This article was originally published on AZ Business Magazine. 

While snowbirds’ plans this year are bound to suffer changes, some Americans — be they retirees or remote workers — are still relocating to warmer places this winter. And what better state for snowbirds to choose than Arizona?

For the people still planning to migrate this season, the research team at STORAGECafé put together an in-depth analysis of the best destinations for snowbirds.

Here are some interesting findings from the study:

• Gilbert is the highest-ranking Arizonan city in our nationwide top 100, landing on the 10th spot. The city enjoys average temperatures of 60 degrees from October to March, and it is a great golfing destination, with 7 courses available in the area. 34% of the vacant houses in the city (houses not classified as primary residences) are seasonal housing units, suggesting a strong snowbird community.

Mesa ranks as the next-best destination in AZ, landing on the 14th spot nationally. The city boasts 23 golf courses and has 58% of vacant homes dedicated to seasonal use. For snowbirds who keep their belongings in storage during the rest of the year, the city offers some of the most affordable rent prices for self storage – $87 on average for a 10×10 unit.

• Chandler follows closely behind, in 15th spot nationally and 3rd in Arizona. The city has the highest internet speed in our top 100 and counts a total of 13 golf courses. 37% of the vacant houses in the city are seasonal housing units. Its proximity to Phoenix also makes it an excellent choice for visitors interested in a variety of dining out and shopping opportunities.

Here are the Top 10 destinations for snowbirds in Arizona, with national ranking.

10: Gilbert

14: Mesa

15: Chandler

22: Phoenix

25: Surprise

31: Peoria

38: Goodyear

41: Avondale

57: Scottsdale

58: Tucson

In order to come up with the top 100 best snowbird destinations, researchers analyzed a total of 392 cities based on several factors such as temperature, share of vacant housing inventory dedicated to seasonal use, proximity to beaches, number of golf courses and parks, self storage prices, safety, internet speed and COVID-19 community vulnerability index.

You can read the full report together with the experts’ commentaries here: