It’s the time of year when snowbirds start to think about where they want to spend their winter. Do you know which state is better for snowbirds? It might surprise you! We’re going to break down Arizona and Florida, and tell you what we’ve found out about each one.
A snowbird is a person who spends their winter in a warm-weather state like Florida or Arizona. Of course, there are other states that get pretty hot during the summer and might also be considered “snowbirds,” but we’re going to focus on these two because of how popular they are for this type of vacationing.
We’re also going to focus on Arizona vs Florida for Snowbirds, because these two states are the most well-known and loved by this type of tourist.
- Arizona vs Florida for Snowbirds
- Arizona vs Florida: The Weather
- Florida vs Arizona: The Seasons
- Arizona vs Florida: Transportation
- Arizona vs Florida: Cost of Living
- Arizona vs Florida: Crime Rate/ Safety
- Arizona vs Florida: Housing
- Arizona vs Florida: Entertainment
- Arizona vs Florida: Tourist Destination
- Arizona vs Florida: Outdoor Activities
- Arizona vs Florida: Education
- Arizona vs Florida: The Locals
- Which is Better? Arizona or Florida
Arizona vs Florida for Snowbirds
Arizona is a state that stretches from the top of California to New Mexico, and also includes some areas in Utah.
Florida is an eastern seaboard state located south of Georgia and Alabama on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s bordered by both the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida straits which lead out into The Caribbean Sea.
A snowbird who lives in the northern part of the country might be looking to head south so they can have four seasons of mild weather. This is why Arizona vs. Florida are popular choices for snowbirds, because both states offer a year-long escape from harsh winter temperatures.
Arizona vs Florida: The Weather
Even though Arizona is further north than Florida, it doesn’t usually get as cold. This means that people can escape the winter without having to worry about freezing temperatures and snowstorms like they would in northern states.
- If you’re looking for the warmest winter weather, Arizona is your best bet. You’ll get around 300 sunny days per year with an average high of 85 degrees in January and February.
- The summertime highs are just as nice at an average of 90-95 during May through September.
- On top of that, it only rains about six inches per year.
- Florida’s weather doesn’t get quite as hot, but the temperatures are still pretty nice in winter with an average high of 80 degrees from December through February and a low around 60 degrees.
- In summertime it gets hotter though, with June to September having an average temperature between 90-96 degrees during the day and 70s at night. This can be humid, especially in July and August when the average rainfall is about ten inches per month.
Florida vs Arizona: The Seasons
Since Arizona is further north, it has four seasons. They are defined as follows: Winter (December-February) Spring (March-May) Summer (June-August) Fall/Autumn (September-November).
Florida also gets all four of these seasons but they vary depending on region. The Atlantic side will have longer summers and shorter winters, while the Gulf side will have short summers and long winters.
Arizona vs Florida: Transportation
You can get around Arizona by car, but the state is so big that it’s best to have a plan or map before you go. The roads are well-maintained and there are plenty of gas stations all over the place in case you run out of fuel.
Florida doesn’t require too much driving because it’s an east coast state and most things are pretty close to one another. The roads aren’t as well-maintained since the population is so high, but you should still be careful when driving around Florida because people can get reckless on busy highways like I-95 or I-75.
Florida has a higher crime rate than Arizona does, which means it’s best to be careful and follow the speed limit.
Arizona vs Florida: Cost of Living
If you’re looking for a cheaper place to live, Arizona might be your choice because it has a lower cost of living than Florida does.
To live comfortably in Arizona, a renter must earn at least $3,570 per month before taxes. This is equivalent to an annual pre-tax income of $42,840.
The golden rule of budgeting is that your monthly income should not exceed 30% of your total spending. In Tampa, for example, where the typical one-bedroom rent is $1,458, renters must make at least $4,161 per month before taxes to afford their living expenses.
Arizona has lower grocery costs than Florida does, with the former averaging about 20% less on food bills compared to the latter. You can save even more money if you stick to buying local or fresh produce at farmer’s markets instead of going to a supermarket all the time.
Arizona vs Florida: Crime Rate/ Safety
Arizona has a much lower crime rate than Florida does, with the former averaging about 75% less violent crimes per capita.
