TAKE A DRIVING TOUR THROUGH AMERICA’S HOTTEST CITIES

August 30th, 2019 by

July temperatures sent mercury rising to record across the Midwest and Northeastern United States. Out west, cities in California’s Central Valley suffered through experienced an unbroken string of days with temperatures breaking the century mark.

But what cities in the country are the “hottest”?

Using National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s 2018 Comparative Climatic Data, Sensible Driver compiled this list of U.S. cities where the thermometer rises the highest.

To qualify for the list, the city must have a population of more than 10,000.

Phoenix, AZ. Temperatures soared to as high as 122 degrees in Phoenix during June of 2018. July topped out at 121 degrees in this desert metropolis.

Cool Things To Do:

Apache Trail

Hairpin turns, narrow roads, beautiful scenery–the Apache Trail has shaken off it’s reputation as one of the most dangerous strethes of highway in the US. While the drive commands attention to the road, the trail affords spectacular vistas at the many overlooks.

Drivers can visit azure lakes, ancient cliff dwellings and memorable rock formations. The trail, which begins at the intersection of Route 88 and Idaho Road, is 40 miles long.

Hint: Pack a lunch and plenty of fluids for a fun, half-day adventure.

Dobbins Lookout

Take in the 2,300 vista from a rustic adobe built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression era. Dobbins Lookout is situated within South Mountain Park, an easy drive from downtown Phoenix.

To get there, drive south on Central Avenue until the park entrance. Summit Road takes you to the top of the peak, where you can enjoy unparalleled views of local terrain and cityscapes.

The drive takes only 15 minutes, so you can fit into a busy schedule. There are numerous curves–watch for hikers and bikers.

Redding, CA. Highs reached 117 and 118 degrees in June and July, respectively, in this Northern California city. Relief was nowhere in sight for August and September, either, as the August’s daily high was 115 and September peaked at 116.

Cool Things To Do:

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

Take in stunning geologic scenery and a big dollop of history. The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway connects Lassen Volcanic National Park with Crater Lake–two must see destinations near Redding, Calif.

The byway careens through the Cascade Mountain Range. You’ll pass lush forests, amazing volcanic landscapes, crystal clear rivers, spectacular waterfalls and pristine lakes.

Don’t plan to take it all in during a single day. This 500-mile route should be conquered in pieces, yet it is well worth the effort.

Las Vegas, NV. Sin City experienced highs of 117 degrees in both June and July of 2018.

Cool Things To Do:

Hoover Dam

Get away from the searing heat with a day drive to famous Hoover Dam, built in the 1930s and still an architectural masterpiece.

Known as a concrete arch-gravity structure, Hoover Dam bottles up the Colorado River and stores water to farmers and cities of the arid southwest. Building begain at the height of the Great Depression in 1931 and was completed in 1936.

Nelson Ghost Town and Techatticup Mine

This fun area is about an hour’s drive from las Vegas. The town of Nelson reflects its mining past. Gold miners from the 1800s left behind their legacy for you to explore.

Visitors can take a guided tour of Techatticup Mine in Eldorado Canyon. No better way to cool off and learn about the miner lifestyle then to descend into this historic landmark.

Wichita Falls, TX. Home to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum and the “World’s Littlest Skyscraper”–a 40-foot-tall Neoclassical style building made of red brick and cast stone, Wichita Falls experienced a high of 117 in June last year.

Cool Things To Do

Lucy Park

Cool off next to a man-made waterfall and enjoy the River Bend Nature Center along the banks of Wichita River.

Texas is know for doing things BIG. But in Wichita, you can visit the Newby-McMahon Building. It is a four-story structure labeled by locals as “the world’s littlest skyscraper.” Or take a drive to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.

Tucson, AZ. Air-conditioner is probably very popular in this metropolitan in the Sonoran Desert, where the high temperature for the month of June was 117 degrees.

Cool Things To Do:

Cactus Forest Drive

The Saguaro National Park offers an 8-mile loop through landscape unique to New Mexico. A glimpse of the unique Saguaro cactus conjures images of western films by John Ford. The cactus is a protected species and can reach 40 feet tall.

Sky Island Scenic Byway

Get out of the heat with a drive along Sky Island Scenic Byway. You’ll travel through the Coronado National Forest, deserts and canyons. This 27-mile drive is just outside Tuscon–plan 4- six hours of traveling.

Consider a picnic at Babad Do-ag Vista.You’ll get a grand view of the “sky islands,” mountain tops surrounded by clouds. The area was settled by Tohono O’odham and Hohokam civilizations before the Spaniards set foot in America.

Midland-Odessa, TX.This metropolitan area in West Texas experienced a high of 116 degrees in June 2018.

Cool Things To Do:

Rabbits, racoons, butterfly garden, amphibians, badgers, porcupines. The New York City Zoo?

No, it’s the heartland of Texas. The I-20 Wildlife Preserve is a 99-acre site featuring a 30-acre wetland home to a variety of Texas wildlife. There’s a 3-mile trail with viewing blinds for the wide variety of bird species. No admission fee required.

Permian Basin Petroleum Museum

Learn about 230 million years of earth’s geologic history at this modern exhibit hall. Permian Basin Petroleum Museum is designed for people of all ages, and it walks visitors through ancient sea bed to 1930s Boomtown that started the Texas black gold rush.

The Transportation wing of the museum features Chaparral race cars from Jim Hill. The Mineral Gallery displays gems from around the world.

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