Seniors Explore Paso Robles

Paso Robles is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California. Located on the Salinas River north of San Luis Obispo, the city is known for its hot springs, its abundance of wineries, production of olive oil, almond orchards, and for playing host to the California Mid-State Fair. Sounds like a good start for a senior vacation in Paso Robles already, doesn’t it?

From its beginnings, Paso Robles (residents call it simply PASS-oh) and its oak-tree-studded hill country have been a destination for senior visitors. In the early days, they came to dip in the area’s natural hot springs and they still do, but today they often come to sip away in the area’s winery tasting rooms. Today a throng of senior visitors find a charming, lively downtown surrounded by a wine region.

El Paso de Robles: ‘The Pass of the Oaks’

The “Official” website for Paso Robles starts off with Wine and Wine Touring, so I guess we can figure on some great wineries and wine sampling.  Did someone say, “Tell me more about  the wine”? 26,000 vineyard acres, over 200 wineries and a wine trail just awaiting your visit.

Wine may be the star attraction in Paso Robles, but it is far from the lone attraction. Indeed, the little city (30,065) boasts a wide range of family-friendly experiences from cultural to recreational.

Downtown Paso is a marvel. Senior visitors are invited to enjoy the experience of walking the National Award Winning authentic downtown. A number of wineries have tasting rooms on the streets surrounding the park, and you could easily make an afternoon  visiting them, with no worries about driving. Just imagine 41 wine tasting experiences.

Paso Robles has a host of activities to keep the senior vacationer engaged and busy.  Activities range from ballooning to wine tasting. Paso Robles hosts the California Mid-State Fair and a number of venues throughout the year. Biking, ballooning, golf, hiking and horseback riding are among the recreational opportunities available to the outdoor senior enthusiast.

Seniors Enjoy Paso

You will leave Paso Robles just as many others have… wanting to come back for more. In downtown Paso Robles at Park Street and 12th Street is a small kiosk where you can view and pick up visitors material. The local Chamber of Commerce notes that this is where wine, culinary delights and the art of living is well defined and each season holds a story waiting to unfold.

Life is relaxed, lived at a time where tables are set with care, and fine wine and food are created from the gifts of the vineyards and gardens.Paso is only an hour away from the Pacific Ocean. So bring along your tired bones and bodies and try out one of the many healing hot springs.

Please join these folks as they all enjoy Paso with this series of videos.  Paso, here we come! jeb




Seniors Make San Luis Valley Road Trip

For a senior trip into history, few parts of the American Southwest can top southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley, a 125-mile (200-kilometer) stretch of the Rockies front range defined by the high mountains of the Sangre de Cristos to the east and the San Juans to the west. National Geographic has a new booklet out called ’500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips’ and the San Luis Valley is one of them.

The San Luis Valley is technically a high desert, but the surface is underlain by shallow aquifers that in places form lakes, marshlands, and warm springs. By the late 19th century, much of the land was cultivated, crossed by irrigation canals and wagon roads. The valley’s scattered wetlands are home to eagles, waders, and waterfowl.

The Valley receives little precipitation and is made up of desert lands, but the temperatures can be very comfortable in the summer and very cold on winter nights. Wikipedia will fill seniors in on all the specs of the Valley and notes that about 50% of the 2,000,000 acres in the San Luis Valley is privately owned. The Valley has the second largest aquifer on the continent underground and the 8000 square mile, six county Alpine valley makes the San Luis Valley one of the most unique areas in the world.

Valley’s History Intrigues Senior Travelers

A major trade route, The Old Spanish Trail, passed through the Valley that runs about 125 miles long and 65 miles wide and it is one of the largest high desert valleys in the world, lying at an altitude of over 7,000 feet. The oldest evidence of humans in the San Luis Valley area dates back an estimated 11,000 years. The area contains some of the oldest prehistoric archaeological sites in North America. San Luis is the oldest town in Colorado and the valley adds to fascinating Colorado history.

A cavalcade of characters, some famous, some infamous, and some downright notorious, have stepped across the Valley landscape. Diego de Vargas, Zebulon Pike, John C. Fremont, Kit Carson, Bat Masterson, Soapy Smith, Calamity Jane, Poker Alice, Ulysses S. Grant,—the names associated with the valley’s history read like a western epic.

