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Unexpected Snowbird Places

15 Best Unexpected Snowbird Destinations

Johnna Kaplan

When most people think of the typical snowbird destination, they think Florida, or maybe Phoenix or San Diego. But, increasingly, more and more travelers are seeking alternative snowbird destinations in their quest to escape the winter cold.

If you’d love to spend some time in a milder climate, or are just dreaming of traveling again, and the usual hot spots don’t entice you, you might be intrigued by one of these 15 unexpected snowbird destinations.

Desert Cities

Do your daydreams about getting far away from the snowy weather include sand, sun and palm trees? These desert cities have all of that and more.

Las Vegas, NV

This desert city is not exactly a new snowbird destination for winter visitors, but it’s becoming increasingly popular as Boomers reach retirement age. Along with moderate winter temperatures and low humidity (its climate is among the driest in the United States), Las Vegas offers world-class entertainment and dining options.

las vegas nevada snowbird destination

Housing choices are many and varied. If you’re looking into buying a second home, the market for high-end houses and condos is quickly rebounding. Would-be renters have plenty of options, as do RV owners: Along with a selection of RV parks (some located at large casinos), there are also more luxurious RV resorts.

Basing yourself in Las Vegas puts you in convenient proximity to other Nevada communities, as well as spectacular natural settings and national parks. And, of course, if you love a good casino, you won’t be disappointed.

Tucson, AZ

While the Phoenix area attracts more snowbirds, Tucson, 118 miles to the south, is not without its winter devotees. And there’s plenty to see and do for seasonal residents in this city of 520,000 people, spread out across the Sonoran Desert.

Tuscon, Arizona

Tucson’s winters are mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid 60s to mid 70s. The city offers a wide variety of neighborhoods to live in or visit, many of which showcase the area’s long history and blend of cultures.

Art lovers will find a range of museums here, and foodies will have their pick of restaurants. Outdoorsy types can explore city, state and national parks that celebrate the desert environment. In the winter and spring, Tucson hosts a variety of festivals and events, like the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. These draw tourists from near and far.

And travel-loving snowbirds will appreciate how close Tucson is to the smaller towns of southern Arizona.

St. George, UT

Think Utah winters are all about cold weather and snow-capped mountain peaks? Think again. The Mojave Desert city of St. George, in the southwestern corner of the state, is actually closer in climate (and distance) to Las Vegas than to the ski resorts in northern Utah.

St. George has been a snowbird destination for decades, but it’s becoming more popular as the city grows. And it’s not hard to see why: Sunny over 300 days a year on average, with winter temperatures in the 50s and 60s and relatively little precipitation. St. George is an ideal place to enjoy outdoor activities like:

  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Golfing
  • Rock climbing
St George Utah

Known as a gateway to Utah’s world-famous wilderness areas, the city doesn’t feel like a dense urban environment. Its valley location and sprawling layout give parts of St. George a small-town or rural atmosphere. Still, with a year-round population of about 165,000 in the metro area, St. George is large enough to boast numerous cultural institutions and shopping opportunities.

Island Getaways

Leaving the mainland always feels a bit like an escape from the everyday. These island destinations are perfect for those seeking a snowbird destination with that faraway vibe.

Jekyll Island, GA

Snowbirds love this barrier island off the coast of Georgia for two main reasons. For one, there’s a lot to do. For another, this former private retreat for the elite families of the Gilded Age is a nice place to do nothing.

Jeykll Island Georgia

Jekyll Island, roughly an hour and a half from Savannah and even closer to Jacksonville, Florida, is a paradise for cyclists, golfers and horseback riders. Its classic coastal Southern scenery—featuring miles of beaches and Spanish moss—also offers a lovely backdrop for walking or relaxing.

Residents work hard to preserve the island’s heritage. History buffs can explore the local museum, several historic sites and more. Winter visitors can rent a home or cottage. There are also hotels and a large campground for tent campers or RV dwellers.

Jekyll isn’t the only Georgia island that snowbirds can call their seasonal home away from home. Nearby St. Simons Island, larger than Jekyll and also a part of the Golden Isles of Georgia, is another favorite spot for short- and long-term stays year-round. And there’s no ferry journey required to reach these islands because both are accessible by road.


