Freedom is a wonderful thing. The kind of freedom offered by the snowbird lifestyle is the ultimate. What a life!
Home is where you park it. You’ve settled into your destination resort, your new home for the winter months. You’ve introduced yourselves to your neighbors and met several new friends.
You can choose to do nothing in particular and simply relax, socialize with your fellow snowbirds, and enjoy your winter home. Or you can opt for a more active lifestyle.
Following are 21 tips for the snowbird asking, “Now what?”
1. Many snowbird parks provide a wide variety of resort amenities and organized activities designed to keep their seasonal guests involved and active.
2. Computer rooms, game rooms with pool tables, tennis and shuffleboard courts, a pickle ball facility, and an arts and craft room frequented by quilters and sewing enthusiasts may be available at your snowbird park.
3. Check out the area’s visitor information center and local papers for current happenings, flea markets, arts and crafts classes and workshops, organized hikes, farmers markets, fairs and festivals, parades, and other events and happenings.
4. Take time to savor the local culture and learn about the area’s heritage and cuisine. Attend lectures and seminars, plays, musical performances, and dances.
5. Natural beauty abounds in most locations. Check out national, state, county, and regional parks, national wildlife refuges, national and state forests, scenic byways, nature parks and centers, aquariums, wildlife and zoological parks, and game reserves.
6. Explore the cultural history of the area by visiting museums, historical and archaeological sites, and other significant landmarks where important events took place.
7. Take tours of churches, cathedrals, antebellum mansions, architectural and heritage sites, and other locations of historical significance.
8. Check out activities and classes offered by the local parks and recreation department.
9. Absorb the local culture by attending sporting events.
10. A visit to the public library makes for an interesting rainy day activity.
11. Give back to your snowbird community by volunteering at one of the many nonprofit agencies in the area.
12. Keep a journal/blog with photos of your snowbird activities to share with family and friends.
13. Make a start on sorting and organizing your photos; don’t forget to back up all digital files in case of a computer crash.
14. Take up a new hobby or sign up for a class to hone your current skills.
15. Take up bird watching. Many of the colorful birds found in Sunbelt regions are tropical species, reaching their northern range limits.
16. RVing can be even more memorable when it’s shared with other snowbirds at an RV rally. There are several different types of RV rallies including Good Sam Club National and Chapter rallies, manufacturer club rallies, and club rallies for RVers of similar interests.
17. RV shows are also scheduled with snowbirds in mind. There is no better way to shop for a new RV or upgrade your current one than by attending an RV show, where numerous dealers and suppliers come together to show off their wares. You’ll have an opportunity to check out a wide-range of recreational vehicles in one location, often at special “show prices”.
18. Dining comes in all shapes and sizes in the various Sunbelt locations including slow-cooked barbecues through to fresh-out-of-the-water seafood, Mexican and Cuban cuisine, Southern Cooking, Cajun and Creole specialties, fast foods, and buffets. Senior specials are available.
19. Walking, hiking, and playing golf are great ways to stay physically fit and to meet new people.
20. Take advantage of some of the celebrations, parades, and other special activities held near your snowbird roost. Whether you’re a foodie or sports nut, you’ll find a seasonal festivals or fun-filled event that will highlight your stay.
21. Consider mapping your return journey home into segments of several weeks.
Even after six months “on the road” you may not be ready to start the northern trek home. But before long you’ll begin planning your return to the Sunbelt next winter.
As Anne Murray sings in the popular song, “Snowbird”:
“Spread your tiny wings and fly away
And take the snow back with you
Where it came from on that day…
So, little snowbird, take me with you when you go
To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow…”
Happy snowbird travels!