Top 10 Destinations for Snowbirds (Part 2)

Earlier this year we presented Part 1 of the 10 Top Destinations for Snowbirds. With winter lingering around as spring waits in the wings, it is time to provide Part 2 of the 10 Top Destinations for Snowbirds. Again, it was hard for our team to decide on the top 10 spots. Though we almost made a few changes, we have stuck with our original second 5 for Snowbirds. If you feel we missed some spots on the East Coast, leave us a comment below:

MAUI, HAWAII

Maui might be off the mainland of the United States, but it is hard to omit Maui’s tropical paradise from our list. With the volcanic rich soil that populates the island, the food one can acquire here provides a unique flavor that is hard to replicate on “the mainland.” For a good bite, head to Lahaina Grill, Merriman’s, Hali’imaile General Store, and Gerard’s to name just a few. One cannot talk about food and leave out the traditional Hawaiian Luau. Enjoy a night of food, drink and a trip into the history that engulfs Hawaii. Though Maui can be a place of peace and relaxation, there are a number of activities to keep your heart rate going. Take a horseback tour around the Island, try surfing along a number of the local beaches, go snorkeling out in the pacific, or hike the number of hiking trails along Maui. Whether you are seeking adventure or relaxation, Maui is the perfect destination for you. You may never want to step back onto the “mainland.”

Restaurants/Pubs to Visit:

  • Lahaina Grill
  • Merriman’s
  • Hali’imaile General Store
  • The Fish Market Maui
  • Pineapple Grill
  • Gerard’s
  • Old Lahaina Luau
  • Star Noodle

Best Activities for the Whole Family:

  • Haleakala Sunrise
  • Road To Hana
  • Feast at a Luau, preferably Old Lahaina Luau
  • Maui Helicopter Tour
  • Horseback Tour of Maui
  • Piiholo Zipline
  • Climb Mt. Haleakala
  • Ohe’o Gulch Pools
  • Tedeschi Winery
  • Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Best Known For: Outdoor Activities, Free Spirited Environment, tropical culture, and Sunny Weather.

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Just like Maui, Georgia’s Jekyll Island is a destination where people go to relax or be active. Jekyll Island’s 10 miles of pristine shoreline presents you a canvas for a leisure romantic stroll, building enormous sand castles with the grandchildren, or an invigorating jog.  The natural wonderland that makes up Jekyll Island provides a perfect setting for exploring by foot, boat, or kayak. If you prefer to keep your feet dry, explore the island along the numerous bike lanes that populate Jekyll Island. After building up your appetite, head over to Barabara Jean’s, Indigo Coastal Shanty, Catch 228 Oyster Bar & Grill, and The Half Shell. If you are one yearning to vacation in an East Coast with a Southern feel that would jump out of a J.Crew Catalog, Jekyll Island is the perfect destination for you.

Restaurants/Pubs to Visit:

  • Southern Soul Barbeque
  • Barbara Jean’s
  • Indigo Coastal Shanty
  • Catch 228 Oyster Bar & Grill
  • The Half Shell
  • Sandbar & Grill

Best Activities for the Whole Family:

  • Driftwood Beach
  • Jekyll Wharf Boat Tours
  • Georgia Sea Turtle Center
  • Take a Fishing or Dolphin site seeing Cruise
  • Summer Waves Water Park
  • Jekyll Island Club Hotel
  • Bike Trails

Best Known For: Geographically Water Dominant, Southern Belle Hospitality, Natural Wonder, Coastal City.

La Quinta, California

Located within the Coachella Valley, La Quinta is a popular alternative to Palm Springs for those in California that do not need the title of Palm Springs for their winter vacation.  Popular restaurants include Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant, LG’s Prime Steakhouse, Cork & Fork, and Lavender Bistro. There are a number of activities that one can do around La Quinta including hiking the Santa Rosa Mountains, ride a hot air balloon, hit the links at the number of golf courses, or take a drive to Big Bear for a little spring skiing. If you are a shopper, Coachella Valley is the fashion outlet paradise with the Desert Hills Premium Outlets that is home to luxury brands Bottega Veneta, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, and Loro Piana. Known for the numerous health spas, luxurious homes, and year-round climate, La Quinta is a wonderful place to rest for the winter as you catch some California rays, stay active, and enjoy the Southern California mentality outside of bustling Los Angeles.