Though better known as a destination for honeymooners or workers taking a two-week vacation, Hawaii is also a snowbird destination. On the island of Maui, you can choose from many condo complexes and resorts. Seasonal residents here take advantage of the laid-back atmosphere and opportunities for stunning hikes, adventurous drives and lounging on postcard-perfect beaches. There’s also culture and history to be found for those who seek it.

Maui Hawaii

Honolulu, the Hawaiian capital city located on the island of Oahu, is busier and easier to navigate without a car. It also gets fewer inches of winter rain than some other Hawaiian cities. Here, snowbirds—along with everyone else—are drawn to the famous Waikiki Beach. In this neighborhood, there are more hotels than condos, so visitors fleeing the cold weather back home make reservations for long-term stays.

And if those locales don’t appeal to you, there could very well be another spot somewhere on one of Hawaii’s eight principal islands where you would love to spend your winter season.

South Padre Island, TX

Though it’s technically connected to the mainland by a causeway, South Padre Island (or SPI) is known for its island vacation vibe. Once seen primarily as a Spring Break destination, it’s now becoming more popular with families. Those looking for a snowbird destination with an island vibe are also flocking to this little town on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

South Padre Island Texas

The main attraction here is the 34-mile coastline, where sandy beaches provide a base for fishing, boating, or simply enjoying the warmth (winter temperatures generally stay in the 60s and 70s). Other popular pastimes include golfing and birdwatching.

All Texas beaches are public, so you’ll never be far from a coastal access point when you’re walking around SPI. And SPI is a great walking town because it’s only about two square miles. It offers a free public shuttle service, so you may prefer to ditch your car while you’re there. And housing options, from condos to camping to hotels, are surprisingly varied for such a small town.

If the island life gets slow, South Padre Island is only a day’s drive from Houston, Dallas or San Antonio.

Beach Life

No matter where you go, there’s just something relaxing about a beach town. These coastal locations have sand, surf and the slower pace of all places where life focuses on the sea.


It may not have the vacation reputation of its neighbor, Florida, but that’s what makes Alabama a surprising favorite snowbird destination for those looking to escape the winter chill. With mild weather and white sand beaches covering over 30 miles of shoreline, Alabama’s Gulf Coast offers plenty of options.

Alabama Gulf Coast

Mobile, the largest city in the region, is known for its cultural institutions and architecture. It’s also home to a major seaport and the oldest organized Mardi Gras celebration in the country. The area’s smaller towns each have their own unique atmosphere, from Fairhope’s charming downtown district to Auburn’s college-town spirit. Gulf Shores boasts numerous family-friendly attractions and Orange Beach hosts an annual Snowbird Fest in January.

Because they’re less crowded than some other coastal areas, Alabama’s beach towns are relatively affordable, so far as housing goes. Choices range from luxury condo rentals to RV parks.


Like Alabama, Mississippi’s Gulf Coast draws tourists for its numerous beaches, mild winters and lively waterfront towns. But snowbirds love the Magnolia State for another reason, one that may surprise those who have never been there: This region is home to over a dozen casinos—and the spas, restaurants, shops and live entertainment that accompany them.

Biloxi Mississippi

Biloxi hosts the largest number of casino resorts. It’s also packed with additional entertainment options, ranging from sporting events to fishing charters. Gulfport, too, caters to fun-loving visitors, with seemingly endless active recreation opportunities.

However, if you enjoy quieter activities, there are more low-key ways to spend a winter along Mississippi’s 62 miles of shoreline. In addition to the beaches, there are many historic sites and museums to visit and natural areas to explore.

North Carolina

It may sound strange to escape the winter in a state with “North” in its name. However, many snowbirds choose not to go all the way south but rather to stop in North Carolina’s Outer Banks region. It’s true that North Carolina winters aren’t exactly warm: Coastal temperatures average in the low 50s, and it can get windy. But snow is uncommon, and the warmth of spring arrives far earlier than it does above the Mason-Dixon line.

Outer Banks North Carolina

The Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands that stretch along much of the North Carolina coast, offer stunningly beautiful scenery dotted with small historic communities like Kitty Hawk, Rodanthe and Hatteras. Because winter is the off-season here, beachfront accommodations are more affordable than in destinations further south.

