Seniors Enjoy Another “Cool” Town…Greenville, KY

Greenville, KY (pop. 5,000) was recently selected as one of the “coolest” cities in the US by Budget Travel.  Located among the rolling hills of Western Kentucky, Greenville extends true southern hospitality to all senior visitors. This small town is loaded with history. “Greenville and Muhlenberg County have been known as the largest coal producing county in the USA and home of the largest shovel in the world.  Although coal mining has waned a bit, the county continues to be among the most beautiful with lots of hunting and fishing and the home of very friendly people.”

Named for Revolutionary War General Nathan Greene, the 1987 Encyclopedia of Kentucky refers to Greenville as “the unofficial capital of the Black Belt”, a reference to the area’s production of coal and dark tobacco. Lying in the Western Coal Field Region of Kentucky, Greenville is the county seat for Muhlenberg County. The historic square is anchored with a beautiful 100+ year old court house that plays hostess to Kentucky’s second largest clock/bell tower dome.  The clock tower is also the largest open belfry of any pre-fabricated cupola in the United States with a height of 56.5’ and bas of 35.4’ wide.

The entire courthouse, as well as most of downtown has recently undergone a major renovation process. Built in 1907, the courthouse in Greenville is one of the most beautiful in the state.. The courthouse was and still is the focal point of downtown Greenville. Downtown has become a center for vitality and growth. There are a wide variety of shops as well as a café/music store/coffee house combination right in downtown.

If festivals and events attract your attention, senior travelers, then Greenville is the right town for you. They offer a variety of events throughout the year including “Skyfest at the Airport”, “Saturdays on the Square”, “Twi-Light Drive-in Antique Car Show”, “Squash & Gobble Arts Bazaar & Fall Festival”,  an annual Christmas Parade and various downtown merchant open houses.The Muhlenberg Community Theatre is another fun place for senior citizens to visit in Greenville.

They say that in Greenville, “You’re Just in Time, Seniors.”

It’s pretty “folksy” in Greenville and the Strawberry Festival back in 1940 is still a favorite old film among the senior residents. The Duncan Cultural Center is always a major attraction for first-time visitors with a museum and art gallery. The historical exhibits at the Duncan Center are a diverse collection of artifacts, photographs, garments and other textiles, books, original artwork, documents and more! Close by Greenville you will find a plethora of attractions from state parks, breweries and a zoo. Explore Kentucky a bit while you are in the area and plan on spending some exciting time discovering Greenville. jeb




Elkhart Lake is Another “Cool Town”

Budget Travel continues to find small towns with a population of under 10,000 and to “put them on the map” for senior visitors.  You might say Elkhart Lake runs on two speeds: adrenaline-pumping fast and good-ol’-days calm. Just outside of town, in the Kettle Moraine State Forest, speedsters can find Road America, a four-mile off-road race circuit built in the 1950s where racers have been known to pass the 200 mph mark. Road racing is still a major in Elkhart Lake.

But back around the lake—crystal blue, spring-fed, cedar-lined, and 120-feet deep—the pace is decidedly more relaxed. At the three lakeside Victorian-era resorts, activities such as pontoon boating, wakeboarding, and summer bonfires will call to mind those long-lost memories of summer camp. One beautifully restored vintage resort, Victorian Village Resort, is walking distance from downtown  where senior visitors will find ice cream shops, art galleries, eclectic stores, foodie-worthy dining and a world class spa.

The locals call it a “Legendary Getaway” and with all the amenities in the area, senior visitors will soon find out why it received a “cool” label.  It’s right in the middle of Kettle Moraine State Forest and just one hour north of Milwaukee, so it’s easy to find. Find it on the Wikipedia map and read all about the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive… that was once the road racing circuit.

The area abounds in sightseeing, and a classic spa called Aspira, meaning ‘infused with spirit’,was borne on the banks of this lake, considered sacred by the Native Americans who lived there. Shaped like an elk’s heart, the lake bestows it’s powerful natural energy upon all who encounter it. Seniors who enjoy hiking, biking, camping, cross-country skiing and fishing facilities will find Elkhart Lake a Shangri-La. Maybe even take in a Friday Night Fish Boil that every Wisconsin inhabitant knows all about.

