All one has to do is take a look at the map of the United States to see what a vast number of Sun Belt locations to consider when deciding on a winter location from California to Florida - and don’t forget the Hawaiian Islands. Just look at the large number of good-sized cities in those states; Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Orlando, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, San Diego, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Honolulu.

Then notice the even larger number of medium-sized cities and large towns. In Florida alone hundreds of locations like Pensacola, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Lakeland, Ocala, the Keys, Clearwater, Naples, Sarasota, and Venice. Texas has Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen and Galveston. Arizona has almost too many cities to count; Apache Junction, Chandler, Carefree, Glendale, Sun City, Tucson, Green Valley, Bull, Lake Havasu City, and Yuma just to name a few.

In southern California you’ll find locations such Palm Springs, Escondido, Beverly Hills, Inglewood, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara as well as coastal beach towns like Malibu, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Del Mar and La Jolla.

Some smaller cities and towns in Hawaii include Hilo and Kona, Lahaina, Wailuku, Kahului, Lanai City, Pearl City, Kaneohe, Wahiawa, Haleiwa, Lihue, Waialua and Wailea-Makena.

There are even some less popular U.S. Snowbird options such as Louisiana’s Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles. They are less popular due to night time temperatures dropping lower than what many Snowbirds would prefer. Nevada has a couple of cooler Snowbird locations such as Boulder City and Henderson. In South Carolina there’s Myrtle Beach and Charleston. Savannah Georgia is also an option. There’s even Mobile Alabama to consider.

Next look on the map at the hundreds of small towns in the Snowbird regions - too many to list here. If you’re looking for small-town living, you may have a seemingly overwhelming number of choices to consider.

Which one do you choose? Some Snowbird locations are more popular than others - for good reasons too - but the ultimate choice will depend on your, needs, wants, preferences, likes and dislikes, and probably more importantly limitations such as your budget. Even if you have a pretty good idea of what areas you can afford and what features you desire, there is still a lot of work to do as selecting that perfect winter spot is an extremely critical individual and personal decision. Doing your homework can mean the difference between having an enjoyable, care-free winter or a winter from hell, wishing you had just toughed it out in the snow and cold rain.

So, where does a Snowbird go to obtain information on the various U.S. winter locations? Well, each city and town now has its own city and Chamber of Commerce website. Local Realtors’ websites and their relocation packets can also be a source of information. However, don’t base your decision solely upon these biased sources. Oftentimes they paint a cheery, unrealistic picture of their special “utopia.” They have a biased interest in attracting people and businesses to their community and will often tend to overlook the negative side of their community, claiming to have the ideal climate and “something for everybody.”

Then there’s the vast number of books and magazines specializing on retirement locations to turn to. These sources are interesting reading, but they were written primarily for prospective full-time residents, emphasizing summer weather conditions, job opportunities, and the local economy. These location aspects aren’t as important to the Snowbird who only plans to live in the community during the winter months.

Of course you’ve noticed the popular trend with magazine publications to feature a “Best Places” type of article. While these guides can be helpful and fun to read, but you’d be making a mistake to rely on them as for your selection criteria. Often the choices are based on statistics. The writers use methods of weighing various features and factors of each location that will likely be very different from a Snowbird’s criteria.

So if you can’t rely on these sources, where can you turn for information specifically designed to meet the needs of Snowbirds? Fortunately Follow the Sun: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Snowbird will provide you with all the information you need to make an intelligent, informed decision as to which winter location might best suit your needs. Important subjects are discussed in detail such as determining your limitations, specific needs, preferences, and the advantages/disadvantages of big city, a mid-sized city, the suburbs or small town living.

This e-book will help narrow your choices down by helping the reader to define their own selection criteria and subjective information about 66 popular and some not-so-popular U.S. Snowbird locations. The book is also a great resource to use for detailed statistical information and specific features of various Snowbird towns, cities and regions within each Sun Belt state and Hawaii.

Follow the Sun: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Snowbird evaluates the most popular Snowbird locations based on criteria most important to Snowbirds: winter climate, population and demographic statistics, personal security, cost of living, health, education, culture, entertainment, area activities, pros and cons, and personal impressions. In addition, a list of local news sources is provided for each U.S. Snowbird location:

  • FLORIDA: Snowbird locations in Florida that are discussed in Follow the Sun: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Snowbird include: Bradenton, Cape Coral, Clearwater, Dayton Beach, Fort Myers, Gainesville, the Gold Coast, the Keys, Lakeland, Miami, Naples, Ocala, Orlando, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, the Space Coast, St. Petersburg, Tampa, the Treasure Coast and Venice.

  • TEXAS: Popular Snowbird locations in Texas include: Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen and McAllen.

  • ARIZONA: Arizona has always been a favorite location for Snowbirds, senior citizens, aging Baby Boomers and retirees alike. Some of the most favorite Snowbird locations in this state that are discussed in Follow the Sun: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Snowbird incude: Bullhead City, Carefree, Cave Creek, Green Valley, Lake Havasu City, Phoenix and its outline communities, Quartzsite, Scottsdale, Sun Cities, Tucson and Yuma.

  • CALIFORNIA: Even though the state of California has a relative high cost of living and questionable fiscal accountability, it remains a popular retirement location for Baby Boomers and Snowbirds. Some of the specific areas addressed are: Coachella Valley including Palm Springs and other Snowbird cities in the valley, Escondido, Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Coast, San Diego and the Southern California Coast.

  • HAWAII: What respectable Snowbird resource would be complete without providing information about the islands of Hawaii: The Big Island, Kauai, Maui and Oahu.

Follow the Sun: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Snowbird takes Snowbird locations a step further by providing important information about some of the cooler, less popular, but equally important Snowbird locations such as:

  • Austin, Texas,
  • Baton Rouge Louisiana,
  • Boulder City, Nevada,
  • Charleston, South Carolina,
  • Galveston Texas,
  • Henderson, Nevada,
  • Houston, Texas,
  • Jacksonville, Florida,
  • Lafayette, Louisiana,
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana,
  • Las Vegas, Nevada,
  • Mobile, Alabama,
  • Morro Bay and Pismo Beach, California,
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,
  • New Orleans, Louisiana,
  • Pensacola, Florida,
  • San Antonio, Texas,
  • San Luis Obispo, California,
  • Santa Barbara, California,
  • Santa Maria, California,
  • Savannah, Georgia,
  • Tallahassee, Florida.

While these locations are a little cooler in the winter than the primary Snowbird locations, many retirees and Snowbirds prefer them for a number of reasons that are discussed.

Selecting your own personal winter “paradise” can at first appear to be overwhelming, but by going through your selection criteria step-by-step as outlined in the e-book, the list of locations can quickly be narrowed down to maybe 10 – 15 regions, cities or towns. Looking into each location in detail can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. One day you will thank yourself for taking the time and making the effort to fully researching the various Snowbird locations.