And, beyond its beaches, North Carolina has other attractions that make it an ideal snowbird destination. From Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it’s a four-hour drive to Raleigh, with all the amenities of a large city. It’s an even shorter trip to coastal tourist destinations like Edenton and New Bern. North Carolina is also a paradise for golfers, with some of the country’s premier courses and resorts.

No Beach, No Problem

The typical snowbird might flock to the beach, but many people are just as happy to find their warm-weather spot further inland. While these snowbird destinations don’t have a coastline, they offer plenty of other perks.

New Mexico

It’s about as far from the traditional idea of the snowbird destination as you can get within the United States, both in distance and lifestyle. But southern New Mexico’s smaller towns attract retirees seeking otherworldly landscapes and rich culture. The weather is warmer than you’d imagine, with dry desert air and winter highs in the mid 50s and 60s. Plus, affordable rentals and RV parks are plentiful.

Red Rocks New Mexico

Would-be winter residents of the Land of Enchantment have many choices in the southern part of the state, including:

  • Las Cruces, a large city by New Mexico standards, that combines the amenities of urban life with easy access to nature.
  • Alamogordo, with close ties to the military and plenty of shops, events and museums that attract tourists.
  • Truth or Consequences, home to several hot springs and a walkable downtown business district.
  • Caballo, where RV’ers can relax beside a lake with a mountain view.

And, although the weather is slightly cooler, some northern New Mexico towns have snowbird communities, too. These include:

  • Taos, famed for the artists who have called it home.
  • Los Lunas and Rio Rancho, outside of Albuquerque.
  • Tucumcari, on historic Route 66.


Think of Louisiana and you probably think of Mardi Gras, Cajun cuisine, Zydeco music, culture, nature and history. You may also want to think of spending the winter in this southern state, because its mild winters (temperatures often reach above 60) and relatively low cost of living make it a tempting choice for snowbirds.

New Orleans Louisiana

In the southern part of the state, the city of Lafayette offers a little (or a lot of) something for everyone. A busy college town with restaurants, nightlife and shopping options, it has driving trails for interests as specific as boudin (yes, the sausage) and oak trees. From the city, scenic roads lead to charming smaller towns like New Iberia and Abbeville, where history and photo-worthy architecture abound.

A little further west, the city of Lake Charles has similarly varied attractions. Between the casino, the symphony, the city parks, the libraries, the sporting events and festivals, snowbirds can entertain themselves nonstop. Winding throughout the region, the bayous provide ample opportunities for fishing, touring or simply appreciating the natural beauty and wildlife of this unique landscape.


California is often conflated with its lengthy coastline, but for snowbirds who don’t want a beach-centric lifestyle, the inland parts of the Golden State are full of possibilities. The towns and cities scattered throughout inland California are meccas of laid-back yet upscale culture and cuisine.

Palm Springs California

In the north are the famously beautiful wine country destinations of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Further south, the desert towns of the Coachella Valley—like Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and La Quinta—offer numerous golf courses, boutiques, galleries and spas. Anywhere snowbirds flock in California will likely be convenient to:

  • Airports
  • Major cities
  • Scenic routes to explore
  • Vast and varied natural areas, including state and national parks

Winter temperatures in the sunny Coachella Valley can rest in the 70s during the day, while more northern areas are slightly cooler. California is not generally as affordable as some of the other places on this list, but seasonal residents willing to spend more will find luxury rentals and planned communities in prime locations. That said, it’s not all high-end. Real estate in some towns is less expensive than in others and plenty of California communities accommodate RVers, too.

International Escapes

A change in the weather is one thing, but some seasonal travelers are also looking for a change in culture, language or way of life. These foreign destinations might take more planning, but for the adventurous, they may prove to be very rewarding snowbird destinations.

New Zealand

If you’re open to spending your winter on the other side of the world, consider following the small but devoted number of Canadian snowbirds who have discovered New Zealand’s balmy winters (or, to New Zealanders, summers) and magnificent scenery.

