Move to One of Top 10 Sunniest Cities in the US

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

RankCityStateAnnual sunny days% of the year in sunshine
1Cold BayAK102.70%
2Paul IslandAK184.90%
3HiloHI369.80%
4AnnetteAK4010.90%
5YakutatAK4111.20%
6 (tie)JuneauAK4412.00%
6 (tie)WashingtonNH4412.00%
8ElkinsWV4813.20%
9AstoriaOR5013.70%
10 (tie)King SalmonAK5113.90%
10 (tie)QuillayuteWA5113.90%
Rank
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6 (tie)
6 (tie)
8
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10 (tie)
City State Annual sunny days % of the year in sunshine
Cold Bay AK 10 2.70%
Paul Island AK 18 4.90%
Hilo HI 36 9.80%
Annette AK 40 10.90%
Yakutat AK 41 11.20%
Juneau AK 44 12.00%
Washington NH 44 12.00%
Elkins WV 48 13.20%
Astoria OR 50 13.70%
King Salmon AK 51 13.90%
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

RankCityStateAnnual sunny days% of the year in sunshine
1YUMAAZ24266.30%
2PHOENIXAZ21157.81%
3LAS VEGASNV21057.53%
4BISHOPCA20155.07%
5FRESNOCA19453.15%
6TUCSONAZ19352.88%
6EL PASOTX19352.88%
8BAKERSFIELDCA19152.33%
9SACRAMENTOCA18851.51%
10LOS ANGELESCA18650.96%
11STOCKTONCA18450.41%
12WINSLOWAZ17748.49%
13SANTA MARIACA17648.22%
14BLUE CANYONCA17447.67%
15REDDINGCA17247.12%
16ROSWELLNM16846.03%
17ALBUQUERQUENM16745.75%
18ODESSATX16545.21%
19MOUNT SHASTACA16444.93%
20FLAGSTAFFAZ16244.38%
20CLAYTONNM16244.38%
22SAN FRANCISCO APCA16043.84%
22LUBBOCKTX16043.84%
24LONG BEACHCA15943.56%
25RENONV15843.29%
26AMARILLOTX15743.01%
27SAN ANGELOTX15442.19%
28WICHITA FALLSTX15141.37%
28MILFORDUT15141.37%
30ABILENETX14940.82%
31ALAMOSACO14840.55%
32LOS ANGELES APCA14740.27%
33SAN DIEGOCA14640.00%
34GOODLANDKS14339.18%
35PUEBLOCO13938.08%
35OKLAHOMA CITYOK13938.08%
37WINNEMUCCANV13837.81%
38DODGE CITYKS13737.53%
39GRAND JUNCTIONCO13637.26%
40FORT WORTHTX13536.99%
41KAHULUIHI13135.89%
41CONCORDIAKS13135.89%
41ELYNV13135.89%
44ELKONV13035.62%
44WACOTX13035.62%
46APALACHICOLAFL12835.07%
46WICHITAKS12835.07%
48COLORADO SPRINGSCO12734.79%
48TULSAOK12734.79%
50SEXTON SUMMITOR12634.52%
Rank
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City State Annual sunny days % of the year in sunshine
YUMA AZ 242 66.30%
PHOENIX AZ 211 57.81%
LAS VEGAS NV 210 57.53%
BISHOP CA 201 55.07%
FRESNO CA 194 53.15%
TUCSON AZ 193 52.88%
EL PASO TX 193 52.88%
BAKERSFIELD CA 191 52.33%
SACRAMENTO CA 188 51.51%
LOS ANGELES CA 186 50.96%
STOCKTON CA 184 50.41%
WINSLOW AZ 177 48.49%
SANTA MARIA CA 176 48.22%
BLUE CANYON CA 174 47.67%
REDDING CA 172 47.12%
ROSWELL NM 168 46.03%
ALBUQUERQUE NM 167 45.75%
ODESSA TX 165 45.21%
MOUNT SHASTA CA 164 44.93%
FLAGSTAFF AZ 162 44.38%
CLAYTON NM 162 44.38%
SAN FRANCISCO AP CA 160 43.84%
LUBBOCK TX 160 43.84%
LONG BEACH CA 159 43.56%
RENO NV 158 43.29%
AMARILLO TX 157 43.01%
SAN ANGELO TX 154 42.19%
WICHITA FALLS TX 151 41.37%
MILFORD UT 151 41.37%
ABILENE TX 149 40.82%
ALAMOSA CO 148 40.55%
LOS ANGELES AP CA 147 40.27%
SAN DIEGO CA 146 40.00%
GOODLAND KS 143 39.18%
PUEBLO CO 139 38.08%
OKLAHOMA CITY OK 139 38.08%
WINNEMUCCA NV 138 37.81%
DODGE CITY KS 137 37.53%
GRAND JUNCTION CO 136 37.26%
FORT WORTH TX 135 36.99%
KAHULUI HI 131 35.89%
CONCORDIA KS 131 35.89%
ELY NV 131 35.89%
ELKO NV 130 35.62%
WACO TX 130 35.62%
APALACHICOLA FL 128 35.07%
WICHITA KS 128 35.07%
COLORADO SPRINGS CO 127 34.79%
TULSA OK 127 34.79%
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.

About Trevor Wheelwright

Trevor Wheelwright
Trevor has experience writing about and reviewing a multitude of subjects and products. Influenced by art and philosophy, he views everything as part of a story and an expression of our transcendent experience.