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by Kelly Campbell

Autumn serves cooler temperatures and the potential for snow –– which typically means the pickleball season is winding down for northern-located players. But for snowbirds, it’s time to leave the cold behind and start traveling to warmer areas.   

Read on to learn about Pickleball Snowbirds and see how these pickleball-loving travelers impact the game during winter months. 

What is a snowbird?

A snowbird is typically considered to be a person who lives in northern parts of North America and migrates to warmer southern areas during the winter months. These individuals, also called seasonal residents or winter visitors, tend to be high-income retirees of 55 and older. 

An average of 3.5 million snowbirds visit Florida*, the top snowbird destination, each year –– although that’s not the only popular destination. Many snowbirds spend up to six months in their warmer homes, where they often live in 55+ communities. The snowbird lifestyle has become so popular that there is even a Canada Snowbird Association to defend and improve traveling rights for Canadian travelers. 

Many snowbirds base their travel destinations in part on their access to play well-known lifetime sports like golf. But with the exponential growth of pickleball over the past few years, pickleball is now a top sport among snowbirds. The snowbird lifestyle can be expensive, and pickleball’s relatively cheap nature (cheaper than those other lifetime sports like golf) makes it a great option for seasonal travelers. In recent years, pickleball-playing snowbirds have had limitless options for where to travel to have access to vibrant pickleball communities.

Snowbird Lifestyle Impacts on Pickleball 

Pickleball is a great low-impact way for snowbirds to stay active and social as they travel. Especially considering the pandemic, pickleball provides a socially-distant social outlet with limited risk for older individuals. Also, because of pickleball’s consistent popularity among older generations for years, many already know how to play, and look forward to playing in the winter months. Pickleball’s increased popularity also means that each year of snowbird travel there are more options for where to play and leagues to play in. Snowbirding Central, an online resource for snowbirds, wrote an article about the benefits of pickleball for snowbirds. 

The population of popular snowbird destinations increases dramatically during the wintertime and leads to greater economic growth in the area (especially considering that some snowbirds own properties and pay real estate tax in their southern destinations). Because snowbirds tend to be such avid pickleball players, and their travels tend to bring economic prosperity to their travel destinations, it makes sense for these areas to invest in pickleball resources –– public courts, courts in resorts and hotels, and more. Because of the influx of new players, resident pickleball players, clubs, and leagues can expect a greater pool of competitors to keep their pickleball communities thriving.

Because pickleball is so popular among older communities, snowbird season generally has a positive impact on the major pickleball hubs in the country and therefore the overall growth of the sport. While pickleball slows down in colder areas in the winter, warm pickleball areas thrive with the influx of new players from the north. The winter travelers invite new competition, new resources, and the opportunity for these pickleball hubs to grow and invest in their pickleball resources. 

Top Pickleball Snowbird Destinations

The perfect spots for pickleball snowbirds are warm, sunny, dry, and vibrant and have ample access to pickleball resources, courts, and events. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the best pickleball snowbird destinations to check out if you or a snowbird pickler in your life is heading to warmer temperatures this winter. 


Arizona is the perfect destination for any pickleball lover. With temperatures in the 60s and 70s throughout the winter months and very little precipitation, winter provides the perfect weather for snowbirds. Arizona is home to hundreds of public pickleball courts. There are numerous resorts with pickleball facilities and plenty of clubs and leagues to join. The JW Mariott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa alone has 17 pickleball courts. Arizona is also home to numerous USA Pickleball-endorsed tournaments, including the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) Tour and USA Pickleball Southwest Diamond Regional. Check out TrackitHub’s Top 5 Arizona Pickleball Complexes to explore some of the most popular Arizona pickleball spots. 


Another popular hub for snowbirds and pickleball players is in southern California. In addition to stunning Pacific views and beaches, San Diego, CA is a great pickleball spot for snowbirds. San Diego is sunny year-round and has numerous public pickleball courts and leagues. Some of San Diego’s best pickleball clubs and facilities include Innovation Park, Poinsettia Park Tennis and Pickleball Courts, Collier Park, Big Rock Park Pickleball and Tennis courts, and Scripps Ranch Recreation Center. 


Florida is known as both a snowbird and a pickleball paradise. It is the top destination for seasonal travelers and has one of the most vibrant pickleball communities in the country. The Pickleball US Open, one of the most popular pickleball competitions in the US, takes place in Florida and there are numerous tournaments played there. In addition to numerous public courts and facilities around the state, Florida is home to many private communities with private pickleball courts. Check out this list from the Private Communities Registry (PCR) of nearly 50 pickleball communities in Florida. 

South Carolina

South Carolina is a picturesque escape for snowbirds looking to leave colder areas. Specifically, Charleston, SC is considered to be one of the top pickleball hubs in the country. There are over 20 pickleball locations in and around the city and Charleston Pickleball has organized its own ladder league. Check out this list of The Best Communities in South Carolina for Snowbirds (many of which have ample private pickleball facilities) to plan the perfect South Carolina snowbird trip this winter. 


Recreational Vehicles (RVs) are a great option for any snowbird that doesn’t want to settle on one destination for winter. Many RV communities have ample pickleball resources and onsite courts including the Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina. Check out Mortons on the Move’s 10 Best RV Resorts with Pickleball On-Site for more info on RV travel and pickleball. 

*Much of Florida is still experiencing the devastating effects of Hurricane Ian. Please consider donating to the following charities providing aid to people affected by Hurricane Ian

Volunteer Florida, Inc

American Red Cross

Direct Relief

Save the Children 

Global Giving Foundation

World Central Kitchen, Inc

AmeriCares Foundation, Inc