Author Topic: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter  (Read 9166 times)

k_to_the_v

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« on: March 25, 2016, 01:26:15 PM »
Just toying with this idea, and thought I'd ask for some ideas.

I live in Michigan and have a great job where I primarily work remotely. I am considering spending 4-6 weeks next winter in a warmer climate to escape the worst of the winter. All I need is a decent living space that will allow my dog and has wifi so I can continue working.

I'm primarily considering the SE as it would be much easier to travel to, but am open to other suggestions.

I really want to be able to do a lot of hiking - that is hands down my favorite outdoor activity. I also like being on the water. I would love to try some new activities as well.

I am not a fan of really hot weather - I'm looking for anywhere from the 50s-70s. No Florida. My goal is to be really active at a time of year I normally become a slug, not sit on a beach and get a tan.

I would also love a quaint, quirky smaller town feel. More progressive, less conservative. I do like really good food - both cooking myself and going out occasionally. I also like live music, but I can live without it if I have the outdoor stuff I crave.

I do have a 3/4 ton truck - one option might be to rent an RV, if that's even possible.

So, looking for suggestions on specific locations to consider, and also how to go about getting long term rentals in those areas. Would also love to hear from other mustachians who do something like this.

jda1984

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 02:39:12 PM »
The first couple areas that came to mind didn't seem like they would work (AL, GA, MS, LA) due to the progressive vibe you're going for. 

What about NC, particularly the Asheville area?  I've driven through in the summer and it is beautiful.  The Blue Ridge Mountains are nearby.  It's not so big that you'll be dealing with high rent etc, but not so small that the only things to do are bowling or drinking (or both).  It'll be on the cooler end of your temperature spectrum, but only handful of days with a high below freezing each year.

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 02:53:05 PM »
What about somewhere like Carlsbad, CA? Maybe somewhere like Santa Fe, NM(might be too cold)? I've heard the eastern shore of the bay in the Hampton Roads area is nice, though I have never been.

chubbybunny

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • Location: Georgia
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 03:12:12 PM »
Just head south on 75.  I'm originally from Michigan but lived in Florida for 20 years.  The conservative southerners aren't nearly as bad as I imagined them to be!  Monster trucks are annoying, but the small town friendly vibe is still possible anywhere.  I highly recommend northern Georgia and Tennessee.  Apparently there is a name for us.  A guy I met in Tennessee called us half-backs.  We moved from Michigan/Ohio to Florida, and then we moved half way back!

I can recommend all of the following (for different reasons):

Quaint small towns:
Ellijay, GA:  apple picking reminds me of michigan
Helen, GA:  german themed town, tubing down the river
Dahlonega, GA: gold panning, cabbage patch place is nearby, vibrant shopping downtown area

City life:
Chattanooga, TN: love visiting here.  lookout mountain, riding bikes along the riverfront.  so much to do!

Busy/tourist activities:
Sevierville, TN: dollywood, smokey mountains national park, awful tourist traps (lumberjack show isn't even that bad), arts & crafts (lots of pottery and woodcarving shops)

doggyfizzle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 03:17:42 PM »
I'd suggest Tucson.  Beautiful scenery, tons of great stuff to do outdoors, and the weather in the winter can not be beat.  I look forward to visiting my inlaws every year there over Christmas vacation.  Avoid the summers though...

grundomatic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 08:15:32 PM »
Second vote for Tucson. I moved here from the midwest and love it. We are surrounded by mountains, bicycle friendly, and are something like a progressive island in a conservative state. From what I hear there is a decent local music scene. If you don't have to have organic food, produce at Food City is cheap as free (small avocados were 5/$1 last week, and roma tomatoes 3lbs/$1). There are some good local hipster restaurants. With it being a university town with an Air Force Base surrounded by snowbird type stuff already, temporary housing should be fairly easy to come by. Plus you can message me and have a mustachian to help show you around when you get here!

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1821
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World

RyFI

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2016, 10:56:37 PM »
Are you open to Mexico? We're finishing up a six month stay here next month and have had a fantastic experience. Many negative things you hear about Mexico are blown way out of proportion. We drove here in October from northern Wisconsin. We stayed three months by Chapala, Mexico, and now we've been in Guadalajara for a couple months. We've really enjoyed both places.