Mt. Cook Natinal Park New Zealand

New Zealand is made up of two larger landmasses, North Island and South Island, and many small islands. Its geography ranges from snow-capped mountains to otherworldly forests to dramatic beaches. Its culture combines Maori and British traditions.

Snowbirds who fly this far can choose from diverse cities, pretty villages and more remote areas. Visitors can stay in hotels, motels, hostels or rental apartments. They can even rent an RV (that is, hire a campervan). Remember that unlike the U.S., the northern regions of the country are hotter than the southern regions.

Some snowbirds choose to split their winter months between New Zealand and Australia, where the temptingly named Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast regions are favorites among North Americans bent on escaping the cold.


No, not Panama City Beach, Florida (although that’s also an option), but Panama, the Central American nation. January through March is Panama’s dry season where the weather is sunny and hot. But that’s not the only thing attracting increasing numbers of snowbirds to its tropical beaches, bustling cities and lush mountains.

Santiago Fortress Panama

The country is known for its relative safety and affordability. There is a large expat community. The official currency is the U.S. dollar. English is widely spoken—though some snowbirds use their months in Panama as a chance to practice their Spanish.

Panama is gaining a reputation as one of the best places to retire, due partly to its generous retirement programs, affordable real estate and home ownership incentives. Part-time residents who choose this snowbird destination can also take advantage of some of these perks.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is marketed to tourists as an adventurous tropical vacation destination. Indeed there’s plenty to do in this Central American country if you want to live a very active lifestyle. But you don’t need to love hiking or zip lining to appreciate the lush beauty of this place. It also boasts a reputation as being safe and stable for travelers and part-time residents looking for a relaxing snowbird destination.

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Winter in Costa Rica generally corresponds with the dry season, but the weather varies greatly from one region to another. Landscapes range from beaches to rainforests, mountains to lowlands. The resulting micro-climates help ensure that while it’s always on the warm side here, snowbirds have many choices about where to live. Lifestyle varies by location, too – from the urban amenities of the capital, San José, to the slower pace of smaller villages. Healthcare is high quality, and, while speaking Spanish is a plus, many locals (known as Ticos) speak English.

Food, housing and transportation are relatively inexpensive here compared to North American prices, though other items may cost more. Rental homes and apartments range from quite cheap for simple accommodations to very pricey for more luxurious options. Americans can legally purchase or build a second home here without living in the country.

These 15 suggestions are just some of the potential places where sun-seekers might choose a snowbird destination to spend the winter. We hope that reading about them will inspire you to expand your own idea of paradise whether you’re looking for your own winter nest now or you’re starting to think about the future. Enjoy!

We Want to Hear From You

Are you looking forward to or already embracing the snowbird lifestyle? Congratulations! We’re happy for you…and a little bit jealous.

  • What’s your favorite part of being a snowbird or traveling to a warmer destination in the winter?
  • What’s your least favorite part?
  • What’s your dream destination?
70 Responses to "15 Best Unexpected Snowbird Destinations"
    • Harley Gramma | December 11, 2021 at 11:39 am

      We’ve discovered Pahrump,Nevada! It’s a charming community with several beautiful RV Parks. Some with casinos to enjoy also! And it’s much cheaper and way nicer than Hurricane KOA!

    • Rosemary Woolley | October 16, 2021 at 12:51 pm

      Cayman Islands are my favorite destination

    • Eryka DuBois | October 12, 2021 at 11:47 am

      Hi all, I have been to and enjoyed all 15 locations contained herein. There were also moments of exasperation. My husband and I have been frequent travelers and we now call the Rio Grande Valley our home. We visit South Padre Island monthly for day outings and love it. Who wouldn’t love sun and beaches? But we also love the proximity of Mexico. While I won’t tell you that it is 100% safe, if you exercise safe practices and care, you can get caught up in the warmth of the Mexican people. As with any foreign country, being aware of your surroundings is important. I write here about Costa Rica. We bought a house there in 2018. The big selling brochure about CR is “pura vida” (the pure life). Now, the truth. Be careful if you buy and what you buy. We love the country and the people but owning property can be a mine field. We bought in a gated community ostensibly a condominium complex (condos can be single family houses). There was an HOA. We thought the HOA had some teeth and would be viable to keep the community strong. Wrong. Many “condo/HOA” complexes are called Fincas (farms in Espanol). While it is a community in a gated area, each house is a mini-Finca. Membership in the HOA is voluntary. We had 175 lots, 24 had houses. Only about 30% of the lots were paying HOA fees. Getting the others to pay is easy, right? NO. Membership is voluntary. You can’t levy a fine or impose a lien if they don’t pay. Remember, voluntary? It was a nightmare. I was voted in as Treasurer of the HOA and as hard as i tried, we were slowly going under because we 30% can’t take care of 100% of the needs. Also, the CR government was imposing new taxes and requirements about every 6 months. (they were broke also). Again, I LOVE Costa Rica but caveat emptor, know what you are getting into. We sold our house last year. We will go back but only as visitors.

