Florida Snowbirds: A Complete Guide

The definition of a snowbird is quite simple. In short, a snowbird is anyone who lives in a place that has a cold winter climate and relocate to somewhere else to a warmer climate during the winter months until the cold has passed.

The term is most commonly associated with the state of Florida, because the year-long near tropical temperatures attract thousands of residents from the upper United States and even Canada. Typically, these people are retired since not everyone has a location independent job. Once in Florida, they either rent or purchase a property and live there for months at a time. Usually for the sake of convenience and keeping costs low, they’ll end up driving their vehicles down from wherever they live so they can use them while in Florida. If they’re driving from Canada, let’s say Toronto, for example, the drive from Toronto the mid-panhandle section of Florida is about 23-24 hours total.

So while many people are alright with making the drive down and staying a night in a hotel halfway through the journey, not everyone is as excited to make the 24 hour drive back up to where they live. A quick five hour flight is much more desirable and comfortable, but how are they going to get their car back to where they live? That’s where vehicle delivery services come in.

Why More And More People Are Using A Car Delivery Service

While most people will just pay for their car to be driven back, some people choose to have their car delivered both ways so they can fly in comfort and be away from the snow in just a few hours time. It’s really a matter of convenience at the end of the day. The drive down to Florida is extremely long and for an inexperienced driver it can be pretty anxiety inducing are gone from state to state where the rules of the road change ever so slightly. The massive time commitment is also a problem for some people.

As I mentioned earlier, many of these people are retired so being stuck in an uncomfortable car seat for long periods of time can aggravate existing medical conditions like a bad back. The 24 hour drive from Canada is has made Canada driveaway service all the more appealing. Once you factor in the added costs of food while on the road and hotel accommodations, paying to have your car delivered while you also save time by flying is well worth the money. Typically, these services are extremely fast and will get your car to Florida or back just as quickly as you could have done yourself, usually with no more than an extra day’s time.

Beating the snow isn’t always easy for most snowbirds, it involves a lot of planning and doing everything just right to make sure that they are actually decreasing their stress load instead of doing the opposite. Trusting a professional driver to bring their car to their vacation home alleviates a huge burden on snowbirds, making the decision to go south for the winter all the more simple.

How Many Snowbirds Come to Florida?

Although it is extremely impossible to obtain an accurate figure that separates snowbirds from regular visitors, most estimates place the annual number of snowbirds visiting Florida in the very high six figures. This indicates that during the months when snowbirds flock to Florida, the state’s population actually increases by as much as 5%.

Just observing the differences in traffic on the streets and crowds at popular restaurants is one of the less accurate ways to gauge the effect of snowbirds on the population of a particular region. The effect is even more noticeable in well-known retirement communities like The Villages, where it can be difficult to book a tee time on some of the busier courses during the winter despite having nearly 700 holes of golf.

Most Popular Snowbird Destinations in Florida

Almost anywhere in Florida may be recommended as a snowbird destination, although certain places are undoubtedly more well-liked than others. The most well-liked locations typically offer a low cost of living while yet being accessible to major airports and big cities.

Fort Myers

Fort Myers is well known for its beaches, fishing, and shopping, making it the perfect destination for a month-long or longer vacation. The Caloosahatchee River runs through the city, which has a lot of attractions downtown and relaxing waterfront views. Get some much-needed sunshine while playing golf or browsing flea markets.


Winter visitors can experience Bradenton’s museums, aquariums, and historical monuments all across the city, which is home to Old Florida’s history. You can enjoy beautiful views all winter long and a short stroll to the water from a vacation home near the river, where you can see passing boats and Florida’s verdant landscape. This Gulf neighborhood is perfect for unwinding easily and doing things more slowly.


With a winter rental in Naples, look for the beautiful sands and waves of the Gulf Coast. It is simple to understand why the community was named the best place to live in Florida and the seventh best overall by the United States. A developing brewing culture, high-end shopping, dolphin sightings, and news about wildlife preserves. In this city bathed in sunlight, you will find the ideal snowbird company.


Sarasota, also referred to as Florida’s “Culture Coast,” is known for its concentration on the arts. The warm weather, proximity to the coast, and Sarasota’s selection of theaters, art galleries, museums, operas, and ballets draw snowbirds to the city for months at a time throughout the winter. During your winter stay, treat yourself to some time out.


Discover your ideal snowbird destination where the fish are biting and the sun is shining. Destin is renowned for its plethora of waterways, snow-white beaches, and selection of top resort amenities. Rent a condo on the gulf and enjoy the winter months with beach access, ocean views, and resort-style facilities like hot tubs and swimming pools.


With a city located halfway between Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast, you may get the best of both worlds. Florida’s favorite beach, Clearwater, was mentioned in Forbes’ list of the top five spring break destinations as well as Business Insider’s list of the top 24 beaches in the country. Explore the green waters, golden dunes, and downtown attractions during a stay in a pet-friendly vacation house or beachfront apartment rental.

Cape Coral

Cape Coral provides beautiful scenery, natural reserves, and 400 miles of canals if peace and quiet are your top priorities. With a monthly lease, you can explore the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve at your own pace and observe birds along the mangroves. Instead, you can kayak in Sirenia Vista Park and observe the manatees as they move. This winter, unwind at a vacation home with lots of space for your legs and perhaps a pool.

Panama City Beach

There are 27 miles of beautiful sand beaches and clear waterways to explore. Northwest Florida’s Panama City Beach, sometimes known as PCB, is a popular destination for outdoor dining and shopping. It has aquariums, golf courses, and fresh seafood markets. When you’re lying in the sun on the sand, it’s difficult to feel the winter blues.

Buying a Winter Home in Florida

While renting a winter residence in Florida is an excellent way to begin experiencing the life of a snowbird, the majority of them eventually hope to buy their own residence. Owning a winter home in Florida offers a variety of financial advantages that, for the majority of snowbirds, make it a better value in the long run after you are reasonably convinced about the snowbird lifestyle and discover the ideal location. Yet, buying a second home in another state has a lot of drawbacks as well.


There are numerous routes to happiness in Florida for snowbirds of all stripes, whether you are a first-time visitor hoping to stay for a month or a seasoned snowbird looking to deepen your commitment to the Sunshine State. Writing down your ideal snowbird lifestyle and then finding a means to make it a reality are the best ways to make the most of your trip.