Category Archives: Destinations

Top 5 Snowbird Destinations

Snowbirds are people from the Northeast, Midwest, Northwest or Canada who spend a large portion of winter in the southern United States. Snowbirds can be retirees, business owners, or others fortunate enough to take the winter off. Some snowbirds are RVers who take their homes with them.

Interstate 10 has the distinction of traversing most of the states in the Sun Belt, and includes most snowbird destinations. Here are our top five…

1. Florida

Florida is on the top of the list because there are so many things to see and do there. The Panhandle has great beaches, fishing, golf and delicious seafood in the panhandle. RVers love the Space Coast because of affordable campgrounds and RV Parks. Golfing, fishing, and cruise ships are in abundance here. Atlantic South Florida is a little more expensive and fast paced, but for those who want to bask in the sun and spend time on the beach, this is a must. Gulf South Florida is a little more leisurely with prices lower than on the Atlantic-side. This side is also the golf-lovers paradise. If you’re looking for theme parks, golfing and a never-ending list of thing to do, Central Florida is the place to be. The Keys are simply white sand beaches, turquoise waters, fishing, sailing, and consistently warm temperatures.

2. California

Most of Snowbirds who make Southern California their winter home, head for the Coachella Valley and its desert resort cities. The weather is beautiful in Southern California and any day is a great day for golf or tennis. Fashionable Palm Springs is synonymous with the good life, the ultimate in resort living. People who can afford to winter anywhere in the U.S. often do it here where the winter weather is close to perfect. Palm Desert is home to the “Living Desert” with hundreds of fascinating desert animals on display, in eight different deserts. The city of Indian Wells, a desert oasis of lush, well maintained landscaping and towering date palm groves, is home to wealthy retirees craving world-class golf courses. Indian Wells resorts are some of the world’s finest desert getaways.

3. Texas

Texas has something for everyone and Snowbirds flock to Texas for consistently warm weather and endless miles of beaches lined with palm trees.  The warm South Texas climate has a tropical feel that’s irresistible to snowbirds. Corpus Christi is a popular beachfront city often referred to as the Texas Riviera, It is a city with small-town feel. Galveston is a small romantic island tucked deep within the heart of south Texas with all the charm of a small southern town and just 40 minutes south of Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. Port Aransas, a semi-tropical seaside village located in the Texas Coastal Bend, is the perfect snowbird destination. It’s often referred to as the “Best Kept Secret on the Gulf Coast”. Rockport is great destination for Snowbirds, especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas when you’ll discover perfect weather, excellent birding, and small crowds. Snowbirds and winter visitors love South Padre Island! It’s got beautiful beaches, warm Gulf waters, fishing, boating, bird watching, shopping, and a tons of activities.


If golfing and fishing isn’t your idea of a vacation, then Arizona might just be the place to spend your winters. Quartzsite, near the California border is probably the most affordable place to establish a winter home. Each year Quartzite’s population swells from a few hundred full-time residents to several hundred thousand Snowbirds. Mesa has mile after mile of RV parks that cater to Snowbirds, with a full schedule of organized activities. Winters are typically mild with an occasional short-lived cold snap. Yuma is a popular destination as long as you don’t mind the sound of aircraft from the nearby air base. If you’re an RVer make tracks for Oatman, in the northwestern part of the state. It’s a trip back in time when gold mining was a booming industry. Drop anchor here and discover the area. By the way, don’t forget the biggest attraction in Arizona…the Grand Canyon!

5. New Mexico

If you’re the type of person who enjoys the warmer weather but still wants to experience what winter has to offer (skiing, snowshoeing, etc.) Alamogordo might be just for you. Spend days in the lowlands, with an average 70 degree temperature, and then head to the mountains in the afternoon. There are also many attractions, including the White Sands National Monument.  Be sure to check out Albuquerque.  Albuquerque enjoys 300 plus days of sunshine,  with humidity averaging approximately 40% even when the temperatures do rise it still feels quite comfortable. Albuquerque is one of the most popular Snowbird destinations in the entire Southwest.

Biloxi, Mississippi

Biloxi is a delightful resort city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Casinos and resorts offer golf, charter fishing, spas, 24-hour gaming, dining and live entertainment. Frequent festivals in Biloxi and Gulfport celebrate everything from seafood to sand castles.

From 26 miles of white sand beaches to non-stop casino action, sophisticated shopping, culture, history, arts, delectable cuisine and championship golf courses, the Playground of the South has it all.

