We all know Florida as the Sunshine State, but is it really the sunniest place in the U.S.? A quick search online and you will find that it truly is not the sunniest state in the country.  


What You Need To Know

  • Florida was not always referred to as the Sunshine State

  • Cities in Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico see more sun

  • South Florida sees the most sunshine throughout the year

Florida has not always been the Sunshine State. It was New Mexico that first held the title. Florida state legislators did not adopt the state's slogan until 1970.

Before that, New Mexico was called the Sunshine State. However, New Mexico never officially coined the Sunshine State slogan, so Florida eventually took it.

Places like New Mexico do experience more sunny days than Florida itself, and it is not just New Mexico that outshines Florida.

Data collected from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that Yuma and Phoenix, Arizona experience the most sunshine. The dataset examines more than 250 cities from around the country.

Nevada, Texas, California, and Colorado closely follow these cities.

So, how do places like Orlando and Tampa stack up against the rest?

Well, Tampa came in at number 43, from this particular dataset, with a 67 percent annual average of mostly to partly sunny days.

Meanwhile, Orlando has a 65 percent annual average of sunny days. The City Beautiful fell just outside the top 5 sunniest cities for Florida, again from this particular dataset obtained from NOAA.

Fort Myers outpaced Orlando and Tampa with a 73 percent annual average. This propelled Fort Myers to be in the top 20 sunniest cities in the U.S. and the brightest in Florida. 

Coming in behind Fort Myers was Key West at number 31 and a 71 percent annual average.

And if you're wondering, the least sunny places can be found in Alaska. This may not be that surprising though, considering their latitude.