Most Affordable Snowbird Destinations:
The 25 U.S. Cities With Warmer Winters and the Most Affordable Vacation Rentals
Snowbirds, or retirees who move from colder climates to warmer places in the Sun Belt to avoid the frigid winter weather, are in great need of comfortable and affordable vacation rentals. While some retirees start planning their snowbird vacations with a particular city in mind, like the popular The Villages, FL or Flagstaff, AZ, many are less concerned with the exact destination and instead, care most about finding the cheapest snowbird vacation rentals, since they’ll need to book accommodation for one to five months, depending on their length of stay.
Looking at snowbirds’ vacation rental search behavior and inquiries here at Tripping.com, we can conclude that snowbirds want to find two things primarily: the sunshine and budget-friendly winter rentals. So where are the most affordable snowbird vacation rentals?
We asked the same question, then dove into our robust data to discover which U.S. cities with warmer winters boast the cheapest vacation rentals. So without further ado, here they are:
The 25 U.S. Cities With the Most Affordable Snowbird Vacation Rentals
1. Clearwater, FL
Clearwater offers the best value snowbird vacation rentals in addition to thriving downtown nightlife and popular shopping district. Clearwater is perfect for snowbirds looking for a place to return to on a yearly basis, as the city's rapid growth means that there will be something new to explore every time you visit this top Florida snowbird destination!
2. New Smyrna Beach, FL
‘Florida’s Secret Pearl’ is not only the second most affordable snowbird destination, but one of Florida’s most popular tourist destinations. Voted one of the best small cities for the arts, New Smyrna Beach is home to a great collection of galleries in addition to shops, cafes and sprawling beaches. Situated on Florida’s east coast just an hour from Orlando, New Smyrna Beach is a fun and vibrant town that offers a quieter scene than its northern neighbor, Daytona Beach.
3. Haines City, FL
Although its inland location means snowbirds are a drive away from the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf, this snowbird destination is surrounded by lakes. Haines City rentals are reasonably priced and offer great access to the city’s nearby major attractions. Legoland Florida is about 20 minutes away while Disney World and Universal Studios are about 40 minutes away.
4. St. Petersburg, FL
One of the most affordable snowbird destinations and a longstanding favorite vacation spot among U.S. and international tourists alike, St. Petersburg offers warm weather and a vibrant downtown to entertain active snowbirds morning and night, all season long. Those planning for a day in the sun, should hit St. Petersburg’s warm Gulf Coast beaches or take a stroll along the St. Petersburg pier, which rivals any boardwalk coast to coast. When you’ve had enough sun, take shelter in the newly built 20 screen iMAX theater or walk through the Dali Museum, home to the largest collection of Dali’s art outside of Europe.
5. Pahoa, HI
Whoever said that Hawaii was too expensive to visit in the winter was mistaken, as Pahoa holds the spot as the fifth most affordable snowbird destination in the U.S. Nestled in the shadow of Kilauea and not far from Hilo Airport, Pahoa is the spot for snowbirds craving a winter in Hawaii. Its Big Island location offers snowbirds endless possibility when it comes to planning an active day. Tour a Kona coffee plantation, walk on the beach, set out on a scenic hike or simply read or relax in your very own lanai.
6. Cocoa Beach, FL
With kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, yoga, Pilates, and whale watching at the finger tips of its visitors, Cocoa Beach is a great destination for snowbirds looking for active living as well as cheaper vacation rentals. Sitting on Florida’s east coast just an hour drive away from Orlando, Cocoa Beach is a great destination for snowbirds who are Disney fans or are expecting a visit from guests who are.
7. Rotonda West, FL
A beautiful planned community with six golf courses not far from Port Charlotte, Rotonda West offers snowbirds affordable rental properties. Snowbirds are sure to enjoy the nearby Cape Haze Pioneer Trail Park, home to walking and bike trails as well as a dog friendly park for those snowbirds traveling with their four-legged friends.
8. Charleston, SC
Find South Carolina's best value snowbird vacation rentals in this historic city. Once one of the largest cities in the U.S., the old yet charming city of Charleston has captured the attention of snowbirds who admire its rich history, preserved architecture, and vibrant restaurant scene. With eleven theaters, top notch golf courses, and location on the Atlantic, snowbirds looking for a pleasant and relatively cheap snowbird vacation should certainly keep Charleston in mind!
9. Bella Vista, AR
Bella Vista is home to Arkansas' most affordable snowbird vacation rentals. Tucked gently away in Arkansas’ northwest corner, Bella Vista is a year round refuge for folks looking to get close to nature and escape the city bustle. Miles of trails and streams crisscross the community, conveniently offering snowbirds countless opportunities for casual strolls and day hikes. The untouched natural beauty of this place makes it one of the country's best kept secrets.
10. Ormond Beach, FL
Another neighbor of famous Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach is a great snowbird destination with cheap Florida winter rentals. Snowbirds who love wildlife or birdwatching must take advantage of the nearby Tomoka State Park, which is inhabited by alligators, manatees, and over 160 bird species. In town, local restaurants and beaches offer resort style living to snowbirds without sacrificing the small town charm.
