Poll Reveals Top 120 Snowbird Retirement Routes in the U.S.

“Snowbirds” isn’t just a whimsical term—it’s a lifestyle embraced by many North Americans. These retirees smartly sidestep the chill of winter, migrating south to bask in warmer climes, only to return north when summer arrives. It’s a route between two homes, ensuring year-round comfort.

While many dream of this migratory lifestyle, the question is: What’s the ultimate snowbird route? Is it swapping the skyscrapers of New York for Florida’s beaches? Or perhaps trading Michigan’s lakes for Arizona’s deserts?

IRAInvesting.com sought to find this out – they surveyed 3,000 retirees asking them, hypothetically, what their ultimate retirement destinations combinations are, with some very interesting results.

#1 Fort Collins (CO) + Long Beach (CA)

Fort Collins Colorado By Citycommunications at English Wikipedia

Fort Collins, with its rich cultural tapestry, picturesque historic districts, and proximity to the Rocky Mountains, offers a delightful escape during the warmer months. On the other hand, Long Beach, with its gentle ocean breezes, palm-lined shores, and eclectic blend of urban and beach life, provides an ideal refuge from the colder seasons. The combination allows retirees to experience the best of inland and coastal charms, ensuring year-round enrichment and relaxation.

#2 Portland (ME) + Orlando (FL)

Portland Maine Photo by Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash

Portland, with its cobblestone streets, historic lighthouses, and seafood-rich culinary scene, delivers a unique New England experience during the summer months. Conversely, Orlando’s warm winters are not just about its famed theme parks; the city also boasts lush gardens, golf courses, and a plethora of cultural events, making it an inviting winter haven. This combination ensures retirees have a tranquil coastal escape and an energetic urban experience, catering to both relaxation and adventure throughout the year.

#3 Cape Cod (MA) + Clearwater (FL)

Cape Cod Massachusetts Photo by Mark Harpur on Unsplash

Cape Cod, with its iconic lighthouses, rolling sand dunes, and seaside villages, offers an enchanting escape filled with maritime traditions during the temperate months. On the flip side, Clearwater, renowned for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, becomes a paradise during the winter, promising warmth and relaxation.

#4 Buffalo (NY) + Palm Springs (CA)

Buffalo New York Photo by Pavol Svantner on Unsplash

Buffalo, enriched with stunning architecture, vibrant arts scenes, and the majestic Niagara Falls nearby, is a treat during the summertime when the city truly comes alive. In contrast, Palm Springs, with its iconic mid-century modern architecture, rejuvenating hot springs, and stark desert landscapes punctuated by palm oases, provides a warm, therapeutic escape from the winter chill.

#5 Albany (NY) + Asheville (NC)

Albany New York Photo by Daniel Scicchitano on Unsplash

Albany, steeped in American history, replete with grand state buildings, museums, and the scenic beauty of the Hudson River, offers a stimulating environment during the milder months. Transitioning to Asheville, retirees encounter a different allure: nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city exudes an artsy vibe, vibrant music scene, and a plethora of outdoor adventures, all while providing milder winters.

The other snowbird combinations to make the top 10 were:

#6 Louisville (KY) + Hilton Head Island (SC)
#7 Seattle (WA) + Albuquerque (NM)
#8 Bar Harbor (ME) + Atlanta (GA)
#9 Mackinac Island (MI) and Savannah (GA)
#10 Appleton (WI) + Daytona Beach (FL)

The full ranking is available here on their infographic.

Whether it’s the allure of mountain ranges, the tranquility of beaches, or the vibrancy of urban centers, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding one’s perfect retirement escape. The result of our survey speaks volumes about the expansive, dynamic choices that the U.S. presents to those looking to make the most of their golden years” says Tim Schmidt, founder of IRAInvesting.com.

Connie James

Connie James is a freelance lifestyle journalist. She loves reading, beach vacations and Negronis!

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