The Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers [2021]

 The Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers [2021]

Want to thaw out in your RV? Here's our list of the Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers during winter.

Are you looking for a great location to park your RV for the winter months? We've put together a list for you that will help with your planning.

What is a Snowbird?

photo illustrating someone enjoying one of the best snowbird destinations
A snowbird at rest!

You’ve heard the term Snowbird, but what exactly does that mean?

A snowbird refers to a person or group of people. Usually, they are retirees that travel seasonally to places that offer warmer climates during the winter months.

Usually, snowbirds travel from northern locations, such as the Northeastern United States, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The highest number of international snowbirds to the southern states come from Canada in a normal year, though now, in early 2021, most are still in Canada because the US/Canadian border is still closed to nonessential travel because of the COVID pandemic.

When is Snowbird Season?

The typical snowbirding season is from October to April. When deciding where to land, you want to consider accommodations (both cost and amenities), scenic preferences, hobbies, travel interests, and family or friends' locations.

While “snowbird” is a common reference, the politically correct term is “winter visitor.”

The term “snowbird” can sometimes have a negative connotation, so you might find places that refer to you as a “winter visitor” instead. 

Finding the Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers

My wife Jennifer and I have had the pleasure of traveling in our beautiful country for many years. We have embraced cold winter camping as well as snowbirding to thaw out.

If you are more interested in the sunshine and warm temperatires, here are some of the most popular RV Snowbird locations in America:

Florida is perhaps #1 on the list of Best Snowbird Destinations

photo of one of the best snowbird destinations in Florida

Known for its warm summer weather and beautiful beaches, it's no wonder Florida is the most popular destination for Snowbirds. Florida provides an affordable lifestyle, drawing over 810,000 RV winter visitors most years.

Many cities also boast great golf courses and other recreational activities.

Florida is usually mid-range for its cost but has a wide range of affordability depending on which locale you choose to stay. 

Check out our Florida Gulf Coast Travel Guide

We also have a guide on the Atlantic side

And we have a guide on the keys

Southern California makes one of the best snowbird destinations 

 

The Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers [2021] 3
Southern California is one of the Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers anywhere

 

Southern California offers mild winters and a beautiful coastline.

Snowbirds often flock to this area to be near large family attractions, such as Disneyland and Universal Studios. Or, for the exciting urban lifestyle in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Palm Springs.

Southern California can be quite costly, so be sure to factor this into your budget.

Texas is a very popular snowbird destination

photo of texas and one of the best snowbird destinations for rvers

Once again, warm winter weather is the major draw for snowbirds coming to Texas.

Most snowbirds head toward the beach towns in the Gulf of Mexico.

While sandy beaches are a major draw, many people like the variety of activities, including local festivals, birdwatching, flea markets, golfing, and water sports.

You can also usually expect a nice, warm welcome from the locals.

Texas is one of the most cost-effective snowbird locations.

Nevada is very attractive to snowbirds

With minimal rainfall and a desirable arid, desert climate, Nevada attracts many people during the winter months.

There are lots of outdoor, recreational activities to participate in. Plus, larger cities like Laughlin and Las Vegas offer gambling, shows, and other entertainment, unlike any other location.

Nevada is also a budget-friendly state for winter visitors.

Arizona and the desert make for one of the best snowbird destinations for RVers

photo of desert campers near quartzsite, az
The desert around the tiny town of Quartzsite AZ is one of the best snowbird destinations for tens of thousands of RVers

 

Arizona is one of the most popular snowbird destinations because of its year-round sun and affordable prices.

Larger cities offer top golf courses, spas, botanical gardens, and other popular recreational activities. Baseball fans can even catch spring training if they so choose! It's the perfect place for those seeking an active lifestyle on a budget.

Arizona is mid-range when it comes to the cost of living. It offers a wide variety of prices depending on which location you choose.

CLICK HERE to see why Jennifer and I so enjoyed our snowbird time in Quartzsite

Less-Known RV Snowbird Destinations for RVers

While the locations I’ve already mentioned are the most popular destinations, there are also some noteworthy and unexpected locations to check out.

They offer sights you might not see elsewhere and some overseas spots you may have never considered visiting.

Unexpected RV Snowbird locations include:

  • George, Utah
  • Jekyll Island, Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • New Mexico
  • Louisiana
  • New Zealand
  • Panama
  • Costa Rica

Cost is a factor in choosing the best snowbird destination for you

While some people seek locations that have the most to offer, others are more concerned about the price of their destination.  But snowbirding does not have to cost an arm and leg.  The key is to find budget-friendly places to stay and carefully manage your spending.

Some of the most budget-friendly locations are:

  • Clearwater, FL
  • Haines City, FL
  • Pahoa, HI
  • Charleston, SC
  • Bella Vista, AR
  • Sedona, AZ
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Anaheim, CA (at least compared to other Southern California locations)

Your RV space will likely be your largest expense, so shop around for the best place for your budget. 

While each city and state can offer a range of affordability,

Texas is relatively cheap and usually the most budget-friendly for snowbirds. Both Arizona and Florida offer a wide range of prices depending on their location. While California is generally the most expensive.

The next significant expense for snowbirds is activity or recreational costs.

To keep costs down, you might consider taking up inexpensive hobbies, like hiking or paddleboarding. Or, if golf is the only activity that you want to partake in, you will want to include its associate costs in your budget.

Sense of Community for RV Snowbirds

Once you find a great place to return to year after year, you can start to build a sense of community. If you stay at the same campground, you can reunite with friends from across the country you met the previous year.

Many times these “seasonal friends” are like-minded and have similar interests to your own.

Even if you decide to travel to different locales every year, there are often snowbird clubs for winter visitors from different states. There, you can meet others that enjoy the same activities you do and perhaps make a lifelong, long-distance friend.

Adventure is Out There

I hope, like Jennifer and me, you find enjoyment and adventure in traveling. There are many beautiful places to see, stories to hear, and people to meet out there. I hope you found this guide for the best RV snowbird destinations helpful!

Please comment below to share your favorite RV snowbird destinations.

CLICK HERE to dig deeper with 11 of the Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers

Looking for Expert RV Trip ideas and RV Travel suggestions?

The Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers [2021] 4

We've written a library of RV Travel books that lay out seven-day guided explorations of scenic areas of the US that we've explored and think would make an excellent RV trip for you.

The Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers [2021] 5

In each location, we provide a suggested route and itinerary (7 stops in each guide, one for each day of a week trip!) as well as links to multiple campgrounds and boondocking spots, local tips, and interesting things to do at each location.

You can hit everything in seven days, do a whirlwind weekend tour, or you can take your time and explore the area over a 2+ week period.

Planning an RV trip can be very time-consuming so that’s why we’ve done the research for you! Just take our guides and use them, we’re sure you’ll have an RV trip for the ages! Instant download. CLICK HERE for information on our RV Travel Guides

The Best Snowbird Destinations for RVers [2021]

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

3 Comments

  • You mention “George”, Utah. That is not the name of this southern Utah city. It is “St. George”

  • Mike and Jennifer, you were the first people I “met” on Youtube and I have so appreciated all the great info you share. I hope our paths will cross when we finally get on the road ourselves. We are newbies as you refer to us 😍 Thanks so much! Stay safe out there!

  • I am so surprised that New Mexico is not on the list!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.