Farmer’s & Artisans Market Attract Senior Visitors

There’s something for everyone at this popular open-air market held every Saturday from 8:30 am-12:30 pm, rain or shine, in downtown Elkhart Lake. Beginning the first Saturday in June and continuing through mid-October, residents and visitors are treated to the appetizing sites and smells of a variety of fresh produce and baked goods. If you are “into food” and a “classic gourmet…or gourmand”, Elkhart Lake has the Ecole de la Maison where you can take first-class cooking lessons.

Enjoy Elkhart Lake.  Enjoy beautiful Wisconsin…    jeb




Lititz is Picked One of the Best

Budget Travel is at it again and Lititz, PA was just selected as a small town winner. It’s not large (9,369) but it rates tops with the locals and senior visitors. This Moravian community has been around for a long time (1756). It’s located out in Lancaster County, one of Pennsylvania’s best known rural areas. The Lititz Historical Foundation has a museum that includes Native American artifacts, a replica of a Moravian home, and a heritage garden.

Seniors Attracted to Lancaster’s Sweet Spot

Senior visitors will enjoy the Wilbur Chocolate Candy Store and Museum that helps to give Lititz the name “Sweet Spot.” In addition, the Sturgis Pretzel Factory is now celebrating 150 years of American pretzel baking. Little Lititz is “the perfect balance of historic and charming small town with upscale and sophisticated urban flair.”  Wow.  That’s a mouthful for any small community and this 72-page flip through Official Lititz Directory and Visitor Guide will show senior visitors why it’s ready to place on your vacation list.  Anyway you look at Lititz, it’s a “foodie town.”

The Lititz Spring Park

A major draw to the city is the beautiful park and it’s renown July 4th baseball game.  You’re all invited for the big game on that date that commemorates the Civil War back in 1863 when they played a game on the grounds of the Springs to celebrate the 4th. The Civil War battle of Gettysburg  was raging nearby and the citizens were fearful it would get too close as they celebrated the 4th, so they decided to hold a baseball game for their celebration.  And the tradition continues to this day.

A Town That is Stunningly Restored

The majority of the homes and buildings that stand in the town date back to this era and have been stunningly historically restored, making downtown Lititz a must see for your next day trip. These buildings now harbor many of Lititz’s unique boutiques, shops and taverns giving way to shopping and dining experiences that prove impossible to forget.

In Little Lititz senior travelers will find Linden Hall that is the oldest girls’ boarding school in the United States (1746). As a college preparatory day and boarding school for grades 6-12 and a post-graduate year, Linden Hall with a small enrollment of only 250 is dedicated to excellence in the education of young women. You’ll find that the campus occupies 47 acres along East Main Street and includes a new sports and fitness center, a newly renovated center for visual and performing arts, a modern 20-stall stable, a new indoor riding ring, tennis courts, playing fields, dormitories, and classroom buildings.

Enjoy your visit to Lititz and have a pretzel on me.  jeb




Seniors Discover Watkins Glen

So what makes Watkins Glen, NY up in Finger Lakes Wine Country a cool choice? It isn’t easy.  Competition is keen. Cool towns must have a population under 10,000 and needs that indescribable something: independent shops, a sense of energy, an epic backyard, culture, delicious coffee. In other words, cool doesn’t necessarily mean quaint: Budget Travel selections want towns with an edge and senior visitors will discover that Watkins Glen has heart and more.

“Coolest” City Choices

So what are some of the other cities that fit the “coolest” category? Here is the map with their selections. Little Lititz, PA won the overall choice and you’ll find a blog on that town in the near future.  Let’s go explore Watkins Glen and find out the attraction.  It’s not big. (Population: 1,859) Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about New York’s Finger Lakes region isn’t that it’s home to stunningly beautiful and, yes, finger-shaped, bodies of water, but that there is so much else for senior travelers to see and do. Award-winning wineries, awe-inspiring gorges and waterfalls, and a racetrack that draws senior visitors to auto-racing events are also front-and-center.

