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Best Winter RV Escapes: Florida, Texas, and Southern California

The cold season is officially upon us, beckoning the time to winterize your rig. But if you’re not ready to store away your RV just yet, why not embrace the adventure with a winter RV escape?

Imagine basking in the warmth of sunny beaches or exploring the serene landscapes of southern national parks. In this article, we’ll guide you through a selection of the country’s most inviting warm-weather spots, perfect for enjoying your RV before springtime unveils its colors. From tranquil shores to vibrant cities, our handpicked destinations promise an unforgettable escape from the winter chill.

Florida Locations

Winter in Florida transforms the state into an RV paradise, offering a diverse array of experiences under sunny skies. From the natural wonders of the Everglades National Park to the tranquil waters of the Florida Keys, each destination promises unique adventures. Whether it’s wildlife spotting in lush wetlands or kayaking in the Keys, the state is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

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Everglades National Park, Florida

First on our list is Everglades National Park. This amazing place is beautiful all year long, but we think the winter season is the very best time to visit. The average winter temperatures range from a high of over 76°F to a low of around 56°F or higher.

While you’re there, be sure to walk the Anhinga Trail to see some seriously cool birds, as well as plenty of alligators. We especially love the nighttime ranger walk that happens along this trail, as alligators are most active after sunset, meaning you might just get to see a gator swimming after its prey!

The Florida Keys, Florida

Just a bit further south, the Florida Keys are another incredible winter RV destination. Here the weather is warm and sunny even in January, and the amazing state parks and other natural areas found on this chain of islands really can’t be beat.

Be sure to do a bit of kayaking (you might even be able to find a tiny island to explore) and take the time to walk through the crystal-clear water to admire the creatures found at your feet. Of course, you’ll also want to take the time to enjoy the incredible sunsets each night. 

Orlando, Florida

If you can’t get as far down as the Keys, you can always plan a trip to Orlando instead. The weather here is a bit cooler than in the Keys but generally much warmer than the rest of the country. In January, it averages a nice high of 72°F and cools down to 51°F at night. It’s an awesome place to spend some time if you enjoy theme parks, as it’s home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld.

There are also plenty of great RV campgrounds in the area, including one of our favorites, Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake

Texas Winter Destinations

Winter in Texas offers RV travelers a unique blend of experiences. In Austin, bask in the city’s vibrant culture and savor some of the best barbecues in the country. For beach lovers, Padre Island National Seashore awaits with its picturesque shores, perfect for sandcastle enthusiasts and surfers alike. And for those seeking solitude in nature, Big Bend National Park offers serene landscapes and stunning stargazing opportunities. Each destination in Texas provides a distinct and memorable winter RV adventure.

Austin, Texas

If the East Coast isn’t in the cards, you could also head to Texas. We particularly love Austin for its warmer winter weather and fun and vibrant culture. This is the place to go for some of the best barbecues in the country, and Amy’s Ice Cream is incredibly delicious.

While you’re in Austin, be sure to visit some of the museums (the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum is awesome, and the Thinkery is a kid’s dream come true) along with McKinney Falls State Park. 

Explore this in-depth tour of McKinney Falls State Park, showcasing its stunning scenery and top-notch facilities.

Padre Island National Seashore

Hoping for a beach vacation? You might try Padre Island National Seashore. The water here likely won’t be warm enough for swimming, but the sand is perfect for sandcastle building and some people don their wetsuits and brave the waves for surfing. Air temperatures will average above 61°F for the high and a chillier 53°F at night.

A beautiful soft and fine sandy beach along the gulf coast of South Padre Island, Texas

There are tons of awesome birds to look at while hanging out on the beach, and our absolute favorite part about this place is the fact that you can boondock right on the beach. 

Big Bend National Park

Yet another Texas winter RV destination that is perfect for nature lovers is Big Bend National Park. We do have to admit that this is a rather chilly spot for winter RVing, but it’s also absolutely beautiful, and because it clears out during the winter, you’re likely to have the park almost entirely to yourself. Expect January highs of 58°F and chilly lows of 39°F.

Be sure to hike the Lost Mine Trail while you’re there, and don’t forget to step outside after the sun goes down for some incredible stargazing. 

Exploring the rugged beauty and starlit skies of Big Bend National Park, Texas: a week of adventure, wildlife encounters, and van camping under the vast desert expanse.

Southern California 

Southern California is a favorite of snowbirds for a reason. This place is warm, sunny, and chock-full of things to see and do.

RV Park in Southern California

Head to San Diego to see the best zoo in the country and hang out with the sea lions, or head to Joshua Tree National Park for beautiful views and some super fun bouldering. Mountain biking trails can be found all across this part of the state, and the surfing on the SoCal coast is epic.

Essentially, if you’re looking to get active outside, this is the place for you!

Arizona Winter Camping

Arizona’s winter offers perfect RV camping, with Phoenix and Tucson providing a mix of urban charm and natural splendor. From Phoenix’s unique museums and scenic hikes to Tucson’s vibrant city life and the majestic Saguaro National Park, these destinations promise a delightful blend of adventure and relaxation for winter travelers.

Phoenix, Arizona

Another snowbird favorite, Phoenix is well worth a visit, especially if you’re looking to thaw out during the winter. Be sure to visit the Musical Instrument Museum as well as the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden. If you want to get moving outside, consider a hike up Camelback Mountain—and for a truly memorable experience, book a hot air balloon ride.

We think an RV trip to Phoenix is best when you boondock in the desert, so you might consider giving that a try as well.

Tucson, Arizona

Last but not least, we must mention Tucson. This is a fun spot with a lot going on, especially during the winter months. Again, there is desert boondocking available right outside of the city, and we find this is the perfect way to spend time here if you’re able.

Saguaro Cactus in Saguaro National Park Arizona at sunrise

Saguaro National Park is the number one must-see attraction in the area, and Sabino Canyon offers all kinds of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Of course, there are also plenty of museums, shops, and restaurants to explore in the area.

Ready to Plan Your Winter Escape?

As you can see, there are plenty of amazing places where you can escape the cold and enjoy a winter RV getaway. Any of the spots on this list are sure to provide you with plenty of fun and entertainment. That said, there are also lots of other gems out there that would make excellent winter RV escapes.

As you explore these warm-weather destinations for your winter RV getaway, consider using RV LIFE Trip Wizard to streamline your journey. This online planning tool helps RVers save time, plan safe routes, locate great campgrounds, and estimate trip costs, including gas and campground fees. Whether you’re heading to the sunny shores of Florida or the desert landscapes of Arizona, RV LIFE Trip Wizard can be your go-to resource for a well-planned and enjoyable trip. Start with the options listed here and use RV LIFE Trip Wizard to uncover more winter RV destinations!

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