Everyone loves a good fireplace, whether they live in southern California or the North Pole. Still, in some places, a fireplace isn’t so much a luxury as an essential part of life. How can you be sure you absolutely need one? If you don’t already know, we’ve compiled a list of five American cities in which it’s impossible to live without the comfort of a modern gas fireplace.
Some of the cities on our list are big; some are small. Some are urban metropolises; some are picturesque little hamlets. They do have a few things in common, though. Each one is located in the northern part of the United States, and all of them earned a spot on US Today’s list of 10 coldest cities in the United States. So here it goes—the top 5 US cities for a fireplace.
#5 Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota
The more than three-and-a-half million people who call the Twin Cities home are spread out across a number of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own brand of local culture. As a result, Minneapolis-Saint Paul can feel hip, quaint, or scenic, depending on what part of the city you find yourself knocking around about.
Just beware of the winters. Don’t be surprised if “snow emergencies” send you scurrying indoors and bone-chilling temperatures turn your fingers into icicles. However, as long as you can retreat to the comfort of a fireplace, you won’t be missing much.
#4 Sioux Falls, South Dakota
With an average monthly low that barely touches seven degrees Fahrenheit and a population just under 200,000, South Dakota’s biggest city is also its coldest.
Although it’s not known as one of the nation’s most bustling urban centers, the city features everything from ancient burial grounds to tropical conservatories, from Japanese restaurants to ski runs.
Whether you call Sioux Falls home or simply drop by for a visit once in a while, there’s nothing better than relaxing in front of a warm fire after a long day at work or play.
#3 Duluth, Minnesota
Minnesota touches Canada, so it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the colder states in the union. Duluth, which sits on Lake Superior’s North Shore, may not be the largest population center in the state, but it is the chilliest, which puts it near the top of the nation’s frozen city list.
Indeed, this small but respectable municipality sits buried under constant snowcover all winter, from the end of November to the end of March. Without fireplaces to keep residents warm, life would be a little colder and a little more miserable.
#2 Fargo, North Dakota
Grand Forks may boast even lower temperatures, but Fargo is home to a larger population, making it more of a bona fide city (sorry, Grand Forks residents).
While the average monthly low stays (barely) out of the subzero zone, the city still ranks third overall in terms of chilly weather. Throw in an average annual snowfall of more than 42 inches, and it’s no wonder so many locals swear by their fireplaces.
#1 Fairbanks Alaska
No matter where you live in Alaska, you could use a good fireplace to keep you warm during the long, dark days of winter.
That being said, Fairbanks takes the cake, not only as the most frigid city in the state but as the single coldest city in the entire nation, averaging a monthly low temperature of minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit. If that’s not an excuse for a fireplace, nothing is.
Even if you live nowhere near these five frigid localities, there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying the coziness of a warm fire. If you do reside in or about one of the country’s coldest cities, you would be well advised to bask in the warmth of an outdoor fireplace in the fall, while relaxing in the glow of a nice indoor, contemporary fireplace as soon as winter rolls around.