Seniors Enjoy National Monument

Devils Tower

Senior citizens have all seen photos of this iconic scene with it’s huge unnatural setting, but let’s learn a little more about Devils Tower and it’s geological formation. Learning about a natural phenomena like the Tower is always helpful prior to a visit. The Black Hills in South Dakota was a good example for my family and me years back. It’s an awesome site as well.

This geologic feature protrudes out of the rolling prairie that surrounds the Black Hills. The site is considered Sacred to the Lakota and other tribes that have a connection to the area. Hundreds of parallel cracks make it one of the finest traditional rock climbing areas in North America.

Devils Tower entices senior travelers to explore and define our place in the natural and cultural world. So is Devils Tower an old volcano? No. Many geologists agree that Devils Tower is an igneous intrusion, with magma that has welled up into the surrounding sedimentary rock. There it cooled and hardened. The sedimentary rock has since eroded away to show the tower. Actually there’s debate as to it’s origins.

I happen to think that this monumental ignaeous intrusion was a great landing site for the movie “Close Encounters.”  Remember that scene?

Are You a Senior Climber?

Devils Tower National Monument is located, 33 miles northeast of Moorcroft, Wyoming. It’s a National Monument and remains open 24 hours a day, and normally 365 days per year. This is subject to change due to inclement weather which may cause delays opening the roads or even complete closure because of the most severe weather, and Wyoming at times can get pretty nasty.

Can you climb the Tower?  You sure can…if you are able and adventurous. Most seniors pass by on that one.  One guy free-soled without ropes to the summit in only 18 minutes. Must have some monkey characteristics, that guy. In recent years, about 1% of the Monument’s 400,000 annual visitors climb Devils Tower, mostly using traditional climbing techniques. Here’s the FAQs link to answer some of those questions you may be thinking about.

Go to Google, input Devils Tower and it will fill in additional facts and interesting information that I have not included. Enjoy your visit. jeb



Filed under : Editors Choice


Seniors Discover Maldives

Senior citizens, what do you know about The Maldives?  Anything?  Me neither, so let’s go exploring… I recently read that they were just waiting for our arrival for a great time.  An island, no. Islands yes. The Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean consisting of a double chain of 26 atolls. The Dutch referred to the islands as the “Maldivische Eilanden” (Maldivian Islands) while the British anglicized the local name for the islands first to the “Maldive Islands” and later to the “Maldives”.

It’s counted as a country and The Maldives is the smallest Asian Country in both population and land area.  So there, now you know something about this spot that is attracting more and more senior visitors every year.  A common language (Dhivehi) and a religion (Islam) have been two blessings that unite the people into a cohesive and peaceful society.

I would not come close to matching Wikipedia for describing the Maldives so I’ll leave it up to that site that overflows with information of every nature. The area is called the “Sunny Side of Life” and rightfully so. Seniors will find a bit of everything that fits with the Indian Ocean… deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees. It is also a place full of character, where its people have long spent their days languishing in the very essence of idyllic living.

Clean Water Greets Seniors

And get this, 1,190 total islands of which 200 are inhabited. Due to its extraordinary underwater scenery and clean water, Maldives is ranked among the best recreational diving destinations of the world, so bring along your mask and fins.

If you count all the locals you would come up with just over 350,00 happy islanders. The major industries of course are tourism and fishing. With its scattering of islands now housing exclusive resorts, the Maldives has grown to be one of the world’s ultimate luxury destinations.

Maldives, is named after its capital. The word “Maldives” means “The islands (dives) of Malé”. Malé , the capital city of Maldives is one of the smallest capitals in the world and certainly as crowded since a third of the country’s population, about 75,000 live in Malé. With modern high-rise buildings housing the government offices, Male’ is the hub of trade and the central seat of the government. I found this URL extremely helpful with a description and facts about Maldives.

Maldives is currently enjoying incredible growth again having bounced back from a series of disasters in the past few years including the coral bleaching wrought by el Niño and the horror of the 2004 tsunami.

Indeed, so superior are its beaches, so cobalt blue its waters and so warm its welcome that the country has become a byword for paradise whether it be for honeymooners, divers or senior travelers. Is it Maldives or The Maldives, hmmm, still not sure. One thing is sure, I’d like to go there.  jeb




California Here I Come

Sunset Magazine recently sent me a 34-page insert called California: Road Trips. It was labeled “Find Yourself Here.”  This senior has been to California a few times that included Disneyland, Sacramento, Palm Springs and driving up the Valley between Bakersfield and Stockton. Oh yes, my wife and I did take in Kings Canyon and the Sequoia National Parks.  Each experience was awesome.

