Saturday, February 25, 2012

Florida, Arizona, …or ?

Zephyrhills, Florida  (high 69, low 51)

We planned on heading over to Hillsborough River State Park and taking a nice hike.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get motivated too early, and it was noon before we got there.  By then, the heat index was 87 degrees.  I don’t know what the actual temperature was, but it was  muggy.  We decided to take one of the river trails since there would be some shade.  For some reason, that humidity was bothering me, but we did manage a pretty good hike.









It stayed very warm all day and the a/c had to be on until we went to bed.  Sometime overnight a cool front came in and it’s only supposed to be 69 today.  Yea!

We’re going to hit they gym this morning and then see what the day brings.  At least we have a beautiful, sunny, cool day with low humidity.


Since we initially started making plans to become full-timers, I have been trying to keep an eye on the weather in different parts of the country.  Ideally, you visit each area during the time of the year during the best weather.  For instance I probably don’t want to visit the Florida Keys in hurricane season, or Alabama in during the spring tornado season. 

In reading other blogs, I haven’t found anywhere except California, where Rick and Paulette are, that have weather that is as warm as it is here in Florida.  Granted, Florida is having an unusually warm winter, but then so is the rest of the country.

So what do you think?  Where do you think is the best place to winter?   The Arizona desert, the California desert,  Florida,  southern Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona?    I know many people want more remote places that aren’t so crowded…and it’s difficult to find any place like that in Florida during the winter months. 


  1. We prefer out west in the desert...not a lot of may be chilly at night but the days are perfect. Arizona, Nevada and even some parts in California!

    Those nasty storms going through the south just make it a wrong choice for us, we had enough tornadoes, hurricanes and wicked storms last year while we traveled extensively that made it enough for a lifetime for us.

  2. We too prefer out west the desert, especially Arizona and southern California. Again cool nights and warm days. Some winds, but no big crowds and no humidity. And a lot less expensive as well. We are wrapping up our 6th winter here moving about and intend to come back as long as we can. Its a lot further than Florida, but worth the drive for us.

  3. Well family keeps me coming back to Florida... but we are going a little further north next year ~ To Crystal River at Rock Crusher Canyon. We spent one winter out west and it was fun but we did run into some snow here & there. Did not like that! I think it's a person's personal desision on what they like... you know some like it here and some like out west and like us we like it all...

    Have fun & Travel safe

  4. We are desert rats. If we didn't need to be near lakes for fishing, any place in southern AZ or CA would work. I wish NM were warmer because there are a lot of places there I'd love to spend a lot of time. But it gets cold in the winter and warm and dry always wins out.

  5. We haven't made it to Florida yet. Spent last winter in the west everywhere from Utah, California to Arizona and New Mexico. This year in Texas. We are Midwesterners and I think temps are all relative, to us anything above 50 is ok, prefer it 60-70. It is very dry in the desert which definitely is nice, we've had enough hot humid summers. Texas is ok too, not as dry as the desert and most of the time the temps have been ok too but we know this has been a warmer than normal winter. We still have lots of places to check out and I'm not ready to stay in the same place every winter yet. I think that will happen eventually but haven't found that perfect spot yet.

  6. Having done a great loop of the U.S. since we hit the road FT in December, we really liked Tucson, AZ. That's where we had the nicest overall mild, warm weather.

    We'll try FL next winter, it's closer to our kids, they're all on the East coast.

  7. We have spent the last two winters here in the Rio Grand Valley of Texas and it is really nice and warm. We are having an unusually wet Feb. The locals don't remember a rainy February like this one.
    We have gone to AZ also. Can't go wrong with that area! Especially Yuma. ~wheresweaver

  8. Its fun to read the responses you've gotten. Good thing we all like different places. But one thing we all seem to have in common is that we're all looking for warm.

  9. I agree with Jim and Sandie, we're all looking to stay warm. We love South Florida, as long as it's a few miles South of I-4 it's warmer and cheaper.

    We were thinking of AZ for next winter, but just can't give up the warmth, still too cold by watching all the temps in that area this year, so we'll be back to Fla by November.

    It will be neat to see how many comments you receive.

  10. Love those pictures of your hike and the pond turtle. Too bad is was too muggy for you to really enjoy it more.

    We aren't full-timers but have to say we sure enjoyed our short time at the Sands (where Rick and Paulette are) this year. You get some wind there sometimes but overall, very nice.

  11. We loved that same hike in Hillsborough. Nice to see your pictures.

    Glad you posted this question. Seems that you have most folks voting for the west because it's warm and dry. I'd love some of that solitude that's possible out there since it doesn't really exist in Florida that I can see. But the very dry that they like does a serious number on my eyes. They hate it so I'm not sure I could winter there.

    Like you I watch the temps and did for a couple of years before full timing. I found VERY few places except perhaps California and SOUTHERN Florida that didn't get down into the 30's at points. This has been an unusually warm winter. But I think that will be our future with this climate chaos. We won't know what to expect.

  12. After suffering through winters around the Great Lakes for 50 years, I think the 7 weeks in the desert of AZ and NM just about did it for us. We have done Florida visits too, but don't care for the humidity. The desert is easier on my lungs...

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  13. All of the above would make me happy. A different place every winter!

  14. anywhere it doesn't snow is fine with me :)....would love to visit AZ..but its soo far from home...such a long haul...we did have a good winter here in Fl this year..but the humidity did get to me...

  15. Florida is the place to be...for me. Besides loving Florida, it is closer for us if we had to make a return trip to TN. My theory is that people who live on the west side of the USA pick AZ or CA. Those of us from the east side pick FL. We are all so fortunate to be able to escape the cold winters up north. I actually find I enjoy a chilly day in Florida sometimes - and usually it is just a cool morning and by the afternoon it is back in the 70's.


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