 This area is rich in history. This part of southern Colorado used to be part of New Mexico Territory before Colorado Territory was formed in 1861. Pioneers came up from New Mexico, following the Rio Grande north. Congress has approved funding for the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and locals are having meetings on how they will preserve their heritage and share their history with senior travelers.
 There are wild horses in the valley, around Wild Horse Mesa, near the new Mexico border and senior citizens are building retirement homes on Wild Horse Mesa to enjoy the beautiful scenery and quiet country life.
Enjoy the valley.  My wife has put it on her bucket list.  jeb




King of Prussia, a Good Place to Retire, Seniors?

I just discovered recently a magazine called “Where to Retire.” They had a short list of Best Places to Retire for senior retirees who are seeking relatively low cost living and housing, favorable tax situation, a low crime rate, an active downtown, good medical facilities and a range of activities that can keep them fit and healthy
 King of Prussia, a small town in the greater Philadelphia region of Pennsylvania rated up there pretty high. Every heard of the city?  Me either. Let’s see what makes it a good parking place for senior citizens. There are around 20,000 happy folks living there. The community took its name in the 18th century from a local tavern named the King of Prussia Inn, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Seniors Can ‘Shop till You Drop’ in King Of Prussia

King of Prussia in Montgomery County is known nationwide for it’s retail shopping. The area is filled with all types of stores that carry items including clothing and fashion, jewelry, beauty supplies, home and garden and appliances to just name a few. The Mall in King of Prussia is the tenth largest mall in the country;  the Encampment Store and Valley Forge Convention Center bring in lots of visitors as well.

That Mall boasts  seven world class department stores and more than 400 stores, boutiques, and restaurants. King Of Prussia has more pure retail shopping space than any other attraction in America and it features stores that cannot be found elsewhere in the region. Hmmm, perhaps that’s one of the reasons why senior retirees love it!

Located next to Valley Forge and close to Philadelphia, King of Prussia is a great area to visit for historical sight-seeingThe Valley Forge National Park draws in thousands of visitors every year. You senior historians may know that Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.

The King Of Prussia Travel Guide will help senior travelers find lodging, great good and the top things to see and do plus several major attractions in nearby cities like Worcester…and I loved these names… Gwynedd, Trooper, Flourtown and Spring House.

You can do your own research on each of those cities. King of Prussia is worthy of a visit if you are in the area. Just don’t get lost inside that big mall.  jeb




Toulouse, “La Ville Rose”

Toulouse is best known for producing the Airbus but there is much more in the city that attracts senior visitors from all over the world. With a population of just over one million there is much for seniors to see and do in Toulouse. Lying along the banks of the Garonne River it is a beautiful setting… 150 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea and 300 from the Atlantic Ocean.

A city with typical architecture of southern France, Toulouse has two historic sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Canal Du Midi (shared with other cities) and the Basilica of St. Sernin. The massive town hall of Toulouse closely resembles Buckingham Palace. With over 2,000 years of history, modern-day Toulouse is France’s fourth largest city.

 The Stade Toulousain, Toulouse’s rugby team, is a symbol of the city, and it holds an impressive record. Check out some of the 75 suggested activities for things to see and do in Toulouse. Toulouse is one of the most alternative French cities – maybe due to its huge student population (120,000).

Toulouse has become a center of aviation and spaceflight in the past 20 years. More than 35,000 of the inner city’s 400,000 citizens work in the civil aviation or space industries; Airbus/EADS is the largest employer in the region.  Seniors visitors might enjoy a tour of the Airbus production plant. The city has remained relatively unchanged despite the economic boom.

Seniors Historians, Bicyclers and Gourmands

The city, on the Garonne river, is on the site of an ancient Roman settlement; even today many of the smaller streets follow their Roman counterparts and many of the red brick buildings are a pseudo-Roman style. These buildings are what gives Toulouse its nickname ‘La Ville Rose’ (the pink city – named after the pink bricks used in constructing the homes).

So bikers, rent a bicycle from any one of the 253 VeloToulouse bike stations for 1.20 Euros a day. Wikitravel will not only get you there, but makes suggestions on how to take in the sites. Toulouse is a big city, but the historical center (downtown) is quite small, so you’ll find that you can walk to most destinations in the inner city quite comfortably.

For you senior gourmet (or gourmands) the gastronomy here is outstanding with dishes such as foie gras, cassoulet, duck breast, Toulouse sausage and a host of fine wines from the region (Fronton, Gaillac, Armagnac) and Roquefort cheese.  Are you familiar with cassoulet? It’s delicious. As the French say – “Miam Miam!” Have you tasted Armagnac? It’s a distillate from wine usually made from a blend of grapes, and it’s spirits are pretty “hefty.”

