The Most Pleasant Places to Live in the U.S. — Mapped


By all accounts, those of us throughout the Northeast and Midwest have had a pretty brutal winter (and you too, Georgia). It can, at times, be pretty difficult to even imagine the forthcoming, glorious spring, and then a return to inverse awfulness with sweltering heat and humidity.

Atlanta designer and software engineer Kelly Norton decided to find out which of the regions in the U.S. hit that sweet spot of comfortable weather many of us only see during mid-Spring, and the results are revealing. Norton defined a "pleasant" day as one where the mean temperature was between 55-75 degrees, the minimum temperature was above 45 degrees, and the maximum temperature was below 85 degrees. Norton also eliminated days with significant rain or snow accumulation. The results are above, and it turns out that coastal California is, under his constraints, by far the most pleasant place to live in the entire country.

And Los Angeles is #1, beating San Diego by just one pleasant day a year. Just over half the year in the City of Angels is considered as having very nice weather. This trait is shared by coastlines across the country, which are much more seasonable than their inland counterparts.

The rankings at the bottom are more varied. McAllister, Montana, is just too cold to be very pleasant, with just 14 days of the year bringing unobjectionable weather. Two weeks! Northeast of Reno in the Nevada desert was also considered very unpleasant, Clancy, Montana; Douglas, Wyoming; and east of Cedarville, California (in the area directly separating northwestern Nevada from California).

Norton admits that "there is a bit of subjectivity to the range I selected. It's just that a lot of subjects share that same preference."

Use the interactive version of Norton's map, which allows you to click on any region in the United States, at his site.