Where Is the Best Weather Outside of California?

Where Is the Best Weather Outside of California?

You enjoy the moderate temperatures during the summer in California, its mild average winter temperatures, its sunny weather, or its lack of cold weather, particularly on the southern California coast. But while you like the climate, you’re considering moving to another state.

Whether you want to leave because of high costs of living, taxes, poor infrastructure, politics, or worrying crime levels, there are alternatives in other states that still offer close to perfect weather without the problems of the Golden State.

In this article I’ll discuss the best states with similar wonderful weather that California is known for. While you won’t replicate the exact same climate found in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area or in places in California with a cooler climate, you can still find places with great weather.

What States Offer the Best Weather Similar to California?

States With Weather Similar to California

Here are the states that have the most similar weather to California. They don’t have the exact same climate and may be slightly hotter, cooler, drier, or rainier, but overall they still offer what many consider ideal weather, or close to it. Below the list I offer a list of more states worth consideration.

1. Hawaii

Due to a variety of microclimates and year round warm weather, Hawaii is by far the best alternative to California climate-wise. Moderated by the Pacific Ocean just like California, Hawaii never gets oppressively hot and it also never gets cold. There are even some towns in the highlands that stay relatively mild year round, resembling the moderate temperatures of San Francisco Bay Area. Hawaii is by far one of the best states for weather, enjoying best year round weather.

Check out the warmest cities in Hawaii.

2. Texas

While Texas is more humid than California and gets hotter in the summer, it’s still one of the closest alternatives to California. Many cities in Texas stay warm throughout the winter. The state also enjoys consistent sunny skies. Because of the huge size of the state, there’s a variety of microclimates to choose from. For those who prefer dry weather, West Texas offers semi-arid and arid climates. For those who want to live on the coast, there’s Gulf Coast. There are also mountain towns with a cooler climate.

Check out the warmest cities in Texas. Also check out my article titled What City in Texas Has Weather Like California and learn if Texas is hotter than California.

3. Florida

Florida is similar to California because it’s virtually devoid of freezing temperatures. It’s also a state known for its beautiful coast. While it records many more inches of rain annually than California, the vast majority of days are either sunny or partly cloudy days. South Florida is a better option for those who love hot temperatures while Central and North Florida offer a milder climate. Florida as a whole is hotter than Texas.

Check out the warmest cities in Florida and make sure to read my comparison: California vs Florida Climate.

4. Arizona

If you love California’s climate because of how sunny and dry it is, Arizona is your best alternative to enjoy consistent clear skies year round. Most of Arizona features a hot arid climate with very few cloudy days. But what you get in return is extreme heat in the summer months. Still, outside of the hottest months Arizona features similar temperatures to California (and warm winters, too).

Check out the warmest cities in Arizona.

5. Georgia

Georgia is a great alternative to both California and Florida. If Florida’s extremely hot summer temps or its other aspects don’t inspire you to live there, Georgia could be your best alternative for enjoying an ideal climate most of the year. Unlike Florida, Georgia has mountainous areas with much cooler weather. This offers more variety, similar to the diversity of climates in California.

Check out the warmest cities in Georgia.

6. South Carolina

Outside of the summer months, South Carolina features a similar to California mild climate. Unlike Georgia with its many barrier islands, South Carolina offers access to wide, long sandy beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean. Like Georgia, South Carolina also gives access to places with cooler temperatures in the mountains.

Check out the warmest cities in South Carolina. You may also want to check my ranking of the warmest cities in North Carolina which is slightly cooler.

7. Oregon

While Oregon features much cooler winter temperatures than the previous states, it’s the best alternative for those who want to move from Northern California to an almost exactly the same climate and on exactly the same coast. While Oregon is known for its rainy and cloudy reputation, its climate is still mild compared to many other states. It’s similar to Northern California with warm summers and not overly cold winters.

Check out the warmest cities in Oregon. You may also want to read my article on places with the warmest weather in the Pacific Northwest.

More States Outside of California for Best Weather

Here’s a quick list of more states outside of California for specific climate preferences:

  • Warm climates: Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi.
  • Dry climates: Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (the western part).
  • Mild climates: Oregon, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia.

What Cities Offer the Best Weather Outside of CA?

I picked three cities per each of the mentioned states along with some climate data about them to give you some suggestions on cities with similar weather to California. As with the states, no place perfectly replicates California but you can find similar features.

1. Hawaii

Climate Like California: Hawaii

1. For hot and dry weather year round: Honolulu, Oahu

Due to low precipitation, Honolulu experiences a hot semi-arid climate. The city experiences warm temperatures ranging from 81 °F in the coldest month (67 °F at night) to 89 °F in the hottest month (76 °F at night). Honolulu gets 89 days with precipitation and 3,035 sunshine hours a year (similar to San Diego).

