Winter in the Sunny States: Top 5 American States for Snowbirds

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Can't wait to get away from Canadian winters? You are not alone! Many Canadian snowbirds flock to the southern United States, where the weather is good and life is simple. Retirement is blissful, especially if you can spend it far away from our harsh winters. Luckily, there are plenty of warm winter getaway options available.

To help guide you along the way, here are the top 5 U.S. states to spend a dream winter under the sun.

Arizona: Paradise You Can Afford

Enjoy the warm weather and sunny days of Arizona during the winter. This state is a true paradise for snowbirds. Many people from the West Coast have been heading to Arizona for years, and more and more residents of Quebec and Ontario have started joining the fun in recent years to escape the snowstorms.

You will never run out of things to do in Arizona. Spend the day hiking or biking or visit one of the many golf courses (over 300). There are so many ways to take advantage of the vast spaces where you can see some of the most breathtaking scenery the Southwest has to offer.

Here are some of the best cities for snowbirds in Arizona, other than Phoenix:

Around Phoenix

The options around Pheonix are endless. Sun City has an active community of retirees that get together every winter to enjoy the golf scene. Glendale, another popular destination for sport-loving snowbirds, is home to two professional sports teams: the Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona Coyotes. USA Today and Sunset Magazine have also listed Glendale as one of the top ten shopping destinations. Another great option is Gilbert, just 30 minutes southeast of Phoenix. Be sure to also consider Mesa, a Phoenix suburb located about 20 miles east of the city. It is a trendy destination for snowbirds who love art, culture, and entertainment.


Every winter, nearly 1 million snowbirds and travelers flock to this desert town along the Colorado River. The nearby river offers visitors many water sports, including fishing and motorboating. Quartzsite, as the name suggests, is also a top-rated destination for stone hunters. There are many places to look for agates, limonite cubes, gold, and quartz. All of the good stuff is there, ready to be found. When it comes to accommodation, there are many campsites around the area, many of which are free, making this destination very popular with campervan and RV owners.


Scottsdale is another excellent option for snowbirds if you're looking for a sunny climate and mild temperatures. Just outside of Phoenix, it's a destination in itself. There are several spas and resorts in Scottsdale, making it the perfect place to relax during your stay.


The saguaro cacti probably come to mind when you think of Arizona's deserts! Visit Tucson, and you'll get an up-close look at these cacti in Saguaro National Park. Several mountain ranges, including the Santa Catalinas, surround the city, offering a picturesque sunset view.

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California: The Californian Dream

Who doesn’t dream of extended sunny stays under the palm trees of California? This is one dream that many snowbirds live out every winter. Although the northern parts of California are relatively cool, even cold in winter, you may find bliss and happiness in the warmer temperatures of the south. Here are a few areas to consider:

San Diego

San Diego's warm winter temperatures make this city feel like summer year-round. With a spectacular coastline, wonderful beaches, excellent restaurants, and a host of outdoor activities, this may be one destination you will not want to leave.

Laguna Beach

There's plenty to see and do, with breathtaking ocean views, romantic restaurants, and art galleries galore. Plus, you're only 50 miles south of Los Angeles. You can expect about 18 to 21 degrees Celsius temperatures as you stroll along Laguna Beach.

Santa Barbara

Visit Santa Barbara in the winter to escape the summer's crowds. The downtown area is full of fantastic upscale stores, and the city has over 15 remarkable parks.

Coachella Valley

There is no shortage of choices in this area for snowbirds: Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio. You'll notice a strong Spanish influence in these communities, and there are so many art events and festivals you can participate in while you are there.

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Texas: A Texan Experience

When it comes to extended vacations, Texas has a lot to offer. It is a favorite place for RV owners, with miles of beaches, historical sites, beautiful birds, and excellent fishing. Don’t forget about the Texan cuisine, warm weather, and affordable accommodations.

