If you’re tired of cold winters and would like to live in a place with relatively mild winters, warm winters, or outright hot winters, this article is for you.
Enjoying pleasant temperatures year round is for many people one of the most basic needs for happiness. Those who suffer from winter blues when the skies are gray, the temperatures are freezing cold and the thought of shoveling snow fills you with dread, know what I’m talking about.
If that’s you, here’s a list of US states with mild winters where you won’t worry about the cold weather as much. You may also check out my article on the best states for weather, cities with mild four seasons, and states with mild summers.
But first, a quick definition of what it means that a place has a mild winter…
What Is a Mild Winter?
Each person may have a different definition of what constitutes mild temperatures and what a mild winter weather is. But whether you prefer as warm weather as possible or cooler but still comfortable temperatures, mild winter months should generally:
- have average temperatures well above the freezing point, both during the day and at night,
- feature relatively sunny weather,
- be snow-free or with rare snowfall,
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to list the states with mild winters using the following three categories:
- States with hot winters: the average winter temperature reaches at least 70 °F during the day and doesn’t fall below 50 °F at night.
- States with warm winters: the average winter temperature reaches 60-70 °F during the day and doesn’t fall below 45 °F at night.
- States with mild winters: the average winter temperature reaches 50-60 °F during the day and doesn’t fall below 40 °F at night.
This may filter some states that would otherwise be deemed as having mild winters (such as North Carolina or Tennessee) because they have nights that are too cold.
States With Hot Winters
There are a few states that offer hot winters with temperatures more resembling summer than winter. I’m talking about average winter temperatures reaching at least 70 °F during the day and not falling below 50 °F at night.
The warm weather in the winter months in these places is often the preferred season among locals as it offers the most pleasant temperatures compared to much higher average temperatures in the summer.
Here are states that have at least a few big cities featuring hot winters.
Florida features the hottest winters out of all contiguous US states. Southern Florida, including Miami and going all the way south to the Keys, is the warmest part of the state. Miami and the Keys reach similar temperatures going up to 76-78 °F during the day in the winter months. The average winter lows (temperatures at night) in Miami are lower than in the Keys, dropping to 61-64 °F as opposed to 66-68 °F in the Keys.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in Florida.
Hawaii has the hottest winters out of all US states. Average temperatures during the day in Honolulu reach about 80-82 °F and drop to 67-69 °F at night. Like Florida, Hawaii enjoys almost endless blue skies, still featuring plenty of sunny days even in the coldest months. With very few inches of rain compared to Florida, Hawaii is the best place to go if you want to completely skip winters and enjoy year round summer.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in Hawaii.
While the biggest cities in Texas would be deemed as having warm winters rather than hot ones (since Texas is not as hot as Florida), southern Texas, particularly on the Gulf Coast, is notable for its summer-like winters. For example, Brownsville experiences average temperatures between 73-76 °F during the day in the coldest months. Even nights are still warm as they feature temperatures typically around 53-57 °F.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in Texas.
States With Warm Winters
Here are the states with the average temperature in the coldest months reaching 60-70 °F during the day and not falling below 45 °F at night. Unlike the states in the first category, you may feel that winters are noticeably cooler, with some days feeling more like winter than summer. But overall, these states still have pleasantly warm winters, sometimes even featuring hot weather.
Many people consider the climate of California as perfect. You get mild to warm winters and summers that never get extremely hot (barring inland arid regions). In the warmest cities of California not featuring a desert climate, such as Anaheim, winter temperatures during the day exceed 70 °F but fall slightly below 50 °F at night. In cities with a milder climate like San Diego, nighttime temperatures are above 50 °F but daytime temperatures are around 66 °F.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in California.
Arizona is as close to guaranteed sunshine as you can get. If you pair it with the warmest cities in the state such as Yuma or Phoenix, you get winters that are very warm and very sunny. Because of a desert climate, while daytime temperatures can reach over 70 °F, nights can get chilly with temperatures around 45-50 °F. Still, for many locals (and snowbirds), it’s winters that are much more pleasant than summers. Arizona is the best option for those who want to live in a state with low humidity and mild winters.
Louisiana may not come to mind when you think about mild winters. But in fact, it too offers pleasant winters. In New Orleans, average daytime temperatures stay above 62 °F and reach even up to 66 °F. At night, they drop to 46-50 °F. Freezing temperatures are possible but very rare and you don’t have to worry about snow at all.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in Louisiana.
Alabama’s temperatures would position it both in the “warm winters” category as well as the “mild winters” category. The coastal cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, owing to the moderating effect of the ocean, have warmer nights than inland cities, staying around 45-49 °F. But during the day, they’re up to a couple of degrees cooler than cities like Mobile. Gulf Shores gets daytime temperatures of 59-62 °F while Mobile gets 62-66 °F. In both areas, winters are warm, though.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in Alabama.
States With Mild Winters
Here are the states with the average temperature in the coldest months reaching 50-60 °F during the day and not falling below 40 °F at night. In these states winters are still pleasant but may occasionally feature chilly weather, particularly in the early mornings and at night.
Nevada is in some aspects very similar to Arizona. It’s also extremely sunny and gets very little rain. The main difference between Las Vegas and Phoenix is that Las Vegas is noticeably cooler than Phoenix in the winter. Daytime temperatures that reach between 59-63 °F would put it in the “warm winters” category but nights can get cold with temperatures dropping to only 40-44 °F. The weather is still sunny and the days can be pleasant but we can’t talk about anything more than mild winters.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in Nevada.
While the southernmost towns of Georgia enjoy warm winters (for example St. Marys, which has the same warm climate as northern Florida), bigger cities in Georgia feature mild winters, or can’t even be categorized as so (Atlanta has nights with temperatures that can on average drop to just 36 °F). Savannah is the best example of a city with a mild winter. During the day, it experiences average temperatures of 61-65 °F while at night they drop to 40-43 °F.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in Georgia.
3. South Carolina
South Carolina almost doesn’t make the cut. The second warmest city of South Carolina, and the largest one, Charleston, has one month in which average nighttime temperatures go below 40 °F. But it’s just in January, and they drop to 39 °F. Otherwise, in December and February they’re at 41.6 °F, with average high temperatures between 60-64 °F.
Mississippi may not be a popular state to move to compared to Florida, Arizona, or Nevada but it nonetheless has mild winters, particularly in the coastal cities like Gulfport. Daytime temperatures in this city can reach 61-65 °F while at night they drop to 42-46 °F which puts it in the “mild winters” category.
Learn more in my article on the warmest cities in Mississippi.
Frequently Asked Questions
Arizona, Nevada, and certain parts of California would fit the bill the most. Arizona is by far the best option for low humidity and some of the mildest winters.
The only option for mild winters and summers is coastal California. Other states have much hotter and more humid summers or winters that are too cold. Hawaii could be an option but it may be too hot for some. Southern coastal Oregon (where it almost never snows) could be an option, too, though it’s much more rainy. Some of the warmest Oregon cities may be a potential option if you’re okay with colder winters.
Hawaii, California, Arizona, and Nevada all have access to mountains and feature mild winters. Georgia is an option, too, if smaller mountains are also an option.
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