I’ve lived most of my life in northern Minnesota. To say I know all about long cold winters is an obvious understatement.
A number of years ago, my wife and I reached the point of “Enough already!" So we packed up the RV, hit the road, and headed South.
We learned a few things along the way that may be helpful if you’re brand new to the idea of getting out of the snowbelt during the winter months…
Tips For FInding Warmer Weather
Our first trip had us leaving Duluth Minnesota in early March.
After days of clearing snow banks away from our motorhome, we were finally on the road. With 2 months of winter still expected up north, we were surprised to find by the time we got to southern Iowa the snow was gone.
Yes, middle America has a winter, but it leaves a heck of a lot earlier than up in the deep freeze of the North. By the time we reached Oklahoma, it was down right balmy for us penguins from the Arctic.
We headed for Arizona the first couple of winters. While Flagstaff can be plenty cold and snowy, Tucson provided us with perfect temperatures. The bright blue skies every day were great to wake up to. You could plan activities whenever you wanted, as everyday started the same way: with beautiful weather.
Eventually, we landed in north Texas. Though a much milder and shorter winter than what we had up North, it was still plenty cold and had some snow. Southern Texas, from say Corpus Christi to Brownsville, is much warmer. By the time you get close to Mexico you’ll find palm trees and a more sparsely populated area. Plenty of snowbirds land down this way, as renting a lot for a month at a time is reasonably priced.
One of the favorite winter roosting spots in Arizona is Quartzsite. The annual gathering of the flock takes place from about December through March each year. Snowbirds come from all over the country by the thousands to take part in the festivities. During this period of time, the small town of 2,000 grows to over half a million residents! Visitors stay on Bureau of Land Management property and campgrounds in the area. With a continual flow of rock and mineral shows, RV shows, flea markets, etc, there is plenty to do all winter.
Many people choose the Baja Peninsula of Mexico as their destination. It’s said you can camp on the beaches in many locations free and that the cost of living in general is much cheaper in Mexico.
Florida is another hot spot for snowbirds. Many RV resorts are located along the panhandle’s Gulf Coast and throughout the entire state. Avoid the tourist cities, as not only are they crowded, but they can also be expensive. Disney World is a great experience, but I wouldn’t want to spend my entire winter with them as neighbors.
If your goal is just to get away from the worst of winter, maybe visiting the states closer to the Mason Dixon line would suit you. Areas like Branson, Missouri offer a lot to do during your getaway. We’ve stayed at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds in Arkansas that were absolutely beautiful and very low cost. Spending a week or two in one place, then moving on to another scenic lake or campground sounds pretty good to me.
There are plenty of places all over the country that can be your winter getaway. All it takes is selecting one and heading out. The beauty of it is: you’re mobile. If one doesn’t suit your fancy, just move on to another. Seeing new places is all part of the fun!