Atlantic City (NJ) And Pensacola (FL) Ranked 15th Best Retirement Destination Combinations

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  • Survey reveals retirees’ ultimate retirement destinations.
  • Other NJ destinations include Trenton, Newark, Princeton and Morristown.

“Snowbirds” isn’t just a whimsical term – it’s a lifestyle embraced by many North Americans. These retirees smartly sidestep the chill of winter, migrating south to bask in warmer climes, only to return north when summer arrives. It’s a route between two homes, ensuring year-round comfort.

While many dream of this migratory lifestyle, the question is: What’s the ultimate snowbird route? Is it swapping the skyscrapers of New York for Florida’s beaches? Or perhaps trading Michigan’s lakes for Arizona’s deserts?

The Best Retirement Destination Combinations Ranked sought to find this out – they surveyed 3,000 retirees asking them, hypothetically, what their ultimate retirement destination combinations are, with some very interesting results. 

#1 Fort Collins (CO) + Long Beach (CA)

Fort Collins, with its rich cultural tapestry, picturesque historic districts, and proximity to the Rocky Mountains, offers a delightful escape during the warmer months. On the other hand, Long Beach, with its gentle ocean breezes, palm-lined shores, and eclectic blend of urban and beach life, provides an ideal refuge from the colder seasons. The combination allows retirees to experience the best of inland and coastal charms, ensuring year-round enrichment and relaxation.

#2 Portland (ME) + Orlando (FL)

Portland, with its cobblestone streets, historic lighthouses, and seafood-rich culinary scene, delivers a unique New England experience during the summer months. Conversely, Orlando‘s warm winters are not just about its famed theme parks; the city also boasts lush gardens, golf courses, and a plethora of cultural events, making it an inviting winter haven. This combination ensures retirees have a tranquil coastal escape and an energetic urban experience, catering to both relaxation and adventure throughout the year.

#3 Cape Cod (MA) + Clearwater (FL)

Cape Cod, with its iconic lighthouses, rolling sand dunes, and seaside villages, offers an enchanting escape filled with maritime traditions during the temperate months. On the flip side, Clearwater, renowned for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, becomes a paradise during the winter, promising warmth and relaxation. 

#4 Buffalo (NY) + Palm Springs (CA)

Buffalo, enriched with stunning architecture, vibrant arts scenes, and the majestic Niagara Falls nearby, is a treat during the summertime when the city truly comes alive. In contrast, Palm Springs, with its iconic mid-century modern architecture, rejuvenating hot springs, and stark desert landscapes punctuated by palm oases, provides a warm, therapeutic escape from the winter chill. 

#5 Albany (NY) + Asheville (NC)

Albany, steeped in American history, replete with grand state buildings, museums, and the scenic beauty of the Hudson River, offers a stimulating environment during the milder months. Transitioning to Asheville, retirees encounter a different allure: nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city exudes an artsy vibe, vibrant music scene, and a plethora of outdoor adventures, all while providing milder winters. 

The other snowbird combinations to make the top 10 were:

  • #6 Louisville (KY) + Hilton Head Island (SC)
  • #7 Seattle (WA) + Albuquerque (NM)
  • #8 Bar Harbor (ME) + Atlanta (GA)
  • #9 Mackinac Island (MI) and Savannah (GA)
  • #10 Appleton (WI) + Daytona Beach (FL)

The 15th most ideal retirement combination, as voted by 3,000 respondents, was between Atlantic City (NJ) during summers, and Pensacola (FL) during the winter months.

For retirees interested in blending the entertainment-centric charm of a renowned Northeastern boardwalk city with the relaxed coastal vibes of the Gulf Coast, choosing Atlantic City, New Jersey for the summer and Pensacola, Florida for the winter is an ideal combination.

Atlantic City in the summer offers a vibrant atmosphere with its iconic boardwalk, casinos, and seaside events. The city allows retirees to enjoy beach activities, live shows, and an array of dining experiences. The coastal breezes make summer temperatures pleasant, and the proximity to other major East Coast destinations adds to its appeal. However, Northeastern winters can be brisk and chilly.

To counteract this, a winter stay in Pensacola is opportune. Pensacola offers milder winter temperatures, making it conducive for those looking to escape harsh cold. The city boasts beautiful white-sand beaches, a rich historic downtown, and a range of outdoor and cultural activities.

The cost of living is also more moderate, which can offset any summer expenses from Atlantic City. With this pairing, retirees get to experience the dynamic allure of a famous boardwalk city during summer months, transitioning to the serene warmth and cultural depth of a Gulf Coast city during winter.

Other retirement combinations including New Jersey destinations are:

  • #83 Trenton and Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • #89 Newark and Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • #101 Princeton and Birmingham, Alabama.
  • #109 Morristown and Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Whether it’s the allure of mountain ranges, the tranquility of beaches, or the vibrancy of urban centers, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding one’s perfect retirement escape. The result of our survey speaks volumes about the expansive, dynamic choices that the U.S. presents to those looking to make the most of their golden years” says Tim Schmidt, founder of

The Top 120 Snowbird Destination Combinations

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