2. For warm weather year round: Wahiawa, Oahu

Wahiawa is a census-designated place on Oahu. It’s located in the central part of the island on the plateau between the two volcanic mountains of the island. The area records average temperatures of 76 °F in the coldest month (60 °F at night) and 83 °F in the hottest month (68 °F at night). This makes it warm but not as hot as Honolulu. Wahiawa gets four times more rainfall than Honolulu.

3. For mild weather year round: Kula, Maui

Kula on the island of Maui is a highland district featuring mild temperatures year round. Ranging from 68 °F in the coldest month during the day (53 °F at night) to 76 °F in the warmest month (59 °F at night), the temperatures are similar to those of Santa Barbara but warmer at night. The area experiences 87 days of precipitation but with similar rainfall amounts to those in Santa Barbara, too.

2. Texas

Best Weather Not in California: Texas

1. For warm, not overly humid big city living: Austin

Austin is one of the most popular cities Californians move to for a good reason. It features a transitional climate between humid subtropical and semi-arid, giving it much lower humidity than in Houston. The city records average winter temperatures of 63-67 °F during the day and 42-46 °F at night. Summers are hot, with temperatures of 93-98 °F during the day and 73-75 °F at night. Austin gets on average 2,644 sunshine hours.

2. For mild winters and dry, sunny weather year round: El Paso

For those who prefer dry climates with lots of sun but not hot temperatures most of the year, El Paso could be the best option. With a desert climate, the city experiences only 47 days with precipitation. Temperatures in the winter reach 58-64 °F (34-39 °F at night) while in the summer they climb to 94-97 °F (71-73 °F at night). The city enjoys abundant sunshine. It records 3,763 hours of sunshine which is much more than even in the sunniest cities in California and on the same level as Las Vegas or Phoenix.

3. For hot, dry, sunny weather: McAllen

McAllen is the hottest city in Texas, featuring hot temperatures year round but with dry heat. Between December and February it records warm temperatures of 73-77 °F during the day and 53-57 °F at night. In the summer, it gets very hot, reaching 97-100 °F during the day and 78-79 °F at night. McAllen has 63 days with precipitation. If you want to escape cold weather in Texas, McAllen is your best option.

3. Florida

Best Climate Outside of California: Florida

1. For the hottest and sunniest weather year round: Key West

If you want to enjoy the warmest and sunniest weather in Florida, Key West is your best option. With temperatures in the winter ranging from 76 °F to 78 °F (66-68 °F at night), you’ll completely skip winter, even more so than in the warmest cities of California. Summers are very hot, though, with temperatures of 89-91 °F during the day and 79-81 °F at night. Key West records 3,404 hours of sunshine a year which is more than Los Angeles.

2. For most comfortable temperatures year round: St. Augustine

As the entire state, St. Augustine still experiences hot and humid summers with temperatures between 89-91 °F during the day and 72-74 °F at night. But outside of the three warmest months, this small city has pleasant temperatures the rest of the year. In the winter months, it records pleasant daytime temperatures of 68-70 °F, dropping to 48-51 °F at night.

3. For mildest temperatures year round: Milton

Milton is the coldest city in Florida. While it still has hot summer days as all of Florida with temperatures around 90 °F, at night they drop to much more comfortable 67-69 °F. Other months, particularly between November and April, resemble the mild 60-75 °F temperatures of California. The difference is nighttime temperatures that drop to cooler 36-39 °F at night in the coldest months.

4. Arizona

Great Weather Outside of California: Arizona

1. For the hottest and sunniest climate: Yuma

Yuma is the easiest alternative for Californian residents who live in the hot desert areas of the Golden State. Located on the border with California, it shares a similar climate to inland Southern California. With 4,016 hours of sunshine a year, Yuma is the closest thing to guaranteed blue skies every single day of the year. Winter temperatures in Yuma are between 68-73 °F (47-50 °F at night) and summer temperatures are between 103-107 °F (78-83 °F at night). Rain falls only 16 days a year.

2. For warm but not overly hot weather: Nogales

Nogales in southern Arizona on the border with Mexico features much cooler for Arizona’s standards summer temperatures of 92-97 °F (62-67 °F at night) while still enjoying year round warm weather. Winter months still get average temperatures of 65-68 °F while at night they drop to 34-36 °F. Nogales has 63 days of rain, though 29 of them are recorded in just two months (July and August).

3. For a Mediterranean climate in the mountains: Prescott

Arizona has pockets of areas with Mediterranean climates. Prescott in the Bradshaw Mountains of Central Arizona, at an elevation of 5,367 feet, is one of them. Because of the surrounding wilderness areas, Prescott is similar to mountain towns in California not only climate-wise but also nature-wise. The city has mild winter days with temperatures of 52-55 °F, dropping at night to cold 24-26 °F. Summers are hot but nowhere near as hot as in the rest of the state, reaching 87-90 °F during the day and 54-61 °F at night. Prescott gets 63 days of year and 5 days of snow.

