It’s time for all Snowbirds destined for warmer climates to take flight. For those wise retirees and individuals who temporarily transition to warmer climates during the cold winter months, we offer pleasant and inviting options to enduring winter’s mayhem. Although some Snowbirds may require warmer temperatures for health reasons, others may simply refuse to be restricted by winter’s elements. Warm environments are much easier on aging and fragile bodies and make life much easier to manage and quite frankly, more enjoyable. Quite often Florida, Arizona, Texas and California are often considered the preferred and most popular U.S. Snowbird destinations. We recommend the following options as fresh, scenic and adventurous backdrops in which to thaw and luxuriate.

For seasoned and novice Snowbirds alike, be sure to locate nearby hospitals and pharmacies to meet medical needs and make prescription transfers easy. Consider volunteering as a way to get acquainted with local residents and the community once settled in. Also, you may want to consider shipping clothing and extra needed items ahead of your departure date. It’s usually less expensive than paying the airline penalties rates for overweight and extra luggage. This also cuts down on the excessive amount of luggage that you actually need to handle by yourself while traveling. So dust off or renew your passports too, since all of these warm weather havens are sure to get you excited to travel.

Beautiful Destinations For Snowbirds In December

1. Jekyll Island, Georgia

Snowbirds will quietly perch on this lovely, historic and peaceful winter retreat where winter temperatures average 65 °F (Hi’ s) and 45 °F (Lo’s). Jekyll Island is located off the coast of the U.S. state of Georgia, one of the Golden Isles of Georgia. A paved causeway provides access to and from the island by car. Jekyll Island offers a variety of satisfying amenities including, ten miles of soft sandy beach, four award-winning golf courses, a 250-acre Historic Landmark District, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, wildlife experiences and Jekyll Island Museum. You will be able to feast on the freshest seafood available. This is a unique Snowbird experience to be treasured. The closest airport for travel to Jekyll Island is Savannah Hilton Head International airport.

2. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

The high winter temperatures average around 57 °F in Truth or Consequences. Originally called Hot Springs, New Mexico, the city won a publicity contest devised by an NBC Radio game show commemorating its ten year anniversary. The name was changed to "Truth or Consequences" in 1950. Truth or Consequences is known as a spa city offering an array of ten commercial bath houses with healing hot springs. This tranquil, serene and scenic destination is sure to soothe any Snowbird’s winter blues. From 1920 through 1940 the town was referred to as a health center and guests flooded the town to soak in the springs for up to 21 days for curative purposes. Visitors today still flock to the area to dip in the healing mineral waters and springs. The nearest major airport to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is Grant County Airport. This airport is in Silver City, New Mexico and is 120 miles from the center of Truth or Consequences.

3. Las Cruces, New Mexico

Known as "The City of the Crosses" Las Cruces basks in daytime winter temperatures ranging from the upper 50s to lower 60s. It delivers 320 days of sunshine per year, a definite Snowbird’s paradise. The second largest city in the state after Albuquerque, Las Cruces sits 225 miles south of Albuquerque, NM, 275 miles east of Tucson, AZ and 42 miles west of El Paso, Texas. Nestled at the foot of the Organ Mountains and along the banks of the Rio Grande it provides great bird watching opportunities. Referred to as the chile capital of the world, the official state vegetable of New Mexico is the green chile, Las Cruces serves some of the most delicious and spiciest Mexican food around. Las Cruces operates 87 city parks, 18 tennis courts, four golf courses and a bevy of museums in which you can indulge. Las Cruces has been credited as having one of the best Farmers and Craft Markets in the country. Over 300 vendors bring fresh produce and other unique and handcrafted items to sell every Saturday morning. El Paso International Airport is the nearest airport with regularly scheduled commercial flights.

4. La Quinta, California

La Quinta is a Snowbird’s dream habitat. Winters are pleasant and warm with daytime highs often between 68–86 °F and lows around 48°F. La Quinta has over 348 days of sunshine per year. The prominent Santa Rosa Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop to this amiable resort city which boasts some of the most pristine golf courses the U.S. has to offer. Located in the Coachella Valley, southeast of Palm Springs, La Quinta is home to as many as 20 exquisite golf courses and has an inspiring arts community. Shopping, dining and spending quality time in the well-manicured parks, some with hiking trails, and attending horse shows are sure ways to enjoy winter’s passage of time. Vegas-style casinos and luxury spas offer an extra added nuance to the numerous and engaging activities. The nearest major airport is 23 miles from the center of La Quinta, Palm Springs International Airport.

