Blue sky over green grass surrounding a lake at Timber Pines in Spring Hill, Florida

Aspiring snowbirds should look to Florida when considering where to take up a winter residence.

Snowbirds, it seems, are onto something. They visit Florida in the winter months when their hometowns are cold and often covered in snow. Spending the colder season in warmer weather does wonders for physical and mental health. And in Florida, it's easy to find an affordable and accessible part-time home.

Today, we’re taking a look at the Tampa Bay area and some of the best 55+ communities for snowbirds to settle into for the season.

1. Kings Point - Sun City Center, FL

Below $100K - Low $300s

Golf cart traffic increases in Sun City Center once October rolls around, especially at Kings Point. Half an hour south of Downtown Tampa, this 55+ community is popular with snowbirds for a number of reasons. First, there’s a lot of security. The guard gate is notoriously strict; they’ll keep family members waiting outside if they don’t have the right credentials or visitors passes. So, snowbirds feel safe knowing that their part-time homes are unlikely to be targeted by anyone up to no good.

Also, the resale homes at Kings Point are perfect for snowbirds. Most of them are condos, duplexes, or attached villas, providing low-maintenance living with two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms. They’re between 800 and 2,000 square feet.

Kings Point amenities will keep active adults busy all winter. There are multiple clubhouses with pools, fitness centers, card and game rooms, meeting spaces, billiards, woodworking, arts and crafts, and ceramics. Pickleball, tennis, shuffleboard, and bocce ball are all popular. There’s also a softball field, volleyball courts, and plenty of dog parks in this pet-friendly neighborhood.

For more information on Kings Point in Sun City Center, click here.

2. Timber Pines - Spring Hill, FL

Low $100s - Low $300s

Timber Pines is a gated 55+ community just outside of Tampa in the suburban and friendly town of Spring Hill. This makes an excellent snowbird destination because of the immediate sense of community that part-time residents will find. There’s a snowbird club, and depending on where snowbirds are from, they can join the Long Island Club, New England Club, Maryland Club, New Jersey Club, Ohio Club, or the Canada Club.

The attached villa homes are easy to maintain, with either one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. There are 15 models to choose from, and many have attached garages for one or two cars.

Amenities include a lodge, activities center, and recreational center. Golfers will enjoy spending the season here because there are three golf courses with a total of 45 holes to play. There’s also a driving range, putting green, and chipping green. The Country Club of the Pines offers fine dining, a casual grill, and private party rooms.

To learn more about Timber Pines in Spring Hill, visit here.

3. Town Shores of Gulfport - Gulfport, FL

Below $100K - Mid $400s

A full-time property management staff on-site at Town Shores of Gulfport makes this 55+ community an ideal winter home for snowbirds looking for Tampa real estate. It’s on the water, it’s low-maintenance, and it’s close to a lot of fun activities in both Tampa and St. Petersburg. Condo homes in this community have between 815 and 2,210 square feet, one to three bedrooms, and one to three bathrooms.

The waterfront location provides a boat launch as well as canoe and kayak access. There’s community gardening space; four pools; pickleball, tennis, shuffleboard, and bocce ball courts; and a grilling area. The clubhouse includes a fitness center, conference room, game room, and ballroom. Residents can enjoy the yoga classes, billiards group, and women’s club. Gulfport is an artsy and creative beach town full of opportunities for great wintertime dining, shopping, and gallery hopping.

For more information on Town Shores of Gulfport, go here.

4. On Top of the World - Clearwater, FL

Below $100K - Low $200s

Clearwater is one of the most popular destinations for snowbirds, whether they’re arriving from Canada or the midwest. On Top of the World makes them feel welcome, and provides a low-maintenance, friendly environment for winter residents. This 55+ condo community is affordable, diverse, and full of fun things to do.

There’s a fishing lake, two golf courses, 12 shuffleboard courts, fitness centers, and activities like lawn bowling and woodworking. A snowbirds club meets frequently throughout the winter, and there are also groups like the Pennsylvania club and the Canada club. An entertainment committee works hard to schedule group events, holiday parties, and day trips.

Nearly 5,000 condo units can be found at On Top of the World, many of them in high- or mid-rise buildings with exceptional views. Homes range from 850 to 1,750 square feet with one or two bedrooms and one to two bathrooms. There’s plenty of parking and community transit as well, in case snowbirds decide to leave their cars at home.

For more information about On Top of the World, click here.

5. Esplanade at Wiregrass Ranch - Wesley Chapel, FL

Low $200s

Snowbirds looking for new construction will find outstanding Tampa homes for sale at Esplanade at Wiregrass Ranch. This 55+ community will have 868 single-family homes and attached villas for full-time or part-time residents. The onsite concierge facilitates a stress-free lock-and-leave lifestyle and also puts together social and community events that provide a great sense of belonging for snowbirds who are in town only a few months out of the year.

Amenities will include a clubhouse, a fitness center, a pool, tennis, pickleball, and the Koquina Sand Spa. Homes will be available in several floor plans, and since ground has recently broken, buyers can have as much input as they’d like in the design and construction of their new winter home. Wesley Chapel is just north of Downtown Tampa on Interstate 75, and it's full of great shopping, dining, and golf.

To learn more about Esplanade at Wiregrass Ranch, go here.