What are the best destinations for snowbirds or zoombirds (those working remote) this year, when aside from the regular amenities, there are other boxes that locations need to check to appeal to both the old and the new snowbirds?
To find the best cold-season hideaways,StorageCafe looked at almost 1,000 places around the U.S. and evaluated eleven factors, such asthe average temperature between October and March, seasonal housing stock, the availability of beaches and park space per capita, internet speed, accessibility to health centers and more.
All things considered, the Sunshine State of Florida still offers great snowbird locations — Venice, Naples and Dunedin on Florida’s Gulf Coast are the top three. But for some of the best destinations this year, Arizona and southern Texas also rank very high, with Metro Phoenix in particular accounting for most of the top AZ destinations. The sun rarely stops shining in these areas, there are plenty of recreational opportunities, and the prices are reasonable. In addition, they have good monthly rates for self storage, allowing returning snowbirds to experience less hassle hauling their seasonal gear every time they get back.
Arizona: Winter sun, desert and mountains, plus a renter-friendly housing market
The Grand Canyon State has a drier heat than Florida that some people prefer, especially those who suffer from asthma and pulmonary diseases. And you get a different, perhaps less tourism-obsessed vibe here. The metropolitan area centered on the state’s capital, Phoenix — the Valley of the Sun — is a magnet for snowbirds. In addition, the geography in this part of the country is enjoyably varied — just escape to the mountains when the desert gets too hot. Prices are reasonable and Phoenix storage units rent for an average of $118. Arizona has eight destinations in the top 100.
Apache Junction, the fifth snowbird destination, has around 40,000 residents and the dramatic Superstition Mountains nearby. There are six golf courses, and its average October-March temperature of 62 °F is typical for the area. It ranks higher for safety than any other top-100 snowbird destination. The average rent here is reasonable at $1,158, while the current house price figure is $329,673.
Gilbert, with a population of around a quarter of a million, is another Metro Phoenix town. Visitors enjoy its proximity to the state capital and its attractions, and zoombirds appreciate its fast internet speed of 458 MBps. Snowbirds get access not only to great scenery but also to seven golf courses. For other entertainment, especially for families, there are the Gilbert Regional and Desert Sky parks.
Mesa is right next door to Gilbert and even closer to the center of Phoenix. The share of housing dedicated to seasonal use is 8% — that works out as a lot of snowbird accommodation in this city of around half a million residents. Internet speed is 414 MBps, making it a good place for zoombirds, and there are no fewer than 23 golf courses here. The average rent is $1,391 and a self storage unit costs $108 monthly.
Read the full report here.