5. Beaufort, South Carolina

There are, on average, 216 sunny days per year in Beaufort, South Carolina. December through February highs average 60 °F with lows around 41 °F. Beaufort topples over with quaint, rich history and southern hospitality. It is the second oldest city in South Carolina following Charleston. It has been mentioned in several publications, including the New York Times as “Best Small U.S. Southern Town.” Numerous public and private golf courses provide ample activity for golf enthusiast. Beaufort is lauded for its brilliant art and galleries featuring local artists as well as museums and historic tours, all of which provide ample opportunities to keep you occupied. Take a delightful stroll through the park located in downtown Beaufort along the calm Beaufort River. Beaufort offers Snowbirds a peaceful and serene alternative to winter chaos. The most accessible airports, within an hour's drive of the city, include the Hilton Head Island and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airports, offering commercial flights into the area.

6. Mesa, Arizona

Snowbirds will enjoy a quaint winter alternative in Mesa, Arizona. Pleasant temperatures abound from December through February averaging 67 °F highs and 40 °F lows. Mesa, is situated about 20 miles east of Phoenix, located near the Superstition Mountains. For avid golf lovers, Mesa is home to a myriad of premium and championship golf courses. Mesa hosts seasonal cultural and entertainment events at various venues to satisfy your physical cravings, or need to get out and about, including, great shopping and dining options, an art center, amphitheater, recreational parks and the Arizona Museum of Natural History. Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport is the nearest airport to Mesa.

7. Valencia, Spain

Valencia is a Snowbird’s international retreat! Valencia has an amazing Mediterranean climate with winter temperatures (December thru February) averaging 60 °F (Hi’s) and 44 °F (Lo’s). Spain’s third largest city, Valencia is on the Mediterranean Sea approximately four hours to the south of Barcelona and three hours to the east of Madrid. Spanish is Valencia's official language so practice up before embarking because the English speaking skills of the locals may not be sufficient. Don’t worry though, it won’t be a problem.Valencia is a thriving cultural. It is recognized as the City of Arts and Sciences with incredible futuristic structures including a planetarium, an oceanarium and several outstanding and interactive museums. Valencia also has wonderful beaches for strolling, including some within nearby Albufera Park, a wetlands reserve with a lake, walking trails and bird-watching. There are numerous restaurants and cafes for great dining and eating in Valencia. It is world known as the birthplace of paella. Be adventurous with your palate, you can’t go wrong. Valencia is famous for its Fallas Festival in March. A must see! Valencia International Airport is in Manises. The airport is 5 miles from the city center. Pasenlo bien!

8. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Get ready for a heart-warming and exciting experience in magnificent Buenos Aires which has a humid subtropical climate. The warmest month is January, with a daily average high of 77 °F and low of 66 °F. Most days between December and February temperatures range in the 75 to 88 °F with nights between 61 to 70 °F.Buenos Aires hails as the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America. Predominately a Spanish speaking culture, it nicely sits on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the continent's southeastern coast. Known for its romantic and passionate Tango dance, Buenos Aires is strongly influenced by European culture. It is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of South America." Buenos Aires is an artistically stimulating city that encourages walking and sightseeing. It offers flat landscapes that are easy to maneuver. This exciting destination boasts lovely parks, museums, a planetarium, zoos, a unique aquarium and many other wondrous adventures to occupy your time during your winter stay. There are plenty of exquisite restaurants and cafes throughout the city to satisfy your dining palate. Porteños (the city's residents) are extremely welcoming and friendly. Even though you are escaping the cold of winter, don’t pass up the spectacular ice cream parlors or heladarias. You will be amazed at the delicious and vast selections. The Buenos Aires international airport, which goes by the official name of Ministro Pistarini International Airport, is located in the suburb of Ezeiza and is often called the "Ezeiza International Airport."

This article was written by Sharon Cleveland Blount.