Best Seasonal RV Retirements

The 40 Best Seasonal RV Retirement Communities Across America

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Best Seasonal RV Retirements


If you want to retire in an RV, it's fairly easy to join the rest of the snowbird community and jaunt off to where the weather's best. The Good Sam family of campsites keeps a list of snowbird-friendly RV campsites, while Thousand Trails offers annual camping passes to more than 100,000 such sites in North America. Almost all peak snowbird destinations are in the Southwest, Southeast, or Gulf States, and even frugal living under those conditions can cost upward of $14,000 a year. But there are certain destinations that folks feel are worth it. We looked around to find places snowbirds just love to call home — if only until it gets a little warmer up north.

Quartzsite, Arizona
Quartzsite, Arizona by blake.thornberry (CC BY)


Quartzsite is home to less than 4,000 people. But once the tourists and snowbirds start filing into its 30 RV parks, more than 2 million people call this area home for at least part of the winter. At Interstate 10 and Highway 95 in the Sonoran Desert, Quartzsite revels in being the country's capital for boondocking (free camping without water or electric hookups).

Surprise, Arizona
Courtesy of


Nearly 24 percent of the population is over 65 here, so retirees can drive their golf carts on streets where the speed limit is under 35 miles per hour and go to Cactus League spring training games, restaurants, the Uptown Alley bowling and entertainment complex, parks, fishing areas, and more. During winter months, Surprise's Sun River retirement communities and four RV resorts — another 24 are nearby — surge in population.

Goodyear, Arizona
Courtesy of


There are only about three RV resorts in Goodyear itself, but snowbirds increase the population by roughly 30 percent in the region. With a high temperature hovering between 65 and 70 degrees during the winter months, Goodyear is a gem in the West Valley.

Slab City, California


Set on an abandoned World War II Marine corps barracks near the Sonoran Desert, this series of concrete slabs is home to about 200 year-round, but can climb to 4,000 or more during winter months. Artists, retirees, poor folks, and outcasts flock here despite a lack of (officially available) amenities such as electricity and water, but the nearby town of Niland and a series of generators and solar panels provide. Residents are parked between giant public works of outsider art, and life on the slabs and the slab prom (complete with dresses and musical acts) are an attraction all their own.

Scottsdale, Arizona


A big part of the Phoenix metropolitan area, Scottsdale has a sprawling arts district (with its free Artwalk each Thursday), the Barrett-Jackson auction auto show, casinos, multiple golf courses, buses, trolleys, and a branch of the Mayo Clinic. It's part of a region that invites more than 300,000 snowbirds to complement a population where 20 percent are over 65. Those snowbirds fill nearly a half-dozen RV parks in Scottsdale alone. Come spring, even more visitors arrive to watch the San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, and Arizona Diamondbacks hold spring training in town.

Palm Beach County, Florida


About 145,000 snowbirds flock to Palm Beach County in the winter, raising the total population by 11 percent. It might seem particularly acute along the coasts, with the winter population in Jupiter jumping by an estimated 17 percent — but the town of Palm Beach sees its population soar an estimated extra 75 percent. There are around a dozen RV parks helping house that sizable snowbird population.

Art Wager/istockphoto


This city, where 16 percent of the population is over 65, was practically built around retirees. The beaches, parks, restaurants, and wealth of other activities pairs well with senior fares on the subway and busway system, while the elevated Metromover gets folks around many of the city's neighborhoods for free. Meanwhile, even luxe Miami Beach invites snowbirds down for the winter, knowing that those with lots of cash tend to stay. For others, numerous RV parks answer the call.

Metairie, Louisiana


Technically an unincorporated part of Jefferson Parish, Metairie falls within the metropolitan area of New Orleans, which is considered a great retirement city by Kiplinger — and has a 17 percent senior population already. Taxes are low, most pensions are tax-free, and retirees get to enjoy gorgeous waterfront parks, the Miami Marlins' Triple-AAA minor-league baseball team, and all New Orleans has to offer. Meanwhile, there are numerous RV parks nearby.

