Seniors Venture to Northeast Canadian Coast

Senior visitors who have been there say that they “love Atlantic Canada and everything it has to offer – especially the one-of-a-kind coastline that wraps around cozy bays and inlets that take you by cinnamon-sand beaches and breathtaking mountain vistas.” 

The term “Atlantic Canada” was coined when Newfoundland joined the Dominion of Canada in 1949, which until then was comprised of New Brunswich, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and was known as the “Maritime Provinces”.

A ribbon of highways curl with the fascinating  coastline to bring senior visitors up close to lighthouses, hidden fishing villages and harbors seemingly always cloaked in a velvety fog.

The beautiful landscape is full of history and the breathtaking Atlantic coastline adds to a great vacation in eastern Canada.

 Senior Whale Watchers, Historians, Explorers

History comes alive in Atlantic Canada, with an enchanting cluster of provinces that are known for their rugged coastline and distinct maritime culture. Check out Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada’s easternmost province, where senior visitors can go whale watching, cruise through the “Seabird Capital of North America,” and explore North America’s only known Viking settlement.

Consider spending time in Nova Scotia exploring the iconic lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove, the scenic Cabot Trail, and the national historic sites.

High tide, Low Tide, whale watching, lighthouses everywhere, plus exciting cities make Atlantic Canada unique in the entire world. In two words, the coast is “totally awesome.”

 Seniors Explore The Maritime Provinces

The four distinct provinces attract visitors from all over the world. Atlantic Canada is made up of the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the combined province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The population of the four Atlantic Provinces in 2011, was 2,327,638.

Each province offers its own set of unique diversions although the entire area is known for its striking seascapes, geological formations and wildlife.

Late summer to mid-winter are the best times to visit the area. If you love natural phenomena, whale watching, and the rugged New England coast, you’ll love the Bay of Fundy.

Wikitravel notes that the Atlantic Provinces of Canada are rugged and sparsely populated and that the provinces have traditionally made much of their income from the area’s large fisheries.

This is changing in the region, as oil production, information technology, biomedical research, post-secondary education and tourism become more important for local economies. The many parks in the region invite senior visitors to explore and discover.

The Atlantic Canada Guide provides visitors with all the right information to enjoy a vacation in Canada’s Atlantic Provinces. You will find each day to be a unique experience providing you with a host of great memories.  jeb


Seniors Are Discovering La Fortuna and Arenal

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Alajeula is at the center of an array of geological wonders. The nearby Arenal is Costa Rica’s most active volcano routinely bursting with lava and ash. La Fortuna draws many senior visitors and recently was selected as “the place to be” for travelers in 2014.

And why not? The Arenal Volcano is one of the main natural attractions found in Costa Rica, which is known around the world as a cornucopia of bio-diversity.

The Arenal Volcano

The volcano, at a height of 3,740 ft, has a crater filled with aqua-blue water and resides within the 29,960 acre Arenal Volcano National Park. La Fortuna lies at the base of the volcano. As darkness descends, senior visitors are in for a treat.

The hammering of eruptions echoes in the distance and soon a river of red flows down from the crater, followed by large puffs of smoke that fill the air above the smoldering lava. Watching Arenal Volcano National Park at night will be one of the highlights of your trip to Costa Rica.

Seniors Enjoy Hot Springs

The volcano’s geothermal activity heats dozens of underground water flumes. Local landowners, tapping into this natural source, have created a number of attractive hot springs. These springs are varied and indulgent (some have water-slides, wet bars and cold pools) and offer senior visitors a perfect way to end a day in Arenal.

In addition to the volcano, La Fortuna also attracts visitors to its 70 meter high waterfall, La Catarata de la Fortuna, and its natural hot springs. The waterfall is about 75 feet high, and plummets into a natural pool of water that is perfect for swimming.

The Tabacon Hot Springs are a relaxing intermission in the midst of the various spectacles, and the Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is a blissful end to any day’s excursion. The volcano’s rage bubbles underneath the surface heating the largest collection of hot springs in Costa Rica. On clear days, a tendril of smoke curls out of Arenal’s caldera like the wick of an extinguished candle.

Senior Volcano Watchers

The volcano makes for a unique visit if you have never experienced one up close. The charming little tourist town (about 8,000) has recently become a major destination for volcano watchers from around the world.

The town of La Fortuna is the entry point to the road that connects the Arenal Volcano area to Lake Arenal and continuing on into Guanacaste.

