I'm not a fan of winter. I love Christmas and a little snow, then we can haul it all away and get back to spring. But in Illinois, we do long and awful winters.

What makes winter awful?

Car buried in snow

How would you answer that question? Would your answer(s) involve any of the following:

  • Too damn much snow
  • It's so flippin' cold
  • Wind and cold that makes your face hurt
  • Constant runny nose
  • Why aren't these roads plowed yet?

All those things can lead to a most miserable winter and Illinois' winter season can last for what seems like forever.

In Illinois, no months last longer than January and February. It feels like a whole year is lived just trying to get from Christmas to St. Patrick's Day.

Irina Igumnova

The Thrillist crew set out to find what states have the most miserable winters and it might change your perception about the next couple months that lie ahead.

Every state was ranked and Illinois was not on top of this the list.

In fact, there are 8 states that make an Illinois winter like cake walk (not really, it's still going to be cold af).

Every State, Ranked by How Miserable Its Winters Are

Major Winter Storm Pounds Chicago Area
Getty Images

We are #9 on the Thrillist list.

"the people of Illinois have the kind of warm and generous spirit that leads to displays of solidarity like... fighting over whether or not a pair of plastic lawn chairs constitutes indefinite rights to a shoveled-out parking place post-snowfall. Downstate things tend not to be quite as bad, other than, you know, the fact that you’re in downstate Illinois."

Maine, Nebraska and Iowa are next on the list before we get to our neighbors to the north, Wisconsin.

man with a snow blowing machine working in winter day

America's Dairyland is the 5th most miserable place to be during the winter.

Wisconsin is where I was born and raised and Thrillist couldn't have been more accurate when they said,

"There’s a level of persistently grey, soul-squeezing frigidness in Wisconsin that can only be combatted with liberal doses of brandy Old Fashioneds and Spotted Cow along with various forms of fried dairy products."

A quick and cold trip through South Dakota, Michigan and Minnesota before getting the COLDEST state in the lower 48.


The most miserable winters are the tradition for the people of North Dakota. Old Man Winter wallops North Dakota every winter like they lost a bet. The only months on record where it has never snowed there are July and August.

10 of the Best Road Trips to Take When You Need to Escape Illinois This Winter

LOOK: 20 tips to help your houseplants survive the winter


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