Outdoor fun continues year round in Biloxi’s mild climate. Get a bird’s-eye view of the entire shoreline with a parasail ride over the Gulf or hop on a jet ski, try your hand at windsurfing, sailing, skiing or motor boating. Water parks with everything from a wave pool, slides, bumper boats, and amusements such as miniature golf, rides and arcades are also among the list of favorite places on the Coast. The ferry will transport visitors to a nearby barrier island for the ultimate beach experience.

Much of Biloxi’s entertainment scene is swept up in the high-spirited fun of casino gaming. Twelve casinos have brought the excitement and glamour of Las Vegas to the beach, with table games, slot machines, and nightclub venues. All casinos are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many of the casinos offer supervised activities for children; many are complete resort complexes with golf courses and luxury hotels.

Biloxi is a haven for fishing and water sports. Sports fishermen can plan a day-long or overnight trip into Gulf waters, or they can fish the area’s many lakes and rivers. A seafood industry museum commemorates the significant role the seafood industry has played in shaping the region, and a marine education center teaches visitors about the Coast’s environment and displays aquatic life native to the Gulf of Mexico in a 42,000-gallon aquarium. At another marine attraction, Marine Life, visitors can see daily shows of trained dolphins and can view other inhabitants of the sea.

Over 20 golf courses offer challenges for every skill level with greens fees are surprisingly lower than those of comparable golf resort areas. With several courses recently refurbished and new courses open, the Gulf Coast is a choice destination for golf lovers.

Biloxi is a place of unparalleled beauty, with graceful live oaks, unique landmarks and antebellum homes. Historic neighborhoods provide examples of the notable architecture of the past, and annual tours offer an inside glimpse of the area’s gracious homes, some of which have stood for more than a century.

Art and history play an important role in the character of the Gulf Coast. Two museums are dedicated to the works of two of the area’s most famous artists, potter George E. Ohr and painter/sculptor Walter Inglis Anderson.

Locals sometimes say that the Gulf Coast has a celebration for every crustacean. The abundance of fresh seafood: crabs, shrimp, oysters, fish, crawfish results in festivals of all kinds. Everyone celebrates with cultural activities, music, and an overall spirit of fun, almost every weekend of the year.

Combine all there is to see and do with the hospitality of the Gulf Coast, and the result is a winning combination in Biloxi, The Playground of the South.

San Diego, California

From its world-famous zoo and aquarium to its bountiful beaches, San Diego’s vibrant and exciting lifestyle has plenty to offer visitors and their whole families. It’s the kind of city where every day is a beach day, and where everyone is busy having as much fun as possible. A relaxed atmosphere pervades the city, probably one of the reasons that draw more than 30 million visitors a year to San Diego. Given the beautiful weather and outdoor activities abound, San Diego is probably one of the most pedestrian friendly cities in America. Families walk, skate, and bike their way to over 70 miles of beaches or any one of San Diego’s numerous attractions.
San Diego’s natural beauty is one of the city’s greatest attractions. An officially designated 52-mile long Scenic Drive brings visitors through the city and its many neighborhoods. From the Harbor Islands through Old Town and Balboa Park all the way to La Jolla, the Scenic Drive is a great way to see all of the city’s beautiful districts and neighborhoods.

Balboa Park itself is the 1,200 acre home to the world-famous Zoo and museums. This park is the cultural center of the city. The Rose Garden has more than 2,000 rosebushes, and the entire park is really one giant botanical garden full of beautiful flowers and trees. The Zoo, one of the best in the world, holds nearly 4,000 animals representing more than 800 species. The animal habitats are designed to replicate each animal’s original ecosystem as closely as possible, down to the type of grass used. Birds, gorillas, tigers, bears, hippos and other animals have helped make this one of the most admired zoos in the world. In addition to the zoo, Balboa Park is home to over a dozen museums dedicated to history, science, art, cars, railroads, mankind, and of course, San Diego itself.

Visitors who want to spend as much time as possible near the glittering Pacific Ocean will love the Mission Bay area and its greatest attraction: Sea World. The Mission Bay aquatic park covers 4,600 acres, and includes 27 miles of bay shore beaches and 17 miles of ocean front beaches. Admission to the beaches is free, and swimming, sunning, and windsurfing are the preferred activities. Playgrounds and picnic spots are found throughout the park, but the best place for kids has to be Sea World. Covering over 100 bay-front acres, this park features the world famous killer whale Shamu, as well as hundreds of other water animals, like penguins, fish, and sharks. Sea World is one of the most famous aquatic parks in the world, and kids and adults alike will love it.

