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Head South, You Snowbird: 5 Places to Camp This Winter

Where to set up camp in the sunny south.


All right, northerners, listen up. Winter, it turns out, isn't always about snow, freezing temperatures, and whatever the heck a 'wintry mix' is.

For those who live in the southern United States, winter is about mild temperatures, sunny days, and perfect camping conditions.

Snowbirds are those from the northern climates to migrate to the cozy embrace of the south during the cold months. If that strikes your fancy — even temporarily — then you might consider 'snowbirding' for a week, a month, or longer.

While you're traveling, rely on KOA's vast network of campgrounds to find a place to call home each night. Here are a few areas that will keep you warm this winter.

Arizona

Photo by Jeremy Meek // Adventure: Hike to the Wilson Mountain Summit - South Overlook, Sedona

Arizona is a particularly friendly state for campers, with plentiful RV parks and public land. It seems like every town has those amenities that campers need, too, like dump stations, water fills, and a well-stocked grocery store.

Lake Havasu City is full of snowbirds, so if you're looking for friendly neighbors, you'll likely find them here. To get off the beaten path, head to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the beautiful hill town of Patagonia, or the red-rock wonderland of Sedona

KOA campgrounds in Arizona

Texas

Photo by Chris Mongeau // Adventure: Hike the Window Trail in Big Bend

Everything is bigger in Texas, they say, and that's certainly true about the size of the state itself. Our recommendation? Pick an area and stick there for at least a few weeks to break up what'll otherwise be a long drive time from place to place.

Austin is full of great food, excellent music, and plenty of adventure. For beach vibes, the area around Galveston has plenty of campgrounds and a few free boondocking spots. And don't forget Big Bend National Park, which is remote, stunning, and worth the trip.

KOA campgrounds in Texas

Southern California

Photo by Torrey Schaefer // Adventure: Visit Historic Pioneertown

Southern California might not be on your snowbird radar, but don't pass it by. Between Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree, and the Mojave National Preserve, you'll find plenty of places to explore. 

To stick a little bit closer to civilization, camping and fun experiences abound around Palm Springs and San Diego. From there, you'll be just a quick drive from Baja California, if you want to take this snowbird trip international.

KOA campgrounds in California

South Carolina

Photo by Eric Sullivan // Adventure: Hike to the Cockspur Island Lighthouse from Fort Pulaski

Southern charm abounds in South Carolina, where historic towns, mountains, and a pretty coastline combine into one snowbird-friendly package.

For a life aquatic, check out the resort-vibes on Hilton Head Island or the gritty lure of Myrtle Beach. Charleston's cobblestone streets and antebellum houses are soaked in southern culture, and the Blue Ridge Mountains grace the northwestern part of the state.

KOA campgrounds in South Carolina

Florida

Photo by Christian Murillo // Adventure: Take a Sunrise Stroll around Matheson Hammock

Florida is the OG of snowbird territories, but don't write it off because of that. Florida is a notably beautiful state, with diverse coastlines, serene inland waterways, and, if it's your jam, plenty of bustling cities to keep you entertained. 

For an old-world vibe, head to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, and check out the pristine Guana State Park and Wildlife Preserve. To check off another park on your list of National Parks, the Everglades is a unique landscape that you won't find anywhere else. From there, it's a quick hop over to Key West!

KOA campgrounds in Florida

Cover photo by Kevin Kaminski

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Sara SheehyAdmin

Writer | Nomad