DENVER (Stacker) — The warm months of the year are often remembered as a time of adventure and excitement but after a long summer of often record-setting high temperatures, many are ready to embrace the cooler weather that autumn and winter typically bring. While not every state gets particularly cold—especially places with notoriously mild winters like Florida and California—all states do have a city that is typically colder than the rest.

Citing data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Stacker identified the coldest city in every state. The list below is based on 30-year average temperatures and also includes the average daily minimum and maximum temperatures for each ranked city. Cities are ranked relative to the entire national dataset of 266 cities.

Some of these locations experience a full range of temperatures annually—from very high temperatures in the summer to nail-bitingly cold temperatures in the winter. Others simply experience cooler versions of their typically warm (or cold) weather. But whether you’re looking to hike glaciers and ski down snow-packed mountains or just to enjoy a pleasant reprieve from the heat, there is likely a city here that meets your winter needs.

Alabama: Huntsville

– #196 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 62°F
– Average daily maximum: 72.8°F
– Average daily minimum: 51.4°F

Huntsville—also known as the “Rocket City”— is the coldest place in the southern state of Alabama with average temperatures hovering between the low 50s and the low 60s. While the city is far from the coldest in the country, its mild temperatures provide a nice atmosphere to visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Museum or explore the mountains of the Tennessee Valley.

Alaska: Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow)

– #1 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 11.7°F
– Average daily maximum: 17.2°F
– Average daily minimum: 6.3°F

If mild southern temperatures aren’t cold enough for you, head to the northernmost city in the U.S.: Utqiaġvik—formerly known as Barrow—Alaska. Given its location north of the Arctic Circle, it’s not surprising that this is the coldest place on the list. The area usually experiences below-freezing temperatures for more than 100 days of the year. Utqiaġvik is also one of the few places in the United States to observe polar bears and snowy owls in their native habitat.

Arizona: Flagstaff

– #51 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 46.2°F
– Average daily maximum: 60.8°F
– Average daily minimum: 31.7°F

Most people probably think of Arizona as a hot, arid desert, but nestled in the Coconino National Forest lies the temperate city of Flagstaff. It is close to the Grand Canyon, but before visitors go to that iconic destination, they can enjoy a brisk winter walk through the streets of downtown Flagstaff to visit numerous eateries and shopping destinations, as well as Hopi heritage sites.

Arkansas: Fort Smith

– #195 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 61.7°F
– Average daily maximum: 72.8°F
– Average daily minimum: 50.6°F

Arkansas’ coldest city, Fort Smith, can be found in the northwestern part of the state on its border with Oklahoma. While the city itself has modernized, it still offers a window into the wild and violent history of American expansion across the great frontier. Visitors can frequent the Trail of Tears National Historic site to learn more about the forced removal of Indian tribes beginning in 1830, and other sites rich in history including the remnants of an 1880s jail, and the U.S. Marshals Museum.

California: Eureka

– #127 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 52.8°F
– Average daily maximum: 59.5°F
– Average daily minimum: 46.1°F

Eureka, now the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, was settled in the 1850s during the Gold Rush and was aptly named: Eureka means “I found it” in Greek. As prosperity took hold, elaborate Victorian homes were built throughout the city—and are now among its cultural treasures. California’s coldest city is also one of the best places to visit the state’s famous Redwood forests.

Colorado: Alamosa

– #24 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 41.5°F
– Average daily maximum: 59.2°F
– Average daily minimum: 23.9°F

When one thinks of Colorado, snow and mountains probably come to mind. However, while the state’s coldest city, Alamosa, has its share of mountains, it is actually a cold desert and home to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. If strolling around a chilly desert during the daytime does not sound appealing, wait for the sun to set, and take in a majestic view of the night sky.

Connecticut: Hartford

– #108 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 51.1°F
– Average daily maximum: 60.7°F
– Average daily minimum: 41.6°F

Connecticut’s coldest city, Hartford, is also its capital. Hartford is steeped in history and is home to many monuments and historical sites dating back to the colonial days. With temperatures tending to dip into the lower 40s, cold-weather enthusiasts can hit the slopes, go ice skating or partake in other winter activities. Visitors can also head downtown to see arts and commerce juxtaposed with historical sites like the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch.

