Masada is Popular Senior Visitor Site

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Masada (Hebrew for fortress) is the most popular senior tourist attraction in Israel. Tourism in Israel is one of the country’s major sources of income, with over 3 million tourists annually. Israel offers a plethora of historical and religious sites, beach resorts, archaeological tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism.

Israel has 6 world heritage sites and a tentative list of 19 that are awaiting approval. In 2009, the two most visited sites were the Western Wall and the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai; the most popular paid tourist attraction is Masada. My mother and father-in law visited Masada and it was one of their most memorable visits in Israel.

A Rugged Fortress

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Masada is a rugged natural fortress, of majestic beauty, in the Judaean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel, its violent destruction and the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army, in 73 A.D.

It was built as a palace complex, in the classic style of the early Roman Empire, by Herod the Great, King of Judaea, (reigned 37 – 4 B.C.). The camps, fortifications and attack ramp that encircle the monument constitute the most complete Roman siege works surviving to the present day.

Masada was Herod‘s royal citadel and later the last outpost of Zealots during the Jewish Revolt. The citadel was a site of the most dramatic and symbolic act in Jewish history, where rebels chose mass suicide rather than submit to Roman capture. Today it is where every single new Israeli soldier, man and woman alike, is sworn into the army.

Seniors Visit a Palace High On a CliffImage 17

The cliffs on the east edge of Masada are about 1,300 feet high and the cliffs on the west are about 300 feet high; the natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult.

Masada is an archaeological site of great significance. The remains of Herod’s palaces are outstanding and very intact examples of this type of architecture, while the untouched siege works are the finest and most complete anywhere in the Roman world.

Masada remained untouched for more than thirteen centuries. The buildings and other evidence of human settlement gradually collapsed and were covered over until they were revealed in the 1960s.

Senior visitors take a cable car to the summit of this dramatically located site to enjoy the great natural beauty overlooking the Dead Sea.  On any visit to Israel, seniors will want  to include Masada into their itinerary.  jeb


Filed under : Adventure Travel, Middle East


Seniors Find “World’s Best Beer” in Belgium

For those of us seniors who occasionally enjoy a good beer, the news is out.  The “World’s Best Beer” is finally available.  I really don’t know much about this one since I usually enjoy a good Dos XX or a Heineken.

ABC Newshas just announced that the best beer is finally here for all beer loving folks. For your information it is called Westvleteren XII, and it is hailed as the “World’s Best Beer” by reviewers and fans. I would think that good brewers in Germany would have a case to make against this claim.

And just today…

12-12-12 marks the release of Westvleteren XII in the United States. The most highly-acclaimed, rarest beer in the world, “Westy” as it’s known to beer fanatics, hails from Brouwerij Westvleteren in the Trappist Abbey of St. Sixtus in Vleteren, Belgium.  Wow! That’s almost a tongue twister.

The reason its release is so significant, why you may even have heard about it on the morning news, is that its availability anywhere outside the abbey is unprecedented — until today.

So grab your stein and head for your local best bar in the neighborhood and ask for Westvleteren XII if you can pronounce it properly. I kinda doubt that they will have it, but keep searching as it is supposed to be really good.

Seniors Smile At Costly Beer

The Trappist Westvleteren XII Ale gift pack includes six 11.2 oz. bottles of ale and a pair of special chalices in which to drink this elixir, which has been rated 100 points by both and The price for the special pack is $84.99. I could not tell by this photo how many bottles you get for that price, but it looks good, especially since it is made by 30 Cistercian monks from the Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in Flanders, Belgium.

The release was originally supposed to be last April –and then September– but each release was delayed, with no reason announced. There was a limited amount released over the summer as part of The Festival in Worcester, but this will be the first full release, and possibly the last, of this Belgian Trappist ale.

Yahoo has  a site dedicated to finding where you can buy Westvleteren 12. This is not my usual travel blog but it made national news so I felt that seniors who like beer might find it as interesting as I.  Here’s a website where you can order it online  if you are interested.

Incidentally, it’s $21 a bottle. So enjoy the brew and the $2.50 a sip. If you go to their site in Belgium, they will send you one bottle FREE with your order. Enjoy the ultimate Trappist Beer collection. jeb

Filed under : Europe, Wine Trips


Seniors Open the doors in Door County

If you haven’t been to Door County Wisconsin, senior citizens, well you have not seen all of Wisconsin.  This is a unique part of the state that some call Wisconsin’s Peninsula.  It’s home to five state parks, ten lighthouses, and more than 300 miles of shoreline.

