Galen Young wrote:
Most of the nation suffers from repeated droughts or 'water-stress'
This is 100% true, and very important. Even regions once considered temperate and wet (like the Pacific Northwest) are now having to consider water issues very carefully. You'll have to figure out what challenges and limiting factors you're willing to put up with. They include hard winters, availability of water (very important), as well as other considerations. My advice is to quickly make friends with like minded people wherever you go. Those sort of connections can really make or break your life out here.
I love the pacific northwest, and our ability to grow food is really amazing. The variety that I'm able to grow here is incredible. In orchards alone people grow apples, pears, quince, mulberries, peaches, apricots, walnuts, hazelnuts, persimmons, and a whole host of old timey and rare fruits that are rarely heard of these days. With special attention being paid to micro climates there are even people growing olives, pomegranates, almonds, and citrus outside of greenhouses here. If you live here you will have to look into water saving and rainwater collection depending on where you live, as the summers are dry. But we can grow food year round, which is excellent. Other regions and states are great, this is just the one I chose.