The Best Cities To Live With Allergies in 2022

If you’re one of the over 50 million people in this country who suffer from seasonal allergies, odds are you’re constantly looking for solutions. Every spring and fall, pollen released by trees and grasses wreak havoc on your body’s immune system. You’ve likely tried all kinds of methods to cope with this seasonal onslaught. Most people turn to antihistamines and decongestants. Avoiding going outside when pollen counts are high, regular cleaning and even using air cleaners are other methods. But if all else fails to ease your symptoms, there is another option. You can simply move to a different city where seasonal allergies aren’t as bad.

Different cities and parts of the country may offer respite from your seasonal allergies. Climate and the type of vegetation that’s prevalent in the region are two key factors in pollen output and how it affects you. For example, living in a drier, desert-style climate usually means lower pollen count because of the lack of water. But flowering desert plants can still cause allergies.

Knowing what you’re allergic to, in particular, will help you choose a place to live. But across the board, these cities have lower pollen counts and are the least challenging places to live if you suffer from allergies. Living in these cities will bring you relief from seasonal allergies.

Finding the best cities for allergies

Analyzing factors like spring and fall pollen counts and the use of over-the-counter allergy medication, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has determined the best cities for those with allergies. If you approach spring and fall with a sense of dread, swap Benadryl for an apartment in these cities.

10. Fresno, CA

Fresno, CA

Surrounded by one of the most important agricultural areas in America, Fresno not only enjoys amazing local produce from the San Joaquin Valley. Those cultivated farms and fields producing nuts and citrus fruits keep grass and tree pollen counts low. With scenic parks like Woodward Regional Park and outdoor activities like walking the Blossom Trail, fewer allergies allow residents to actually have fun outside without all the sneezing and weepy eyes. The only caveat is that Fresno sometimes has poor air quality. So, if you suffer from asthma, that’s something to consider.

Along with fewer allergies, good weather and abundant fresh produce, affordability is another plus of living in Fresno. Expect to find two-bedroom apartments averaging $1,484 per month here.

9. Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

With its dry desert surroundings and heat, Phoenix has long been a haven for allergy sufferers. Unfortunately, that is changing as non-native plants come to the region. However, Phoenix’s presence on this list shows that even native grasses and outside plants aren’t releasing enough pollen to make it a significant problem. So you still enjoy all the outdoorsy activities the Sonoran Desert has to offer like hiking and mountain biking.

Phoenix also has some of the most affordable rents on this list, available in a wide variety of great neighborhoods. The average monthly cost for a two-bedroom apartment here is $1,627.

8. Provo, UT

Provo, UT

Due to factors like altitude and climate, Provo holds onto its place in the top 10 best cities to live with allergies. Sitting at 4,551 feet above sea level, the dry, arid air keeps pollen from staying afloat or traveling far. Utah’s lengthy, frigid winters are also ideal for keeping pollen down. Longer winters mean less time for plants to flower and release pollen. Say goodbye to the flowering season, hello long ski season at local area resorts like Sundance.

Living in Provo, you’ll also enjoy the lowest rental rates of any city on this list.

7. Denver, CO

Denver, CO

From skiing to hiking, residents of Denver, Colorado love spending time outdoors. An active lifestyle with things to do year-round is one of the top reasons people move to this rapidly-growing city. Happily, low pollen counts support an outdoorsy life here. Local trees like cottonwood do release pollen in the spring and summer, with high winds sometimes sweeping pollen into the city. But the pollen count is usually low. With several nationally-ranked hospitals, excellent healthcare is available to aid those who are still afflicted.

Unfortunately, the Mile High City has more than spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. The rent is also mile high, with two-bedroom apartments averaging $2,616 per month.

6. Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, CA

Located in the fertile and abundant Sacramento Valley, one would think that California’s capital city would be inundated with allergy-causing pollen. But not so. As the valley is a major region for agriculture, major cash crops like rice, nuts and fruits are replacing lots of trees and grasses that cause allergies. Spring does have some issues with grass pollen. So, Sacramento is best for those who suffer from fall allergies. With an average of 269 sunny days per year, fewer allergies allow for more time outdoors rafting on the American River or enjoying local events like the Second Saturday Art Walk.