Clearwater, Florida


Nearly 20 percent of Clearwater's population is already over 65, but surrounding Pinellas County estimates that around 80,000 snowbirds add to that total every winter. Yes, this is the Philadelphia Phillies' spring training town, but it also has beaches, an aquarium, theater, multiple festivals, and a lovely downtown. Also, thanks to that snowbird population, it's surrounded by dozens of RV parks just waiting for arrivals for the winter — when it will be a lovely 70 degrees.

Palm Bay, Florida


You're looking at a paradise of 29 parks, two golf courses, and nearby beaches where one out of every five people is 65 or older. Nearby Port Canaveral is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, just in case you enjoy the sea life, shows, and all-you-can-eat buffets. Palm Bay Hospital is there if you need it, but just enjoy those 72-degree winters in the numerous RV parks in and around Palm Bay.

Hot Springs, Arkansas


Roughly an hour outside Little Rock, itself one of the most affordable cities for retirees in the country, Hot Springs is built on leisure. There's the racetrack at Oaklawn Park, fishing on Lake Catherine and Lake Hamilton, strolls through the Garvan Woodland Gardens, and the ferocious creatures of the Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo. Oh, and there's always Bathhouse Row, which offers a soak in the namesake Hot Springs or just a stroll through historic district hotels, restaurants, art galleries, and festivals. More than 21 percent of people here are over 65, the winter temperatures are in the 50s, and proximity to Hot Springs National Park puts dozens of RV parks into play.

Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida


Spring Break, bike week, and NASCAR fans are all part of the package, but so is an international airport, the sprawling Halifax Health hospital and health care network, museums, golf courses, boating on the intracoastal, and, of course, the beach itself. The seniors who make up 23 percent of the population here manage to put up with the ruckus, which helped create the need for their numerous RV park options.

Port St. Lucie, Florida


The New York Mets spend spring training here, but the PGA Village golf complex and its 54 playable holes are here year-round. If a round of golf, a boating trip on the intercoastal, or an afternoon in Jensen Beach Park go awry, Port St. Lucie Hospital, St. Lucie Medical Center, Tradition Medical Center, a VA medical center and a number of specialists and urgent care facilities are right nearby. More than 20 percent of the population is over 65, and the many RV parks here and in nearby Brevard County make it a pretty easy place to come and go as you wish.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida


High temperatures hover around 75 degrees, while the lows don't dip below 50. The Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins spend spring training here, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison's summer homes are here, and a booming population has brought in shops, restaurants, and other attractions. The area is served by four hospitals (Lee Memorial, Cape Coral, Gulf Coast, and HealthPark) within a 10-mile radius. About a quarter of the folks who live here are over 65, and there are dozens of RV resorts throughout the region.

Lake Havasu-Kingman, Arizona


With a quarter of the population over 65, this is firmly snowbird country. Sure, people come to see London Bridge and party on the lake all year long, but cold snaps up north bring a bunch more folks from the U.S. and Canada to their second homes. With temperatures reaching regularly into the 100s from June through September, most folks tend to be part-time retirees here. But the area's population has more than doubled since 1990 and more amenities (including restaurants and a casino) have increased its year-round appeal. Meanwhile, Lake Havasu State Park and numerous marina resorts give those who come by RV a warm welcome.

Naples, Florida


Naples is surrounded by more than 80 golf courses, making it a golf retiree's dream. It has a downtown filled with theaters, museums, and restaurants, huge open-air shopping centers, a gorgeous beach with a fishing pier, tennis, a half-marathon, wildlife preserves, and a botanical garden. Meanwhile, health care options include two NCH Hospitals, two Physicians Regional facilities and more than a dozen Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida facilities for those in need. It's why more than 30 percent of those living in surrounding Collier County are 65 or older, and why the county is teeming with RV parks.