If you want to spend a day (or two, or a week) in nature, Watkins Glen State Park offers a series of jaw-dropping waterfalls, and the Finger Lakes National Forest (the only national forest in New York State) is heaven for the trail-happy senior hiker. Watkins Glen International Racetrack draws crowds to NASCAR races and other auto events. To get a taste of the vineyards of Watkins Glen and its neighboring communities, set out on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, which includes 50 local wineries, many renowned for their light, crisp Rieslings.

Watkins Glen, in Schuyler County, was incorporated in 1842 as Salubria, then “Jefferson”, but was renamed Watkins after Dr. Samuel Watkins, for his contributions to the community. The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce  has been in existence for more than 100 years. Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound.

Variety of Attractions Catch Senior’s Attention

Senior visitors will find things to see and do in the area. If you are an animal lover, you will find in Watkins Glen’s rolling green pastures, the Farm Sanctuary, nestled in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region. This 175-acre shelter is home to more than 500 rescued farm animals. Watkins Glen is also the home to the World Famous Gorge at Watkins Glen State Park, hosting a series of 19 waterfalls, hiking, camping,vineyards and more.

Flip through the Watkins Glen Guide and you’ll discover why it’s so cool. Enjoy your time in Finger Lakes country and getting acquainted with the great state of New York. jeb




Seniors Head to the “Friendly Island” of Tonga

The Friendly Islands is actually a series of islands. Over 170 to be precise. More and more seniors are discovering the South Pacific and loving their experience. Let’s start off  with the “Official Site of Tonga Tourism” as it will steer us to the best and most memorable places to see.

Tonga has a very rich history that includes a visit by Captain James Cook. Tonga, the capital of Nuku’alofa (meaning “Land of Love”), was named the “Friendly Islands” by Captain Cook in 1773 because of what he believed to be the locals’ natural hospitality. Read the history of Tonga, however and seniors will discover that the natives actually planned to kill him. Today that hospitality is genuine towards senior visitors who discover the native peoples desire to guarantee enjoyment among its tourists.

Tonga is a constitutional monarchy and a member of the British Commonwealth. Its agrarian economy is developing, and its tourist industry, although limited, is growing. Tourist facilities are concentrated in and around the main island of Tongatapu where the capital, Nuku’aloa, is located. Tourism is expanding to the island of Va’vau. The Tongan Visitor’s Bureau has a wide range of information of interest to travelers. You’ll want to read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Tonga for additional information.

The Kingdom of Tonga Intriques Senior Visitors

The homepage of the Tongan Visitor’s Bureau above is fun to explore. I enjoyed exploring the Things to Do portion of the “official” site above. Senior travelers will discover an activity or two that will catch your fancy.  The Kingdom claims to accommodate all budgets and preferences. Sailing, fishing, whale watching, kayaking will take senior citizens around many of the pristine islands, atolls and lagoons. Indeed, there is real adventure in Tonga by immersing yourselves in its untouched rainforests, blue waters, and impressive landscapes. Who knows…maybe, just maybe you’ll have the opportunity to encounter George Tupov V, King of Tonga. If so, greet  him for me.

Getting to the Friendly Islands

You’ll need a passport and most visitors are issued with a Visitor’s Visa, free of charge, for the period of one month from the date of arrival at the airport. You must have sufficient funds to financially maintain yourself while in the Kingdom. I don’t know how they count this, but take enough cash.

I have my preferred sites to help seniors to make good choices and where a fine overview will prove invaluable.  Lonely Planet is one of them. And TripAdvisor is always an excellent resource along with Wikitravel. A new and profitable site is called Traveller’s Point and has good info on Tonga.  I think that as you do your research, you will find good reason explore the islands. Enjoy your planning and enjoy the “Friendly Islands.” jeb




Lisbon Brings Senior Visitors in Droves

I just discovered that after Barcelona, Lisbon is the European city attracting most tourists, especially the revered senior tourists. I would have guessed Paris or London to have that honor. Makes me want to go to Portugal. Lisbon, in Portuguese, Lisboa (pronounced “Lisbóa”), the capital of Portugal, is its principle port and business center, the see of an archbishop, and a university city. Lisbon lies some 17km/10.5mi from the Atlantic on the north bank of the Tagus River, which, at this place opens out into the Mar de Palha (“sea of straw”), 7km/4.5mi wide.

