These Are the Best Cities for Spring Allergies
If you suffer from allergies, make one of these cities your next spring break destination.
April showers bring May flowers—and once those flowers are in full bloom, it's game over for allergy sufferers. If you're constantly congested during the spring months, you're not alone: According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. The good news is that not every city is inundated with spring allergens. Though it's pretty much impossible to avoid the pollen in the air, there are places you can go where there is less of it. To help allergy sufferers decide where to spend spring break or maybe even relocate, we turned to the AAFA's 2019 Spring Allergy Capitals report, which compares pollen count, allergy medicine use, and access to allergists in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas and awards each city a rating out of 100 (with 100 being the worst and 1 being the best). According to their list, these 20 cities are havens for hay fever hosts.
America's capital city snagged the 20th spot on the list with a score of 43.47. Though it received a worse than average rating for its ratio of allergists per patient, it did well enough in the pollen count and medicine use categories to still make it into the top 20 best cities for spring allergy sufferers.
Palm Bay, Florida
Bay breezes and clear sinuses—what more could you ask for? Florida's Palm Bay got a 43.3 rating from the AAFA, making it a sunny safe zone for allergy sufferers in the spring.
Kansas City, Missouri
Winning the 2020 Super Bowl is not the only thing Kansas City has to celebrate this year. With a score of 43.1, the Missouri city is the 18th best city for spring allergy sufferers.
Daytona Beach, Florida
With a score of 42.16, Daytona Beach is another Floridian city safe for sneezy visitors. It ranked better than average for medicine use per patient and average for both pollen and access to board-certified allergists.
Milwaukee is Wisconsin's only city in the top 20 best cities for spring allergies. With a score of 41.83, this Midwest city did better than average in the pollen count category.
Florida for the win! This Gulf Coast city received an above average rating for allergist availability and a relatively low score of 41.55 overall.
Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa, earned a score of 41.46 by the AAFA in 2019. It improved more than 10 spots from 2018 to 2019, which is nothing to sneeze at.
San Diego, California
If you suffer from allergies, you might want to consider going coastal. This ocean-adjacent California city received a score of 41.30 from the AAFA, making it the 13th best city for spring allergies.
Not a fan of strong sun rays or sand in your shoes? Consider checking out Spokane, Washington, instead. The city secured 12th place from the AAFA with a score of 40.61.
San Francisco, California
The home of the Golden Gate Bridge would also make a great home for spring allergy sufferers. With a score of 40.12, it sits at the No. 11 spot on the list of best cities for spring allergies.
Raleigh, North Carolina
You don't have to escape to the West Coast just to steer clear of sniffles in the spring. Case in point: On the AAFA's list of best cities for spring allergies, Raleigh, North Carolina, came in 10th place.
San Jose, California
This Silicon Valley city earned a low score of 37.34 from the AAFA. It's the highest-ranking city on this list to earn a better than average score for allergists per patient.
Rain is known to reduce pollen counts by eliminating pollen particles from the air. So it makes sense that the rainy city of Seattle earned a low score of 36.40 from the AAFA.
Oregon's largest city got a score of 33.82 from the AAFA. But while its pollen and medicine use scores were both above average, its allergists per patient score ranked worse than average.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
This city bordering the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains earned a score of 32.71 from the AAFA. It also earned the 13th spot on the American Lung Association's list of the cleanest U.S. cities for year-round particle pollution, so consider this pretty city a place where you can breathe easy.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Yet another West Coast city claiming a spot on this list is Salt Lake City. Meteorologists credit Utah's "volatile temperatures" for the state's favorable climate. As a result, pollen is unable to stay airborne for too long, mitigating its effect on Salt Lake residents.
Although Odgen, Utah, scored below average for board-certified allergists per patient, it was still able to nab 4th place on the AAFA's list of best cities for spring allergy sufferers with a score of 31.78.
Idaho's capital city maintains the same spot as it did in 2018—3rd place—with a score of 29.88 from the AAFA.
Only a handful of points lower than the No. 1 city on this list is Provo, Utah, with a score of 26.83 from the AAFA. Its pollen and medicine per patient scores were both considered better than average.
The fact that Denver, Colorado, takes the No. 1 spot on this list may seem strange given the city's verdant landscape and abundant open air biosphere. However, as a result of better than average scores on pollen count and allergy medicine per patient, it clinched the coveted spot from the AAFA with a score of 26.07.