5 Harsh Winter States That Are Amazing In The Summer

Most states in the United States endure some form of winter. Some states barely get colder, we’re looking at you California, while other states endure extremely harsh winters. We are talking about the type of winters where it hurts to breathe because the air is so cold. You know, the winters where your face gets burned from the intense cold and 3 pairs of socks layered over one another is simply not enough.

In any case, a lot of those states with a harsh winter, actually have amazing summers. Here are five states that you may want to avoid in the winter, but you definitely need to check out in the summer.


The first state on the list is home to cheese curds, the Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee. Wisconsin can have incredibly harsh winters. Winter lows can hover around 10 degrees Fahrenheit while the lowest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was negative 55 degrees Fahrenheit. I have the shivers just typed that.

However, for its brutal winters, Wisconsin has a warm or hot humid continental climate. Summer months can be in the 70’s or 80’s depending on where you are in the state. The reason Wisconsin is so great in the summer is because of Milwaukee. This gem of a city located on Lake Michigan is big enough to keep you busy for a weekend, but small enough so that the traffic isn’t congested. Tailgate a Milwaukee Brewer’s game and then take a tour of historic Miller Caves during your MillerCoors brewery tour.

Hunters and recreational shooters will enjoy the summer months in Wisconsin because of its abundance of lakes and woods. You can even go skeet shooting over Lake Michigan.


Another state that has an absolutely harsh winter is Illinois. Recent years have earned Chicago the nickname “Chiberia” because of the seemingly endless winters. Not only are they endless, but they also seem to be exclusively hovering around a 0 degree Fahrenheit temperature.

When the sun comes out and the snow melts, Illinois can be one of the greatest states in the United States. Sure the local government may be a tad corrupt, but that doesn’t stop Illinoisans from enjoying all that their summers have to offer.

The highlight of state is Chicago. With incredible architecture, a gorgeous albeit polluted river, and a calm lakefront breeze, Chicago is well worth a week’s visit in the summer. Chicago has some of the best restaurants, putting it right up there against Los Angeles and New York City. The variety of burroughs also means that there is a Chicago atmosphere for everyone. You can get wild in Wrigleyville, fine-dine in the Gold Coast, act hip in Wicker Park, or mingle with the college students in Lincoln Park.


Michigan, the state split by Lake Michigan, is also home to some of the worst winters around. Temperatures and winter precipitation are relatively the same in Michigan as they are in both Wisconsin and Illinois. However, like its neighboring states, Michigan boasts some of the best summers in the U.S.

While Michigan may not have a Milwaukee or Chicago to pride itself on (sorry Detroit), it makes up for it in smaller cities and a pristine outdoor lifestyle. Ann Arbor, Traverse City, Grand Rapids, and East Lansing all have something to offer visitors and residents. One of the great things about Michigan in the summer is the abundance of its craft breweries. The seemingly endless list is full of genius brewers have a shared goal of making the finest craft beer in the land.

In addition to the multitude of great smaller cities, Michigan has an incredible outdoor lifestyle. Not only can you enjoy Lake Michigan, but there is an abundance of hunting land to enjoy throughout the year. If you haven’t seen the “Pure Michigan” ads, we are shocked first of all, but also cannot express enough to you how true they are to Michigan.


Moving along to the East Coast, we hit Vermont. This tiny state is jam packed with snow and harsh winters. However, it is also home to some pretty gorgeous summers. The outdoors are where you should be if it is summer in Vermont. The lush greenery provides a lot of hiking opportunities in what is considered one of the healthiest states in the country. If you visit in very early summer, you may even catch the tail-end of the “sugaring” season when Vermont makes its famed Maple syrup.

New York

Finally, we close out our list with New York. It doesn’t matter where you live in the state, you cannot escape the harsh and snow-filled winters. However, when summer sets in, it is really hard to beat New York. The city comes alive with rooftop parties and activities in the parks. There are also ample opportunities for weekend getaways to Upstate New York to places such as Niagara Falls and hikes in the Adirondack mountains.

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