I don’t generally plug one person’s thoughts on a city, but Tiffany Kim’s travel blog provides some great insights on Toulouse that I think senior travelers will find interesting and informative.

Enjoy your time exploring the city of Toulouse. jeb


Three More Outstanding World Heritage Sites

World Heritage is the designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Each site has a story to tell and is of exceptional cultural or historical significance. I have recommended many times to senior travelers to go use a search engine and input the name of the state or country you wish to visit followed by “World Heritage Sites.” These are the major places of interest or attraction that senior citizens do not want to miss. When you are done reading this travel blog, try it. Once you have experienced any one of these sites, it will remain in your memory.

Sacred City Of Kandy

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth of Buddha in the religious capital of Kandy is in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. This sacred Buddhist site, popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura, was the last capital of the Sinhala kings whose patronage enabled the Dinahala culture to flourish for more than 2,500 years until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815.

The monumental ensemble of Kandy is an outstanding example of a traditional type of construction in which the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth of Buddha are juxtaposed. The Temple of the Tooth, the palatial complex, and the sacred city of Kandy are directly and tangibly associated with the history of the spread of Buddhism.

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

The famous shrine built on stilts with its torii gate set in the sea, on the island of Itsukushima, in the Seto inland sea, has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. The present shrine dates from the 12th century and the harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill.

The shrine plays on the contrasts in color and form between mountains and sea and illustrates the Japanese concept of scenic beauty, which combines nature and human creativity. Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima Bay, Japan, is an exceptional example of the distinctive architectural style of Japanese aesthetics. Take a 360 view with Google Street View for an excellent view of what senior travelers will experience.

Alto Douro Wine Region Draws Seniors

It may be a little difficult to imagine a wine region in Portugal qualifing as a World Heritage Site, but along the Douro River is Alto Douro Wine Region. Wine has been produced by traditional landholders in the Alto Douro region for some 2,000 years. Since the 18th century, its main product, port wine, has been world famous for its quality.

This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty that reflects its technological, social and economic evolution.

Senior Fathers, Happy Father’s Day to you.  jeb




Seniors Love the Loire and Saumur

Saumur is a small historical town in the French region of Pays de la Loire, site of a dramatically situated château and the heart of its own world-renowned wine district. Population 30,000. Of all the Loire’s comfortable towns, seniors will find Saumur, perhaps the most elegantly bourgeois, with its graceful Château lording it over the handsome townhouses spread out below on both banks of the Loire River and on the large island mid-stream.

It’s a great city for simply spreading out to visit other famous castle sites such as Chinon, Angers, Blois, Chenonceau, Amboise, Usse, Blois, Orléans and Villandry.  Anyway that you slice the town, it’s the castle that draws your immediate attention when you enter Saumur.

Here are 13 suggested activities or things to see and do in town.  For me a highlight would be the Musee du Champignon (Mushroom Museum)… I have always wondered just how they grow them, and I eat a lot of them.


Château Catches Seniors’ Attention

Saumur with its fairy-tale château, towering above the town and the River Loire was built largely in the 14th century by Louis I Duc d’Anjou. Today it houses the Horse Museum and the Decorative Arts Museum, parts of the interior may be closed to visitors at the moment due to renovations taking place. Senior visitors might want to see the Gothic church of St. Pierre and the town’s oldest church Notre-Dame de Nantilly which contains a 16th century tapestry collection.

Saumur is home to the French National Riding School and stages famous equestrian events and riding galas, the Cavalry museum may be of interest to senior citizens. I have fond memories my visit to Saumur and the castle as well as the Troglodyte Village de Rochemenier approximately 20km from Saumur that is worth doing. This unusual museum of Troglodyte dwellings carved out of the local stone give an insight into a unique way of life. It was as the French say…”Extra!”

Lovely Loire is a Scene in Itself

If you have never traveled along the Loire River to take in the multitude of castles and unique scenery, senior travelers, put it on your bucket list. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. The region was the favorite getaway for the kings of France and you will learn why.

The châteaux, get this, numbering more than three hundred, represent a nation of builders starting with the necessary castle fortifications in the 10th century to the splendor of those built half a millennium later. When the French kings began constructing their huge châteaux, the nobility, not wanting or even daring to be far from the seat of power, followed suit. Their presence in the lush, fertile valley began attracting the very best landscape designers. The Loire River is over 170 miles making it the longest river in the country.

Oh yes, and enjoy sampling some of the world famous Loire Valley wines from the region as well. jeb




Seniors, You Visited Roma But Did You Get to Orvieto?

