Pack your swimsuits because we’re about to embark on the most epic winter escape of our lives! Being a snowbird, leaving that chilly hometown behind, and chasing the sun is like a rite of passage for those in the know. Finding the best cities for snowbirds is all about trading snow shovels for sandcastles and winter coats for flip-flops.
Picture this: you’re sipping your morning coffee on a crisp winter day, but instead of dreading the icy commute, you’re practically giddy. Why? Because you know that in just a few hours, you’ll be soaring toward a warm, sunny destination. The airport becomes your gateway to paradise, and the winter blues don’t stand a chance.
As you step off the plane, you’re hit with that wave of warm, tropical air, and it’s like a giant hug from Mother Nature herself. The sun kisses your skin, and the worries of winter melt away faster than an ice cube in the summer heat.
If you’re officially in snowbird mode, we’re here to help! StudyFinds has created the ultimate list of the best U.S. cities for snowbirds, according to experts. If we missed your favorite winter getaway to escape the chill, let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best U.S. Cities for Snowbirds, According to Experts
1. Naples, FL
Naples, Florida is number is the number one recommendation for U.S. cities snowbirds will love. “What brings Naples to the top of so many of these lists are its unbeatable quality of life as well as its relative affordability,” shares Trinity CRE.
Nestled on the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida, Naples has all the charm to attract snowbirds. Finance Buzz writes, “Naples, Florida, earned high marks in multiple categories, with the highest coming in the area of temperature/climate. Between the months of November and March, the average temperature in Naples is between 64 degrees (in January) and 71 degrees (in November), making it a pleasant place to be while the northern parts of the country are dealing with freezing temperatures.”
Lucky you. Imagine settling into Naples and savoring the city like a local, exploring hidden gems, and sipping on exotic cocktails at rooftop bars while everyone back home shivers with jealousy. “Naples’ population is around 22,000 but it packs a big punch for snowbirds,” shares a reviewer from Storage Cafe. “In addition to many miles of white-sand beaches there are average Oct. – March temperatures of 71 °F. Naples boasts almost twice as many golf courses as anywhere else on our list — an astonishing 70 — and also has the highest figures for both healthcare centers per 1,000 of the population (14) and seasonal use housing (38%).”
2. Fort Myers, Florida
Number two on the list of the best of the best cities for snowbirds is Fort Myers, Florida. “Located along the Caloosahatchee River and near the Gulf of Mexico, this southwest Florida city has warm winters and hot summers,” writes U.S. News & World Report.
Although the city has a population of just over 90,000 residents, it is actually a little piece of heaven for snowbirds. “Fort Myers has various activities and experiences for all different interests,” according to Retire Better Now. “You can take a fishing charter out before sunrise and make it back in time to soak up the last of the afternoon rays on Estero Island. Spend your days traversing the shops and avenues or stay beachside with clearwater views and seaside restaurants. There are plenty of museums for history buffs and national baseball tournaments for athletes and fans. During the winter months, locals flock to Sanibel Island, enjoying the 25 miles of bike-friendly paths over hard-packed sand. Or they take to the streets in festive flurries, celebrating one of the many winter arts festivals or music walks through the Downtown Fort Myers River District.”
Big budget snowbirds or baby snowbirds leaving the nest for the first time, will all find a place in Fort Myers. “Come if you are seeking vibrant nightlife and people of all ages looking for a good time, especially in the trendy downtown area,” writes La Jolla. “The average condo will run you about $380,000, but you can recoup some of that expense with the huge variety of free things to do in the area. Not only are the beaches a cost-effective blast, but Fort Myers hosts an array of fantastic, free winter events like the Holiday Boats Parade, Edison Festival of Light, the Sunset Celebration at Time Square, and the Cape Coral Art & Music Festival.”
3. Las Vegas, NV
Forget about winter coats and mittens; as a snowbird, you’re strutting the streets in your breezy sundresses and flip-flops, even in December. Retire Better Now writes, “The weather in Las Vegas is hot (averaging 72.1 degrees) and dry, averaging just 4.49 inches of precipitation each year, the second-lowest of any city in the country. The sun is shining 85 percent of the time, and humidity is among the lowest of anywhere in the U.S.”