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San Antonio

Get ready to fall in love with this historical and romantic city! San Antonio, located at the source of the San Antonio River in South Central Texas, has a rich cultural history. You can walk along the river surrounded by colorful umbrellas. Many architectural and cultural elements from the city's early days still exist, giving visitors a glimpse into San Antonio's past. If you're not spending the entire winter here, you should at least consider stopping by for a few days.


Only an hour's drive outside Texas's largest city, Houston, Galveston is a snowbird eldorado with beaches, seafood restaurants, and historic downtown. It is also an excellent starting point for many cruises and oceanic fishing trips.

Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Padre Island and Mustang Island

These coastal towns are going to charm you. You can enjoy the sunny beaches, be amazed by the beautiful ranches, or discover the national parks. There are many accommodation options available for snowbirds.

Brownsville and McAllen

At the complete southern point of Texas, near Mexico, you can live in a lush subtropical climate only minutes away from beaches that will take your breath away. The wildlife and vegetation of the Rio Grande Valley are worth exploring. You’ll have plenty of mouth-watering Tex-Mex food options along the way, too!

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New Mexico: Land of Enchantment

New Mexico's breathtaking scenery attracts the most adventurous snowbirds. This destination is becoming increasingly popular and is perfect for getting away from Canadian winters.


Caballo is a popular winter destination in southwestern New Mexico, located at mile 25 of NM Hwy 187. This snowbird oasis is known for being quiet and pleasant, making it the perfect place to unwind and relax. The beautiful Caballo Mountains provide the ideal backdrop for Caballo Lake State Park, which offers water activities, bird watching, and enchanting cactus gardens.


If you’re looking for milder weather with cool evenings and perhaps even snow at altitude, Albuquerque is the place to go! It’s an ideal spot for hikers who want to explore.

Las Cruces

Outdoor adventures and unique culinary experiences are the hallmarks of a stay in Las Cruces. This snowbird destination is full of vibrant culture, rich history, national parks, and monuments. Filled with natural wonders, Las Cruces is sure to delight any adventurous traveler. There’s no better time than now to start planning your winter getaway in the southern regions of New Mexico!

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Florida: A Classic… and So Much More

Florida is a beloved state for many residents of eastern Canada. With its many beaches and reasonable cost of living, many snowbirds choose to spend their winters here, year after year.

Florida’s Eastern Coast

The state’s east coast has the largest concentration of long-stay vacation rentals. From here, you can take advantage of kilometers' worth of fantastic sandy beaches, and you are close to Orlando and Miami. Many properties are available for vacation rentals in Deerfield Beach, Jupiter, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Melbourne.

Florida’s West Coast

Nicknamed the “Nature Coast,” in the Big Bend region of Florida, the west coast is home to protected marshes and bayous, as well as natural freshwater springs where manatees are common (they make excellent snorkelling partners). It is one of the most peaceful regions in the state, with easy access to boats that allow you to cook your catch of the day for dinner and dine on board. You'll find a great selection of beautiful homes and apartments in Tampa, Fort Myers, Dunedin, Bradenton, Treasure Island, and vibrant St. Petersburg.

Central Florida

Orlando and its surrounding regions will know to impress you. With its hundreds of lakes and turquoise waters, Orlando has so much more than Walt Disney and Universal Studios. You can easily rent snowbird accommodation in Orlando, The Villages, Kissimmee, and Lakeland.

Northwestern Florida

One region that’s definitely worth discovering in Florida is the northwest, from Tallahassee to Pensacola. Imagine pristine white sandy beaches and beautiful communities. Take the time to consider the heavenly municipalities of Destin, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, and Pensacola for an unforgettable winter.

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Enjoy the Sunshine Year Round

If your budget allows it, you can add the state of Hawaii as a bonus to this list of the top 5 American states to spend a dream winter getaway in the sun.  Consider visiting Hawaii and checking out Oahu, where you can relax on the famous Waikiki Beach. Maui can also be an excellent destination for a winter escape.

In any case, don't forget to contact a soNomad agent about the optimal solution for your snowbird travel insurance needs in the United States. Regardless of which sunny state you choose, you will always have the pleasure of fleeing Canadian winters.

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