The city of Orvieto is located in central region of Italy called Umbria, which is most commonly known as The Green Heart of Italy. Orvieto, a city that has a tremendous character, is one of the most attractive cities in Italy for senior citizens to visit. Tripadvisor always gives you plenty of ideas to keep you occupied on your visit to the city.

Senior visitors remark that you cannot find a thing wrong with the medieval center of Orvieto, where some 23,000 souls live atop a tufa outcropping, La Rupe, that rises majestically from the verdant Umbrian countryside.

The NY Times finds that medieval is still very big in Orvieto. The Gothic Duomo offers not only world-class frescoes and sculpture but also a miracle involving a rivalry with the neighboring town of Bolsena.

Where Can Seniors Find Orvieto?

Orvieto is in the southwest of central Italy’s Umbria region. It’s about 60 miles north of Rome, just off the A1 toll road between Rome and Florence. Orvieto, on the Florence – Rome line, is easily reached by train. Its train station is in the lower town, connected to the upper town by a funicular.

Elevators and escalators help transport senior visitors to the historic center, which is closed to non-resident traffic. Getting to and eating in Orvieto for many senior gourmets will be a highlight of your visit as these folks discovered. They share a most interesting blog and truly great pictures.  Senior visitors can do some serious shopping in Orvieto.

Orvieto is a city and commune in Province of Terni, southwestern Umbria, Italy situated on the flat summit of a large volcanic butte. The city of Orvieto has a long and extensive history, dating to the Estrucans. The city shows traces of every phase of history for the past three thousand years, culminating in its magnificent cathedral.

There are  some terrific guided walks available that include underground passages and the Torre del Moro. Tourists should on no account miss Orvieto if they are visiting Umbria or southern Tuscany.

The tufa butte on which Orvieto is located is itself riddled with tunnels and wells dating from Etruscan times to only a couple of hundred years ago. So don’t miss Orvieto if you are anywhere close to Umbria in central Italy.  You’ll find that your stop will be well worth the couple of days you will want to spend there. jeb




Seniors Appreciate Princeton

Princeton University, in New Jersey, is one of the finest schools in the nation. Senior citizens, how many  Ivy League Schools can you name? Harvard, Yale and Princeton, but what are the others? I had to look them up…Brown, Columbia, Cornell, U Penn and Dartmouth. I always forget Brown and Columbia. Princeton University has been sited in the community since 1756. The school is the nation’s fourth oldest, formed after breaking away from the overly religious Yale in 1756.

Not only is Princeton University in Princeton Township but there are many other well-known institutions as well. New Jersey’s capital is Trenton, but the governor’s official residence has been in Princeton since 1945. Guess the governor knows something about this special borough.

Princeton was named No. 15 of the top 100 towns in the United States to Live and Work In by Money Magazine in 2005. Around 17,000 folks live in Princeton. Read up on the many facts on the city as well as an interesting history on Wikipedia. It is said that Princeton is not just a town, but “an experience.”  I liked that and so I have put it on my “bucket list.”

Idyllic Area Draws Senior Visitors

The Princeton Region is an idyllic area filled with abundant amenities. And there is so much history in the area that senior visitors find attractive. I’ve found 17 neat things for you to see and do while you are in the area.

If senior travelers are looking for a mix of history, fine and eclectic dining, ivy-covered walls and a vibrant arts scene, Princeton is your kind of place. Visit the hallowed halls of Princeton University, the state’s Ivy League home to scientists, scholars and scribes. Take a walking tour of the charming campus.

A few more things that senior travelers will not want to miss include the Historical Society’s headquarters, Bainbridge House, which contains rooms with period furniture and frequently presents special exhibitions. The Art Museum at the University has an extensive collection of European paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the 20th century as well as American art from the Colonial period to the contemporary era, this museum is a must see during your stay.

Historic Nassau Hall, circa 1756, is the largest stone building in the nation. Mercer Street is home to rows of colonial houses that are of interest, including the house where Einstein resided when he researched at Princeton University. The many historic sights include the Thomas Clarke House and Princeton Battlefield State Park.

Charming towns and villages are abundant throughout  the Princeton Region, creating a diverse and interesting mini-metropolis. Each community has a distinct character – modern, commercial, rural or agricultural – but all take pride in their important role in the Princeton Region.

