5 Favorite Southern Destinations for Snowbirds
Winter’s treacherous precipitation and bitter cold is no match for a snowbird’s desire to get away from it. Especially when you have all the luxuries of a motorhome at your service – Sirius radio’s 70’s on 7, hot cocoa, naps anytime, no agenda – bliss. The only problem is, there are so many great places to consider. That’s why we asked those of you getting ready to hightail it south. Turns out, the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico are popular places for these birds to flock. Here are their top five favorite spots.
1. Orange Beach, Alabama
The University of Alabama football isn’t the only thing southerners have to brag about. Orange Beach, Alabama, has some of the most picturesque beaches in the United States. The white sand is cool and soft this time of year, primed for long walks at sunset. Golf in the mild temperatures is a true delight, and there are plenty of greenways to choose from.
Still craving a little bit of winter activity? You can ice skate until mid-January without a parka at The Wharf. Or make a day of it by sticking around to hit a few of the Wharf’s quaint shops or enjoy some fishing at the Marina on site. If you’re feeling lively, visit the infamous Flora-Bama Yacht Club for some live music and local seafood. And best of all, there are a plethora of RV resorts, lot rentals and marinas to choose from, some of which are specifically designed with snowbirds in mind.
The average high temperature in Orange Beach, Alabama, in January: 63℉
2. Fort Myers, Florida
Whether your ideal motorhome landing is a resort, state park or simply a slab with a palm tree, Fort Myers is a snowbird community that has it all. The town is considered to be a haven for the retired in the winter months, making it that much easier to find like-minded people and activities.
A favorite spot for entertainment in the area is The Edison and Ford Winter Estates. It’s a botanical paradise filled with historical artifacts, access to Henry Ford’s and Thomas Edison’s laboratories and historically preserved homes to tour. And as an added bonus, Fort Myers is only a short drive from Sanibel Island and Marco Island.
The average high temperature in Fort Myers, Florida, in January: 74℉
3. Hilton Head, South Carolina
Hilton Head is one of South Carolina’s most beautiful islands and is the active traveler’s ideal getaway. From playing golf and riding the 60 miles of bike trails to kayaking, swimming, sailing or paddleboarding, this little East Coast oasis has it all. And if you enjoy a nice meal at day’s end, the Lowcountry chefs know their way around a kitchen. Stay at the Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina or the Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort where you’ll be close to everything.
If you’re looking for a day trip, historic Savannah, Georgia, is just an hour’s drive, and the charming, pebbled streets of Charleston, South Carolina, are only two hours away.
The average high temperature in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in January: 59℉
4. The Florida Keys
In the Florida Keys, you’ll find something that less than 0.1 percent of the world’s oceans have – a coral reef. While it’s becoming more protected, if you stay at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you’ll have access to the reef via the swimming-permitted areas of the beach or a variety of boat tours (including a glass-bottom boat) that allow you to snorkel on this rare piece of living nautical nature. Should John Pennekamp fill up before you call, the Bahia Honda State Park is another gem that comes equipped with direct access to incredible beaches. If you’re going to visit the Keys, we highly recommend booking far in advance since spots fill up quickly. We also suggest towing a car so that it’s easy to get to surrounding Keys or other beaches.
The average high temperature in the Florida Keys in January: 70℉
5. Galveston, Texas
In Galveston, they do the holiday season BIG, Texas big. It’s known as The Winter Wonderland of Texas for good reason. At the Moody Gardens alone, you can explore an ice-sculpture wonderland, a light festival, 3D holiday films, ice skating and more. You’ll be so enamored by how much holiday spirit is emanating across the city that you may forget that you’re walking around outside with no coat on in 62-degree weather. Oh, and did we forget to mention the 32 miles of beautiful beaches? Each has its own unique style, and there’s one specifically for RVers.
The average high temperature in Galveston, Texas, in January: 62℉