Top Ten Snowbird Destinations

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What are the top ten snowbird destinations in the United States? Well, first of all, you need to know what a "snowbird" is. They are those folks who at the first hint of snow up north, pile into their motor home, fifth-wheel or travel trailer and head for the sunny south: "snowbirds". Of course, if they are in south Texas, they are known as "winter Texans". Elsewhere in the US they are called snowbirds and their arrival can raise the population of an area by the tens of thousands...if not more!

What do snowbirds look for in deciding on a winter destination? Well, since they are fleeing the snow and cold up north, the first thing they are looking for is sun and warm temperatures. Then there are other things that snowbirds take into consideration when seeking a winter roost, mainly: parking and activities. So the top ten snowbird destinations offer some variety of those two criteria.

Each destination offers a wide variety of parking locations, activities and prices. If you are just setting out, you will probably want to stay the first winter in the same area or location where friends spend the winter. Even if you head off on your own, you will find that RVers are generous with information and advice.

Below is our list of the top five snowbird destination states, with each state offering a number of popular area where snowbird like to congregate.

Florida - For years the primary destination of snowbirds. Most snowbirds are from the East Coast and the eastern Midwest.

1. The Florida Panhandle provides great beaches, fishing, golf and delicious seafood; however it can get quite cold.

2. Space Coast - The most affordable RV parking, although not usually "on the beach", with many activities: golf, fishing, nature, NASA, casino ships

3. South Florida, Atlantic side - More expensive and fast paced, but the destination for those who want to bask in the sun and spend time on the beach.

4. West side of Florida - Moves at a more leisurely pace with prices lower than on the Miami-side. This side is also the golf-lovers paradise, the only problem being deciding where to play.

Arizona - This is the destination for those who thrill to rocks, dry heat and the independent Old West mentality. Many snowbirds are from Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

5. Mesa - In the Phoenix area, has mile after mile of RV parks that cater to their winter visitors, providing a wealth of organized activities. The winters are usually mild with the occasional short-lived cold snap.

6. Western border along the Colorado River: Yuma to Quartzsite - Yuma is a popular location for those that don't mind the sound of aircraft from the nearby air base. It offers snowbird RVers the option of staying in nice modern parks or boondocking or dry camping for almost free on BLM land. Quartzsite - The rock and flea market lovers go to this little truck-stop town on Hwy 10 just a few miles east of the California border. Between October and the end of March the population of this town of 5,000 swells to almost a 250,000, most staying on BLM land. Quartzsite is something that every RVer should experience at least once.

California - The perfect weather and the option of luxurious amenities or bare-bones parking make Southeastern California one of the top five snowbird destinations.

7. Coachella Valley is a golfer's paradise, offering beautifully maintained greens and world-class courses. Whether you stay in Palm Springs or any of the other 10 desert resort cities the snowbird will enjoy majestic landscapes, graceful palms and clear blue skies while surrounded by luxury and all the modern conveniences.

8. The Slabs - Located near Niland, this abandoned World War II military base offers totally free, no-service dry camping to thousands of snowbirds every winter. For a small fee water and dumping facilities are located in nearby Niland. For those on a budget, this is one way to escape the blizzards of the North without spending a whole lot of money.

Texas - This is where snowbirds are called "Winter Texans" and welcomed with open arms

9. Rio Grand Valley - From Brownsville to Mission along the southern border of Texas, thousands of Midwesterners and Canadians come to escape the frozen North. Although the Valley is at the same latitude as Key West, Florida, it's definitely cooler and more wet. There are a great number of RV parks, with the largest parks offering a variety of activities. Dancing of all kinds (ballroom, round, western, square and line dancing) is the most popular activity in the Valley among winter Texans.

Gulf Coast - Ranging from the western edge of the Florida Panhandle to the eastern edge of Texas

10. Along the Gulf Coast from Alabama to Louisiana the snowbird will enjoy southern hospitality along with boating, beaches, golf and gambling. The weather is fairly mild, but can sink down to freezing with even occasional snowflakes being seen, before warming up enough for an excursion to a restored antebellum plantation house.

Each of the top ten snowbird destinations offers something for every RVer. Having spent time in many of these locations I can tell you that each one has something to recommend it. Before you set off into the unknown you might want to check with your snowbird friends and acquaintances to tell you about their favorite winter destination.
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