Snowbirding is a beloved American tradition that transcends the generations. Nowadays, with working from home becoming mainstream, it’s not only retirees that can choose to relocate for the winter.
Younger people still in the workforce can combine business with a bit of fun, turning into “snowmads” or “zoombirds.” A sunny location with a good internet connection is the ideal place to relocate to during the cold season, allowing people to enjoy outdoor activities before and after office hours. In other words, relocating to sunnier shores for the winter is becoming popular for more categories of Americans than before.
But what places guarantee the best conditions including good weather, housing availability, access to outdoor attractions and reliable internet connections?
A new research study from StorageCafe, a nationwide self-storage marketplace, looked into all these metrics to determine the best 100 cities for snowbirds. Florida comes out on top – the Sunshine State has been a traditional snowbird destination for decades, and it still maintains its position, so not much of a surprise there. But does Florida have competition when it comes to attracting snowbirds?
The top 3 best US snowbird destinations are in Florida
Florida holds 43 positions in the top 100 of the best cities for snowbirds and zoombirds alike, including the top three. Venice, Naples and Dunedin are the best destinations across the nation for people looking to temporarily relocate during the cold season.
- Venice, the number one snowbird destination nationally for the 2021-2022 season, scores serious points with its balmy weather, miles of beaches, plenty of golf courses and fast internet connections. A good portion of the housing stock (28%) is comprised of seasonal housing, making it easier for snowbirds to find a place to stay. Self-storage, a service used by many snowbirds that are returning to the same location year after year, is also quite affordable in the area: A 10×10 storage unit in Venice rents for $122 per month on average.
- Naples is a bit warmer than Venice, and it also has over 40 miles of beaches and an impressive 70 golf courses in and around the city. However, housing costs are somewhat higher when compared to Venice.
- Dunedin takes the bronze as the third-best snowbird city in the country, and its proximity to the city of Tampa and the romantic Honeymoon Island may qualify it as the perfect spot for the younger cohort of people looking to combine remote working with agreeable winter-time destinations.
Other Floridian locations that make it into the top 10 of snowbird destinations are the cities of Jupiter, Oviedo and Lynn Haven. However, other states, such as Texas, Arizona and South Carolina, emerge as hot snowbird destinations, even if they don’t have quite the same array of natural advantages as Florida does.
Texas, Arizona and South Carolina also offer snowbird hotspots
Affordable housing and impressive internet speeds are the strongest points of Texas as a snowbird/zoombird destination. Mission, Texas, ranks fourth among the top 100 destinations. Balmy weather, with an average October to March average temperature of around 67 degrees, affordable housing, and an impressive average internet speed of almost 540 MBps are just some of the reasons why Mission ranks fourth in the list. With a house price figure at around $165K and a monthly average rent of a little over $950, Mission compensates in affordability for what it lacks in beaches.
The second Texan city that makes it into the top 10 of best snowbird destinations, ranking 9th, is Friendswood, a city with 40K residents that is part of the Houston metro area. Housing costs are higher compared to Mission, but there are other perks – easy access to big urban hotspots for those interested in shopping and entertainment options, as well as its relative closeness to the coast.
Apache Junction, Arizona, is the #5 snowbird destination in the list, and there are many things recommending it for a winter-time relocation. The dry air of the desert might be more comfortable for a lot of people, and the average October to March temperatures are a pleasant 62 degrees F.
In addition, this city — which also has a population of around 40K — is reckoned to be the safest among all the top 100 snowbird destinations. There aren’t any beaches, but the spectacular Superstition Mountains nearby provide plenty of hiking opportunities.
Mount Pleasant, in South Carolina, ranks 7th among the best snowbird destinations, the only city in the state to make it into the top 10. The average wintertime temperature is lower compared to the other cities in the top 10, at around 58 degrees Fahrenheit. But what Mount Pleasant offers, on the other hand, is the historic charm, culture, great food and fishing and boating opportunities located close by. In addition to its proximity to Charleston and the numerous entertainment options there, the availability of high-speed internet makes it a good destination for young snowbirds.
Winter-time relocation, a phenomenon Florida is well-used to experiencing year after year, is mutually advantageous for people choosing to become snowbirds and for the cities where they end up spending a few months.
The snowbirds get to enjoy better weather and outdoor attractions, while the destination cities benefit from a boost to their economies. In the future, we might be seeing even more of this temporary migration, due to the WFH policies that now allow millions of Americans to be more mobile.
[…] With its Italian architecture dating back to 1925, the historic downtown has a lot of character. Venice has many recreational options for visitors, including fishing, swimming, and shark tooth […]