Both states have small gun laws for residents who are 21 years old or older, but you have to be at least 18 in order to buy handguns and shotguns from an authorized dealer/ store. You can’t carry guns in public unless you’re a police officer, security guard, or military member.
Arizona also has stricter laws on marijuana possession and use compared with Florida’s looser rules. In Arizona it is illegal to possess/use any amount of cannabis while in Florida the law will depend on where you are located because there are different limits for personal consumption vs distribution.
Arizona vs Florida: Housing
Arizona has a higher average household income than Florida does, which means that residents can afford to buy bigger homes.
The average value of houses in Arizona is $383,799 while the typical value of houses in Florida is $328,576. These values can be adjusted from time to time. The cost only reflects the middle price category of houses.
Florida has a higher population density than Arizona does, which means that more people live in smaller spaces compared to the less urbanized state. This can be an issue if you’re looking for some peace and quiet instead of being surrounded by other homes right next door or on top of your building.
Arizona vs Florida: Entertainment
When it comes to entertainment, Arizona has more museums and theaters than Florida does.
The number of performing arts companies in Arizona is about 20% higher than what you’ll find in the Sunshine State while there are also over 100 art galleries for residents to enjoy. The average ticket price for a movie at an AMC theater will be around $12 in either state or around $11 for a movie at an indie theater.
Arizona has over 20 ski resorts within the state, which means that you can definitely enjoy some snow sports if it’s winter time when you live there. The higher elevation of Arizona will also help keep temperatures cooler than what Florida gets during the summer months, though both contain deserts so the summers will be very hot.
Arizona vs Florida: Tourist Destination
Arizona is a great state for retirement because it has more golf courses than Florida does.
You’ll find over 300 18-hole golf courses in Arizona compared with around 200 in the Sunshine State, which means that there are plenty of options if you want to play some rounds when you’re not spending time hiking or biking at one of the beautiful trails or parks.
Arizona has more national parks and monuments than Florida does, so if you’re looking for a place to visit during your free time then go to the Grand Canyon in Arizona instead of visiting one of the protected sites along either coast.
Each state also contains cities that offer a ton of things to do such as Scottsdale in Arizona and Miami in Florida.
Arizona vs Florida: Outdoor Activities
Both Arizona and Florida have beautiful landscapes, but the former is better for nature lovers because it has more national parks than what you’ll find in the Sunshine State.
- Each state also contains lakes/rivers that are great to visit when you want some time on or near water, though there are many smaller rivers/lakes in both states that are great for fly fishing or kayaking.
- Arizona has more state parks than Florida does, which means that residents can go hiking or biking at one of the beautiful locations instead of driving somewhere further south to find an outdoor getaway.
Both states have some nice cities nearby if you want to visit museums and other cultural attractions, but Arizona is better if you want to take your children to an amusement park because it has more than Florida does.
Arizona vs Florida: Education
If you have children, Arizona will be a better state choice because it has more highly ranked public schools than the educational system in Florida does.
The average SAT score is about 100 points higher if you live in Arizona instead of living in Florida and there are over 100 colleges/universities for students to attend.
Arizona vs Florida: The Locals
The locals in Arizona are friendlier than those living in Florida, so if you’re looking for a new place to live where people will be more open-minded and accepting of newcomers then this is the state for you.
Both states have small populations compared with other parts of the country but Arizona has about half as many seniors (over 65 years old) as Florida does, which means that you’ll have fewer people in this age group to compete with when looking for a job or housing.
Which is Better? Arizona or Florida
Florida’s weather is milder than Arizona most of the time, but we think that it just depends on what type of experience you’re looking for during your snowbird vacation. If you want to visit a beach or enjoy activities like golfing or fishing, then Florida is the better option.
- If you’re looking for more of an escape from winter weather and want to be able to enjoy nature during your vacation, Arizona might be a better bet.
- Both states have their benefits so you should do some research to determine if one or both could be good options when looking for somewhere new to live before making your decision on where to move.
We think that it really comes down to personal preference! They are both great states with their own unique features so it will depend on what type of experience you’re looking for. Just remember that both are great options during the winter months!