Winter is arriving faster than most of us would like, which means it’s time to get in our RVs and fly south to warmer climates.
When leaving northern states for southern destinations, it’s important to remember two things:
- Warm winter weather is all relative. A 50 degree day in Georgia sure beats a -20 degree day in Minnesota!
- Wherever you go, you’re going to have company.
Each year about a million snowbirds pack up and fly south for winter in their RVs – that’s the equivalent of every resident of Austin, Texas heading out of town at the same time. Snowbirds tend to follow the same migration patterns each winter; those living in the Northwest will generally flock to the Southwest, and RVers residing in the Northeast will usually head to the Southeast. This predictable travel pattern means a few things to RVers like us:
- You’ll have a lot more company in RV parks, but look at the bright side; this big population of snowbirds creates endless opportunities to make new friends and have fun in non-stop group activities that you don’t ordinarily get to do back home.
- RV park rates in the Southeast are higher than out west.
- Reservations made far in advance (think: summer) are almost always mandatory.
If you’re just now creating your snowbird itinerary, fear not. Here’s a rundown of fun, funky and offbeat places in the Southeast that might have availability this winter:
Georgia Snowbird Destinations for RVers
Georgia’s winter weather might not be as warm as its neighbor to the south, but it does have great state parks with special deals for snowbirds, lots of sunshine and friendly folks who make it a pleasant and quieter place to winter. The city of Savannah is an ideal home base for parking your RV because it’s centrally located between popular coastal attractions like Tybee Island and the very walkable and scenic downtown Savannah, home to some of the South’s best food and grandest architecture.
Among all of the RV parks in Savannah, the quiet retreat of Skidaway Island State Park offers the most scenic local getaway while giving you the best bang for your buck. You’ll have all the privacy you want as you camp underneath a canopy of lush scenery in huge RV sites (some with full hookups) and enjoy great amenities like trails and historic sites. This rustic getaway is a great deal located just 15 minutes away from big city excitement.
Florida Snowbird Destinations for RVers
If you crave social interaction and don’t mind lots of company in RV parks, head to Florida, which has more RV resorts than any other state that qualifies for popular Top Snowbirds Parks lists. Snowbirds craving more developed, urban environments on the coast will find the Atlantic side fits the bill in places like Fort Lauderdale, while those seeking a more rustic, “Old Florida” rustic vibe will be more at home on the Gulf Coast.
One of the most popular winter RV destinations in the Sunshine State is Fort Myers, located near world-famous white sand beaches perfect for angling, kayaking or just kicking back. Another great RV snowbird destination is Cedar Key, a relatively undiscovered winter getaway located just two hours north of Tampa. This little town is great for anyone who enjoys cultural activities and a relaxed adult crowd with an offbeat flair.
Gulf Coast Snowbird Destinations for RVers
Alabama and Mississippi’s Gulf Coast region brings golfers, gamblers and nature lovers together for gorgeous winter weather, Southern hospitality and snowbird-friendly businesses that cater to the annual RVer snowbird migration.
The magic of the Gulf Coast region is that although these two states only share a tiny portion of the world-famous crystal clear shoreline within their boundaries, visitors still reap the benefits of a tropical “Margaritaville”-style getaway. The only downside to wintering in the Gulf Shores region is the occasional winter cold snap, which usually doesn’t last long and at season’s end you’ll probably have enjoyed just as much sunshine and mild winter weather as RVers in more crowded Florida. Most Gulf Shores RV parks offer monthly snowbird rates and seasonal specials but you’ll need to reserve early to take advantage of these deals.
No matter where you decide to fly south for winter in North America, sometimes cold weather just happens and you can’t get away from it. The upside is that even if a sudden drop in temperature forces you to trade flip flops for Uggs temporarily, you’ll always be warmer and more comfortable than your friends and family back home in the cold.
Often called “The O.G. of full-time RVing,” Rene Agredano and her husband Jim Nelson hit the road in a fifth wheel trailer in 2007, after their dog Jerry lost a leg to terminal cancer. Sixteen years later they are still traveling and sharing their nomadic adventures at LiveWorkDream. As a self-employed wordsmith, Rene shares her expertise for many RV industry videos, publications such as the Escapees RV Club Magazine, and has authored numerous books, including the Essential RVing Guide to National Parks, and Income Anywhere, a guide to earning money on the road. She has been featured in global media outlets including the PBS documentary “NATURE: Why We Love Cats and Dogs,” The Guardian Sunday Edition, and the Dan Pink book Free Agent Nation.
Jesus Radillo says
looking to retire soon. this is great information.