Why Florida Isn’t Really ‘The Sunshine State’

Florida's nickname should belong to a different state

Another sunny day at Clearwater Beach in Florida
It’s hard to believe Florida isn’t the sunniest state in the United States. Pixabay

“The Sunshine State” – those words feel like they’ve been Florida’s nickname since the dawn of time. Actually, it was just 1970 when state legislators made it official. But is it appropriate? The answer is complicated.

If you look at the sunniest states in the country, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida is the 10th sunniest state.

Which States are Sunniest

These states technically are sunnier than Florida.

  1. Arizona
  2. New Mexico
  3. Nevada
  4. Texas
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Kansas
  9. Utah
  10. Florida

Tenth place? That seems crazy. Maybe we should consider a different statistic. The National Weather Service puts Florida at No. 6 among the sunniest states. One meteorologist in Chicago suggested that “The Partly Cloudy State” would be a more appropriate label for Florida, given the daily phenomenon of afternoon thunderstorms.

Does Florida Have the Sunniest Cities?

Depending on what ranking you look at, it’s quite possible that no Florida city ranks in the Top 10 list of sunniest cities. Here they are:

  1. Yuma, AZ
  2. Redding, CA
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Phoenix, AZ
  5. Tucson, AZ
  6. El Paso, TX
  7. Fresno, CA
  8. Reno, NV
  9. Flagstaff, AZ
  10. Sacramento, CA

What Florida cities are the sunniest? Boy, you’re grasping for any possible straw now, aren’t you? The website Only In Your State did a roundup of Florida cities with the best weather. Their ranking:

  1. Bonita Springs
  2. Fort Myers
  3. San Carlos Park
  4. Lehigh Acres
  5. Punta Gorda
  6. Immokalee
  7. Iona
  8. Marco Island
  9. Golden Gate
  10. Naples

It’s interesting to note that all these are in Southwest Florida.

What Florida’s Nickname Should Be

Okay, we’re convinced that Florida isn’t the sunniest state. So what should our nickname be? Here’s one suggestion from Play Hard Florida.

The Water State: Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline, the most in the lower 48 United States.

Considering Florida’s plethora of watery diversions – 30,000 lakes, the Everglades, 26,000 miles of rivers, 663 miles of beaches – that seems like a fitting title indeed.

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