    • pat | September 26, 2021 at 1:32 pm

      We love Galveston Texas for Winter. Easy walking. A $1. trolley bus around town and a real trolley. ocean and good weather.

    • Ellen Johnson | September 25, 2021 at 4:22 pm

      What about Galveston, TX

    • Larry | September 25, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      Interested in following this and other travel subjects.

      • Extra Mile Staff | September 27, 2021 at 6:54 am

        Larry – Thanks for reading. Use this link to read more articles about travel and vacations.

    • Larry | September 25, 2021 at 12:07 pm

      SPI always; 5 weeks his winter!! Love the beaches without the crowds with public access. Dislike upscale, crowded resorts and their beaches.

      Would love to find an affordable, small (<20 couples) cruise someplace without all the luxury trappings of elites!! Maybe even something where the passengers are most of the crew. All we need is a boat, a captain, and 1st mate along with the warm weather!!!

    • Jack Zohar | September 25, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      It is good that you did not mention my city in the Arizona desert. No, I won’t tell you where we are. Why? Because every winter, our roads, stores, medical offices and restaurants become jammed with northerners escaping the cold and wet conditions of their home towns. We do not need to advertise for even more people to come here.

      In January, the air is usually very dry, the skies clear because the California winter rains put out their fires, and daytime temperatures vary between the mid 60s and mid 70s. Oh how we suffer (not).

      A sweatshirt in the chilly morning is a good idea, but by noon, it is usually quite unnecessary. The weather is normally just cool enough to remind us there are four seasons, but warm enough that winter is a pleasure, not a dark, gloomy, cold damp ordeal. I remember all too well my daily commutes into New York City to get to the office and the feeling of an icy wind accelerated by the canyons of skyscrapers that create a venturi type effect. Brr.

      • Extra Mile Staff | September 27, 2021 at 6:55 am

        Jack – Sounds lovely!

    • Beverly | September 25, 2021 at 10:58 am

      for RV devotees, try Ajo, Arizona instead of Tucson. There is a library, clinic, golf course, grocery store, bakery/coffee shop. With the border wall construction crew gone, fees for the RV park are less than half of what they are in Tucson. Nice small community. With Covid it is hard to predict if any of the normal community functions will be available, but that is true everywhere.

    • Deb Kingsland | September 25, 2021 at 10:11 am

      No beach North Carolina

    • Thomas Borley | September 25, 2021 at 10:08 am

      I live in Pahrump. 50 miles west of vegas, this is where retirees come. Compared to vegas it’s cheaper to live, but not hard to commute for the entertainment

    • Tom Franklin | September 23, 2021 at 10:08 am

      You forgot Puerto Rico.

      • Richard | September 25, 2021 at 12:39 pm

        I have done Costa Rica and loved it

    • Steven Patterson | September 8, 2021 at 9:01 am

      You should consider north west Florida. I have a Winter home in Cherry Lake, Fl. (About 100 miles West of Jacksonville) You may occasionally get frost, but it is usually in the upper 50″s by noon. You are only a hop. skip, and a jump from Georgia. Plenty of things to do and they do have campgrounds. Google a map of the area or contact the Madison County Tourist Bureau to take a closer look,

    • Darla | July 15, 2021 at 11:07 am

      I’m just curious if anyone is interested in spending a month or two in Arkansas Jan-feb 2022? Researching renting my place those months.