But where does one start with a travel blog on that state that has so much to offer tourists and senior visitors from every nation. California is an incredible state, unlike any other. The third largest state in the US, California has a lot of land area and is very diverse in ecology and climate, offering some truly incredible sights and natural wonders. In addition, California is the most populated state in the US.

Facebook Informs Senior Travelers

Facebook’s site has some neat photos and informs senior visitors where all the Welcome Centers (22) are located.  Punch in all 4 choices on photos, Get your Guide, Match-up Sweeps and Welcome Centers for full information.

I found Ray Charles doing his version of this well-known hit from years back. I enjoyed listening to this oldie.

There are so many different and exciting activities to experience in California, including surfing, exploring deserts, avalanches, and white water rafting. There are also numerous popular destinations in California such as Lake Tahoe, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County.

Overall, California has so much to offer senior tourists, and Visit California helps make sure tourists are satisfied with their California experience. From sunny beaches to best-in-class theme parks and unforgettable parklands, the state is one giant playground.

Seniors Love Natural Beauty

And wine country. Where does one start with a description of the hundreds and hundreds of wineries. Google I suppose. Sure, California has it sunny beaches, towering redwoods, snowy peaks, desert oases—when it comes to natural beauty, California is in a class by itself.

But there’s one thing in the Golden State that has even more star power than California’s spectacular vistas—the people who call it home. What really sets this state  apart from anywhere else in the world is that legendary, unmistakable and irresistible California attitude—a way of living that makes you want to squeeze the last drop of fun out of every single sun-drenched day.

I ran the gamut on this one and came up with a “shorty” called Misconceptions – Visit California Commercial that ran only 31 second long.   Off to the right hand side do some surfing and enjoy the experience as you dig deeper into the many aspects of this fascinating state. Want more information? Then just google online travel guides and take a journey through California. So have a blast in the Golden State. jeb




Seniors Enjoy Lovely Nanjing

Lying on the south bank of the Yangtze River, Nanjing is one of the most delightful senior destinations in China. Known as the capital city of six dynasties in ancient Chinese history, it has a brilliant cultural heritage. Nanjing’s majestic city walls are the longest of its kind in the world.

Presently an industrial city, Nanjing has mining, metallurgy, iron and steel, machinery, automobile making, synthetic fibers, a telecommunication hub with well-developed railway, water, highway, and air communication systems. One of China’s ten largest cities, Nanjing can be found 200 miles west of Shanghai, a distance that is now covered in just 1h 15min with the fastest High Speed Rails.

Nanjing, a city of 8 million, is famed for its rich culture, long history and beautiful landscape. Nanjing is one of the six famous ancient capitals of China. Except for Beijing and Xi’an no other city has had such an impact on Chinese history as Nanjing. The present city wall, 33.7 kilometers long and 12 meters high, was built between 1368 and 1398 during the reign of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

Becoming capital for the first time in 229 CE, during the Three Kingdoms Period, Nanjing was later abandoned as a capital but was eventually returned to its former glory by the Emperor Hongwu, founder of the Ming dynasty.

Seniors Discover “A Cultural City”

In addition to historical sights, memorials and museums, cultural sights also attract thousands of senior visitors. The famous Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) is not only a memorial place for the great sage but has a surrounding area bustling with shops, restaurants and a snack street housed in traditional architectural buildings.

In the city center, Nanjing Museum is a must see for all senior visitors with a collection of more than 420 thousand pieces, including about 2,000 that are rare and valued. Senior visitors had better plan on a full week to sort out the 243 attractions offered by TripAdvisor.

Its very name, “Southern Capital”, stands as a direct foil to the “Northern Capital” of Beijing, and the city is still considered the rightful capital of China by many Overseas Chinese, particularly those from Taiwan.

Senior visitors will find it easy to fill your journal with notes on the many attractions that Nanjing has to offer. Enjoy every moment in China, especially in Nanjing. jeb




Seniors Head for Palawan and Boraclay

These two islands in the Philippines were selected #1 and #2 as the World’s Best Islands in a recent copy of Travel & Leisure. Senior travelers, have you heard of them? I was glad to see that Maui was ranked #3 in the world. We’re looking forward to enjoying Maui for our upcoming 50th wedding anniversary in September.

Palawan Island is the largest island of the Palawan Province. This island is very undeveloped and traditional. Abundant wildlife, jungle mountains, and white sandy beaches attract senior tourists.Palawan’s best assets include not only beaches but caves, lagoons, mangroves, the rain forest, coral reefs and clear blue waters. One has to visit all the islands of Palawan to understand how hard the local people and government have worked to preserve their islands.