The city is teeming with attractions. Lisbon’s position on seven low hills beside a river once lured traders and settlers, and it’s still a stunning site. Add to that its cultural diversity, laid-back feel and architectural time warp, senior visitors will discover one of the most enjoyable cities in Europe – and also one of the most economical.

Another interesting stat: Lisbon is Europe’s second-oldest capital (after Athens), once home to the world’s greatest explorers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator, becoming the first true world city, the capital of an empire spreading over all continents, from South America (Brazil) to Asia (Macao, China; Goa, India).

Reasons For Seniors To Visit Lisbon

Once you arrive in Lisbon you will soon note that it is one of the world’s great historical cities, abounding in a host of cultural treasures. Good old Wikitravel will provide senior travelers with a host of FAQs as well as specifics on where to walk, renting a car and more.

The city of Lisbon has undergone a series of transitions over the centuries, transforming from part of a Roman province in ancient times to a Moorish bastion in the 8th century AD and later falling under the control of the Christian Crusaders. Lisbon’s Romanesque and Gothic architecture dots the red-roofed cityscape, and the towering Cristo Rei monument standing on the banks of the broad Tagus River gives an immediate welcome to senior visitors coming into town. This Live Web Cam is fun for senior travelers to get the lay of the land.

Here is a listing of the major attractions in Lisbon that you will want to consider during your visit. There are some pretty cool maps on this site as well. The Lisbon experience encompasses so many things, from enjoying a fresh pastry and bica (espresso) on a petite leafy plaza to window-shopping in elegant Chiado, to mingling with Lisboêtas at a neighborhood festival or watching the sunset from the old Moorish castle.  Enjoy your  time in Lisbon.  jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe


Seniors Discover Kōbe

Kōbe, Japan.  What do you associate that with? Kōbe Beef?  At least that’s what I think of.  There is much more in Kōbe than beef. Can senior travelers name four or five large cities in Japan? Better yet, can you name the two largest cities?

Famous for its luscious beef and crisp, pure sake, the port is a thriving metropolitan city with an international feel. The sake-brewing season runs from October through April, and that’s the best time to take a tour of a kura (the Japanese word for brewery). For many, Kōbe will always be associated with the Great Kōbe Earthquake of 17 January 1995.

I liked this site a lot because it offers a wide variety of  links that seniors will find helpful as they investigate Kōbe. I found Kōbe Chinatown to be very interesting just like those in SF, Chicago and NYC.

A Great Place to Visit, Seniors

Wikitravel notes that Kōbe is one of Japan’s under-appreciated cities. A cosmopolitan port city with an international flavor, hemmed in by Mt. Rokko, it constantly comes up number one in expatriate rankings of the best place to live in Japan.  The ‘Official Kōbe Tourism Website’ is highly colorful and invites seniors to eat well, shop well and have a great time taking in the major sites in town.

Kōbe is known as a city having a unique style with the exotic atmosphere of Japan. Kōbe has been affected by foreign cultures and flourished as an international port since old days. It also boasts the Rokko Mountain, richly endowed with nature. My old standby TripAdvisor lists 124 attractions for senior visitors to check out. If you are “into” motorcycles (ships and aircraft) you might enjoy a visit to Kawasaki factory in Kōbe. Gardening runs in my family and the Kōbe Botanical Garden would be high on my list as well as Kōbe Harborland, another “must see.”

Lonely Planet notes Kōbe to be one of Japan’s most attractive cities.  Lonely Planet cut their list of things to see and do to just 25.  Virtual Tourist is always another fine resource and you’ll discover over 500 photos, dozens of tips and a nice video. If you going to be just passing through town, here’s a suggested list of sites to take in that includes a great walk. Above all Kōbe is a spectacular place for senior visitors looking to stray a bit further from Japan’s traditional culture in favor of urban life. Put this city on your list to visit when you think about travel to Japan.  You won’t be disappointed. jeb



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