      • Larry | September 25, 2021 at 12:10 pm

        I usually spend part of the winter there in the NW. Just sold my place there.

    • Mary L Ralian | July 6, 2021 at 10:45 am

      We have not snowbird-ed? yet, but wish to. My husband retired 4-1-21 and we look forward to it this coming winter- wishing people get their vaccinations so Covid doesn’t go rampant then we can do our thing without restrictions. I would think Panama of all the above from the descriptions.

    • Stacy henkin | June 15, 2021 at 8:55 pm

      June 15
      Hate golf and congestion
      Like Mississippi because people are hospitable and talk vs the myth of mn nice which is a clicky state and you can’t find friends nor do people talk
      The nice is Mississippi
      In coffee shops in ms people sit with you and join conversations
      Very friendly and welcoming state
      Do not know why mn is rated high in best place to live ❓:
      Only 60 -70 days of conducive weather
      If I was in tourism there I would build domes that look like Hawaii or the Caribbean , lit with many inside activities that help one relax in the 18 mo of inclement weather

      • Maureen Conway | May 14, 2022 at 9:55 am

        Minnesota is awfully nice. Minnesotans really like it. Some other people like it, too. It would be nice if you would be nicer to us in your comments. I do concede, however, that it’s probably not a very nice destination for snowbirds.

    • Kirk Carter | May 25, 2021 at 6:42 pm

      Looking for warm climate in December and January time frame….Any Ideas?

      • Steven Patterson | September 8, 2021 at 1:07 pm

        Try North West Florida. You can still buy homes at a reasonable price and enjoy good weather in the Winter. You have four seasons but rarely get more than frost in January and February. Camp grounds are available. If I were in your position, I would consider renting a camper for a Winter to give me a chance to see the area. Good Luck!

    • Joyce | May 3, 2021 at 8:02 pm

      I recommend the Hill Country in Texas. Close to San Antonio and Austin, but lots of smaller towns such as New Braunfels, Banderas, Fredericksburg etc. There are condos, homes and RV parks. Weather is usually mid 60s or higher during days. Lots to see and do. Live music, wineries, restaurants, San Antonio Rodeo, People are friendly and you meet lots of Winter Texans. It is popular with Canadians as well as Americans from the northern States.

    • lee laurino | April 17, 2021 at 9:21 am

      I try to travel in Europe during the winter since the crowds are gone. Southern Italy has some warmer locations and far more to do than sit on a beach.
      Interesting that there are rarely ANY posts/information on independent travelers.

      think about a post on ‘affordable locations’ for independent (solo) travelers. we are often just ignored

    • Donald | February 27, 2021 at 8:43 am

      My understanding humidity in Costa Rica & Panama is more if you are more inland if you stay closer to the coast it’s not has rainy A woman that I know her parents move from Costa Rica to Panama because it’s cheaper.

    • Stan Smigiel | January 21, 2021 at 12:59 pm

      Haw about the Azores?

    • Bill | January 15, 2021 at 8:58 pm

      Well I winter in the carribeen..Many beautiful islands here.Housing is cheap to expensive If you winter here you probably need a car and the cars are more expensive than stateside…and you can’t drive here from the states as they are all islands .most are there own country so you almost always need a passport..Most are safe and like Americans if you act humble and don’t try to change them to where your from, but Everything is alot slower..and I mean it..Slower than my home state of….Vt

    • Cathi Carter | October 10, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      We go west one year and then the next Florida. Spent time in Yuma last winter and there’s surprisingly lots of local events and sights to see. Many RV parks at different price points. This year returning to central Florida. Sebring has many things to do and many nice parks. Florida has many interesting towns away from the coast and crowds. My friends are envious when I send pictures of fresh strawberries I picked in February.

    • Andrew | September 13, 2020 at 10:50 pm

      You forgot to mention The Philippines and Thailand which are just as cheap as central America and much safer.