National Geographic Traveler magazine rated Palawan the best island destination in East and SE Asia region in 2007, and the 13th best island in the world having “incredibly beautiful natural seascapes and landscapes. Palawan is one of the most biodiverse (terrestrial and marine) islands in the Philippines. The island has had a Biosphere Reserve status since early 1990s, showing local interest for conservation and sustainable development”.

Seniors Visitors Get Lazy on Boraclay

Boracay Island is a great place for seniors to just laze around. Seven km (that’s 5.4 miles) long, it is only one km wide at its narrowest point. Boracay’s largest villages or barangays are Yapak, Balabag and Manoc-Manoc. A confusing network of paths and tracks connects them, and several smaller hamlets called sitios, so maps of Boracay can only serve as a general guide.

Slightly more than half the 5200 population lives in Manoc-Manoc. Boracay is small enough for senior visitors to navigate by rented bicycle or motorbike. But don’t let its small size fool you—you’ll have several excellent beaches to choose from. Yapak Beach is known for beautiful white shells. Reminds me of Sanibel Island in Florida that is famous for its numerous shell varieties.

Wikitravel loves White Beach on Boraclay as do throngs of senior visitors. This beach is where most hotels and resorts are located, and is also the biggest tourist attraction, offering all the Caribbean delights from lounging on a beach chair to diving and snorkeling.

Hotels along Bulabog Beach will get you closer to wind and kite-surfing. For all you senior night owls, the fun in Boracay doesn’t end when the sun sets. Boracay night-life pulsates with many bars and restaurants serving food, drink and fun until dawn. So enjoy the islands and why not do a little island-hopping and take in both. jeb




Seniors Are Never Bored on These Boards

Navy Pier, Chicago Skyline

Recently Budget Travel came up with a list of America’s most renown boardwalks. Perhaps as senior citizens you have already taken in a few of them, but if not, enjoy your coffee and read on.

We all know of  “The Boardwalk” in Atlantic City and another in Coney Island but there are many more. Me, I have spent some time on Navy Pier in Chicago that includes an IMAX theater.  I know from my own experience that if I am ever even close to an IMAX, I want to take in whatever is being shown and I really am not too particular about the theme or title. The huge Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier is a fun experience with a great view of the Chicago skyline.

Boardwalks Are Historical

Old Orchard Beach

Atlantic City has more than casinos and the Boardwalk is one of the most historic in the entire country. Do you ever watch those contests to see who can eat the most hotdogs (a senior at 69  won it…again)? Coney Island has Nathan’s and even though Hurricane Sandy gave it a direct hit, it’s open for business as usual. They, too, have the Wonder Wheel that rides high overhead and a great amusement park for the family.

On the Pacific Coast, seniors enjoy spending time on the Santa Monica Piers. Just imagine back in 1909 when they built a 1600 foot long pier, of concrete. Those who fish the pier say that it is the best fishing spot in Santa Monica Bay. So bring your pole along and join the huge crowds who just want to watch the sun go down.

Myrtle Beach and Ocean City Draw Senior Visitors

Myrtle Beach, North Carolina has 60 miles of soft sand to go along with their boardwalk. The 1.2 mile oceanfront boardwalk is always open. Ocean City, Maryland’s Boardwalk dates back to 1902 and is recognized as one of the best Boardwalks in the country. Featuring shops, eateries, amusements, night life and lodging, Ocean City’s Boardwalk blends history and culture with modern convenience and fun.

Myrtle Beach

Then senior travelers have Venice Beach, California with its famous skate park. It’s officially known as Ocean Front Walk, but no one calls it that. I remember seeing all the roller-bladers and young people just strolling along the Walk.

Perhaps you have not heard of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, but it has a relaxed vibe where senior sweet tooth candy lovers enjoy top notch taffy.  Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, CA was listed as the “World’s Best Seaside Amusement Park.” You’ll have to experience it for yourself to judge that rating. Old Orchard Pier, Maryland has been around since 1898 and offers entertainment, fine food and great scenery.

Wildwood is a classic “shore thing” in New Jersey as is The Virginia Beach Boardwalk. I’m about all “Beached” out today folks so visit Budget Travel’s website and check out all the others for yourself. jeb




Seniors Find Sintra To Be a True Gem

Sintra is one of the most delightful places to be found in all of Portugal, a senior tourist region par excellence. Historic Sintra is an heritage patrimony site declared by UNESCO. Today senior tourists flock to the area, dotted by royal retreats, estates, castles and buildings from the 8th-9th century.

