The best states for every season, according to residents

Linley SandersData Journalist
February 09, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

For everything, there is a season — including a time to visit certain parts of America and avoid others.

YouGov recently asked more than 77,000 Americans across all 50 states to choose their favorite season where they live. While Americans tend to appreciate spring (30%), summer (28%), and fall (28%) at equal levels, there are preferences that vary by state. Overall, Americans living in comparatively moderate climates tend to enjoy the country’s extreme seasons more than most. Warm southern states appreciate winter more than the country as a whole, while cooler northern states choose summer at a higher rate. 

Spring and autumn are popular seasons nationwide, with many states’ residents calling them the best season where they live regardless of geographic location.  

The best states for winter in America 

Americans don’t enjoy winter: only 10% describe it as their favorite season where they live. But, when the seasons turn to the coldest time of year, Americans who live in the country’s warmest climates tend to favor their home state more than the rest of the nation.  

One-quarter of Americans who live in balmy Florida (24%) call winter their favorite season — the highest of any state. Floridians are closely followed by residents of Hawaii (21%) — which boasts 78-degree days in the winter — and Arizona (21%), where Phoenix keeps its winter weather in the upper 60s. Other moderately popular options for winter include western states, like California (15%) and Nevada (14%), where at least one in seven residents call winter their top season. Texas (15%) also has a decent showing with their Southern winter weather.  

Almost no Northern states exceed the national average for enjoying winter at home. One in nine Vermonters (11%) enjoy when the Green Mountain State gets covered in white, making it the most favorable state for winter in the Northeastern region. Those in Wisconsin (4%) are the least likely to call winter their favorite season.

In a separate question, YouGov asked residents to select their least favorite season where they live. Most Americans (55%) chose winter with residents of North Dakota (80%), Nebraska (78%), Maine (76%), New Hampshire (75%), Indiana (74%), Iowa (73%), Minnesota (73%), Ohio (73%), West Virginia (71%), Wisconsin (71%), and Michigan (71%) being especially likely to despise the winter months. 

The best states for summer in America 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most residents of Alaska (55%) call summertime — where the days are longer and the temperatures are generally in the 60s — their favorite time to live on the Last Frontier. While Alaskans are twice as likely as Americans overall (28%) to say summer is their favorite season, many other states also appreciate their home during the sunniest months. 

About half (49%) of those in Vermont say their state is optimal in the summer, picking that season over spring (17%), fall (22%), and winter. Other states near America’s northern border, including a plurality of those in Michigan (39%) and Wisconsin (39%), favor summer over other months. Those in Maine appreciate summer (39%) at an equally high level, but it’s tied with autumn for the top spot (39%). 

Those in Arizona (13%) — known for its dry heat summers where the average temperature ranges from 90 to 120 degrees — are the least likely to call winter their favorite season. Only one in five residents of Texas (20%), Arkansas (20%), Tennessee (20%), and Louisiana (21%) call summer their favorite season. 

The best states for spring and fall in America 

Spring and Autumn are popular nationwide without many geographic patterns to which states prefer them. Two in four residents of Maine (39%) and Vermont (38%) call fall their favorite — the highest of any states — perhaps because of their famed New England foliage. Minnesotans also favor fall (36%), but it only narrowly beats summer in the land of lakes (34%). 

When it comes to spring, a plurality of South Carolinians (38%) call it their favorite season. Arizona (37%), Arkansas (36%), Oklahoma (36%), and Louisiana (36%) follow close behind. Even the states that don’t put spring among their favorites — like Maine (16%), Vermont (17%), and Alaska (19%) — still like it much better than winter.

Related: These are the rudest states in America, according to people who live there 

Methodology: 77,301 US adults 18+ were asked, “Which of the following is your favorite season where you live?” with answer options for “Spring,” “Summer,” “Fall,” “Winter,” and “Don’t know.” This survey was conducted December 23, 2020 – January 6, 2021. The responding sample is weighted to be representative of the US population.     

Image: Getty