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Top U.S. Destinations That Nearly Guarantee Sunshine

By Samantha Brown , Host of “Samantha Brown's Places to Love”
November 08, 2021
Ever planned the perfect hot weather vacation...only to have it hit by a storm? That scenario happened all over the East Coast last year, and even the Sunshine State experienced snow accumulation then, the first time since 1988. A trip like that might leave you dreaming of a vacation that's precipitation-free.

Las Vegas

Love gambling? Eating? Drinking? Spas? Golf? Shows? Relaxing by the pool? Eloping? Watching a performer lip sync? You’d be hard-pressed to not find something up your alley in Sin City. With an average of 294 days of sunshine a year, you can almost always count on blue skies. For the most relaxing outdoor experience, grab a lounger at the Chelsea pool at the The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. And speaking of water, the Golden Nugget Hotel gets a shout out for building a pool that abuts a 200,000 gallon shark tank. You can even brave a waterslide that runs right through the middle! If you need a break from the stimulation overload, there are plenty of outdoor activities nearby. Paddleboard on Lake Las Vegas, hike in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, or take a dip in one of the Colorado River’s slot canyon hot springs. Arizona Hot Spring in Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a local favorite. Though it requires an easy 5.6-mile round trip hike, the reward is worth every step. Yes, you can really can get away from it all in Las Vegas.

Palm Springs

I read that Palm Springs experiences 350 sunny days annually. While I do love the change in seasons, when the dead of winter rolls around, I am so ready for that kind of reliability. It’s one of those places to go with something for everyone. It's a great thing to do with kids and fabulous for golfers, and if it’s a party pool scene you’re after, they’ve got plenty of that, too.
I’d be remiss to not mention VillageFest. Every Thursday night, Palm Springs sets up a street fair with entertainment, art, crafts and lots to eat.
Courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden


It’s one of the sunniest cities in America, and there are enough outdoor activities to for any traveler to soak up every last ray. Known for its saguaro cactus, adventurous things to do at Camelback Mountain, top-notch golf and beautiful Desert Botanical Garden, you’ll want to load up on sunscreen before doing practically anything here. Other local highlights include getting your animal fix at the Phoenix Zoo, shopping for kitschy treasures in Old Town Scottsdale and even touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, Taliesin West, in Scottsdale.
Add in excellent Tex-Mex and Neopolitan pies at Pane Bianco, and you might consider moving here. That is, until summer rolls around.


Ninety minutes south of Phoenix lies the desert oasis of Tucson. If you love “sunny,” but don’t love “scorching” hot, the higher elevation here takes a bit of the edge off. Pretend you’re The Duke and explore the high desert on horseback. If you're traveling with kids, they’ll love experiencing the vintage rides and watching the stunt shows at Old Tucson. This frontier attraction is immortalized in more than 400 films and commercial productions. For rejuvenating things to do this weekend, there’s no better place to drop your bags than Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa. Sign up for a massage, take a beekeeping class, finally learn how to meditate, or just get that dose of Vitamin D you’ve been craving since August.

About AAA Travel and Samantha Brown

New places, different perspectives and heartwarming people around the world sharing their day...what’s not to love? That’s why AAA Travel is sponsoring Season 2 of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love”—offering you added insight that brings our trusted travel information to life.