Hit the road, escape the cold, and explore these must-see winter destinations.

If you’re planning on hitting the road this winter in search of warmer temperatures, we have you covered! While Florida is the traditional winter destination for many snowbirds and full-time RVers, there’s plenty to see and do elsewhere in the South. And with an RV, you can easily visit a few different locales during your winter getaway!

Below, you’ll find our picks for the best winter RV destinations for snowbirds. Whether you’re looking for sandy beaches, city life, outdoor recreation, or a little bit of everything, these destinations are perfect for escaping the cold!

Joshua Tree, California

Nature lovers will appreciate a wintertime visit to Joshua Tree National Park, where winter temperatures are often in the mid-60s—perfect for those who like their weather not-too-hot and not-too-cold. This amazing park is located in southeastern California and is well worth a visit if you're looking for some stunning scenery and incredible hiking opportunities. With its vast deserts, unique rock formations, and sprawling high desert forests, Joshua Tree National Park has no shortage of otherworldly beauty. Don’t miss out on its stargazing opportunities, either—the dark skies here are famous for their views!

South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island is a barrier island off the coast of Texas, and it offers something for everyone! A popular destination for snowbirds looking for warm winter weather, there are several RV parks on the island where you can set up your home base for exploring the area. The island is known for beautiful sunsets and beachcombing, and fishing enthusiasts will stay busy here, too. If you like to mix and mingle with the locals (or other snowbirds!), you’ll want to check out the vibrant nightlife scene.

Yuma, Arizona

If beaches aren’t your thing, maybe the desert is more your speed? Yuma is located in the Sonoran Desert, which isn’t exactly a place you’ll want to visit at the height of summer, but snowbirds flock here for its warm winter temperatures. And the temps aren’t the only reason to visit—Yuma is also known as the sunniest place on Earth! This small desert town has plenty to explore, from historic sites to outdoor recreation. There are also a number of RV campgrounds in the area, many of which are outfitted with swimming pools, hot tubs, and modern facilities.

The Florida Keys

For a taste of the Caribbean without needing a passport, consider wintering in the Florida Keys. Now, you’ll have to be okay with the fact that you’ll be visiting at the height of tourist season here, but there’s a reason why so many snowbirds flock to the Keys in the winter months—it’s a magical place with clear, turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and coral reefs. The Keys offer something for everyone, from fishing and diving to kayaking and windsurfing, all with that signature relaxed Caribbean vibe. There are several state parks here to offer you prime beachfront camping opportunities, but also no shortage of RV resorts that are flush with amenities.

Austin, Texas

There’s a saying here that tells you all you need to know about Austin: Keep Austin Weird. This quirky city is an excellent choice for snowbirds who like their destinations to be a little off-beat. Whether you’re a foodie, nature lover, or music devotee, Austin is sure to charm you—and it delivers it all with warm southern hospitality. Austin is one of the most culturally and historically rich cities in the country, known for its unmatched music scene, vibrant arts community, and creative food. Plus, it's a great place to relax and enjoy nature, with plenty of parks and outdoor activities available year-round. Be sure to check out Lake Travis and McKinney Falls State Park while you’re in the area.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs is another destination that’s oppressively hot in the summer months and delightfully mild in the winter. Sunshine lovers rejoice—it’s sunny in Palm Springs most of the year! Plus, there are plenty of things to do in this scenic city. From hiking and biking trails to world-class golf courses and luxury resorts, Palm Springs has it all. Even just driving through the area and taking in the mid-century modern architecture and desert landscapes can keep visitors entertained! Be sure to check out Villagefest, a Thursday night tradition that features art and handmade crafts, then stop at one of Palm Springs’ many iconic restaurants for dinner.

Tucson, Arizona

Looking to add a little southwestern flair to your travels? Consider Tucson, a city with a rich history and stunning desert views. From the Mission San Xavier del Bac to Saguaro National Park, there's plenty for snowbirds to see and do in Tucson, and the mild winter weather here is perfect for hikes through breathtaking canyons and mountain biking. Tucson is also a foodie paradise, known for its authentic tacos and Mexican food. In fact, UNESCO recently designated Tucson as a Creative City of Gastronomy thanks to its restaurants, food festivals, farmers’ markets, and agricultural history.

White Sands, New Mexico

White Sands, New Mexico, is one of those places everyone should visit at least once in their lives, and wintertime is the perfect time to do it. It may not be as well-known as Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, but White Sands National Monument is just as awe-inspiring, with white-sand gypsum dunes that are constantly shifting, creating ever-changing patterns and shapes that never fail to amaze visitors. There is also plenty to do in the area, from hiking and biking trails to exploring nearby villages and the Missile Range Museum. 

Gulf Shores, Alabama

While many snowbirds head for Florida in the winter months, you can enjoy the same mild weather and white-sand beaches in Gulf Shores, Alabama! In addition to the beaches, the Gulf Coast of Alabama is a nature lover’s paradise, with countless wetland trails, opportunities for birdwatching, and plenty of outdoor recreation. Foodies will appreciate the fabulous local restaurants, which are well-known for their seafood—especially Royal Red shrimp.

San Antonio, Texas

If you're looking for a fun and vibrant city to explore, then consider spending some time in San Antonio this winter. Although it's often overshadowed by its larger neighbor Houston, San Antonio has plenty of charm and character of its own. From the Alamo and the River Walk to great food and live music, there's something for everyone in this lively Texan city. And if your grandkids want to come visit? Well, there’s plenty for them to do, too, including SeaWorld and Six Flags!

For more travel ideas, see our picks for the best spring RV trips and the best RV trips for fall.

By Jeyree Everly
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