Fishing, golfing, all-season trails (bicycling, hiking, XC skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling), swimming, scuba diving to see Great Lakes shipwrecks, and kayaking and sailing are just a few of the outdoor activities that senior visitors will find in Door County.

Many senior visitors report they first visited Door County as children, came back to be married and to honeymoon, and now come to share the joys of the peninsula with their children and grandchildren.

Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of a ghost that haunts Door County!  By now you know that Jim loves interactive maps.  Here’s the one for Door County.

Cherries, Apples, Galleries Await Senior Travelers



Pack your Door County itinerary full! Hunt for treasures in one-of-a-kind shops, galleries, museums & lighthouses. Pick a pail of ripe Door County cherries in July, or a basket of crunchy apples in September. The Door County peninsula enchants senior visitors with its 300 miles of shoreline, five state parks, cherry and apple orchards, and artist colonies.

I’ve been up there and discovered that Door County’s culture is richly steeped in the arts and history. Sturgeon Bay boasts a history rich in shipbuilding.  Door County is home to one of America’s last drive-in theaters. Festivals throughout the year reflect the seasonally changing face of Door County.

Imagine a town called “Egg Harbor.”  I love that name.  Ephraim, a neat small town with a cultural and historical heritage is a blend of Moravian culture and Norwegian ethnic heritage.

A Festival and a Fish Boil, Wow!

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Take in one of the colorful weekend festivals that take place in communities throughout the peninsula and on Washington Island throughout the year. One stop has to be a fish boil. If you don’t know what a “fish boil” is, then take in one at Fish Creek.

TripAdvisor invites seniors to make a reservation at one of the top-notch B&Bs that dot the landscape and to check out the Top-rated things to see and do.  And winter in Door County…Wonderful Winter! There is a good, insulated, soft, beautiful quiet in Door County in the winter.

When it snows in Door County, it is beauty that is difficult to find anywhere else… Currier & Ives and Norman Rockwell all rolled into one beautiful experience! Door County’s natural features, like the coastlines, hills, fields, trees and water, take on a special, unique beauty in winter.

Door County is one cool place.  You will find out for yourself upon your arrival as exemplified in this guide. Enjoy every aspect of this Wisconsin jewel. I’ve been there and loved it, it’s unique…one of a kind.  You will love it too.  jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Elderly Travelers Seek Out Tours

Many seniors spend their retirement years planning vacations in the United States and around the world. And sometimes as we age  it becomes easier to let someone else plan our trips. This is where the tour companies come in handy. I have searched for sites that cater to the elderly who enjoy traveling and here’s what I discovered.

Vacation. Get Away. Escape.

Whatever you call your time to relax, Seniortours speaks your language, and has for over 32 years. Their deluxe, fully escorted motorcoach tours pamper seniors with exclusive touches, including a full open bar on every bus, special leisurely pacing, and unparalled service.

Travel for Senior Citizens is another website that caters only to seniors.  eHow’s website entitled How to Find Cheap Travel for Seniors notes that just because you are a senior doesn’t mean you don’t want to travel and have some fun. If you know where to look, there are plenty of ways to cut costs for senior travel.

Suddenly Senior is a good example of a tour company that caters just to you and your senior interests.  Catholic Seniors offers packages for seniors who just happen to be Catholic. Trip Connect says “join one of our tours”… with top destinations all over the world.

50plus Expeditions and Cruises

50plus Expeditions is a seniors only tour company. They offer tours all over the world however they specialize in North American tour packages for senior citizens. Smithsonian Education Tours is a very unique tour company because they offer fantastic trips that also teach you something. You are truly never too old to learn something new and this tour company is willing to teach as they travel. I have worked as a tour group leader in Europe on two of their programs and I can tell you from my experience that it is a first-class organization.

Smarter Travel lists their top five value tour operators for seniors. Smarter Travel also has some great suggestions for the best cruises for seniors.

For those of you who are single seniors, USA Today comes to rescue with this listing of the Best Vacations just for you.  And how about a discount just for seniors who like to travel by train and in Europe?

Aloha Hawaii

One popular vacation destination among senior citizens is the Aloha State of Hawaii. As a matter of fact, many of the tourists in Hawaii are senior citizens who have spent most of their lives saving and waiting for the day when they can finally savor their vacation.  Make your golden years more memorable by planning a vacation to Hawaii with Waimea.