11. Lake Buena Vista, FL
Lake Buena Vista is the mailing address for Walt Disney World and with cheap winter vacation rentals, it's a great place for your snowbird address too! In fact, Lake Buena Vista is one of two Florida municipalites controlled by the Walt Disney Company. Snowbirds and visitors alike can enjoy a myriad of international food at restaurants within and outside of the local themeparks. With several golf clubs and venues to enjoy theater, live music and comedy shows, Lake Buena Vista is a wonderful snowbird destination that is sure to entertain guests of all ages and interests.
12. Tucson, AZ
Tucson is a favorite snowbird destination, and also home to some of the most affordable snowbird vacation rentals. This beloved Arizona spot offers much more than warm weather and no humidity, however. Once called a "mini mecca for the arts" by the Wall street Journal, Tucson boasts a vibrant arts scene as well as fascinating cultural history, which attracts tourists all year round and snowbirds throughout the winter months. Stay through February to enjoy the famous Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
13. Orlando, FL
Who knew this world famous destination is also home to some of the most affordable snowbird vacation rentals? In addition to famous attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld, Orlando is home to fantastic dining and shopping opportunities. Snowbird golfers, you’re in luck, as Orlando is home to great golf courses, including Bay Hill and Lodge, which is home to the Arnold Palmer invitational.
14. Davenport, FL
Davenport is another Florida hub for Disney World visitors, and apparently, another great destination for snowbirds looking for cheap Florida winter rentals. Davenport hosts a yearly ‘winterfest’ and is home to the exciting Wallaby Ranch, offering hang gliding instruction year round- a thrilling activity for the adventurous snowbird.
15. Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral doubles as one of the most popular snowbird destinations and one of the most affordable snowbird destinations. Great beaches and golf courses make this Gulf Coast city a popular destination for Florida snowbirds and international travelers alike. Called the ‘Waterfront Wonderland’, Cape Coral is home to over 400 miles of canals.
16. Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs, known as the ‘Gateway to the Gulf’, is yet another Florida favorite among snowbirds that doubles as one of the most affordable snowbird destinations. Bonita Springs lives up to its flattering title with its magnificent beaches, which entice sailing and fishing enthusiasts as well as eager snowbirds looking for affordable Florida winter rentals.
17. Kissimmee, FL
Snowbirds visiting Kissimmee can enjoy the best of both worlds. Only minutes away from Disney World, its guests can enjoy all the theme parks have to offer in addition to countless exciting outdoor activities. Snowbirds seeking outdoor adventure can treat themselves and their visitors to an airboat ride in the Everglades, a hot air balloon ride or even fly through the trees zip lining.
18. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
A wildly popular east coast vacation spot, Hilton Head Island is also one of the most affordable snowbird destinations! Home to great community beaches, parks, restaurants, shops, and affordable rentals, what more could snowbirds want?
19. Madeira Beach, FL
Intrigued by pirates? Madeira Beach is rumored to have been settled by one. The city celebrates this legend with its sea-themed boardwalk, lined with shops and fun restaurants. If you can start your snowbird season early, experience its Seafood Festival at John’s pass in October.
20. Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach is another awesome snowbird destination with cheaper vacation rentals. White sand beaches, warm Gulf Coast waters, and fun activities like baseball games and water sports make Fort Myers Beach another wonderful destination for active and low key snowbirds. Bringing a boat? Tie it up in the amply equipped marina!
21. Sedona, AZ
Sedona is another city on this list that has the special title of being one of the most popular snowbird destinations and one of the most affordable snowbird destinations. 200+ miles of hiking and biking trails, vibrant cultural celebrations like a festival of Native American Culture, and fun attractions and activities like the Cliff Castle Casino make Sedona a fantastic snowbird destinations.
22. Pawley’s Island, SC
Snowbirds should skip the crowds at Myrtle Beach and head to the laid back Pawley’s Island instead. This small island attracts vacationers seeking a carefree getaway as well as Loggerhead Sea Turtles, who head to Pawley Island’s shores to nest.
23. Princeville, HI
A snowbird colony of sorts, Princeville is a planned community in Kauai that caters especially to travelers looking to find a respite from cold winter weather. The community features golf courses and extensive beach access as well as hiking trails in local foothills.
24. Bradenton, Fl
This quaint Florida city is a thriving bastion of the arts. Local theaters host the American Association of Community Theater competitions, while downtown Bradenton features many studios and galleries.
25. Anaheim, CA
Disneyland, Angel Stadium home to the Los Angeles Angels, and the Honda Center home to the Anaheim Ducks are just a few of Anaheim’s many notable attractions. Just outside of L.A., Anaheim is a great snowbird destination for snowbirds looking to stay on the west coast.
This article was written by Nic Shipley and edited by Tripping.com Content Specialist, Lexi Perman.