So when you get out east, drop by Princeton and take in all the great sites.  jeb




Seniors Are Jumping In At Moses Lake

Have you ever heard of Moses Lake? It was new to me. It’s the lifestyle that attracts senior visitors to Moses Lake and that keeps them coming back year after year…or for some, for a lifetime. The friendly people, small town charm, low cost of living, sunshine and recreational opportunities make Moses Lake a great place to visit and an even better place to call home. Oh yes, Moses Lake is out there in central Washington State.

Wine, festivals, natural freshwater lakes, parks, campgrounds…Moses Lake is an outdoor haven and the largest city in the county with just over 20,000 citizens. Moses Lake, on which the city lies, is made up of three main arms over 18 miles long and up to a mile wide. It is the largest natural body of freshwater in the county and has over 120 miles of shoreline covering 6,500 acres. That’s a lot of fishing territory, so throw in your pole seniors. Moses Lake is part of the Columbia River basin.

Moses Lake is east of Seattle and Ellensburg on Hwy 90 on your way to Spokane. All in all Grant County has over 247,000 surface acres of water.  That’s bunch and the hunting is as good as the fishing.

City History Interests Seniors

Wikipedia will give senior readers lots of great information on Moses Lake, including how it got its name. Interestingly enough the city was originally named Neppel, after a town in Germany where one of the original settlers had lived. When the town was incorporated and renamed Moses Lake in 1938, the population was estimated at 301 people.

Laketown Landing is the name given to the newly remodeled downtown shopping area of Moses Lake. In 2007, after much discussion and debate, the City of Moses Lake decided to remodel the original downtown business shopping district of the city. For nearly a year, things were in a state of construction and sometimes a little chaotic, but the city survived and now the downtown area is graced with new sidewalks and attractive street fixtures.

The Water Park, State Park and The Links at Moses Pointe draws in many visitor each year. The Moses Lake Museum and Art Center has the largest collection of American Indian artifacts in the area. With lots of sun, sand and water, Moses Lake offers up many things to do like canoeing, fishing, off road driving, bicycling, hiking, wildlife photography and bird-watching just to name a few. And for you senior birders, the official bird list for the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge includes over 200 species in the 23,200 acre area.

Moses Lake looks to me like a great place to spend a few days. jeb




Where To Retire, Seniors?

I just discovered a magazine called “Where to Retire.”  They had a short list of Best Places to Retire for seniors and others not quite there yet, who are seeking relatively low cost living and housing, favorable tax situation, a low crime rate, an active downtown, good medical facilities and a range of activities that can keep them fit and healthy.  So where would you say?  Been in any recently?

The larger cities still seem to attract notes Editor Annette Fuller.  Austin and Santa Fe for example (l love both these cities) but the smaller ones are holding their share of retirees.  Cities like Mountain Home, Ark., Natchez, MS and Port Townsend, WA bring in retirees who want to be “off the beaten track” and in smaller cities.  Nevertheless, the magazine came up with just five that they really pushed.  Hendersonville, NC, St. Augustine, FL, King of Prussia, PA, College Station, TX and Branson, MO.  Guess I know why Branson.  Have you been there?  Don’t say no if you haven’t, just respond with “Not Yet”, as I used to tell my students.

Let’s Look At Hendersonville

Folks living there find Hendersonville (pop. 13,000+), North Carolina ” a remarkably friendly yet sophisticated social experience.” Historic Downtown Hendersonville was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in March of 1988. It has become a vital part of the community’s economic and cultural growth. The serpentine street features planter boxes brimming with seasonal flowers and trees.

Thriving businesses such as specialty shops, antique stores and restaurants offer something for every senior visitor. So senior citizens, take any day of the year to walk the 16 blocks that constitute Historic Downtown Hendersonville and you’ll find a place bustling with the activity of work and play. Cruise, on foot or in your car, down the distinctive serpentine Main Street for an introduction to the mix of specialty shops, art galleries, funky-to-formal restaurants and vibrant entertainment venues.

Seniors Meet Just Plain Friendly

Dating to shortly after the founding of Henderson County in 1838, Hendersonville has been traditionally known as “The City of Four Seasons”. Recently, the mayor of Hendersonville has proclaimed it “Friendliest City for Retirees in America”. The town’s well-preserved Main Street with its many restaurants, antique shops and boutiques are buildings that housed key local business until the mid-1980s.

Theaters, museums, geological formations make up the listing of 15 major attractions. Another worthwhile guide on the city will fix you up with shops, lodging and great places to eat. As a programmer myself, I loved the blue background on that site.  How about you? Looks to me like a great place to retire to me and/or a great place to visit. jeb



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