Heat waves seem to be the new normal, with 2021 seeing the hottest summers yet in areas of the U.S. Even so, there’s little sign of relief in the years ahead. Temperatures will only get hotter, with many U.S. cities experiencing temperatures well above 100 F.
From the shores of the Atlantic to Western deserts, some of the most famous and heavily populated cities have had their hottest years on record. With the relentless onslaught of global warming underway, you may want to consider which cities to live or visit based on their average temperatures. The following is our countdown for the Top 10 hottest cities in the US.
10 Arroyo, PR
The tenth city on our list is Arroyo in Puerto Rico. Arroyo is the Spanish word for “creek,” which was once Arroyo’s main draw. Its small stream was once sought after by weary foot-travelers sick with heat exhaustion from the arid and dry location. The scenery is beautiful and peaceful, but be careful of the high temperatures. If you’re planning to vacation in Arroyo, it’s best to visit during more temperate weather, from late December to late March. Otherwise, the scorchingly high temperatures can make your vacation less than ideal. (1)
09 Mayaguez, PR
Ninth on the list is the third largest city in Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. With a population of over 75,000, this bustling city is a favorite for vacationers looking for a seaside trip. Hot more often than not and windy at times, the best time of year to visit Mayaguez is November to late April. During these months, the temperatures make for a more relaxing poolside experience. Outside of those months, be ready for high heat and hot winds. Fortunately, Mayaguez’s lively city provides many air conditioned hotels, buses, and restaurants to help take the edge off of the outside temperatures. (2)
Key Biscayne in Florida is a picturesque barrier island lined by white sand beaches and tropical wildlife. Though surrounded by pristine blue ocean, the temperature is hot and humid for most of the year. It’s a good thing there’s a lot of swimming spots, because vacationers need a long dip to cool off and get away from high heat. For its 12,000 residents, however, Key Biscayne is their beautiful tropical island home. Filled with Instagram-worthy scenic spots and activities, Key Biscayne is an ideal spot to live and vacation. (3)
07 Miami, FL
Florida’s most famous city, Miami, is also one of the nation’s hottest— temperature-wise that is. Their basketball team is called the Miami Heat, after all. And the heat in Miami is relentless. The hottest months are June to September, with the hottest month being August. If you’d like a more temperate vacation, spend your winter holidays in Miami instead, in December and January. Thankfully, the beaches are there to cut through the high temperatures. A quick swim can make up for the humidity, just make sure you drink a lot of water and don’t forget the sunscreen. (4)
06 Miami Beach, FL
Located on the East Coast, Miami Beach in Florida holds the top spot on this list as a party city. Known as a beloved vacation destination, Miami Beach is also popular for its high temperatures that draw people to its sparkling beaches. Miami Beach’s Spring Break crowd comes at just the right time — before the weather reaches its highest temperatures. Like Miami, Miami Beach’s coolest months are from June to September. People don’t seem to mind the heat, however, because vacationers flock to Florida year-round. (4, 5)
05 Beatty, NV
Located on the Amargosa River near Amargosa Valley, Beatty in Nevada ranks number 5 on the list. Beatty is on the smaller side as a town, but it’s rich in history. If you’re brave enough to trek through the desert surroundings, you might strike gold. Beatty is an old gold-mining town, and visitors can still see remnants of its heyday and art at the Goldwell Open Air Museum. Beatty’s hot season lasts from June 5 to September 14, with the hottest month being in July. The average daily high temperature in Beatty is 79.22°F. (6)
04 Keeler, CA
Keeler, located in California, is an old desert mining town located near the Mojave. Once a bustling city with several hotels and a train station for the Carson and Colorado railway, Keeler is currently a quiet stop for travelers looking for outdoor activities like hiking. Keeler is located in Inyo County, near Bishop and Little Lake. (7)
03 Bishop, CA
The city of Bishop in California lands at number 3 on the list of hottest cities. Located a few dozen miles away from Little Lake, Bishop sits near the Mojave desert. With a population of about 3,700 Bishop is an ideal place to live if you love the quiet life and the great outdoors. Famous for its beautiful desert scenery, hiking, fishing, and hunting, Bishop is also famous for its miles. You read that right…mules. Each Memorial Day, Bishop hosts their annual Mule Day. Mule Day is the world’s largest non-motorized parade, celebrating the agricultural life that Bishop residents hold dear. (8)
02 Amargosa Valley, NV
The residents of Amargosa Valley live in a sliver of Nevada desert sandwiched between the California border and US 95. At the California edge of Amargosa Valley, some streets cross onto the California border and include the boundary for Death Valley National Park. It’s no wonder this town is the second hottest city in the country, being that Amargosa Valley is part of the Amargosa Desert in Death Valley. Amargosa Valley is known for its dunes, where locals and tourists alike enjoy dune buggy and hiking activities. Not for the faint of heart, visitors are advised to bring plenty of food and water on any outings due to the extreme heat. (9)
01 Little Lake, CA
Once a bustling city, the small town of Little Lake in California ranks at the top of the list of hottest cities in the US. The town was at its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, when highway travel was the most popular way to travel across the country. Situated along Highway 395, Little Lake gave travelers driving through the Mojave Desert a place to cool their car radiators, fill their tanks, and rest. No current census exists for its population size, though a few residents still live in Little Lake. Famous for its rock faced Little Lake Hotel, which is now closed, Little Lake is an abandoned town. However, it still remains a popular attraction for people wishing to relive 1950s road trip living. (10)
Is Las Vegas the Hottest City?
Most people are surprised when Las Vegas doesn’t top the list of the hottest cities in the US. Las Vegas is a lot of things — loud, brash, bustling — but it doesn’t top the list for the highest temperatures. Why? Because Las Vegas’ average temperatures are cooler than others based on the last 20 years of data. Las Vegas tends to have cool winter months, with a nighttime low of around 40 °F in January. (11)
Which US City Has the Best Weather?
Which US city has the best weather depends on your preference. For example, Honolulu, Hawaii is a top tourist destination because of its consistent balmy 77.7 degree weather and breezy conditions. But a tropical paradise may not be for everyone! Some people enjoy changing seasons and snow, something you won’t see on the beaches of Waikiki. One thing is for sure, if you’re looking for a hot getaway, head on over to Little Lake in California— don’t forget to bring a lot of water! (12) This data was populated using our easy to download, historical weather data spreadsheets. To access average historical temperature data sets by zip code, click here.