Prescott, Arizona


With a history dating back to the 1860s and a lovely spot in the shadow of the Bradshaw Mountains in the Granite Creek watershed, Prescott is not the scorching Arizona retirees both fear and flock to. It can get below freezing from November until about April after average highs in the upper 80s during summer. A mix of Victorian homes, college flophouses, Whiskey Row bars and restaurants, golf courses, retirement homes, and rehab clinics, Prescott takes in just about everyone. With all its festivals, fairs, and overall friendliness, it's little surprise few people want to leave: Prescott hasn't stopped growing since the 1930s, and 26 percent of its population is over 65. There are fewer than a dozen RV parks here, but they get the job done for temporary residents.

Bradenton, Florida


Beaches and fishing in nearby Sarasota Bay and Baltimore Orioles spring training have made this place a boon for retirees. But several hospitals in Sarasota and another in Bradenton provide the kind of security that retirees have come to expect from communities in the Sunshine State. About a quarter of Bradenton is over 65, many enjoying 70-degree temperatures in dozens of RV parks around the city.

Ocala, Florida


Smack between Florida's Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Ocala is more self-contained than most Florida tourist and retirement towns. Its theaters, first-Friday art walk, national forest access, historic districts and horse farms and events have created a laid-back lifestyle that sits well with the snowbirds who flock to the dozens of RV parks in and around this retiree haven. Roughly 27 percent of people here are over 65, so the town must be doing something right.

Sebastian-Vero Beach, Florida


The beaches, the Indian River Lagoon, the intracoastal, the Disney resort, and the Dodgertown baseball complex all make Vero Beach seem like the blueprint for what retirees imagine they'll find when they move to Florida. It's why nearly 29 percent of people who live here are over 65, many of them making temporary homes in the RV parks along the coast.

Punta Gorda, Florida


Devastated by Hurricane Charley in 2004, Punta Gorda came back strong: Building a 2.4-mile Harborwalk and a marina along Charlotte Harbor, creating a linear park throughout the city, and pedestrian and bike trails through town. With multiple golf-based retirement communities throughout the area and lots of shopping, restaurants, parks, and health care options, Punta Gorda has become a retiree's paradise. An overwhelming 54 percent of residents here are over 65, with those under 18 making up just 5 percent of the overall population. Despite more than a half-dozen RV spots in Punta Gorda itself and dozens more in surrounding communities, it pays to get down here early.

Visalia-Porterville, California


Tulare County is home to some of California's greatest national treasures. From Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks and Mount Whitney to Lake Kaweah, there's a lot here for folks who love the outdoors, and the Kaweah Delta Medical Center right near all of it should you need help. There are also about 15 RV parks in the area to help you enjoy those temperate winters and national treasures.

San Diego
Art Wager/istockphoto


It's nearly 80 degrees here all winter. Close to beaches and wineries, stocked with restaurants, breweries, and baseball in the summer, San Diego has always been a popular choice with retirees. With more than a dozen medical centers in San Diego alone, not counting those in Chula Vista, La Jolla, and other surrounding communities, San Diego promises a rich quality of life for years to come. Only about 14 percent of people in the city are over 65, but nearby military installations and amusement parks such as Sea World and Legoland have made San Diego home to nearly two dozen RV parks.

San Antonio
Sean Pavone/istockphoto


The Riverwalk, The Alamo, the old Colonial touches, SeaWorld and Six Flags for the grandkids: San Antonio has made itself a destination with just about everybody in mind. Granted, it's one of the biggest cities in the country and not the cheapest to live in, but having dozens of hospitals, clinics, and medical centers clustered within the nearby South Texas Medical Center is a relief for health-conscious retirees. Winters are mild to cool, so pick one of the more than two dozen RV parks in the area and get moving.