Look up Ajijic, Mexico (pronounced Aww-hee-heek). It's on Lake Chapala (very large lake) so you'll have your water. Lots of great food  to buy at markets, good restaurants, and music. Weather is perfect. It's at about 5,000' above sea level so it doesn't get too hot. Plenty of hiking and outdoor opportunities. Lots of Americans and Canadians are there if you want to meet other English-speaking folks. Finding internet for your work and a good place to stay would be no problem.

The icing on the cake is that the US dollar is strong against the Mexican peso so your money really goes far here.

I'd highly recommend it! Our blog is www.EachWeekUnique.com if you care to see our travels.

k_to_the_v

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2016, 06:57:10 AM »
Some great suggestions here. Some of the SE locations were already on my radar, specifically Athens, CA and Chattanooga, TN.  had not considered Tucson, but I looked into it based on the suggestions here, and it looks like the perfect place - it's longer than I planned on driving but might be worth an extra driving day.

Anything farther than that though -- CA, Mexico -- I think is too far for me, as it would take too long to drive there and back just for a month.

Off to do more research. Thanks for the suggestions!

undercover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 940
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 07:54:52 AM »
Not Florida? Forget the Southeast then...you're not going to find 50-70s during Winter except in southern Florida, unless you count somewhere like New Orleans.

You're better off heading Southwest or West. Maybe Austin or San Antonio. I like the suggestions in Arizona. And there's always SoCal. Those areas and Florida are really the only places you're going to see 50-70 in the winter.

FIREby35

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 635
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2016, 08:16:41 AM »
I'd just say the same thing about Mexico. I've spent a lot of time there over the years. I constantly hear about the negative "headlines" from family and friends. But, I love it and agree those concerns are way overblown. We go to Zihuatenejo, Mexico in the winter. Since we are young, only for a couple of weeks. As time goes by, we want to extend the stay. As mentioned above, lots of Americans, Canadians and Europeans. Dollar is very strong. Great restaurants, hiking, walking, beach, kayaking in mangroves, etc. I like to swim in the ocean in the morning for exercise. Pretty awesome place if you are open to Mexico.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2016, 09:19:16 AM »
I'd personally head to the southwest. Arizona Utah Nevada soco. On your way down or back you can hit the big 5 national parks in Utah. Which may be the best vacation I've ever taken. 

Matumba

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2016, 09:19:39 AM »
Following

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2218
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2016, 09:31:06 AM »
Tucson is fantastic in the winter, with the notable exception of the driving conditions...roads choked with elderly, super-slow drivers AND drag racing students. But still...fantastic outdoor stuff for months on end, plus a very diverse city if that is your thing. (I can handle the summers as well, but those take lifestyle alteration and practice to maintain an active outdoor lifestyle).

Willbrewer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2016, 09:35:10 AM »
The mid-to-Southern Texas gulf coastline is a popular snowbirding location. On the north end of Padre Island, near Corpus Christi I've stayed at the Bird Island Basin camping area (no facilities- it's a boondocking location). It's right on the water of the inner channel between the island and the mainland, shallow water, and a very popular windsurfing location. There's a board rental shop at the camping area.

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2016, 09:58:38 AM »
Following re: similar question (though I'm watching the answers that let my CAD money go further than it would in the States).

MMMdude

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2016, 10:35:38 AM »
Someone mentioned socal....where in socal could one find affordability. Seems like l.a. And san diego are amazing but crazy pricey.

SeanMC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2016, 11:46:54 AM »
I would second (or third) the southwest if your goal is 50s-70s weather in the deepest part of winter (mid Jan to mid Feb, for example).

Most of those cities in the southeast will be too cold and unpredictable, except south Florida. Plus, since they aren't well equipped to deal with cold/ice like Michigan, conditions can be miserable during the 1 or 2 bad stints they get - typically during the exact same time you're looking for the snowbird getaway!

MerryMcQ

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2016, 01:40:10 PM »
Someone mentioned socal....where in socal could one find affordability. Seems like l.a. And san diego are amazing but crazy pricey.

