Want to escape the cold this season? We’ve got your list of warm destinations to check out, plus why they’re great migration spots: from St. Augustine, Florida to St. George, Utah to the Gulf Shores in Alabama!
Migration season is upon us, when flocks of northern residents head south for wintertime. We’re not talking about birds or butterflies; we’re talking about the seasonal migration of retirees fleeing snow-clogged driveways, sub-zero temperatures, and cabin fever. If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans looking for somewhere warm to migrate to in the wintertime, consider one of these top eight spots for your seasonal migration.
Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is America’s oldest continually occupied city. The city is home to beautiful Spanish-style architecture and Spanish colonial and maritime history galore. Beer lovers might be interested to know that St. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, and the city boasts several local breweries and brewpubs. If you love the Atlantic coast, but are looking for a respite from the crowds further south on the Treasure Coast and Miami, St. Augustine Beach is nearby – on Fernandina Island.
Florida is the top destination for seasonal migration, and has been for many years, but there’s more to Florida than Miami and Tampa. Because of its strong economy and place in the tourist industry, Jacksonville, Florida has many opportunities for volunteer and part time work. If you’re looking to stay busy in the winter, but migrate to somewhere warm, Jacksonville might be the destination for you.
Are you interested in becoming a “Winter Texan?” Texas is one of the most popular states for seasonal migration, and the cultural hotbed of Austin is one of the best places to try. Arts and music lovers will especially enjoy Austin’s vibrant arts scene, kept interesting (or proudly weird, if you ask locals) by students at the University of Texas. Many apartments offer short-term leases, which are convenient for college students and snowbirds alike.
Another Lone Star State favorite, San Antonio, boasts a low cost of living and many rental options. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is only $979. There’s a lot for grandkids to do when they visit, too. The city is home to the Alamo and the beautiful San Antonio River Walk.
If you’re looking for moderate winter temperatures and low humidity, Las Vegas may be for you. Housing choices are varied; there are a myriad of choices for renters, second-home buyers, and RV owners. If you like a bit of luxury, Las Vegas’s world-class entertainment, shopping, and dining can’t be beat. And, of course, there are the casinos!
Another desert option, St. George, Utah, is a sun-lover’s paradise. While you may associate Utah in the wintertime with skiing, St. George is in the Mojave Desert and its climate is more like Las Vegas than the skiing resorts in the north. St. George boasts 300 sunny days per year, on average, and is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. There are many nearby places for hiking, biking, rock climbing, and golfing.
Alabama claims just a small section of the Gulf Coast, but makes the most of what they have. Mobile Bay’s Eastern Shore boasts small towns with southern charm and beautiful bay sunsets. Check out Fairhope, Daphne, Magnolia Springs, and Alabama’s beach town – Gulf Shores. The average winter temperature in this area is about 65 degrees, so it’s little cooler than the Gulf Coast of southern Florida, but still a respite from wintertime temperatures up north. Snowbird season is also Mardi Gras season, and while the city of Mobile is home to the country’s oldest Mardi Gras celebration, most of the towns in the area host their own parades, too.
Speaking of Mardi Gras, Lake Charles, Louisiana hosts over a dozen Mardi Gras parades during the season, and is a great place to migrate to in the wintertime. Friendly locals, vibrant cuisine, and cultural activities abound in this Calcasieu Parish city. The average temperature in Lake Charles in January is 61 degrees. If you get the urge to explore a big city while you’re in Lake Charles, visit Houston, which is about two hours away, or New Orleans, which is about a three hour drive away.