For a two-bedroom apartment in Sacramento, the average rent is $2,397. While more affordable than other California cities, it’s still up there price-wise.

5. Portland, OR

Portland, OR

Portland is famous for its outdoor access. You can spend time in urban parks like Washington Park visiting the International Rose Test Garden, hiking in Forest Park or venture further out to the coast or Mount Hood. And you’ll be able to take full advantage of nature in and around Portland thanks to low pollen counts. The temperate Pacific Northwest climate and frequent rain clean the air of grass and tree pollen. While there are some spikes in grass pollen around spring, the pollen count is kept manageable thanks to the rain.

If you’re looking for allergy relief in a major West Coast city, Portland will be one of the more affordable options. You can find a two-bedroom apartment for less than $2,000. The current average monthly rate is $1,937.

4. San Jose, CA

San Jose, CA

If you suffer from ragweed and other grass pollens, especially in the fall, living in San Jose could bring relief. Grass pollen counts here in the heart of Silicon Valley are usually on the lower end of the scale. And as a hub for technology, healthcare is excellent to treat any symptoms that do arise. Surrounded by state parks and wildlife areas, avoiding allergies allows you to spend time outdoors away from screens and the digital world.

Similar to most Bay Area cities, rental prices in San Jose are through the roof. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment here is $3,444, which is up 11 percent from last year.

3. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

Those California coastal breezes not only keep things cool and refreshing, they also help allergy sufferers in the heart of the Bay Area. Ocean winds keep pollen moving, cleaning the city air instead of letting the pollen stagnate. However, climate change is leading to longer pollen seasons for trees and grasses in the area. The longer the pollen release, the longer the allergy season.

So, San Francisco‘s high ranking won’t hold forever. But for now, those ocean breezes, chilly air, consistent rain and fair climate keep pollen counts down so you can spend time outdoors. From exploring its hilly neighborhoods of historic houses to hanging out in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco is a great city for outdoor fun.

The downside of escaping allergies in the Bay Area is paying Bay Area prices for rent. San Francisco is notoriously one of the most expensive cities in America. Expect to shell out an average of $4,510 for a two-bedroom apartment.

2. Durham, NC

Durham, NC

Part of the trio of cities that form North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Durham routinely ranks as one of the best places to live with allergies. For one, Durham’s world-renowned healthcare and medical facilities have top-tier doctors and allergists. It’s called the City of Medicine for a reason. Patients can easily find doctors who are experts in their field to help them find solutions to their symptoms.

For another, Durham regularly gets nearly 50 inches of rain a year. This regularly cleanses the air of the debilitating ragweed pollen that plagues the South. Since Durham is surrounded by beautiful wilderness areas like Eno River State Park, you don’t want to let allergies keep you from spending time outside.

Durham also enjoys affordable rents and cost of living. Two-bedroom apartments average $1,667 a month, going up only slightly from last year.

1. Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

All that Pacific Northwest rain is good for more than creating Seattle‘s signature moody atmosphere. It helps quickly wash pollen from ragweed and trees out of the air. That, plus a cooler, wetter climate in general, keeps pollen out of the air and therefore out of your nose. That’s why Seattle takes the top spot for the best cities to live with allergies. You can head out to enjoy the Puget Sound waterfront, city parks and nearby national parks without fear.

But that sweet, sweet allergy relief comes at a cost. Seattle is getting increasingly more expensive. The cost of rent for a two-bedroom apartment has increased nearly 50 percent over the past year. Currently, it will cost you an average of $3,199 per month to rent a two-bedroom apartment in the city.

The worst city for allergies

You’ve seen the best cities to live with allergies. Now get ready for the worst. Using the same data and criteria, the AAFA determined that the worst city to live in if you have allergies is Scranton, PA. Their findings showed that Scranton has far higher-than-average fall and spring pollen counts.

Scranton also had fewer board-certified immunologists and allergists to help people with their symptoms. So, if you suffer from allergies, you’re better off getting to know Scranton through “The Office” rather than actually moving there.

Find allergy relief and improve your quality of life in these cities

With their lower pollen counts and healthcare resources, these cities help their allergy-suffering citizens actually enjoy spring and fall. Now, you can relish in the blooming of flowers or the changing fall colors without anticipating the incoming misery.

Rent prices are based on an average from Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory as of March 2022.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.


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