You can cut costs taking advantage of senior travel and flight deals such as this one offered by

Traveling With a Senior Mom or Dad

Slow Travel has lots of suggestions for you. The first thing you should do is surrender to the primary focus of the trip; this one is not all about you, it is about your beloved elderly parent, grandparent, friend, or relative. This is one super blog on just what a senior traveler did to take an elderly parent on a vacation. jeb

Seniors Drawn to Eureka, Arkansas

Eureka… we found it! In Arkansas!

Yes, Eureka Springs, Arkansas is one hot spot.  Called the “Little Switzerland of Arkansas”, there are lots of things for seniors to do and to see.   You will see lovely Victoiran architecture, sumptuous homes and an award-winning glass chapel in the woods.   Trolleys, narrated tram tours, and horse-drawn carriage rides will show you around histortic Eureka Springs and all it has to offer senior visitors.

The Springs…Cold, Spring Water

Eureka Springs, with a population of approximately 2500, is located in northwest Arkansas in the heart of the Ozark Mountains near Beaver Lake. Branson, Missouri is only 45 miles northwest. The Passion Play, in Eureka Springs is nationally famous.

There is a lot of history  in Eureka Springs and plenty of interesting places to stay including luxury log cabins and the downtown historical Basin Park Hotel.  Not your average tourist town, Eureka Springs is cradled between two mountains of lush, hardwood forests, a Victorian secret hidden amid the rolling Ozark mountains.

And of course, the springs which were the original attraction.  Legend has it that the Native American tribes of the area believed that the cold spring water could cure many ailments, and the surrounding land was considered sacred ground.

Legendary City of Healing

For hundreds of years, Eureka Springs has been known as a center for holistic healing and natural health. Victorian Era health seekers believed Eureka Springs to be the location of the Fountain of Youth itself.  Seniors from all over the world seek Eureka Springs as a quiet retreat from everyday life.

The City of Eureka Springs was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.  Eureka Springs was honored as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

 In the Eureka Springs environs, senior visitors will discover 60+ natural springs, three lakes and over 1800 acres of city park land.Lake Leatherwood Park is 1600 acres and an 85-acre spring-fed lake which was formed by one of the largest hand-cut limestone dams in the United States.

Senior Travelers, What Are You Waiting For?

Arkansas annually attracts senior visitors from across the nation and abroad. Cat Steven’s “Morning Has Broken” focuses on Eureka Springs.  Many are drawn to its abundant opportunities for outdoor adventures and to its natural beauty, as seen in the state’s waterfalls, tour caverns and wild caving experiences, forested mountain trails and scenic drives.

Do you enjoy hiking?  Eureka Springs has many trails and the state is full of outdoor clubs and preservation societies.  The Natural State’s abundant resources will make your Arkansas vacation one to remember.  jeb

Senior Citizens Vacation With Grandkids

Taking a Vacation With Your Grandkids

Grandma and Grandpa love their grandkids, but taking a vacation with them just may be another whole story, unless that trip is something that everyone can enjoy.  This blog is going to attempt to iron out some wrinkles that might cause some friction and turn the trip into a vacation that seniors and their grandchildren together will enjoy.

Budget Travel Says Read This

There truly can be vacations that work best for the enjoyment of both the kids and the seniors. Budget Travel suggests that your base might be a condo complex at a golf resort, a huge beach house, or a series of cabins in a national park. Whatever floats your collective interests—as long as it provides a place for gathering and eating together.

Family Vacation Critic to the Rescue

Here’s a great find for families that wish to travel all together on a vacation… the 10 Best Vacation Bets for Families in 2013.  You’ll find some great sites and suggestions that will help in your planning. Park City, Utah is certainly one that has caught my eye recently.  And we all know that San Diego is home to the world famous Zoo, Sea World and a hosts of other attractions that both senior travelers and their grandkids will enjoy. San Diego has a host of great family resorts and hotels that attract visitors from all over the world.

Seniors Enjoy Family Travel


Threads in Forum has several super sites that include tips for multigenerational travel, family bargains, a family cruise and more. FRDHolidays in Jamaica have a 50% off sale going on in celebration of Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary.  They cater to families, and children under 6 eat, stay and play free. Their site claims that FDR is the “Best all-inclusive family vacation destination in the world.”

