Residents from northern U.S. and Canada arrive in Florida

Traffic backs up for hours on major highways. Restaurants have lines out the door as people wait up to an hour to dine at 4:30 pm. Beach condos fill up with their seasonal residents: the snowbirds.

“The amount of snowbirds can get pretty crazy,” Allen Wexler, snowbird from Great Neck, New York said.

Snowbirds come from everywhere, particularly in the northeast region of the United States and Canada. According to U.S. Census in 2010, over two million residents live in Florida part time. Most of the residents come from Long Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada.

“Migrating south is amazing because you get to see all of the people that come here from all different parts of the country,” Barbara Wexler, snowbird from Great Neck, NY said.

Snow-birding can be a positive effect because people meet from all over the U.S., and it makes first-time snowbirds feel more comfortable because they aren’t the only one.

“In my apartment complex alone, I see many people from the Northeast, and I have made a lot of friends that way,” Barbara Wexler said.

“Last year was my first year ever migrating south, and it was such a fun time because I met many others migrating south as well. I felt a lot better because I wasn’t alone,” Madelyn Landers-Schwartz, snowbird from Forest Hills, NY said.

 

Although snowbirds may boost Florida’s economy in the winter time, but many of them seem to create challenges.

“I see many drivers from Canada up on I-95, and many of them don’t know how to drive properly. I was a driving instructor for 27 years, and I’ve seen 16-year-olds drive better than the Canadians down here,” Allen Wexler said.

Most snowbirds come down to Florida for the warm weather, but some come down for family and friends.

“My favorite part of coming down to Florida for the winter is visiting my two grandchildren and visiting my 100-year-old mother-in-law,” Barbara Wexler said.

Even if some come down to see family or friends, some

. think of Florida as a ‘permanent vacation’.

Landers-Schwartz said, “It is amazing down here. It’s one of the most relaxing places ever.”

Allen Wexler said, “It’s amazing here. In the daytime I get to play tennis, take long walks on the beach, swim in the beautiful ocean, and relax. Then, in the nighttime we see concerts and shows, have get-togethers with our friends that we’ve met, see movies, and just have a permanent vacation.”

Snowbirds come to Florida to enjoy retirement.

Barbara Wexler said, “I am never bored here in the beautiful Sunshine State.”

Landers-Schwartz said, “I could live in this beautiful place forever.”