Delaware: Wilmington

– #146 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 54.8°F
– Average daily maximum: 64.1°F
– Average daily minimum: 45.7°F

The coldest city in Delaware—the first state to ratify the Constitution—is also its largest. As the Delaware Valley’s oldest settlement, Wilmington has a rich history. In addition to stopping by its museums, visitors can head down to the Wilmington Riverfront to enjoy water views, dine at its many restaurants, or take advantage of tax-free shopping.

Florida: Pensacola

– #233 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 67.4°F
– Average daily maximum: 75.8°F
– Average daily minimum: 59°F

When discussing cold weather, Florida likely does not come to mind. However, Pensacola, located in the state’s western Panhandle, gets cooler than other cities. The city, home to an international airport and U.S. Naval Air Station, is a transportation hub for visitors and military personnel. Pensacola is also the headquarters of the world-famous Blue Angels.

Georgia: Athens

– #198 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 62.5°F
– Average daily maximum: 73.6°F
– Average daily minimum: 51.5°F

Athens, located near the North Georgia Mountains, is the Peach State’s coldest city. It is home to the University of Georgia whose football team is often among the top in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Antebellum architecture is still prominent in Athens, and the city is also home to a lively music scene.

Hawaii: Hilo

– #249 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 70.7°F
– Average daily maximum: 77.3°F
– Average daily minimum: 64°F

Hawaii is also not somewhere most people associate with cooler climates, but the Aloha State is actually climatologically diverse. The Island of Hawaii, where the state’s coldest city Hilo can be found, is said to have 10 different climate zones. Hilo is the rainiest city on the island which contributes, in part, to its cooler temperatures.

Idaho: Pocatello

– #54 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 46.3°F
– Average daily maximum: 59.3°F
– Average daily minimum: 33.3°F

Pocatello, commonly called the U.S. Smile Capital—or the Gate City depending on who you ask—is within the top 100 coldest cities in the country. For those who want to explore the rugged Bannock Mountains or Caribou-Targhee National Forest, it’s a great home base. For those who find winter weather less appealing, the city is home to several unique museums including the Museum of Clean where you can learn about cleaning tools and products from throughout the ages.

Illinois: Rockford

– #86 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 49.1°F
– Average daily maximum: 59.2°F
– Average daily minimum: 39.2°F

While Chicago may be the Windy City, it isn’t Illinois’ coldest; Rockford, about 90 miles to the northwest, can claim that honor. Despite the cold, the city’s downtown is a place bustling with activity. The River District, named for its location on the Rock River, boasts everything from museums and cultural activities to fine cuisine and entertainment. Audiophiles may be familiar with Rockford as home to the legendary rock band Cheap Trick.

Indiana: South Bend

– #92 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 49.7°F
– Average daily maximum: 58.7°F
– Average daily minimum: 40.8°F

South Bend’s name comes from its location on the St Joseph River’s southernmost bend. It is a popular location for whitewater rafting and canoeing and is also a great home base for winter activities like skiing and ice skating. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg hails from South Bend and served two terms as the city’s mayor.

Iowa: Dubuque

– #62 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 47.2°F
– Average daily maximum: 56.5°F
– Average daily minimum: 38.1°F

Dubuque, situated on the Mississippi River, is Iowa’s oldest—and coldest—city. While the city has many attractions, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is among the most popular. If you prefer to be on the water rather than simply learning about it, you can book a trip on Dubuque’s riverboat, the American Lady. Many other riverboats make stops in Dubuque as well.

Kansas: Goodland

– #109 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 51.3°F
– Average daily maximum: 65°F
– Average daily minimum: 37.6°F

Goodland is located in western Kansas, not far from the Colorado border. It is at the center of the Land and Sky Scenic Byway, a nearly 90-mile route that showcases the area’s agricultural beauty—from wildlife to golden wheat fields and brightly colored sunflowers. Tourist attractions like Kansas’ highest point, Mount Sunflower, various museums, and an 80-foot easel featuring a replica of a Vincent Van Gogh painting are accessible from the byway.

Kentucky: Lexington

– #154 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 55.5°F
– Average daily maximum: 65.2°F
– Average daily minimum: 46°F

Lexington sits between Georgetown and Richmond but boasts an average temperature lower than both. What really makes this city cool, though? Look no further than bourbon and horses. Lexington is known for its pedigree of horse breeding and being home to numerous bourbon distilleries, including famous brands like Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve.

Louisiana: Shreveport

– #222 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 65.4°F
– Average daily maximum: 75.8°F
– Average daily minimum: 55.1°F

Louisiana is another state not often associated with cold temperatures, but Shreveport is a little cooler than the rest of the Pelican state. While the city doesn’t have the notoriety of cities like New Orleans, it’s still a worthy place to visit. From outdoor murals, aquariums, and historic buildings to river boats and gambling cruises, there is something for just about everyone.