15 Places Every Kid Should See

I’ve always felt that every high school student in the country should visit Washington, DC before graduation.  I stumbled on this site that lists 15 places every kid should see and I agree with them all. How about you?  Beyond fun and sometimes relaxation, senior vacations with grandkids can also provide opportunities to explore, learn, and grow together.


Best Family Friendly Vacations

I’ll wow you with this last one that TripAdvisor suggests for Best Family Friendly Vacations anywhere. I note that they placed Orlando #1 and for good reason. New York City was second and for good reason again.  That’s another place that I feel that youngsters need to visit prior to turning 21.  It’s an awesome city, but then again, so is Paris, and Rome and London…

I was glad that they ranked Paris in there as #3.  My travel hero Rick Steves said recently in an interview when he was asked the best place in the world he had ever been…it was Paris. Enjoy your planning with your grandkids, seniors and have a super vacation together.  jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Some Seniors Prefer To Stay in Historic Hotels

My wife and I always enjoy older hotels or else a comfy B&B for our travels.  It is always suggested that if possible, seniors,  don’t worry about the price. While there are some very expensive historic hotels, many sites are surprisingly affordable, with rooms starting below $100 a night (see Priceline). Check with hotel websites for seasonal specials that can add an extra night or drop regular rates by a significant amount. Many are members of the Historic Hotels of America or the National Trust for Historic Preservation, good starting points for planning your visits.

Historic Hotels Woo Senior Travelers

Seniors travelers, take your pick here among the oldest, the finest and the most historic hotels in America.
10. The Sagamore, Lake George, New York
9. Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
8. Waldorf Astoria, New York City, New York
7. Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon
6. The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
5. Gettysburg Hotel, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
4. The Mission Inn, Riverside, California
3. El Tovar, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
2. The Brown Palace, Denver, Colorado
1. The Biltmore, Coral Gables, Florida

The only one I’ve ever been inside is the Brown Palace in Denver and that was for a national conference I attended.  Look at those front doors and that awesome interior. Pretty cool huh?

I’ve walked by the Waldorf Astoria in NYC (does that count?) and it too is famous and one that would be very memorable if you chose to stay there.

My niece and her husband that take an annual hiking trek up to Banff Park in the Canadian Rockies and they love the area.  The Fairmont Banff Springs is nearby. Have you been there yet?  Maybe another “bucket list” item, huh? It is for me anyhow.

So seniors, looking to get away from it all this holiday season or this winter? Escape the holiday madness and relax at a historic hotel. Browse from a variety of winter wonderland packages and enjoy the holiday or winter season in style. Search now. I’ll just toss in one more site for some great deals just for you. Enjoy searching for remarkable travel experience to savor, celebrate, and share. jeb

Senior Holiday Destinations

Holiday Destinations for Senior Tourists

A country as big and varied as the USA could seem to offer too much choice for a holiday destination, but experts can advise seniors on every destination. If you’re planning to visit several regions or cities, they’ll also share their know-how on the best way to cover all you want to see. Have a question?  Here’s a nice link that will help you fill in the gaps on where to go and what to see.

Perhaps you would like a brochure or two to help you plan your holiday in the USA? VisitUSA has plenty available with just a touch of your keyboard. Read it at your leisure and choose the holiday that’s right for you.

Askville says…Ask Us, Seniors

So what are the top holiday destinations that many senior citizens find of  interest?  Askville offers some interesting answers to often asked questions.  The most popular destinations seem to always include:
1. National Parks
2. Beaches
3. Theme Parks / Water Parks
4. Zoos / Aquariums
5. Memorials / Monuments
6. State Capitals
7. Festivals
8. Sporting Events
9. Historic Sites
10. Museums

Seniors Plan for Winter Holiday

The most popular places to spend the winter holidays in the US have been tabulated, and each destination has great luxury travel options. With the holiday season upon us, many seniors are scrambling to plan last-minute winter vacations for themselves and their families. Tripology, a website dedicated to connecting travel planners with travel agents and other experts in the field, has created a helpful list of the top 10 US destinationsfor holiday travel.

The Traveler’s Zone

Here is the list of the top 24 most visited tourist destinations according to Forbes Magazine. Seven of the 25 tourist attractions are amusement parks; Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, remains on top in the theme-park world. Senior tourists appreciate renowned art collections and sunny beaches in equal measure. Ohio says…”Don’t overlook us” for your Holiday Fun.  Stretching things out a bit, Expedia recommends these for January, a winter getaway. Do have fun choosing where you want to go.  Enjoy your trip as the year winds down and the new year begins.  jeb


Luxury Senior Wine Tour to South America

I have done some research on the subject of wine tours and have discovered a tour that I think senior citizens will enjoy immensely.  Robertson Wine Tours, directed by Tim Robertson, offers tours to Argentina Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. I would like to look at Argentina and their wines and vineyards.