There are dozens of small towns in So Cal that are outside easy commute to San Diego,/LA, with reasonable prices and great weather... Just no jobs. Look at Julian or Ramona, by San Diego. Beautiful hiking, dog friendly, lots of vacation rentals with good long-term prices. Julian might be a bit colder as it is higher elevation. But both will be sunny and dry most days.



asauer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 595
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2016, 07:56:50 AM »
My suggestions are:
Southport, NC- very few days are below your temperature leanings.  VERY cute small town but close access to the larger town of Wilmington in case of medical needs.  Right on the water and it's a very active area.

Beaufort, SC- all the same benefits above but about 5 degrees warmer on average

Note- I have to disagree with the Asheville, NC suggestion.  It is a beautiful area in the spring/ summer/ fall.  My sister lived there for 3 years (and I go up there at least 4x/ year for vacation) and the winter regularly falls below freezing with ice and snow.  But, there's really not enough snow for skiing etc.  So, my recommendation is to pass that one up given your criteria.

k_to_the_v

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2016, 07:41:14 AM »
I think I've decided on Tucson, which I never would have considered if it weren't for the suggestions on this thread. I love the Carolinas, but I think it would be interesting to spend some time in the Southwest, which would be a somewhat new experience for me. I am researching monthly rentals for early 2017 right now... (I am considering doing a month in the Carolinas in the late fall as well)

The nice thing is I can try Tucson, and then try someplace else the next year. And someplace else the year after that...and so on, lol. Maybe I'll just work my way through the suggestions on this thread list.

Parizade

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Variable
  • Happily FIREd
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2016, 07:48:49 AM »
When I retire I want to be a snowbird too (Minnesota can be brutal) but I want to find international places, preferably different each year
Anybody familiar with Aix en Provence, France?

CmFtns

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Melbourne, Fl
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2016, 08:03:56 AM »
you need to go really far south to have lows-highs ranging from 50-70

That's about the average winter temperatures down here in southern florida in Dec-Feb

Slow&Steady

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 719
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2016, 09:39:18 AM »
Bisbee, AZ

The older, downtown part.  There is a great apartment style hotel there that I had to stay at for about 3 weeks for a job once in the downtown area.  It was a great little town!

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2218
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2016, 10:02:23 AM »
Bisbee, AZ

The older, downtown part.  There is a great apartment style hotel there that I had to stay at for about 3 weeks for a job once in the downtown area.  It was a great little town!

Well, now that the OP is thinking Tucson, I am filled with envy at my own suggestion!  Side trips to Bisbee and Jerome are definitely in order, also. Have a blast, OP!

yyc-phil

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: Yellowknife NWT
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2016, 10:05:07 AM »

Anybody familiar with Aix en Provence, France?


I lived 30 minutes from Aix when I was a kid almost half a century ago, and went back every few years to visit my grandmother until she passed on. Aix is a beautiful and lively city, with wonderful parks and promenades and cafés, probably the best place in the world to be young and carefree. Or old and carefree. Around Aix, you are surrounded by hills and fields of lavender and rosemary and century-old villages, natural wonders like the Verdon canyon, and Marseilles (my favourite cosmopolitan city) and the calanques are only 30 minutes away.  Provence is on my list of places to spend a few months during FIRE. Let me know if you have specific questions.

Parizade

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Variable
  • Happily FIREd
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2016, 10:15:57 AM »

Anybody familiar with Aix en Provence, France?


I lived 30 minutes from Aix when I was a kid almost half a century ago, and went back every few years to visit my grandmother until she passed on. Aix is a beautiful and lively city, with wonderful parks and promenades and cafés, probably the best place in the world to be young and carefree. Or old and carefree. Around Aix, you are surrounded by hills and fields of lavender and rosemary and century-old villages, natural wonders like the Verdon canyon, and Marseilles (my favourite cosmopolitan city) and the calanques are only 30 minutes away.  Provence is on my list of places to spend a few months during FIRE. Let me know if you have specific questions.

