There’s a chill in the air, and the first signs of winter are starting to appear. It’s also the season when many residents in the northern states look to escape the colder months by traveling south to a warmer state for the winter.
We wanted to see which cities checked out as the best places for snowbirds this winter. We looked at thirteen different factors when assessing these locations and ranked each based on how well it scored for factors like average fall and winter temperatures, crime rates, cost of living, and more. We’ve also looked at the number of nearby beaches, golf courses, parks, and lakes.
We’ve found some sparkling gems that are certain to capture your interest. Read on for the complete rankings and see which cities stack up as some of the best wintertime destinations.
If you’re looking for an escape from the chilly weather, then you’ll want to take a look at these hot destinations. Not surprisingly, most of the top-ten best cities for snowbirds are in Florida. The sunshine state’s been welcoming snowbirds for decades, and is a popular designation for winter getaways, thanks to their beautiful beaches, world-famous theme parks, professionally-designed golf courses, and world-class amenities.
The best city overall for snowbirds who are looking to escape the dread of winter is Fort Myers, Florida (72.7). Featuring golf courses, stunning beaches, and parkland to explore –this city is an ideal destination for those who are looking for a place to spend the winter months.
Right behind Fort Myers is Orlando, Florida (71.8). Home to theme parks and a favorite vacation destination for many, this city checks out as a great place for snowbirds to winter. In third place is Naples, Florida (71.5), a resort town that’s brimming with stunning beaches, world-class shopping, and high-end dining. In fourth place is Sarasota, Florida (68.8) –another slice of paradise where you can enjoy boating, beaching, or touring art museums, followed by Melbourne, Florida (67.6), which offers beaches, fishing, golf, and snorkeling.
Moving out of Florida now, and jetting over to Hawaii, Honolulu (67.1) made it to sixth place on our list. With the iconic dormant volcano, Diamond Head looming in the distance, Honolulu features world-class dining, surfing, and nature that’s truly unique.
Rounding out the top-ten, is Florida with Pensacola (66.4) –home to white sugar sand beaches, at number seven. McAllen, Texas (65.8) – a border town featuring museums, parks, and a vibrant, urban vibe –made it to eighth place. Finally, Lakeland, Florida (65.7) and Daytona Beach, Florida (65.7) tied for the final spot, rounding out this list.
Want to see more cities that are perfect for snowbirds? Take a look at our top one-hundred destinations. At the top of the list, there are Florida-based cities along with some destinations in Texas: both popular states for snowbirds. Other ideal destinations along the eastern seaboard include North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, along with a scattering of locations in other states as well.
To find the best cities for snowbirds, we looked at data for the largest MSAs in the United States. We ranked these cities using three categories:
- Health and Safety
In total, there were 13 factors across those three larger categories that are listed below. Each city looked at was graded on a 100-point scale with 100 being the best and 0 being the worst.
- Average fall and winter temperature
- Snowfall levels
- Number of nearby beaches and lakes
- Number of nearby golf-courses
- Number of nearby parks and trails
- Percent of population over age 60
- Cost of living
- Cost of a home
- Average cost of professional movers in the area (3-bedroom home)
Health & Safety
- COVID-19 community vulnerability index
- Number of healthcare centers per 10,000 residents over age 60
- Quality of healthcare centers
- Crime rate
- US Census Bureau
Have a question or comment regarding this article? Email Kara Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org