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10 Best U.S. Destinations for Allergy Sufferers

| Updated Nov 8, 2023

Are you an allergy sufferer? Then these destinations are for you!

While the battle to contain the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues, Mother Nature's plans for the spring will go undeterred. 

Specifically, her plans to unleash a wave of pollen to ultimately turn our world a beautiful lush green for late spring, summer, and fall. 

With that beauty, unfortunately, comes misery for many in the form of horrible allergies. Coughing, sneezing, and itching are only a few of the symptoms people have to endure when taking a stroll.

Our RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers may want to consider hitting the road to a locale that offers relief in the form of higher air quality. A place where you can breathe deeply, have a picnic with loved ones, and stay during the hay fever season.

10 Best U.S. Destinations for Allergy Sufferers 1

That's why I turned to the U.S. News & World report from 2023 (a new version has yet to be released), about the best places in the U.S. for allergy sufferers. 

In compiling the report, the organization relied on reports from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's (AAFA) Allergy Capital reports for fall 2018 and spring 2022

The report takes into account pollen levels, allergy medicine use, and the number of allergy specialists within a specific region. The report also takes into account median air quality for each area, based on the number of days with good quality, warnings for some health groups, and hazardous air quality, based on data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

And while I realize the focus is on metro areas in this report, it will at least give you some idea of the best parts of the U.S. to try and find relief.

10. BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

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Top Allergens: 

  • Tree pollen: Spring
  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Ash: Winter to Spring

Boston ranks 10th for allergies in the spring and fall seasons. Although not completely free of allergens, you will experience mild symptoms, but they are unlikely to make your living a suffering as in other cities. 

If you aren’t convinced to move to at least visit Boston, think about the neighboring locations you can visit during your trip. Boston could be either your new place of residence or a strategic starting point of your journey. 

9. WASHINGTON, D.C.

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Top Allergens: 

  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Walnut: Spring
  • Hickory: Spring

Washington D.C. is rich in history, culture, and music. The city offers a lot of activities for people of all ages: you can go bike riding through the forest or stroll in landscaped parks. 

Perhaps not the most suitable celebration for people with allergies, but here you can join a mesmerizing National Cherry Blossom Festival. Other than that, the air quality is considered healthy, and pollen levels are usually mild in the fall. 

8. VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

10 Best U.S. Destinations for Allergy Sufferers 4

Top Allergens: 

  • Oak: Spring
  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Hickory: Spring

Virginia Beach has mild fall and spring allergy seasons. Apart from having the lowest tax rate, by moving there, you can benefit from affordable living expenses with a ton of activities to do, so you will never get bored. As for the air quality, it desires to be better and is usually at a moderate level (i.e., acceptable for most people).  

Families and senior citizens will appreciate Virginia Beach for being not quite a big city and neither a dull town. In short, you get to live in a bigger city with lots of places of interest that aren’t packed with people on a busy weekend.

7. AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

10 Best U.S. Destinations for Allergy Sufferers 5

Top Allergens: 

  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Hickory: Spring

Augusta is a city full of amenities as any other city. And although not big, it accommodates lots of festivals and other celebrations. The air is definitely cleaner than in other cities on my list, and it has also been improving over the past few years. 

If you are looking for a place to retire, you should know that Augusta has a pleasantly warm climate and almost never gets too hot in summer. 

The spring and fall allergy seasons are mild, and allergy medication use is also steadily decreasing.

6. SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA

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Top Allergens: 

  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Olive: Summer
  • Privet: Summer

One of the best cities for allergies is San Jose. Its pollen level is much lower than in other places in the US. As for the air quality, you can be relieved to learn that the air has been getting cleaner and less polluted than it was before. 

If you can’t stand the cold climate, San Jose weather will warm you up throughout the year. Summers here are hot and dry, while winters are mild. 

San Jose is a beautiful city with affordable housing. Retirees can enjoy their lives to the fullest here without suffocating from allergies.

5. MADISON, WISCONSIN

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Top Allergens: 

  • Oak: Spring
  • Hickory: Spring
  • Birch: Winter to Spring

Madison ranks in the top 5 best places to live with allergies. Wisconsin’s capital offers a lot of activities for people of all ages. Although you wouldn’t suffer from allergies as much, the air quality here isn’t always the best. You might want to miss some outdoor activities in the spring season when the pollen levels are moderate.

And if you are looking for a new city, Madison has a low unemployment rate and a stable economy.

4. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

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Top Allergens: 

  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Olive: Summer
  • Privet: Summer

San Francisco ranks 4th among the best places to live with allergies in the US. The pollen level is quite low, even in hay fever season, so you wouldn’t worry about spending much money on allergy medicine. 

The air quality index is usually rated as “good,” so you would be happy to spend sunny days outdoors in this diverse city. 

The only disadvantage of this beautiful city is the high cost of living. But if you have accumulated enough money to retire or simply to travel around, it shouldn’t hold you back from exploring the city’s beauty.

3. RALEIGH AND DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA

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Top Allergens: 

  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Dock: Spring to Fall
  • Hickory: Spring

If air quality is your priority, then Raleigh and Durham are the places to be in. Moreover, they are ideal places to live due to their rank 3rd in the national list of best places to live in the US. 

Both cities have hay fever seasons, but you might experience mild symptoms since it rains quite often there, washing off the pollen out of the air.

2. PORTLAND, OREGON

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Top Allergens: 

  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Oak: Spring
  • Walnut: Spring

Portland ranks 2nd in the list of best cities to live with allergies. Although it doesn’t mean Portland is free from pollen, you may experience milder symptoms when traveling there. The only warning from me is to avoid going there in May and June when the pollen activity is the highest. 

On the positive side, Portland has a solid record of clean air and has maintained it this way for 20 years.

1. SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

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Top Allergens: 

  • Grass pollen: Spring to Fall
  • Walnut: Spring
  • Oak: Spring

The best state for allergy sufferers is Washington, precisely Seattle. It might surprise you that Seattle is rich in nature and plant life; however, the pollen activity is the lowest of all cities in the US.

Allergy-friendly Seattle isn’t completely free from pollen, but your symptoms aren’t likely to make your life a living hell. In addition, rainy and windless weather will reduce levels of pollen and prevent it from spreading around the city.

Tips on Dealing with Allergies

The only place where you will be totally free from your allergies is in the desert, but isolating yourself from plant life might not be the best life choice. Instead, there are a few tips you can follow during seasonal hay fever:

  • Keep your doors and windows closed to prevent pollen from entering your home
  • When going out or working in the garden, wear a dust mask to prevent breathing in pollen and dust. 
  • Avoid going out in the middle of the day, when pollens are most active in the air.
  • During the pollen hay fever, make sure to clean and vacuum carpets and change bedsheets. 
  • Purchase an air purifier to prevent pollen from spreading inside your home. 

10 Worst Cities for People with Allergies

Since we have discussed the best cities to live in with allergies, you should also know what places are better to avoid. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the top 10 allergy capitals in 2023 are: 

  1. Wichita, KS
  2. Dallas, TX
  3. Scranton, PA
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Tulsa, OK
  6. Sarasota, FL
  7. Cape Coral, FL
  8. Orlando, FL
  9. Des Moines, IA
  10. Greenville, SC

Inspired to get traveling? 

Our YouTube Channel is FULL of adventures all over the U.S. come along and see some amazing National Parks. If you have never had time to visit our National Parks, you must find the time! They are some of the best places to boondock and enjoy the majestic wonders of nature. Take a look here at some of our recent travels to these national treasures. Or come hang out with us on our Weekly Award-Winning Podcast.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2020-03-16

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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