Austin, Texas


There are many great reasons to enjoy seasonal living in a college town. Austin hosts South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, concerts every night, great independent film, a large contingent of artists, and some of the best food in the country, so there's a lot more to it than what the Longhorns are doing on Saturdays. Plus, state capitals and college towns tend to be great places to find health care. St. David's Medical Center, Heart Hospital, University Medical Center, Seton Medical, Arise Austin, the Hospital at Westlake Medical Center, Dell Children's, Fresenius, and Northwest Hills Surgical are just what's within 10 miles of the city center. People 65 and older make up just 8 percent of all people here, so it's the young at heart filling the area's nearly three dozen RV resorts.

Oxnard/Ventura, California


Welcome to Ventura County, 53 percent of which is national forest. There are some gorgeous state beaches (Point Mugu especially so), some great historic sites (from Spanish colonial architecture to the Ronald Reagan library) and a whole lot of traffic and suburbs. But if you can see past the latter to enjoy the former, 15 percent of the population is over 65 and has access to dozens of medical centers within a 20-mile stretch of this area — six within the core 10 miles alone. With nearly 20 RV resorts to chose from, there are a whole lot of places to serve as base camp for your forest adventures.

Santa Barbara, California


Santa Barbara has artists, wine bars, and ocean views, which all make it a prime retirement spot. California shows up a lot on this list, for sun and quality of life, but the sheer amount of medical help available contributes. In Santa Barbara, where 17 percent of the population is over 65, there are three medical facilities within seven miles of each other (there's another in Ojai if you really need it). Santa Barbara isn't the cheapest place to settle, but there are more than a dozen RV resorts, including locations near Cachuma Lake and Los Padres National Forest.

Santa Cruz, California


Surf, sun, boardwalks, redwood forests, but enough adult activities to bore young visitors away make Santa Cruz's roughly three dozen area RV parks look tempting. You have two hospitals in town and another nearby in Watsonville, and there's a lot to enjoy if you're into hiking national parks and forests, idling at the beach, or tooling around the set of "The Lost Boys."

Tybee Island, Georgia


The beaches, dunes, pier, pavilion, 282-year-old lighthouse, and bed-and-breakfasts on this Georgia barrier island teem with tourists during summer months, but Georgia campgrounds are open year-round. Less than a half-hour from Downtown Savannah and a cheaper, quieter alternative to the city, Tybee Island's scenery and seafood make it a great place to spend any season. There's only one RV park on the island, so if you don't want to trek in from Savannah (which has four more), you'd better get on the line to River's End.

Twentynine Palms, California
Karel Stipek/istockphoto


OK, so maybe it hasn't been the most swinging place to be since the Andrews Sisters sang about it around World War II, but there's a lot to love about this spot about an hour east of L.A., including sand dunes and sun, Joshua Tree National Park, and observatory, and it's especially nice to do them in the winter when high temperatures are still in the 60s. Only about 5 percent of the town is over 65 (surf rocker Dick Dale is part of that contingent), but proximity to a national park and a Marine base make the nine RV resorts in the area invaluable.

Las Vegas


Las Vegas is secretly a fine place to retire. The city is flat, the sidewalks are broad, the rain is minimal, and every form of public transportation has senior discounts. Shows, hotel rooms, restaurants, buffets: None are strangers to senior discounts, and most bank on them to get through slow seasons, offering senior days and senior admission to museums and other attractions. Just make sure you ask for the discounts, which are more prevalent than Sin City would have you believe. Temperatures are in the 60s and 70s most days during the winter, but make sure you have a good heater when staying at one of the more than two dozen RV parks: temperatures can still get below freezing.

Albuquerque, New Mexico


It's best known as the setting for "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul," but there is a lot more to do here than look at filming locations. Nob Hill, the Balloon Fiesta, and the 2.7-mile Sandia Peak Tramway are all worth seeing, but you might prefer this place's natural beauty, as the Petroglyph National Monument and Cibola National Forest are easier to explore when the average high temperature stays so well above freezing. With nearly two dozen RV parks to choose from, it's worth at least a winter's worth of your time.

