Retirees aren't the only snowbirds moving to where it’s warm this winter. Remote workers are also following suit. In fact, the Census Bureau reports that the percentage of home-based workers more than tripled between 2019 and 2021, from 5.7% (roughly 9 million workers) to 17.9% (about 28 million workers). So whether you’re a snowbird, or a “zoombird” on the hunt for warmer weather and plenty of sunshine, the destinations below could be a perfect fit for you.
A recent study from Storage Cafe identified the top 100 best destinations for snowbirds in the U.S. Not only did they take into account lifestyle options at each destination, they also factored in the affordability of each city. Here’s a full list of factors they compared to get their results.
- October to March average temperatures, rainfall and air quality
- Beaches within a 10-miles radius
- Park space per capita
- Golf courses per capita
- Availability of rentals and housing allocated for seasonal use
- Cost of renting an apartment and cost of buying a home
- Availability of RV parks
- Number of restaurants
- Self storage prices
- Local internet speed
- Healthcare-related factors (Medicare pricing for new patients, availability of hospitals, other medical organizations and medical professionals)
So which states came out on top? You can probably guess which state took first place. Florida was ranked as the best destination for snowbirds (and zoombirds) this winter, with 42 cities making the top 100 list. With its mild winters and lack of state income tax, it’s a popular destination for retirees and young professionals alike. In fact, Florida’s population increased 1.9% in 2022, making it the nation’s fastest growing state according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 population estimates. Interested in following the thousands of individuals moving to the sunshine state? Here’s how you can establish residency in Florida for tax purposes.
Here’s a closer look at those specific cities Storage Cafe ranked as the top 10 overall best destinations for snowbirds this winter. Not a surprise, 8 are located in Florida.
- Venice, FL
- Vero Beach, FL
- Fort Pierce, FL
- Naples, FL
- Lake Wales, FL
- Mission, TX
- Apache Junction, AZ
- Tarpon Springs, FL
- Fort Myers, FL
- Clermont, FL
If you're specifically looking for cities with the lowest home prices, Texas is your best bet. Nine out of 10 cities with the lowest home prices are located in Texas. On the other hand, the top 10 cities with the highest home prices are all located in California. However, each state has its pros and cons — check out our state-by-state guide to taxes on retirees to learn more.
"Snowbirding has been on a slow but steady recovery path following the pandemic-induced slump. It continues to generate substantial revenue in popular destinations," Doug Ressler, business intelligence manager at sister division Yardi Matrix, told Storage Cafe. "However, economic factors, including the rising cost of living and housing, are presenting growing challenges for both retirees and non-retirees looking to embrace this lifestyle. […] Florida, once a classic snowbird hotspot, now faces competition from more cost-effective southern states like Alabama and Louisiana. The Lone Star State is also emerging as a welcoming hub for "Winter Texans," with both traditional and newer destinations catering to a widening demographic of snowbirds."
Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.
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