The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Snowbirds This Winter

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Snowbirds heading to Florida
Sabrina Bracher /

The Sunshine State remains the best place in the country for snowbirds, and the small city of Venice tops the list of Florida destinations.

Venice placed first in a ranking of the top 100 destinations for snowbirds in 2021-22 as compiled by StorageCafe, a nationwide storage space marketplace.

Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Venice is home to Caspersen Beach, known for the fossilized shark teeth that have washed up on the shore.

Overall, Florida cities made up nearly half — 43 — of the 100 destinations on the list. But other states also offer appeal for those hoping to flee winter’s chill. According to StorageCafe:

“State-wise, California and South Carolina join Florida, Arizona and Texas in providing the US’s top snowbird destinations, with some amazing places that appeal to a wide range of visitors from across the US. Moreover, after pausing travel plans for a year, Canadian snowbirds are keen on reaching their favorite winter spots, even flying down to the US if they cannot drive through the border for now.”

While bigger cities like Phoenix and Tampa, Florida, remain prime snowbird destinations, StorageCafe notes that smaller communities often offer an “ideal mix of attractions, charm, and lower overall costs.”

For that reason, 20 of the 100 cities on this year’s list have populations of less than 40,000.

In compiling the ranking, StorageCafe looked at a handful of factors, including the following:

  • Average temperature from October to March
  • Housing for snowbirds, including the median cost to rent and to purchase as a second home
  • Incidence of crime per capita
  • Total length of beach within a 10-mile radius
  • Park space per capita and number of golf courses
  • Local internet speeds
  • Health care and social assistance establishments per 1,000 of the local population
  • Cost of renting a self-storage unit

StorageCafe notes that the mix of those heading south for the winter is changing a bit. With more people working remotely, the opportunity to head south for a few months becomes a reality for more people.

Dubbed “snowmads” or “zoombirds,” these folks are looking for “a good internet connection, a peaceful environment that lets them work, and some nature to relax in,” according to StorageCafe.

The full top 10 is:

  1. Venice, Florida
  2. Naples, Florida
  3. Dunedin, Florida
  4. Mission, Texas
  5. Apache Junction, Arizona
  6. Jupiter, Florida
  7. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  8. Oviedo, Florida
  9. Friendswood, Texas
  10. Lynn Haven, Florida

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