Sounds perfect! is it expensive to eat? could I get around easily on a bike?

yyc-phil

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: Yellowknife NWT
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2016, 10:53:10 AM »

Anybody familiar with Aix en Provence, France?


I lived 30 minutes from Aix when I was a kid almost half a century ago, and went back every few years to visit my grandmother until she passed on. Aix is a beautiful and lively city, with wonderful parks and promenades and cafés, probably the best place in the world to be young and carefree. Or old and carefree. Around Aix, you are surrounded by hills and fields of lavender and rosemary and century-old villages, natural wonders like the Verdon canyon, and Marseilles (my favourite cosmopolitan city) and the calanques are only 30 minutes away.  Provence is on my list of places to spend a few months during FIRE. Let me know if you have specific questions.

Sounds perfect! is it expensive to eat? could I get around easily on a bike?

Eating out is a bit pricey, but no more than at your typical Olive Garden chain restaurant, but in Provence, the difference is you will taste quality in a picture-perfect setting. For groceries, even the big supermarket chains offer plenty of high quality food, from bread and pastries, meat and charcuterie, to dairy and fresh vegetable and fruits. The difference in food offerings in countries like Germany or even Spain compared to France is very obvious. Worst, after I come back to Canada and go grocery shopping, I always think there is nothing good to eat in this country.

Cycling in Aix itself and in the Provençal countryside is fantastic, especially if you stick to the small "route nationales and departementales". Check this link for a bit more details.

http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/where-to-go/cycling-in-provence.html

If you want ideas for cheap winter travel, check Spain and Portugal, Croatia, Slovenia and other countries all the way to Turkey. You can easily find a studio apartment practically anywhere there for under 500 euros a month, and even cheaper in the countryside. If you are into biking, you can't go wrong. Two friends just left a few days ago on bicycle from the Jura mountains in France, on their way to Turkey, and are loving their trip. These are all on our list, competing with SE Asia, Taiwan and Japan, Central and South America, we just need to find the time.

Parizade

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Variable
  • Happily FIREd
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2016, 11:04:37 AM »

Anybody familiar with Aix en Provence, France?


I lived 30 minutes from Aix when I was a kid almost half a century ago, and went back every few years to visit my grandmother until she passed on. Aix is a beautiful and lively city, with wonderful parks and promenades and cafés, probably the best place in the world to be young and carefree. Or old and carefree. Around Aix, you are surrounded by hills and fields of lavender and rosemary and century-old villages, natural wonders like the Verdon canyon, and Marseilles (my favourite cosmopolitan city) and the calanques are only 30 minutes away.  Provence is on my list of places to spend a few months during FIRE. Let me know if you have specific questions.

Sounds perfect! is it expensive to eat? could I get around easily on a bike?

Eating out is a bit pricey, but no more than at your typical Olive Garden chain restaurant, but in Provence, the difference is you will taste quality in a picture-perfect setting. For groceries, even the big supermarket chains offer plenty of high quality food, from bread and pastries, meat and charcuterie, to dairy and fresh vegetable and fruits. The difference in food offerings in countries like Germany or even Spain compared to France is very obvious. Worst, after I come back to Canada and go grocery shopping, I always think there is nothing good to eat in this country.

Cycling in Aix itself and in the Provençal countryside is fantastic, especially if you stick to the small "route nationales and departementales". Check this link for a bit more details.

http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/where-to-go/cycling-in-provence.html

If you want ideas for cheap winter travel, check Spain and Portugal, Croatia, Slovenia and other countries all the way to Turkey. You can easily find a studio apartment practically anywhere there for under 500 euros a month, and even cheaper in the countryside. If you are into biking, you can't go wrong. Two friends just left a few days ago on bicycle from the Jura mountains in France, on their way to Turkey, and are loving their trip. These are all on our list, competing with SE Asia, Taiwan and Japan, Central and South America, we just need to find the time.

My budget would be $10-12K for 3 months (Jan/Feb/Mar) so it doesn't need to be dirt cheap. Just comfortable. Portugal is very appealing too, I'll have to check out your other suggestions
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 01:34:08 PM by Parizade »

k_to_the_v

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2016, 12:18:32 PM »
I have added Bisbee to my search parameters for a monthly rental...what a fun town that seems to be. A little cooler (temperature) than Tucson but seems to have the same outdoorsy scope and definitely has the funky/quirky vibe I was looking for.