Aiken, South Carolina


Welcome to horse country. Aiken has been a "winter colony" for northerners since the late 1800s, with temperatures keeping to the high 50s and low 60s. There are a number of horse tour companies and trails here, but vintage markets, street music, restaurants, festivals, breweries, and more make it a year-round attraction — especially for the quarter of the population over 65. A handful of RV parks welcome snowbirds, but we'd advise booking several months to a year in advance.

Georgetown, South Carolina


While everyone fawns over the history and architecture in Charleston, you're best served heading to Georgetown, South Carolina's third-oldest city. The historic district has dozens of homes and buildings on the National Historic Register and roots dating back to the European settlers of the early 1500s. Fish on Winyah Bay, walk along the Harborwalk, or follow in the footsteps of the at least five sitting presidents who've visited this place. Temperatures stay in the 60s for much of the winter, but plan ahead if you want a spot at one of the three RV parks nearby.

Orange Beach, Alabama


Located on a gorgeous stretch of Gulf Coast, Orange Beach is well-discovered snowbird country. Condos dot the shoreline and summers are filled with Blue Angels flyovers, shrimp festivals, oyster cook-offs, deep-sea fishing, trips to Fort Morgan, golf outings, and concerts — much of that also available in the winter, when temperatures hold in the mid-60s for oyster season in Orange Beach. Nearly a quarter of Orange Beach visitors during the winter months are coming in from the cold, while 28 percent of full-time residents are over 65. As a result, there are five dozen RV parks in the immediate area waiting for those snowbirds to migrate.

Gulfport, Mississippi


More than three dozen RV parks await in Gulfport during the winter, when temperatures linger into the 50s. That's also peak Mississippi Gulf oyster season, and the Gulfport Dragway keeps racing for much of the season, bringing retirees looking for fun to Gulfport's Mardi Gras.

Palm Springs, California


Winter temperatures stay in the 70s, the Palm Springs International Film Festival takes place in January, The Dinah music festival takes place in April, and the Coachella Valley tourist hotels now compete with the Ace Hotel & Swim Club for tourist dollars. Hit the Desert Hot Springs for a spa day, stroll the Palm Springs VillageFest street festival every Thursday, or hike on Andreas Canyon Trail. It's not the most RV-friendly place in the world, but proximity to Joshua Tree National Park, San Bernardino National Forest, and the greater Coachella Valley still means access to more than four dozen RV resorts nearby.

Laughlin, Nevada


Is Vegas a little rich for your blood? Reno a little too bustling? Lake Tahoe just too cold? Welcome to Laughlin, which has the Vegas weather with fewer casinos (just nine) and more outdoor activity along the Colorado River and Lake Mohave. Play roulette, hike Grapevine Canyon and see the petroglyphs, or just gorge yourself at a buffet. Roughly 39 percent of the population is over 65 and here for the same reasons you are, so find a spot at one of the nearly three dozen RV resorts nearby and get comfortable.

Alamogordo, New Mexico


On the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert and near an airbase, Alamogordo not only stays warm through the winter months, but has 17 percent of its population enjoying senior years here. Get some golf in at Desert Lakes, see the World's Largest Pistachio (a 30-foot sculpture at PistachioLand) or tour the pistachio orchards to taste their bounty. There's more than a dozen RV parks between the White Sands National Monument and Lincoln National Forest to welcome you.

Harlingen, Texas


There are no "snowbirds" here, only "Winter Texans" — with their own newspaper and online presence — who visit this town in the southern tip of the Rio Grande Valley for its cute and bustling downtown (thanks to monthly Jackson Street Market Days) and a spot right under a migration pattern for birds. And though their numbers have been off slightly in recent years, they still have more than four dozen RV parks to choose from, many designated for those 55 and older.