But, let’s be honest, most people don’t pay money to vacation where the average high temperature is 70 degrees. They want it warmer, so they can lay out at the pool or beach and not worry about freezing their rear end’s off.
Yes, 70 degrees might be ideal for touring, but locations where it’s 80 degrees are arguably far superior for vegging out and vacationing. So I asked Brettschneider to construct an 80-degree road trip.
Unfortunately, from December into February, no location within the contiguous U.S. is warm enough to stay exclusive to the road. Some jet travel and island-hopping (by air or by sea, perhaps) is required. Brettschneider’s map suggests you ‘winter’ starting in Key West on Dec. 1 before flying over to Hawaii mid-month. Alternatively, you could spend the cold months in Puerto Rico (not shown in the analysis).
The road trip part of the 80-degree journey begins on a northward jaunt up the west coast of Florida in March and then takes you west along the Gulf Coast into south central Texas during April.
During May, you head northeast across the Mid-South, landing in the southern Appalachians. June involves a pass through the Mid-Atlantic early on, including Washington, D.C., before riding the I-95 corridor through Boston by month’s end.
July takes you through interior New England and the lovely Adirondacks before you cut through the Upper Midwest, including Chicago, in August.
In September, you’ll need to cover a ton of territory, zipping across the picturesque South Dakota Black Hills and northern Rockies, before diving south through Utah into the desert Southwest.
You also accrue considerable mileage in October, crossing central Texas and the South’s interior, before landing in north Florida.
November, including the Thanksgiving holiday, is spent with the many retirees in southeast Florida before it’s time to head to Key West and ultimately Hawaii (or Puerto Rico) for the balance of the winter.
Here’s a short list of each month’s start points:
- Jan 1: Honolulu, Hawaii (not included in road mileage)
- Feb 1: Kauai Is., Hawaii (not included in road mileage)
- Mar 1: Ft. Myers, Fla.
- Apr 1: Lake City, Fla.
- May 1: Abilene, Tex.
- Jun 1: Knoxville, Tenn.
- Jul 1: Manchester, N.H.
- Aug 1: Cleveland, Ohio
- Sep 1: Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Oct 1: Ariz./N.M. state Line
- Nov 1: Melbourne, Fla.
- Dec 1: Key West, Fla.
- Dec 31: Kona, Hawaii (not included in road mileage)
To compose this map, Brettscheider relied on daily average high temperature data for the period 1981-2010 available from NOAA for all U.S. weather stations. He then more or less connected the dots.
The YouTube animation below shows all locations with highs within one degree of 80 throughout the year, which served as the basis for the road trip:
If you’re not a warm weather fan and, instead, prefer crisper 70-degree highs, here’s Brettschneider’s 70-degree road trip map:
For more on Brettschneider’s road trip methodology, visit his Web site: Brian B’s Climate Blog.
Happy and safe travels.