    • O'Sullivan Kathleen | February 23, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      N.Z. is a fabulous place to visit in their summer. Have had family there but now only 2 cousins left. But cannot go anymore because of the cost of living and hotels etc. Too bad

    • Jc Jhonson | January 25, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Only a few blogger would discuss this topic the way you do…-:`

    • Bob | October 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      I agree with the Florida resident who says things have changed a including the heat. I spent one winter and too hot and humid for me. Same along most of the gulf coast all the way to Corpus Christi.
      As for the person who said Panama was too humid they might not have left the coast. Both the Pacific and Caribbean sides were too hot and humid for me. But the central highlands were great! Plus, if you do want a day at the beach it’s only an hour away, then back to the mountains! Same for Costa Rica. Hot and humid on the coast, nice in the highlands.

    • Vernadine Cartwright | October 14, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      # 16 Puerto Rico

    • Kenneth | October 13, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      I visited Biloxi beaches this year and there is a stern warning to stay out of the water. Biloxi is a nice place to visit. I will include a URL with the story so travelers are warned:

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 5:15 pm

        Good information, Kenneth. Thanks for including.

    • Sandy mapes | October 13, 2019 at 8:01 pm

      Planning to retire in the next year. Helps to hear about different areas. My husband likes warm n I like slight seasons. No winter.

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 4:56 pm

        Thanks for reading our article. Happy almost retirement, Sandy!

    • Barry Cassak | October 13, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      The growing city of Tucson AZ does deserve to be on the list, but Phoenix/Scottsdale should be more than a mere mention. Phoenix is the largest State Capital in the country, with all of its “major league” cosmopolitan attractions, and Scottsdale has a wide range of places to see. Perhaps it is because it is not unexpected, but neither is Hawai’i and it made the list. I am a customer of AARP/The Hartford and am happy to participate in this discussion.

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 5:31 pm

        Good feedback, Barry. Thank you. This is certainly just a sampling of unexpected places. We love to see our readers recommend places that are their favorites, as well.

      • Lonnie Dewey | September 25, 2021 at 8:22 pm

        We winter in Casa Grande. Half way between Phoenix & Tucson. Palm Creek Resort. Very nice dry weather

    • Leslie Curry | October 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm

      We, husband & I, are interested in the Costa Rica spots for winter settlements. Can you give us info on the costs of apartments and/or houses there? Also for some description of shopping areas for these settlements.

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 4:58 pm

        Costa Rica sounds lovely, Leslie. Do any fellow readers have any information to share on the cost of living there? Thank you.

      • Dan | March 20, 2021 at 7:48 pm

        Guanacaste is great. Beautiful sunsets on the west coast. Like many other places, sea lice are a concern. Wow do they itch. Watch out for black sand. It gets so hot you can serious burns.

    • Sandy R Cisewski | October 13, 2019 at 5:07 pm

      Would love to get out of the cold. I always liked Florida and new Mexico. The downfall of going is I cannot afford to go

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 5:26 pm

        Sandy, both great options!

      • Larry | September 25, 2021 at 12:21 pm

        There are very inexpensive ways to travel if you are flexible and willing to do some research. Look for opportunities to house or pet set. Sometimes trips delivering someone’s vehicle for them. Also RV or rental car relocations. Look at areas that are warmer but not considered prime locations.

    • Ardyce Pillar | October 13, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      We are two seniors who have stayed for the month of March in Sandestin Resort in Miramar Beach, Fl and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately the price keeps going up. Is there any place you would recommend similar that is still affordable? We just want some sunshine to make the Mn winter shorter!!

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 5:28 pm

        Hi Ardyce. It’s nice you the option to get away. Do any readers have suggestions to share with Ardyce for places similar to Miramar Beach?

    • Donald Gilden | October 13, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      There’s a community of RV lots & park models in Desert Hot Springs, Ca. called Rainbow Spa. You can rent or own. Verry reasonabl, great for snowbids.

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 5:13 pm

        Thanks for sharing, Donald! Have a good day.

    • Mary Keenan | October 12, 2019 at 9:49 pm

      Ecuador, si! Mindo (cloud forest) or the Napo (Amazon) or Guayaquil/Quito (Tren Crucero). Same temperature year-round, 70’s, and beautiful everywhere.

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 5:08 pm

        Thanks for sharing, Mary!