Maine: Caribou

– #20 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 39.7°F
– Average daily maximum: 49.3°F
– Average daily minimum: 30.3°F

Caribou, which got its name in 1877, was aptly named at the time: caribou or North American reindeer were plentiful there. While the city no longer has caribou roaming its streets, it is a great spot for snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoe hiking. It is also known as a potato-producing hub, having recently developed the Caribou Russet Potato, which has gained massive ground in the agricultural world.

Maryland: Baltimore

– #150 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 55°F
– Average daily maximum: 65°F
– Average daily minimum: 45.1°F

Although Baltimore is Maryland’s coldest city, its Inner Harbor on the Patapsco River is a vibrant place year-round. Visitors can check out a number of museums, the famed Baltimore Aquarium, and a large selection of restaurants and shops. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the city also hosts the German Christmas Village.

Massachusetts: Worcester

– #66 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 47.8°F
– Average daily maximum: 56°F
– Average daily minimum: 39.6°F

The state’s second-largest city, Worcester, is also its coldest. Like many of the country’s top 100 coldest cities, Worcester provides easy access to skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter sports. Visitors can also check the city’s variety of historical sites—from Mechanics Hall to the Bancroft Tower.

Michigan: Sault Ste. Marie

– #26 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 41.7°F
– Average daily maximum: 50.5°F
– Average daily minimum: 32.9°F

Situated on the St. Mary’s River, Sault Ste. Marie is Michigan’s oldest city. One of its most popular attractions is the Soo Locks, which connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron. Visitors can watch from the observation platform as freighters, and other ships make their way through the Great Lakes. You can get a great look at the Sault Ste. Marie area and the shipping channel from the Tower of History, which stands 210 feet above the city and the Soo Locks.

Minnesota: International Falls

– #15 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 37.4°F
– Average daily maximum: 48.7°F
– Average daily minimum: 26.2°F

International Falls, Minnesota, is known as the “Icebox of the Nation” because its winter temperatures often are the lowest of the lower 48 states. International Falls celebrates this reputation with the annual “Icebox Days Celebration,” which features unique events like frozen turkey bowling and a toilet seat toss.

Mississippi: Tupelo

– #197 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 62.4°F
– Average daily maximum: 73.4°F
– Average daily minimum: 51.5°F

Mississippi is relatively warm, but Tupelo tends to be colder than other cities in the southern state. While Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, is known as the premiere destination for Elvis Presley fans, he was born in Tupelo—and the city proudly displays its Elvis history. It also has a great deal of Civil War history that visitors can learn more about at the Tupelo National Battlefield.

Missouri: Columbia

– #145 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 54.5°F
– Average daily maximum: 64.7°F
– Average daily minimum: 44.5°F

Columbia is home to the University of Missouri and is considered a college town. The cooler temperatures don’t deter students—or many visitors—from exploring the variety of natural features the area offers, including Stephens Lake Park, the Shelter Gardens, and underground caves.

Montana: Glasgow

– #33 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 43.2°F
– Average daily maximum: 55.1°F
– Average daily minimum: 31.4°F

Although Glasgow, Montana, doesn’t have much to do with the United Kingdom, a railway clerk allegedly spun a globe to determine the town’s name in the late 1800s—and landed on Glasgow, Scotland. The Montana town, which is a bit colder than its European namesake, has a rich railroad history that visitors can learn about at the Valley County Pioneer Museum.

Nebraska: Valentine

– #68 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 47.9°F
– Average daily maximum: 61.5°F
– Average daily minimum: 34.4°F

Even though Valentine is generally cold to brisk, its many natural resources—including Smith Falls State Park, Niobrara National Scenic River, and its National Wildlife Refuge—are popular with outdoor enthusiasts. It’s also located in the Nebraska Sandhills, which are made of almost 20,000 square miles of sand dunes, some as much as 400 feet high. According to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, they’re among the largest dune formations in the Western Hemisphere.

Nevada: Ely

– #41 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 44.9°F
– Average daily maximum: 61.3°F
– Average daily minimum: 28.5°F

Being a mountain city, Ely stays relatively cool year-round due to its high elevation. It was established as a stagecoach station and became a significant copper mining town. Ely is home to a thriving arts scene with an array of sculptures, galleries, and murals lining its downtown.

