Is it any wonder the Snowbirds flock to Florida?

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istockphoto 1373151179 612x612

We’ve heard about the Great Migration that happens each fall.

It’s that time when Millions of North-dwelling Homo-sapiens migrate South to Florida for the winter.  Come April and May, they will head back North but in the winter months, there’s no place better to hang your hat than Florida!

Why?  Florida has seen ‘out of area’ visitors for centuries (although some of the earliest ones were pirates and thieves).  Florida welcomes todays Snowbirds as part time residents who come to escape the frozen north, reconnect with other Snowbirds from previous seasons and bask in the warm tropical sun!

Where do these Snowbirds stay?

Anywhere and everywhere!  Some of them own second homes / condos in Florida and keep their little bit of heaven vacant during the summer and ready for their return in the late fall.  Others rent out their vacation homes on short term and 6 month leases to provide income when they aren’t there themselves.  Then, they happily come and stay in their own property for the season.

Others are the tenants for vacation rentals owned by others.   Some snowbirds may not stay all winter and only seek accommodations for several weeks or a couple of months.  The local property owners in Florida cities welcome these multi-month tenants.  Some snowbirds rent the same property year after year, as they become accustomed to the location and amenities in the area and it’s familiar to them.

What types of properties do they occupy?

A first priority it seems, for many of them, is a location with lots of activities and options for dining and other entertainment.  They value staying busy re-connecting to other Snowbirds and making new friends.  They may occupy condos, single family homes, golf course communities, boating communities, waterfront/beachfront communities, mobile home parks and RV Parks and Campgrounds.

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Which brings us to the subject of the great ‘wheeled’ migration!

RV owners are a huge part of the migratory community!  Throughout Florida, from the Panhandle Southward to the islands at the tip of the state, there are almost more RV parks than you can count!  Some are small rustic parks.  Some are on the edge of a major city or entertainment venue.  Some have “to-die-for” locations on the water.  Some hug the I-75 freeway, the main artery north and south that carries the most RV traffic.  Many of these parks are 55+ parks as well.  And there’s a naturalist park or two thrown into the mix.


So, when our Snowbirds flock to Florida, what do they do all winter?

The answer is almost everything that’s legal!   Here’s a partial activity list in most Snowbird communities:

Clubhouse and onsite activities:

Cards, dominoes, bingo, planned musical entertainment, craft shows, specialty dinners, library and book club groups, musicians groups, quilting groups, woodworkers, and on and on it goes with as many groups and activities as one could imagine.

Outdoors activities:

Shopping offsite, touring local attractions, golfing excursions, fishing excursions, swap meets and farmer’s markets, Bocce ball, Shuffleboard, Petanque, Pickleball, Tennis, Swimming, casinos, hot tubbing, wildlife watching, holiday golfcart themed parades and more.  So, it’s important for the owners of these developed Snowbird communities to offer as many of these activities as possible to attract and keep returning guests.

How do Snowbirds find rentals?  Here are a few of the top options:

These are just some of the online options, and if you are looking for accommodations and not finding them, search for a FB Group to join and maybe get connected to others who can help you find an owner who has an opening for the season.  It’s not always easy to find a spot, but it’s worth the effort for your piece of a tropical summer in the middle of winter.

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And, as to the future of Snow-birding, it’s not likely to change.  It’s survived Hurricanes, previous years of financial downturns many times, and a few years of Covid, and it’s still going strong, maybe even stronger than ever!  As certain as the tide ebbs and flows, this year will see the return of our Snowbird friends again!


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