In Argentina you will discover that Malbec is playing a dominant role in winning worldwide acclaim for the country’s wines.I enjoy Malbec myself, so I’m interested in exploring that portion of the country over by the Andes Mountains and investigating Robertson’s tours a little more.

While acreage of Malbec is declining in France, in Argentina the grape is surging and has become a “national variety” of sort that is uniquely identified with Argentine wine. The NY Times calls the Mendoza Region “Argentina’s Napa Valley” and notes that Mendoza is “Napa 30 or 40 years ago.”

Extensive Contacts Benefit Senior Visitors

With a wide array of  extensive contacts in the wine business, Robertson Wine Tours has the trust and confidence of serious winemakers. Robertson Wine Tours offers escorted visits for seniors to over 250 Bodegas/Wineries…and surely you will find some to suit your palate and pocketbook.

This organization has been busy organizing tours for 25 years, so they know what they are doing. I like their idea of not only sharing great wine with clients but incorporating the local cuisine into their itineraries.  Over 400 Argentina wineries are integrated into this winery directory.

Robertson Wine Tours

Robertson Wine Tours has successfully created and directed over 100 wine tours which are all encompassing; ranging from brief overviews of Chilean Wines to in-depth two week investigative research with professors from Davis, California. Robertson Wine Tours only offers all-inclusive tours, 100% pre-paid but totally exclusive to the client’s request. Robertson does not mix groups of seniors or offer fixed dates from which tours run, everything is by design and private.  Maybe five days here and five days elsewhere.

Hey, sneak on up to Iguazu Falls on the Brazil border and maybe enjoy Rio or BA while you are that far south. I have not been to Uruguay (yet…) but I know that it, too, is a very progressive country and senior travelers would enjoy Punta del Este as well as the capital Montevideo.

Read on and look over the FAQs that spell out wine tours terms and conditions and…make contact. You will receive information back very quickly. I would love to hear back from you if you choose to take a Robertson Wine Tour (  Enjoy the experience and say hello to Tim from Jim Becker.  jeb

Filed under : South America, Wine Trips


This is Peter Mayle Country

Wikipedia notes that Provence, in southern France,”is a favorite destination for French high society and British and American (senior) visitors because of the pleasant and picturesque towns and villages, comfortable way of life, agricultural wealth, historical and cultural associations.” Perhaps that is why Peter Mayle, a British citizen, chose this area for retirement.

In the last two decades the Luberon has become especially known in the English-speaking world through a series of books by author Peter Mayle chronicling his life as an expatriate settled in the Luberon village of Ménerbes. The NY Times writes that folks get “Happily Lost in the Luberon.”

I had the good fortune to meet Peter Mayle, known as Mr. Provence with his famous book A Year in Provence and a movie made with the same title. I met Mayle in a bakery in Cavaillon where our senior travel group was learning all about how they make good French bread. This bakery, the Auzet Bakery, is the most famous in all of France.

Peter Mayle was preparing to write another book entitled “Confessions of a French Baker.”  Now he has another on the market called The Vintage Caper.  The list of his books is long and the subject is always Provence… that is Peter Mayle.

Seniors Can Rent A Villa or Join a Tour

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TripAdvisor lists 269 choices for rent for senior visitors to consider. That will keep you busy for a while. Their recommendations on popular destinations brings back many memories for me as I have been in each of these super villages. Maybe you would just as soon take a small group tour of Provence.  I introduced you to the “Luberon Experience” in yesterday’s blog. Elderhostel is another great choice. I have personally led a dozen trips for this organization. It’s called Road Scholar now, but still the same educational adventure for seniors travelers.

Maybe Bike or Hike

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You can hike or bike year round in Provence… the sun is always shining just like here in the Valley.  Great area for biking.  Here’s another and an opportunity to ride a bike across The Luberon. Maybe rent a car at the airport in Marseilles and tour the area on your own.  I’ll map out the region for you to explore that includes the Luberon Nature Reserve.  Check out the video here and note the ochre colors that dominate the area, especially in Roussillon. I could go on and on but I leave you with one more URL. Enjoy the experience as I know you will.  jeb

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