New Hampshire: Concord

– #56 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 46.3°F
– Average daily maximum: 57.9°F
– Average daily minimum: 34.8°F

The New England state of New Hampshire is no stranger to cold weather, but its capital is colder than its other cities. The city embraces the cold by offering multiple places to ice skate and sled, and several cross-country and snowshoeing trails. For dog sled enthusiasts, the World Championship Sled Dog Derby is held less than an hour from the state’s capital.

New Jersey: Atlantic City

– #142 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 54.3°F
– Average daily maximum: 63.9°F
– Average daily minimum: 44.9°F

New Jersey can be quite cold at certain times of the year, but it does not take away from Atlantic City’s reputation as the Entertainment Capital of the Jersey Shore. During the summer months, it is a destination known for its beaches and boardwalk. In the winter, when the temperature drops, visitors can take a turn at the casinos or check out one of the city’s many live music venues.

New Mexico: Clayton

– #140 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 54°F
– Average daily maximum: 67.8°F
– Average daily minimum: 40.3°F

New Mexico’s coldest city is located in the state’s northeast corner near its borders with Oklahoma and Texas. It allegedly has more haunted places than anywhere else in the state. The Herzstein Memorial Museum is one of the area’s most popular attractions—and also one of the locations where paranormal activity is said to have been found.

New York: Binghamton

– #53 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 46.2°F
– Average daily maximum: 54.4°F
– Average daily minimum: 38.1°F

It’s saying something to be considered the coldest city in New York, especially over known cold spots like Rochester and Buffalo. Located near the state’s southern border with Pennsylvania, Binghamton is known as the Carousel Capital of the World. Visitors can ride the old-timey merry-go-rounds for free between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

North Carolina: Asheville

– #138 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 53.7°F
– Average daily maximum: 65.8°F
– Average daily minimum: 41.6°F

One of the artsiest places in North Carolina also happens to be the state’s coldest. Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this is a southeastern destination for people looking to explore beauty created by free-spirited artists and admire the area’s architectural legacy. The natural splendor of the surrounding mountains also draws visitors from near and far.

North Dakota: Grand Forks

– #21 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 39.8°F
– Average daily maximum: 50.9°F
– Average daily minimum: 28.9°F

Grand Forks is on North Dakota’s eastern border with Minnesota. It is home to the University of North Dakota and has a college-town vibe. The North Dakota Museum of Art is one of the area’s popular attractions and draws visitors from both the U.S. and Canada.

Ohio: Youngstown

– #83 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 49°F
– Average daily maximum: 58.3°F
– Average daily minimum: 39.8°F

With its first steel mills established in the 1800s, Youngstown became one of the biggest steel producers by the 1920s. Although the steel industry eventually declined, Youngstown celebrates this and other parts of its history with myriad historical sites and structures.

Oklahoma: Tulsa

– #185 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 60°F
– Average daily maximum: 71.7°F
– Average daily minimum: 48.5°F

The second-largest city in Oklahoma experiences a range of temperatures throughout the year but is, on average, a little colder than the rest of the state. Oil was discovered in the area in the late 1800s, leading thousands of people to head there to find—and profit from—oil themselves. Today, Tulsa is known for its Art Deco architecture and vibrant performing arts scene.

Oregon: Burns

– #39 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 44.4°F
– Average daily maximum: 59.1°F
– Average daily minimum: 29.8°F

Some may think it’s a little ironic that the coldest city in Oregon is called Burns. The city relied on the cattle, sheep, and timber industries in its formative days. Now, residents and visitors who enjoy outside take advantage of the outdoor activities that Burns—also known as the “gateway to the Steens Mountains”—offers.

Pennsylvania: Erie

– #95 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 49.8°F
– Average daily maximum: 57.5°F
– Average daily minimum: 42.1°F

Erie is located in northwestern Pennsylvania on the shore of Lake Erie. One of its main attractions is Presque Island State Park on a peninsula extending out into the lake. The adjacent beaches are also popular, particularly in the summer months. During the winter, visitors who aren’t deterred by the cold can visit the peninsula to see ice dunes up to 15 feet tall.

Rhode Island: Providence

– #114 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 51.6°F
– Average daily maximum: 60.6°F
– Average daily minimum: 42.6°F

Providence, Rhode Island’s capital, is near the Providence River’s mouth. It is home to Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and several other academic institutions. The city is also known for its fire sculpture installation, called “Waterfire,” comprised of multiple fires floating on its three rivers.