San Diego has it all: sunny weather, great beaches, wonderful museums, zoos, and aquariums, and history too. Old Town is the historical heart of San Diego, and a great place to finish up a visit to the city. The Spanish and Mexican heritage of the city is celebrated here, amidst the famous Presidio fortress, the historical park, and the adobe houses with Spanish tile roofs. San Diego has evolved immeasurably since those early days as a Spanish settlement on the Pacific, and that evolution has produced one of the most beautiful and happy cities in the world. Visitors to San Diego are always sorry to leave behind what residents know is heaven on earth.

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach is a city of 12,000 located in the heart of Florida’s Space Coast. The city has played an important role in the history of the country’s space program. Cocoa Beach also has a diversity of activities for the visitor including fishing, surfing, dining and exploring.

Places to Stay

Most of the areas lodging is located along Atlantic Avenue (US Route A1A). You’ll find dozens of hotels from major chains to locally owned. Just about every type of accommodation is available too! From full-service resorts and suite hotels to Bed & Breakfasts.

Places to Eat

Along Atlantic Avenue (US Route A1A) you’ll find dozens of restaurants, both fast food and elegant. Just off Route A1A on Tom Warriner Boulevard is “The 19th Hole”, an excellent steakhouse located in Cocoa Beach Country Club with a great view of the Banana River. The Pier Restaurant (located on the Cocoa Beach Pier) has great steaks and seafood in a casual, nautical atmosphere.

Places to Go

Cocoa Beach is emersed in the history of the country’s space program. The Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory (I-95 exit 75) is one of the largest public access observatories in Florida. It has two theatres and an exhibition hall.

The Cocoa Beach Pier is another local attraction with a 850 ft. promenade that leads to the beach and an observation deck.

Getting Around

Cocoa Beach is accessible from I-95 exit 75 and then east on FL 520 about 10 miles. US Route A1A runs north-south along the Atlantic coast and through the Cocoa Beach area.

Celebration, Florida

Founded in 1994, Celebration is a planned community created by a real estate division of The Walt Disney Company. Disney commissioned famous architects to create the master plan and to design the buildings.

Celebration has the flavor of a southern American village from the 1930s. Residential neighborhoods are clustered around a small, pedestrian-friendly downtown area. Market Street has a storybook atmosphere with a Caribbean flavor. Sided in brightly-colored stucco, the downtown buildings have wide overhangs, shutters, verandas, and arcades.

Places to Stay

Nestled lakeside in downtown Celebration is the “Bohemian Hotel Celebration” offering a charming blend of Old Florida elegance and contemporary luxury. The “Mona Lisa” is a an all suite hotel is located near the entrance to Celebration and easily accessible from I-4 and US 192. Just outside of the “bubble” is US Route 192, a 10 mile strip of commercial development that has just about every chain hotel you can think of.

Places to Eat

There are variety of dining options in Downtown Celebration with world-class restaurants and specialty food stores offering a variety of international cuisines perfect for any occasion. Cafe D’Antonio features items representative of many of Italy’s varied regions. The Celebration Tavern is a New England style restaurant and tavern that has become the town’s social hub and place to be seen since opening. The Columbia Restaurant overlooks Celebration’s picturesque lake and offers classic elegance in a Mediterranean style setting where diners can enjoy fine Spanish/Cuban cuisine in our old-world-style dining rooms, an outdoor cafe, or courtyard. Imperium Wine Room is a 100 seat, class-service, food and wine bar offering the highest quality food and wines with a 50 seat patio. Enjoy the delights of the Confectionery Chocolates and Ice Cream from Kilwin’s. The Market Street Cafe makes over 60 items from scratch every day. Savor quality authentic Japanese food and sushi at Seito Sushi. Shannon’s of Celebration is an authentic Irish restaurant in a perfect lakeside setting. Discover the authentic taste of Thai food at Thai Thani. Upper Crust Pizza and Starbucks round out the downtown Celebration food choices.

This is, of course the heart of tourist country, so venturing out of the confines of Celebration will prove to be a restaurant and fast food wonderland.

Places to Go

Downtown Celebration has the finest selection of shops and boutiques with something for everyone in the family. Enjoy walking the brick-lined streets of Celebration Town Center and spend time with family and friends.

The town of Celebration also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. Whether you prefer to stroll down Market Street perusing fine art, dance to family friendly music in front of the lake, or watch snow falling during the holiday months, there’s always something to do in Celebration!

Just two blocks from Market Street is the Celebration Golf Club, a daily fee golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Getting Around

Celebration is located approximately 20 miles southwest of Orlando just off Interstate 4, exits 65, 64 or 62. US Route 192 runs east-west. Once in the Celebration “bubble” it’s not unusual to see electric vehicles, Segway human transporters and bicycles in your travels. Celebration has miles of wide, paved and wooden trails and paths. It is a very walkable community so park your car and explore!