44.38%

22

SAN FRANCISCO AP

CA

160

43.84%

22

LUBBOCK

TX

160

43.84%

24

LONG BEACH

CA

159

43.56%

25

RENO

NV

158

43.29%

26

AMARILLO

TX

157

43.01%

27

SAN ANGELO

TX

154

42.19%

28

WICHITA FALLS

TX

151

41.37%

28

MILFORD

UT

151

41.37%

30

ABILENE

TX

149

40.82%

31

ALAMOSA

CO

148

40.55%

32

LOS ANGELES AP

CA

147

40.27%

33

SAN DIEGO

CA

146

40.00%

34

GOODLAND

KS

143

39.18%

35

PUEBLO

CO

139

38.08%

35

OKLAHOMA CITY

OK

139

38.08%

37

WINNEMUCCA

NV

138

37.81%

38

DODGE CITY

KS

137

37.53%

39

GRAND JUNCTION

CO

136

37.26%

40

FORT WORTH

TX

135

36.99%

41

KAHULUI

HI

131

35.89%

41

CONCORDIA

KS

131

35.89%

41

ELY

NV

131

35.89%

44

ELKO

NV

130

35.62%

44

WACO

TX

130

35.62%

46

APALACHICOLA

FL

128

35.07%

46

WICHITA

KS

128

35.07%

48

COLORADO SPRINGS

CO

127

34.79%

48

TULSA

OK

127

34.79%

50

SEXTON SUMMIT

OR

126

34.52%


Methodology

The NOAA table shows the mean number of days per category of cloudiness. The categories are determined for daylight hours only, and include clear, partly cloudy, and cloudy ratings.

We created our ranking based on which cities had the most annual clear days.

Sources

  1. Forbes, “Why Sunlight Is Actually Good For You,” Feb 28, 2018. Accessed January 8, 2021.
  2. NOAA, “Comparative Climatic Data — Cloudiness, Mean Number of Days (Clear, Partly Cloudy, Clear),” Accessed January 8, 2021.
  3. Bestplaces.net, “Hilo, Hawaii,” Accessed January 8, 2021.
Trevor Wheelwright
Written by
Trevor Wheelwright
Trevor’s written about home products and services for over six years across editorial publications and retail/eCommerce sites. His work's been featured on Forbes, RealSimple, USA Today, MSN, BusinessInsider, Entrepreneur, PCMag, and CNN. When he’s not researching and writing, you can find him around Salt Lake City, Utah, snapping photos of mountains and architecture or seeking out some good tunes and friendly faces.