If you spend all winter dreaming of blue skies, clear streets, and an outdoor temperature that doesn’t cause extreme discomfort every time you set foot outside, you aren’t alone. The sunbelt has been popular with snowbirds for almost a century as a way to escape the frigid temperatures of the northeast and upper midwest.
Early settlers and developers in the southeast touted the health benefits of the region’s dry air and warm climate. You only have to look to how cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Salt Lake City have exploded in size and attractions in the past couple decades to see that snowbirds know what’s up.
Snowbirds Love These Sunbelt Campgrounds
Whether you’re already a committed snowbird looking for a new place to land this winter, or you’re new to flying south for the winter and aren’t sure where to begin, we have a few suggestions. There’s no shortage of campgrounds that cater to seasonal and long-term visitors, or to the 55+ set, but these are extra special and right in the midst of classic sunbelt country.
A destination for RVers since the 1980s, Florilow Oaks is unique in that it is co-op run and emphasizes activities and community for singles. In fact, it was a social organization for single RV'ers called Loners on Wheels that purchased Florilow Oaks in 1984 and turned it into the fun snowbird resort it is today. There are 40 spaces for visitors to park their RVs, but 100 permanent spots owned by regulars and full-time residents.
Amenities include shuffleboard and horseshoes, a pickle court, dog park, regular social events and parties planned by the on-site Activities Director, 24-hour emergency and ambulance service, and more. The park is within an hour of major Florida attractions like Disney and Seaworld, as well as the beach and several natural areas including the Green Swamp wilderness preserve.
Whether your hobbies include motorcycles, kayaking, parlor games, shopping, or finding foodie hotspots, it's not hard to find new friends at Florilow who share your interests, or might introduce you to a new pastime.
In the heart of Arizona's mission country, Green Valley RV Resort is tucked away at a breezy elevation that is consistently cooler than neighboring Tucson 30 miles away. There is plenty of room to spread out, too, with 302 RV lots that have 100 amp hookups. There are many amenities, too, designed with snowbirds in mind, including a dog park, craft room, library, gym, billiard room, heated pool, and hot tub.
There are lots of social events to partake in, too, including regular potluck dinners, happy hours, and lunches for groups like ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) and CLEO (Classy Ladies Eating Out). From lapidary classes to organized hikes to karaoke and poker, there's a little something for everyone to enjoy at Green Valley.
Just outside of Palm Springs in Cathedral City, California, Desert Shadows is a fun-filled 55+ adult community made up of 460 individually owned RV and Park Model Lots. It doesn't feel crowded, however, thanks to the generous campus.
Desert Shadows boasts not one but six pools, five spas and three saunas, sunken tennis courts, a ballroom, 3,000-square foot “Our Gang” party room for entertaining, indoor shuffleboard courts, five clubhouses, and even a pottery kiln.
That's on top of everything there is to do in the Coachella Valley, too, where there is almost 300 years of sunshine a day. That means you'll get endless mileage out of portable solar panels for your RV whenever you aren't out enjoying everything Desert Shadows has to offer.
This campground is the ultimate Vegas hangout. There's a bowling alley, movie theater, entertainment shows, and waterfall park with daily laser light show. There's even the variety of dining options you'd expect in Glitter Gulch, including a steakhouse, foodcourt, buffet, and even a TGI Fridays. Las Vegas KOA also has the usual amenities snowbirds expect, like a pool, hot tub, laundry, WiFi, and a dog park.
If you are hoping to see The Strip, Las Vegas KOA does offer courtesy busses for guests, but if you want to stick closer to the park, there are lots of Vegas-worthy activities like bingo and the adjacent Sam's Town Casino.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the New Mexico border, Desert Skies RV Resort is in prime golf country. You can walk to the Palms Golf Club right next door, but there are many more courses within a short drive of Desert Skies. ATV rides are also very popular, and you can actually reach the North Rim of the Grand Canyon easily by quad from the resort.
Numerous parks are nearby, too, for any snowbirds who are happy to be hiking, biking, or driving instead of slogging through snow. Bryce Canyon National Park, Cathedral Gorge, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Dixie National Forest, Grand Canyon National Park, Great Basin National Park, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Valley of Fire State Park, and Zion National Park are all within a day's drive.
At Desert Skies, you can also expect all sorts of creature comforts, including a pool, jacuzzi, dog run, billiards, miniature golf, and even DirecTV including ESPN and NFL Sunday Ticket to catch the big games. No wonder so many regulars spring for the weekly and monthly rate!
Recently expanded and renovated, Mountain Valley RV Resort has added a ton of new amenities specifically for its adult guests. Those include a new clubhouse, pool, spa, laundry room, pickle ball courts, restrooms, and a dog park. And if you've got some solar panels on your RV, you'll be in good company at Mountain Valley— their club house is powered with its own 30-panel commercial solar system. The pool and spa are heated with solar power, too. Thanks Utah sunshine!
There's a lot to do out an about in the Wasatch, though. You can explore via ATV in the Polaris Razors that Mountain Valley rents to guests, which are also street legal if you want to go for a drive but aren't towing a car behind your big rig. The famous Snowbird ski resort is just an hour away, too, and Herber Valley is famous for a wide range of activities, including cowboy poetry, sheepdog contests, golf, and scenic train rides.