I think any of us snowbirds that end up taking recommendations from this thread should be required to post a followup - maybe even do a journal - if/when we end up at our destinations!

bognish

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2016, 12:58:22 PM »
Sedona AZ would be worth looking into while you are checking out AZ. Flagstaff is nice, but might be colder than your range.

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2016, 01:23:30 PM »
If you want ideas for cheap winter travel, check Spain and Portugal, Croatia, Slovenia and other countries all the way to Turkey.

Any idea (anyone) how these locations compare in price to similarly sweet places in Mexico, Central America, South America? I've been assuming these are the cheapest options, but maybe that's not even necessarily so?

I don't need dirt cheaper, either, and safety/psychological comfort is a factor for me. (i.e., I prefer staying in places where Joe Blows don't follow me with a gun or point one at me, and get away with it because it's a norm there, both of which have happened to me.)

Wordstew

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2016, 01:26:34 PM »
Stateside: Vashon Island Seattle.... Super scenic, lots of serenity, large artist culture, great place to bike, hike, or just roam

International: San Miguel de Allende Mexico...you can rent a room or stay in a bed and breakfast for very reasonable rates.  Very walkable, incredible art culture, tons of nearby outdoor activities IE: hot springs, Horseback riding, outdoor movies, cafes
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 01:32:01 PM by Wordstew »

doggyfizzle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2016, 02:52:40 PM »
I think I've decided on Tucson, which I never would have considered if it weren't for the suggestions on this thread. I love the Carolinas, but I think it would be interesting to spend some time in the Southwest, which would be a somewhat new experience for me. I am researching monthly rentals for early 2017 right now... (I am considering doing a month in the Carolinas in the late fall as well)

The nice thing is I can try Tucson, and then try someplace else the next year. And someplace else the year after that...and so on, lol. Maybe I'll just work my way through the suggestions on this thread list.

Look for a rental in the Foothills, near Sabino Canyon.  There are really affordable patio homes all up around Sunrise (the road).  Tons of good hiking and biking trails nearby.  The Seven Falls trail is worth doing at least once, as are treks to the Desert Museum, Kartchner Caverns, and the Pima Air and Space Museum.  Check out AJs grocery store up at La Encantada shopping center for a lunch splurge (their bottles beer selection is the best ive ever seen at a grocery store; their pizza is great too).

Don't know if it shows, but I love Tucson.  I live right by the beach in Southern California, and would move to Tucson in a heartbeat if the summers were a little less extreme.

RosieTR

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
  • Location: Northern CO
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2016, 03:12:53 PM »
Sedona AZ would be worth looking into while you are checking out AZ. Flagstaff is nice, but might be colder than your range.

I always think of Sedona as pretentious and unaffordable, plus with lots of traffic and the people are weird (not the good, Austin/Portland/Boulder kind of "keep X weird", either, just strange). Prescott, AZ is much more chill, but possibly colder? I think they get snow occasionally.

Bisbee and Jerome are quite small, and quite cute. Probably great fun for a few weeks! Tucson definitely has some of the vibe you're looking for.

Santa Fe is on the cooler side of your range and does occasionally get some snow, but you might check that area out as well. Artsy vibe, plenty of hiking, good food scene and such. I'm not as familiar with that area but there might be some smaller towns further south or lower altitude that fit your criteria even better.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5109
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2016, 08:37:22 PM »
Sedona is at 4,400 ft and is cold in the winter, especially at night.  Occasional snow and ice.  Flagstaff is at 7,000 feet and the temperature will drop to zero.  A fair amount of snow.

Phoenix and Tucson are both packed with snowbirds in the winter.  Short term rentals are generally expensive, because of the demand from people looking for the same break from winter you are.  Lots of parks and wilderness to hike, but traffic everywhere.  Since you will be working remotely, a high speed internet connection and bulletproof cell service will be necessary.  Rural areas won't give you that.

