It’s that time of the year when Snowbirds flock to warmer locations to avoid the worst that winter has to offer. While there’s nothing more magical than a winter wonderland, much of the United States and Canada are hit with snow storms, grey skies and the daily task of shoveling yourself out of the driveway. Toss in the fact that these weather conditions can often last for three to four months at a time, and you’ve got a serious case of the winter blues.
It’s no wonder that many elderly individuals and those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder migrate to the areas like Florida, where the sun is always shining and the temperatures are mild. But if sitting in a Tommy Bahama beach chair for four months out of the year seems a little dull, you’ve come to the right place.
In an effort to outrun the harsh winters that much of the country experiences, we’ve created two road trip routes using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information and U.S. Climate Data, so you can hit the road and soak up some sunshine. These trips are based on two factors: average monthly temperatures and average days of sunshine by location, between the years 1985 and 2015. After compiling the cities with the best averages, we connected the dots using routes that maximize area and connectivity.
Our first road trip, spanning 4,187 miles, connects cities that average sunshine 70 percent or more during the year—that’s at least 256 sunny days. If you’re prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder or just hate dreary weather, this route is calling your name. Starting in coastal California, you’ll traverse through the Southwest desert, up through the great state of Colorado, past some of the nation’s most incredible national parks and end up in northern California. While we can’t 100 percent guarantee the weather, historical data tell us that you’ll most likely be able to hit the road with the top down and the sunshine on your face.
If you’re a delicate individual who doesn’t do well with extreme temperatures, then our second route may be more your speed. Starting in Palm Springs, California, we’ve mapped out what a year of living on the road would look like while maintaining a state of homeostasis in 70-76 degree weather. This route takes you through the southern part of the country, up to New England, across the Rocky Mountains, through the Pacific Northwest and back down to the sunshine state. You’ll spend a month in each location for the best temperatures at a total of 7,845 miles on the road that year.
Now that you know where to run to avoid the winter’s disagreeable temperatures, you can start planning your next road trip. Whether you’re chasing warm climates, sunshine or a little of both, we’ve got you covered for your next adventure on the road.