5. Georgia

Great Climate, Not in California: Georgia

1. For the warmest year round weather: St. Marys

St. Marys is located on the border with Florida. It shares with the Sunshine State its hot and humid summers, with temperatures of 88-91 °F during the day and 73-75 °F at night. The rest of the year St. Marys has more comfortable temperatures. In the coldest months, it still gets 63-66 °F during the day (though at night the temperatures drop to much cooler 44-48 °F).

2. For warm big city living: Atlanta

Atlanta is a great option for those who enjoy living in big, warm cities. While Atlanta’s winters are colder than those of the big cities in California, they’re still relatively mild. Average daytime temperatures are 54-58 °F while at night they drop to 36-39 °F. Other than the three coldest months, Atlanta is warm to hot the rest of the year. The hottest months feature temperatures of 87-90 °F during the day and 69-72 °F at night. Atlanta has 2,738 sunshine hours a year.

3. For warm coastal living: St. Simons Island

St. Simons is a popular seaside resort and residential community on a barrier island. With its warm climate, beaches (though not of the crystal clear variety), and natural environment, it’s one of the best coastal living destinations in Georgia. St. Simons gets temperatures around 61-63 °F in the winter (43-46 °F at night) and 88-90 °F in the summer (73-75 °F at night). Ocean breezes tend to moderate the climate, particularly compared to mainland Georgia.

6. South Carolina

Weather Similar to California: South Carolina

1. For warm and sunny weather year round: Charleston

Charleston enjoys warm and sunny weather year round. While it does rain more often and more than in most places in California, the majority of rainfall is between June and September. Charleston records mild winter temperatures of 60-63 °F (39-42 °F at night) and hot summer temps of 89-91 °F (70-74 °F at night). It has 2,808 hours of sun and 114 days with precipitation.

2. For milder weather and cooler summers: Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach has slightly cooler winters than Charleston, recording daytime temperatures of 56-59 °F and nighttime temperatures of 45-47 °F. Average summer highs reach a little cooler than in Charleston 85-87 °F, while lows drop to 68-72 °F. Gentle ocean breezes moderate the climate, making it one of the most pleasant places in South Carolina.

3. For Pacific Northwest vibes: Brevard

If you’re looking for an alternative to cooler and rainier climates of Northern California, the small city of Brevard at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest is a great option. The town is located in a temperate rainforest. It features a rare in South Carolina transitional climate between humid subtropical and oceanic. Winters in Brevard get temperatures of 49-53 °F during the day and cold 25-28 °F at night. In the summer, Brevard enjoys comfortable compared to the rest of the state summers with average highs of 81-83 °F and lows of 58-62 °F. Brevard gets 135 days of rain.

7. Oregon

Weather Like in California: Oregon

1. For the driest and sunniest weather: Bend

With its semi-arid climate, Bend is one of the driest and sunniest cities in Oregon. Even in the cloudiest months, you can still expect sunshine at least 55-60% of the time. Bend gets only 66 days with precipitation. It’s much colder than California in the winter, with just 10.61 average inches of rain annually. It may still be an option for those who want to move to Oregon but keep enjoying low humidity and plenty of sunny days. Average winter highs in Bend are 41-46 °F and lows are 23-25 °F. Summer highs are pleasant 74-84 °F with nights dropping to cool 42-49 °F.

2. For dry and warm weather: Medford

Medford is for Oregon what San Diego is for California. If you want the warmest and sunniest weather, this city in Oregon is your best bet. Medford has 2,520 sunshine hours a year, with most sunshine between March and October. Winter days feature temperatures of 46-54 °F while nights are around freezing temperatures. Summers in Medford can get hot, with temperatures between 84-92 °F and nighttime temperatures of 52-59 °F.

3. For the mildest weather on the coast: Brookings

If you’re looking for a coastal city with a climate the closest to Eureka or even partly to San Francisco, Brookings in southern Oregon near the border with California is what you’re looking for. While it has abundant rainfall (spread over 141 days), it’s still one of the sunniest places in western Oregon with 2,547 hours of sunshine a year. Brookings has very mild temperatures year round. In the winter they range from 53 °F to 55 °F (nights are between 43-44 °F). In the summer, they’re still very mild, reaching 65-67 °F (nights are between 51-54 °F).

Brookings is one of the few places in Oregon where it doesn’t snow.

Other Articles to Read

I’ve written many articles on the topic of cities with the best weather in the United States or globally. You may want to read the following ones:

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