Considered not only one of the wonders of Portugal but indeed all of Europe, Hans Christian Anderson described the city as the “most beautiful place in Portugal.” Lord Byron called it “glorious Eden.” Now seniors, you can add your quote after your visit.

 Sintra is both a town and a municipality in the Lisbon Coast region of Portugal. Its spectacular setting, 28km from the capital Lisbon, houses a Royal Palace, used by generations of Portuguese royalty prior to the 1910 revolution. The surrounding hills are surmounted by the remains of the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) and by the nineteenth-century Pena Palace.

Seniors Drawn to World Heritage Site

Seniors are drawn to the altitude of Sintra surrounded by shady forests that have provided relief from the heat for centuries.  Lisbon is only a half an hour drive away, 17 miles, and many of the locals head out for Sintra when it turns hot. The train from Lisbon is about 40 minutes from Sintra so it’s often packed with day-trippers.

In 1995 the city was named a World Heritage Site and by now senior readers know that this author puts those sites always at the top of any bucket list. UNESCO noted that “its structures harmonize with a refined landscape created by man as a result of literary and artistic influences.” If that statement does not light up your curiosity, what does?

Good ol’ TripAdvisor is on the scene again and their listing of things to see and do prove very helpful in our plans to visit Sintra. Few places in the world can invoke a sense of magic and mystery as does Sintra. From magical forests to romantic palaces Sintra never fails to seduce. One of the true gems of this village is the Quinta de Regaleira.

The Palacio Nacional da Pena is located at Estrada da Pena, which is on the upper part of the Parque da Pena. The palace is a National Monument and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Monserrate Palace packs in visitors who learn that the exotic palace was built in 1858 for English nobleman, Sir Francis Cook.

 Sintra was a popular vacation escape for the Portuguese monarchy and aristocracy, who added their mark to the landscape by building so many wonderful palaces.

Enjoy Sintra. May see you there.  jeb




Is it Brittany or la Côte d’Azur?

My wife loves the Brittany coast in France while I prefer the Riviera (Côte d’Azur). That’s okay, we have managed to take in both a few times. She likes the Brittany beaches, they are less crowded than those in Nice or Cannes. I must admit that Brittany is a cool place, in more ways than one. It is always quite cool and the wind blows daily all along the Atlantic Coast. La Bretagne as it’s called in French always has plenty for senior travelers to see and do and is full of historical villages.

Breton Culture Overflows

The many small villages are made up of narrow streets and most all the buildings are grey granite stone and a black slate roof. Brittany is a land rich in tradition, culture and history that features more than 4,000 chateaux, manors and medieval homes. Brittany is an ideal destination for lovers of fine cuisine and seafood, and for anyone fascinated by legends and history like my wife and me.

There are tons of old stones in Brittany, in many forms, and they are heavily covered with lichens from past medieval times. The most famous are at Carnac. The link above has a picture of a Carnac stone with a link under it that provides pictures and fascinating information.

Seniors Awed by the Atlantic Coastline

Brittany boasts a staggering 1,700 miles of coastline, one of the principal draws for senior tourists. Fishing is big as is farming. Senior visitors will find many artichoke farms. The flag of Brittany flies everywhere with its black ermine tails and black and white stripes.

The  official site for Brittany Tourism suggests many things to see and to do and will help senior visitors get to know the region well. The most popular destinations include Quimper, Dinan, Vannes (spent a full week there with students), Brest and Rennes (the capital). Moi, I love them all, especially Quimper.

Frequently you will find older women wearing the traditional towering celtic headdress; lighthouses dot the coastline; many older folks speak Breton, a Celtic language of Welsh and Cornish ancestry. You might just hear bagpipes and see creperies on most every main street in the towns.

Here’s a gallery of photos that features some of the most visited sites. Senior citizens, you can’t go wrong in Brittany. Rent a car and just take off down any road as long as you are heading west. That’s where you will find the real behind-the-scenes culture. Stop in and eat where the locals eat and see what they are eating. Order the same and don’t forget to drink the apple cider.

Order “une galette”, a savory crepe, usually made of buckwheat and “un bol de cidre pressé”, generally served in traditional ceramic bowls. Brittany is a win, win destination.  Enjoy it all. jeb




American Samoa Beckons Senior Adventurers

Senior citizens who enjoy travel, especially to exotic places, will enjoy American Samoa. So “Talofa, Afio Mai, Welcome to Our Home” in Samoan. With unspoiled beaches and warm temperatures year-round, American Samoa is a paradise waiting to be discovered.

Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and New Zealand, the five islands and two coral atolls that make up American Samoa are a collection of rainforests, pristine shorelines and amazing archaeological sites. Senior travelers can visit native villages, dive in with dolphins or marvel at more than 800 species of fish while snorkeling in the national parks.

 The Samoan archipelago has been inhabited for more than three millennia—but Europeans only discovered it in the 18th century. The main island is Tutuila, with the capital Pago Pago. This beautiful city has a magnificent harbor ringed by densely forested mountains. The outer islands are widely considered some of the most beautiful in the South Pacific.

About 64,000 people live in American Samoa. While there is a strong American influence in the islands, American Samoans retain local cultural heritage. It is a wonderful example of a culture and a people that, over the years have developed into a diverse structure; the traditional and the modern.

Seniors, Bring Your Flippers and Sunglasses

Why would seniors want to make the five-hour flight from Hawaii (or the half-hour flight from Samoa)? For one thing, the weather is sublime, with an average year-round temperature of 82 degrees and even warmer water. For another, the islands are remarkably undeveloped—90 per cent of the land remains tropical rainforest. My wife would love that.

The islands are frequently referred to as Samoa, which is the name of a separate island, and independent country, that used to be known as Western Samoa, which lies about 100 km west of American Samoa. Also the whole island group, including Samoa, is often identified as the Samoan Islands. The National Park of American Samoa—on Tutuila, Ofu, Olosega and Ta’ū—both preserves the environment and allows senior visitors ways to experience it.

I found it especially interesting that Samoans are deeply religious—Christian, to be precise and many villages have an evening prayer, during which time you should not be outside. Most businesses close on Sunday. Proper clothing is required everywhere, and the more your swimsuit covers when you’re at the beach, the better.

Wikitravel has entry requirements and other pertinent tourist information. It is warm, humid and rainy year-round, but there is a long, wet summer season from October- May and a slightly cooler and drier season, June – September.

The Territory of American Samoa has a total land area of 76 square miles made up of five volcanic islands. The Samoan culture is Polynesia’s oldest. It is believed that, the first people on the Samoan Islands came by sea from southwest Asia about 3,000 years ago.

Have a super trip to amazingly beautiful American Samoa. jeb




Seniors Visit One of France’s Beautiful Villages

Beynac-et-Cazenac is a commune in the Dordogne department in southwestern France. The medieval Château de Beynac is located in the commune. The village is classified as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. If senior travelers don’t know much about those villages, check out this great site whose superb photos exemplify rural France at its best. Just touch the link on the right side of the page to access Beynac-et-Cazenac and all rest of the beautiful villages in France.

The Dordogne region is one of most scenic in the entire country. This attractive village is spread along the northern bank of the river, and then continues up the hill to the chateau perched above.

The Château de Beynac is one of the best-preserved and best known in the region. My travel hero Rick Steves notes that “The feudal village of Beynac (bay-nak) tumbles down a steep hill from its massive castle to the river far below and sees fewer tourists than its big brother, Sarlat.

You’ll have the Dordogne River at your doorstep, and a perfectly preserved medieval village winding like a sepia film set from the place where you beach your canoe to the hill-capping castle above. Some of the film Chocolat was filmed here, adding to its popularity with tourists.”

Seniors Love Medieval Charm of Village


Beynac-et-Cazenac is a magnificent medieval village, which has managed to retain all of its medieval charm. Beynac lies just 10km (~6.2 miles) southwest of Sarlat, on the banks of the Dordogne. Beynac boasts an imposing castle, once besieged by Richard the Lionhearted, around which “lauze” stone slab-roofed houses with their creamy façades are built.

The village is unmissable if you are in the Dordogne region, and senior visitors remark that it is one of the most impressive sights in France. The current tranquility of Beynac stands in stark contrast to the turbulent battles it has known during the course of the last few centuries.

Senior travelers just can’t go wrong exploring La Dordogne Region of France. Of course I remain a little bias as I have often told my wife that if she can’t find me “look for me in Provence.”  That’s still my favorite region in France.  As you travel anywhere in France it is always wise to check in with the local Office de Tourisme and in Beynac, it’s no exception.

Senior travelers will find TripAdvisor offering things to do, places to eat and where to stay. Access TripAdvisor on Google and you will find all the information you may be seeking. France Voyage kicks in with their links that will fill out your itinerary with a travel guide, towns nearby and most all of the Dordogne region.

Enjoy your visit to one of France’s most beautiful villages.  jeb


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