Restaurants/Pubs to Visit:

  • Okura Robata Grill & Sushi Bar
  • Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant
  • La Spiga Ristorante Italiano
  • Morgan’s In The Desert
  • LG’s Prime Steakhouse
  • Lavender Bistro
  • Cork & Fork

Best Activities for the Whole Family:

  • Ride a Hot Air Balloon
  • Play at any of the 20+ golf courses
  • The Coachella Music Festival
  • Hike the Santa Rosa Mountains
  • Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area
  • Visit the Botanical Garden

Best Known For: Outdoor Activities, An Escape from Los Angeles, Golfing, Fashion Outlets, and Resorts.

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

The country’s oldest capital, Santa Fe is a place in New Mexico where centuries old tradition is set against a painted backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Yes, Santa Fe can reach some colder temperatures. Yet the culture and the ease to quickly drive to any warmer climate is reason to keep Santa Fe on our list. The dining scene in Santa Fe has been a haven for chefs during the winter.  For dinner, head to Coyote Café for chef Eric DiStefano’s interpretation of Southwest cuisine or grab some handcrafted English-styled beer at Second Street Brewery while enjoying the weather on the large patio.  After dinner, unwind with one of 40 different margaritas at Ore House. If you want to pick up a piece of art during your travels, head to Canyon Road for over 100 galleries where you can choose your next mantel piece. To continue your cultural experience, head to the Santa Fe Opera House, a major reason numerous tourists visit Santa Fe. Just like many other Southwest destinations, Santa Fe is filled with golf courses, mountains to climb, and the number one rated bike city to keep you active. If you are a snowbird that can deal with a little cold weather in the winter and be surrounded by great food and culture, Santa Fe is a perfect fit for you.

Restaurants/Pubs to Visit:

  • Café Pasqual’s
  • Coyote Café
  • San Marcos Café
  • El Farol
  • Mine Shaft Tavern
  • Del Charro Saloon
  • Ore House
  • Second Street Brewery

Best Activities for the Whole Family:

  • Catch a performance at the Santa Fe Opera House
  • The Georgia O’Keefe Museum
  • Santa Fe Indian Market
  • Mountain bike along one of the numerous bicycle paths and trails
  • Skiing Santa Fe’s Mountains.
  • Hit the links at any of the number of golf courses
  • Attend the Santa Fe Fiesta
  • Explore Santa Fe Farmers Market

Best Known For: Outdoor Activities, Free Spirited Environment, Easy Understanding of Roads (Grid System), Cycling, and Art.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS

Known as the Sparkling City By The Sea, Corpus Christi is a popular Texas winter destination for snowbirds and southern college students when Spring Break rolls around. Home to the USS Lexington, Corpus Christi provides residence to the United States Naval Air Station. The top restaurants to attend include Landry’s Seafood, Hatfields Bar-B-Que, Thai Spice, Water Street and Longhorn Steak & Ale. If you are a water lover, the Corpus Christi Marina will be a popular destination during your stay. Rent paddleboats, kayaks, jet skis, and other watercrafts as you take on the water. The short winters, variety of attractions, and great selection in dining makes Corpus Christi a great nesting spot for Snowbirds during the winter.

Restaurants/Pubs to Visit:

  • Hatfields Bar-B-Que and Blackjacks Beer Garden (Top 50 list for best Bar-B-Que in Texas)
  • Longhorn Steak & Ale
  • Water Street
  • Thai Spice
  • Landry’s Seafood

Best Activities for the Whole Family:

  • The Texas State Aquarium
  • Visit the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens
  • Hit the beach and people watch during Spring Break
  • Tour the USS Lexington
  • Enjoy the number of boats along the Corpus Christi Marina
  • Rent paddle boats, kayaks, jet skis and other watercrafts to take out at the Marina

Best Known For: Outdoor Activities, Port Town, Military Town, and Great Sailing