A reviewer from U.S. News & World Report shares, “There are many things to do in Las Vegas. With an overall winter high of 66, the weather rarely keeps Las Vegas’ lively citizens and tourists indoors. The Vegas strip transforms into a winter wonderland in December as casinos attempt to outdo one another with decorations. Trees and lights line the streets with unparalleled holiday spirit.”
Your time in Las Vegas doesn’t have to be temporary. “Housing choices are many and varied. If you’re looking into buying a second home, the market for high-end houses and condos is quickly rebounding. Would-be renters have plenty of options, as do RV owners: Along with a selection of RV parks (some located at large casinos), there are also more luxurious RV resorts,” writes The Hartford. “Basing yourself in Las Vegas puts you in convenient proximity to other Nevada communities, as well as spectacular natural settings and national parks. And, of course, if you love a good casino, you won’t be disappointed.”
4. McAllen, Texas
Dining at trendy bistros and rooftop restaurants becomes a regular affair in McAllen, Texas and you’ve mastered the art of savoring every delicious moment. “At the complete southern point of Texas, near Mexico, you can live in a lush subtropical climate only minutes away from beaches that will take your breath away,” writes So Nomad. “The wildlife and vegetation of the Rio Grande Valley are worth exploring. You’ll have plenty of mouth-watering Tex-Mex food options along the way, too!”
Embracing the snowbird lifestyle means you’re on a perpetual vacation in your favorite city, and every day is a postcard-worthy adventure. Unknown to the masses, McAllen, Texas is the self-declared “Square Dance Capital of the World,” according to Vacation Renter. “This southern Texas small town has palm trees, abundant tropical birds, and butterflies for a reason: temps stay around 80 degrees all winter long. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, about 70 miles from the Gulf Coast, McAllen opens its arms to its ‘Winter Texans.’ This welcoming, metropolitan homebase is also within easy striking distance of the beach for sea-breezy day trips. A mere seven miles from Mexico, there’s a hearty dose of south-of-the-border flavor here, especially when it comes to cuisine. City attractions, like shopping, nightlife, galleries, and entertainment, round out McAllen’s charms.”
Of all the recommended cities for snowbirds, McAllen, Texas is the most affordable. “McAllen, with a population of around 142,000 and a location next door to Mission, could be a great place to enjoy the region’s sunshine and Tex-Mex cuisine and also save some money,” writes Storage Cafe. “The house price figure for McAllen is $173,359 while the average rent is an even more reasonable $832…There are a couple of golf courses and a high number of health centers per 1,000 of the population, no less than 5.7.”
5. Charleston, South Carolina
Moving to a new city is like hitting the reset button on life. “Charleston, the state’s largest city with around 135,000 inhabitants, is famous for its historical architecture and seafood cuisine. There are also museums, art galleries, four golf courses and many parks to enjoy. Typically for the area, the average October-March temperature here is 58 °F. The median rent and house price figure are currently $1,673 and $420,769, the internet speed is a zoombird-friendly 476 MBps,” shares Storage Cafe.
Although Charleston does not experience four seasons of summer, it is still quite the treat during the winter. “Charleston in the winter is every bit as charming as Charleston the rest of the year, only with slightly less humidity, but more benne wafers and she-crab soup,” writes General IT. “There’s so much to do in Charleston in the winter that it’s really a matter of deciding what you like to do and then discovering how you can do it in Charleston. Art lovers can stroll through countless galleries and/or the Gibbes Museum of Art. History buffs can take walking tours of historic Charleston or explore the city’s African American heritage. Fitness freaks can bike through the city or explore its waterways and people who love good food just need to follow their noses.”
If you are a history buff, you will have a reason to snoop, learn and marvel while in Charleston. “The city, founded in 1670, features thousands of historical sites and constantly offers new places to explore and discover. The temperature rarely dips below 38, so plenty of winter days can be spent traveling the scenic city. Or, you can venture out to one of the many surrounding islands and beaches,” writes Retire Better Now. “Sea turtles nest on Isle of Palms to the east, and beloved eateries line the streets. A short trip south, and you’re nestled in the Charleston Harbor on James Island. There, you can explore marshy scenery or spend the day traversing shops and restaurants along the harbor. Folly Beach offers sand, sun, and some of the best surfing in the south with winter contests that bring the whole town together.”
So many choices to enjoy a winter paradise! Which city would be your favorite and why? Leave a comment to let us know!
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.