    • barbara | October 12, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      New Zealand is pretty much out because of the high costs of everything. The hotels were literally $100’s of dollars a night when I was there 2 years ago in January. (even little motels) Other on-line room places are not much better. The hostels are the only reasonable places to left to stay but most of the good ones of those you have to book way in advance. The buses are a great way to travel..go point to point, don’t buy a pass as that is usually more expensive. Again you have to make reservations in advance during the tourist season. I really was overwhelmed with the cost of everything. Esp food and housing. I met several Europeans who said they had been coming to NZ for years but they would not come again as it was just too expensive.

      • Extra Mile Staff | October 15, 2019 at 5:08 pm

        Hello, Barbara! Thanks for sharing your New Zealand recommendation/experience.

    • RAB | October 10, 2019 at 10:21 pm

      A bit of input from SW FL. I’ve lived here for over 35 years & so much has changed. Yes, the beaches are beautiful, the golfing is stellar, the weather in the winter is nice, but it is even warm then. It’s mid-October & it’s 90 right now-on the beach where it’s usually a bit cooler due to the sea breeze. Our “winters” seldom are as cool as even ten years ago & that may be for a day or two The amount of construction-multi-million $$ condos & homes have increased the population & impacted everything when it comes to quality of life. Housing & rent costs are out of reach for local workers who are forced to live in other towns-adding to their gas bills & commute times. Retired now, but when I worked, it took me 13 minutes to get to work (in the mornings) & yet it would take an hour + to get home in the afternoons-usually in stop & go traffic. Waits to get in restaurants are often over an hour. When summer/June arrives-the population is manageable-the roads clear & but the heat isn’t. It’s a trade off: Heat vs over-population. Just want visitors & possible Floridians/retirees to know what they are getting into. In the big picture, yes it beats Chicago or Cincinnati in the winter but it’s not all beaches & palm trees.

    • Luann | July 19, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      I’ve tried Costa Rica & Panama. Way toooooooo humid. I would not recommend.

    • Mike Gatterman | January 26, 2019 at 12:34 am

      What about Costa Rica?

      • Extra Mile Staff | January 28, 2019 at 2:46 pm

        Also another great option Mike. Has anyone been to Costa Rica recently?

    • Lori Cortez | December 31, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      I am getting ready to retire in a couple more years. I am currently going down to Florida every winter to check out different places. However, the Panama retirement communities sound nice and affordable. I would like to know more about the area.

    • Paula Naffziger | December 16, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      I love going to SW Florida in the winter to avoid the snowy & icy walks and streets & also avoid slipping and falling and break a hip or whatever.. I like warm days and nights and lots of sunshine instead of the unpredictable IL weather and dreary cloudy days.
      Also, driving is safer on dry clean roads and it isn’t as great a risk to get your car hit by other vehicles sliding into my car. Then I would have a claim and then my premium would go up!! But please don’t encourage more seniors to come to Florida it’s already crowded enough down here in the winter!

      Happy New Year!

    • Jim powers | December 15, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Great stuff.

    • Jo | December 15, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      Best part(s) of heading south for the winter (WA to CA Desert) escaping the rain, cold & gloom that happen in the NW during that time of year
      There is no least favorite part to being a snowbird😎

    • JD | December 15, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      5 weeks in New Zealand 2 winters ago. All you have written is true. We RVed for the 5 weeks staying at campgrounds from the tip of the South Island to the tip of the North Island. A new adventure every day. Join Top Ten Campgrounds for the best sites and best campgrounds at a 10% discount. People very nice. Campgrounds in NZ are far superior to those in the states. Kitchens with pots pans silverware free. Free refrigerators freezers. just clean up when you are done using.

      • Extra Mile Staff | December 17, 2018 at 1:57 pm

        JD, thanks for these great tips for a NZ getaway!

    • Brenda Hendricks | December 15, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      We are snowbirds Looking for reasonably priced place to go for winter each year preferably Florida. Jan thru March 31

    • Jule Ray Westcott | December 15, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      New Mexico is the cheapest to stay at RV parks for snowbirds. Average $250 a month with club houses. Some have pools gyms and hot tubs

      • Extra Mile Staff | December 17, 2018 at 12:53 pm

        Thanks for this great information, Jule!

    • Bill Fox | December 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Ecuador, Cuenca here we come again

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