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Defeat the Winter Blues: A Sun-Chasers Guide to Mental Wellness this Winter

Pool Monte Vista

While seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, first came to light in a 1980’s study, we know that people have been chasing the sun in winter for a long, long time. Just think of snowbirds! SAD is characterized by low mood/low energy levels come winter. According to, there are several cities to head to in order to alleviate (or avoid) being SAD this winter. Luckily, we have some great camping in these locations.

Daytona Beach, Florida:

Website notes this Atlantic coast Florida location thanks to its average daytime winter temp of 80 degrees, proximity to major Florida attractions like Orlando and the Space Coast as well as the plethora of things to do right in Daytona. Book a stay at Encore Sunshine Holiday Daytona and chase those winter blues away. The big event this winter is the Daytona 500 which is set for February 19, 2024 (check out for more events centered around the big race). Since the weather is so cooperative here, outdoor fun can include hiking (Bulow Creek State Park or Ponce Preserve are options); biking (motorcycle or bicycle) The Loop, a 34-mile scenic route along tree-lined and canopied roads with plenty of wildlife views or relaxing on a Tiki Cruise along the Halifax River ( 

Santa Monica, California:

The Southern Cali winter is a mild one offering sunny days with temps in the 60s and where recorded snowfall has occurred just four times since 2000. Not a bad place to set your sights for winter. According to’s list, Santa Monica’s weather allows you to partake in plenty of outdoor activities, thereby keeping fit while chasing the winter blues away. Book a stay at Thousand Trails Soledad Canyon to enjoy Santa Monica and the California sunshine this winter. Don’t miss the Santa Monica pier (and the sunsets from here as well); biking along Venice Beach; and the views at the 26-acre Palisades Park along Ocean Avenue. 


Texas pops up on’s list of SAD-aversion destinations citing the mild winters and sunny skies of the Lone Star State. Book a stay at Thousand Trails Lake Conroe and get some winter fishing in (yes, bass still bite in the winter) or at our campgrounds near Dallas (Bay Landing, Lake Whitney, Lake Tawakoniand Lake Texoma) and enjoy Dallas Blooms, opening at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden on February 24, 2024. 

Yuma, Arizona:

Another sunny option can include Yuma, Arizona, which is considered the sunniest city in the US, boasting 310 sunny days per year. Encore Foothill Village is the perfect place to camp and soak up the sunshine in Yuma while hiking Telegraph Pass (4.8 miles roundtrip with some steep inclines), fishing and enjoying the beach at Gateway Park, or exploring the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic park.

South Padre Island:

If you are a true snowbird, then consider heading to any one of our age-qualified (55+) locations in South Padre Island, Texas. Winter in South Padre offers comfortable temperatures (70s) and an amazing 34 miles of beach on which to stroll, horseback ride or build a sand castle (sand castle building lessons are available through Plus, the South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary is here and has plenty of events and programs as well as miles of boardwalks to stroll while taking in the wildlife. Our Rio Grande resorts are the perfect place to camp while exploring South Padre Island (visit to see a list of all of our South Texas locations).

Phoenix, Arizona:

Another popular snowbird destination and one highlighted on’s list is Phoenix, Arizona. Activities can include hiking in the Superstition Mountains, taking in all the fun of Major League Baseball’s Spring Training with Cactus League games and other baseball-related events, a visit to nearby Scottsdale’s Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, or the museums of Phoenix, which include the Phoenix Museum of Art and the interesting Musical Instrument Museum. Visit to see all the 55+ campgrounds and RV resorts in the area. 

Fort Myers, Florida:

Those looking to explore the Fort Myers area this winter will have the chance to stay at the newest Encore RV Resort: Tranquility Lakes! Nestled along the shores of a sprawling 90-acre lake, Tranquility Lakes is the ideal choice for an idyllic Florida RV vacation. The Fort Myers area is known as the Venice of Southwest Florida and is protected by many barrier islands. An interesting place to visit while being one of the first to stay at Tranquility Lakes would be the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, where visitors can wander the neighboring homes, a museum, botanical gardens, and Edison’s laboratory.

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