The good news for hiking is the rattlesnakes will be hibernating.  However, if you bring a dog, make sure s/he gets the anti-venom shots, because even a hibernating rattlesnake will bite if disturbed. 

Lots of RV travel bloggers use Arizona as a base in the winter.  Check some of them out for places to visit if you go.  Tucson, Yuma, and the outer suburbs of Phoenix all attract lots of snowbirds.  Try Zillow, Craigslist, AirBnB etc. to find a short term rental, but be skeptical of what the ads promise.

GhostSaver

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2016, 08:52:04 PM »
What about Las Vegas, NV? The housing prices there cratered after '09. I think it's still pretty affordable. It has good access to some outdoor activities, and living there is supposed to be a very different experience from visiting the strip.

I would suggest Grand Junction, CO or Moab, UT, but the high desert nights are colder than what you're looking for. St. George, UT has the weather you want but NOT the culture.

It sounds to me like you want lower-elevation Arizona, though I'm not as familiar with it beyond the obvious names.

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2218
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2016, 07:39:46 AM »
I think I've decided on Tucson, which I never would have considered if it weren't for the suggestions on this thread. I love the Carolinas, but I think it would be interesting to spend some time in the Southwest, which would be a somewhat new experience for me. I am researching monthly rentals for early 2017 right now... (I am considering doing a month in the Carolinas in the late fall as well)

The nice thing is I can try Tucson, and then try someplace else the next year. And someplace else the year after that...and so on, lol. Maybe I'll just work my way through the suggestions on this thread list.

Look for a rental in the Foothills, near Sabino Canyon.  There are really affordable patio homes all up around Sunrise (the road).  Tons of good hiking and biking trails nearby.  The Seven Falls trail is worth doing at least once, as are treks to the Desert Museum, Kartchner Caverns, and the Pima Air and Space Museum.  Check out AJs grocery store up at La Encantada shopping center for a lunch splurge (their bottles beer selection is the best ive ever seen at a grocery store; their pizza is great too).

Don't know if it shows, but I love Tucson.  I live right by the beach in Southern California, and would move to Tucson in a heartbeat if the summers were a little less extreme.

Gah! Stop reminding me of all the awesome LOL! (Ironically, even though I haven't lived there in 17 years, I just the other day looked to see if my favorite gross greasy spoon, the Sausage Deli, is still in business...and it IS!) You are making me want to blow off work this week, jump in the car, and make the 10 hour drive right now!

freeat57

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 98
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2016, 08:53:45 AM »
The Texas hill country is beautiful and usually nice weather in the winter.  I lived on the far northern edge of it until last December.  Not so good up there, but the area between San Antonio and Austin is great.  You can choose how rural you want to be.  Outside of the big cities, life is pretty cheap if you are only renting or camping.

desertadapted

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2016, 09:00:12 AM »
doggyfizzle's got it in one. Catalina Foothills, even if it's more expensive.  The further you head south in Tucson, the more you're subjected to traffic, and it can get a lot less charming.  Also consider Phoenix.  Kills the small town vibe, but you can reach scores of significant hikes in less than 30 minutes plus have big city  amenities, and a central location for exploring AZ (and better non-rush traffic than Tucson).  But Tucson is fantastic - Catlinas, Rincons, the sky islands south of the city.  So cool. Bisbee's a (must do) side trip -- can't compete with Tucson's outdoor opportunities.

Slow&Steady

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 719
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2016, 12:36:57 PM »
I have added Bisbee to my search parameters for a monthly rental...what a fun town that seems to be. A little cooler (temperature) than Tucson but seems to have the same outdoorsy scope and definitely has the funky/quirky vibe I was looking for.

I think any of us snowbirds that end up taking recommendations from this thread should be required to post a followup - maybe even do a journal - if/when we end up at our destinations!

The place I stay at in Bisbee was the Eldorado Suites.  We were there for 3 weeks for work, it was nice to have a little kitchen and a grill out back but be within walking distance to restaurants if we wanted to eat out.

fdubz

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Looking for "snowbird" location suggestions for next winter
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2016, 07:13:08 AM »
following! :)