South Carolina: Columbia

– #210 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 63.9°F
– Average daily maximum: 75.4°F
– Average daily minimum: 52.4°F

South Carolina winters are, by most accounts, relatively pleasant. This is true even in Columbia, its coldest city. Home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia has a southern college-town vibe. The city also takes its holiday lights game seriously: residents and visitors can see displays at Riverbanks Zoo, Saluda Shoals Park, the South Carolina Fairgrounds, or Segra Park.

South Dakota: Aberdeen

– #31 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 42.9°F
– Average daily maximum: 54.5°F
– Average daily minimum: 31.5°F

Aberdeen, South Dakota, was named after the Scottish city of the same name in the late 1800s. The city is known for agriculture and manufacturing and contains several colleges. One of its claims to fame is “The Wizard of Oz” author Frank L. Baum who lived there for a time. The Land of Oz attraction within Aberdeen’s Storybook Land allows visitors to walk down the yellow brick road for themselves.

Tennessee: Oak Ridge

– #177 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 58.5°F
– Average daily maximum: 69.6°F
– Average daily minimum: 47.4°F

Oakridge, situated in eastern Tennessee, is the state’s coldest city. Oakridge is known for being the location of several facilities, including those for enriching uranium, used in the World War II-era Manhattan Project—an initiative to develop a working atomic weapon. Today, visitors can check out the Manhattan Project-related historic sites and museums.

Texas: Amarillo

– #172 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 57.3°F
– Average daily maximum: 70.9°F
– Average daily minimum: 43.8°F

Although parts of Texas get incredibly hot, Amarillo, located in the northwestern part of the state, is fairly temperate. The Route 66 Historic District is a popular tourist destination comprised of antique stores, art galleries, restaurants, and bars. Those looking for more rugged activities can head to Palo Duro Canyon, second in size only to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Utah: Salt Lake City

– #126 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 52.7°F
– Average daily maximum: 63.8°F
– Average daily minimum: 41.7°F

Host to the 2002 Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City sits over 4,000 feet above sea level. It’s a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders who likely aren’t too bothered by the cold temperatures. The city is also known as the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Vermont: Burlington

– #48 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 45.8°F
– Average daily maximum: 55.2°F
– Average daily minimum: 36.6°F

Vermont’s largest and coldest city is located on the shore of Lake Champlain, which provides visitors with a plethora of activities, particularly in the summer. During winter, skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing are common pastimes. Burlington was also the home of Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen.

Virginia: Lynchburg

– #153 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 55.5°F
– Average daily maximum: 67°F
– Average daily minimum: 44.1°F

Lynchburg, known as the “City of Seven Hills,” is located near the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a very active city owing, at least in part, to the fact that it is home to multiple colleges and universities. The city began as a ferry landing in the mid-1700s and was named after John Lynch, a ferry operator who owned the land that would one day become a vibrant city.

Washington: Spokane

– #70 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 48.1°F
– Average daily maximum: 57.6°F
– Average daily minimum: 38.6°F

Spokane, located in eastern Washington, is home to Gonzaga University and several other post-secondary academic institutions. The city’s parks and waterfalls entice visitors from near and far, and its downtown area is alive with shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Father’s Day was also founded in this Pacific Northwest city.

West Virginia: Elkins

– #96 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 50.2°F
– Average daily maximum: 61.6°F
– Average daily minimum: 38.8°F

West Virginia’s coldest city, Elkins, is located near the Monongahela National Forest. Cross-country skiing and ice skating are among the popular winter activities available there. The area is also home to several significant Civil War sites, including Rich Mountain Battlefield and the Cheat Summit Fort.

Wisconsin: Green Bay

– #38 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 44.2°F
– Average daily maximum: 53.5°F
– Average daily minimum: 35°F

Green Bay is famous for its football team, the Packers, and the diehard fans who are known to support the team by sitting in the freezing cold during home games. For visitors not interested in football, the city has plenty of other attractions, including the National Railroad Museum, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, and Captain’s Walk Winery.

Wyoming: Sheridan

– #42 coldest nationally
– Average annual temperature: 45.1°F
– Average daily maximum: 59.4°F
– Average daily minimum: 30.9°F

Sheridan is located between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone Park in the northern part of the state. In addition to typical winter activities like skiing and snowboarding, visitors can learn about Sheridan’s Old West history through its many historical sites.


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