The magnificent volcano put this little, former farming town on Costa Rica’s map. Enjoy riding horses, then consider one of the several horseback tours available on site. There is seems to be something for every senior visitor.

Today the quaint little town and its beautiful surroundings and ample activities make Arenal one of the cornerstone destinations of Costa Rica.  jeb


 Seniors Marvel At The Avenue of the Baobabs

The Avenue (or Alley) of the Baobabs is located on the island country of Madagascar in Africa. Senior travelers may have heard the tree affectionately referred to as the upside-down tree, but it is also known as the boab, boaboa and bottle tree.

“Baobab” is the common label given to the Adansonia genus which contains eight tree species. The trees are known locally as ‘renala’, which is Malagasy for ‘mother of the forest’.  The trees line the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar.

Its striking landscape draws senior travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region. It has been a center of local conservation efforts, and was granted temporary protected status in July 2007 by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, the first step toward making it Madagascar’s first natural monument.

The Baobabs can live up to 800 years and reach heights of 98 feet (30 m). The diameter of the larger trees can reach up to 36 feet (11 m) and the circumference can be up to 160 feet (50 m) around. The trees are a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on Madagascar.

The trees did not originally tower in isolation over the sere landscape of scrub but stood in dense forest. There are more than a dozen baobabs along the avenue. Visitors can find tours to this site out of Morondava, a city just 45 minutes south.

 Seniors Discover a New ‘Unique and Magnificent’

The unique formation and size of the baobab tree is dramatic and captivating. Though baobabs can be seen all around the country, this particular route is especially striking… the entire dirt road is lined with these magnificent trees, and at sundown, they are even more magnificent.

Some call them ‘roots of the sky’ because when the trees are without leaves they look like roots…big trees planted in the ground upside down, with the roots in the sky.

 The baobabs of Madagascar have to be seen to be believed. Of eight baobab species in the world, six are endemic to Madagascar; one other is found in Africa and another in Australia.

This indicates that Madagascar is the country in which baobab trees first originated, and the other two species migrated across the ocean and followed a different evolutionary chain.

Often called the “Tree of Life,” baobab trees are the lifeblood of many people and animals living in Africa’s Savannah regions; they provide water, food, shelter, and even clothing to the local inhabitants.

The wildlife of Madagascar reflects the fact that the island has been isolated for about 88 million years. Madagascar is home to an abundance of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth and these trees are a good example.

Put the baobabs on your travel bucket list today and enjoy your visit.  jeb

Filed under : Africa, Editors Choice


Sandpoint Attracts Seniors

Sandpoint, in the northern tip of Idaho, is no ordinary senior vacation destination. Located on magnificent 43-mile-long Lake Pend Oreille (the fifth deepest lake in the US), surrounded by the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains, and with Schweitzer Mountain ski resort minutes away, Sandpoint is blessed with outstanding attractions.

Visitors will find plenty of things to do such as Bike tours, Air tours, Driving tours and a visit to the Laughing Dog Brewery. And check out the Farmers Market, take a tour of the Albeni Falls Dam, go horseback riding or enjoy a cruise on Lake Pend Oreille. Pend Oreille National Scenic Byway, 33.4 miles of spectacular water views on Highway 200, meanders east to the Montana state line along the rocky shores of Lake Pend Oreille.

Senior Railroaders…

For those of you seniors who enjoy railroading, like my brother-in-law who has a miniature railroad in his backyard, Sandpoint  is one of the West’s greatest railroading towns.

The Burlington Northern, Montana Rail Link and Spokane International rail systems all converge to create “The Funnel,” an amazingly active rail crossroads with more than 40 trains a day traveling through.

Sandpoint was featured on the national scene in the June issue of Country Living, and Where to Retire magazine had a five-page article on Sandpoint. The Sandpoint, Idaho real estate market is stronger than other areas, and it makes sense: Idaho was named the nation’s 8th healthiest and 14th happiest state in the country.

Obviously, there is a reason for all this attention from the outside world…a peaceful and tranquil arcadia in an absolutely stunning natural setting. No traffic congestion, thousands of acres of forests with trails for hiking and biking, and ski slopes and golf courses just minutes away.

Senior Golfers and Oenophiles and Festival Goers…

Senior visitors enjoy the classic beach and park activities at Sandpoint City Beach, an 18-acre park surrounded by water on most sides.

You can lounge on the beach, play volleyball or horseshoes, picnic, or stroll the path that encircles the park. The 29-year-old Theodore Roosevelt visited “Sand Point” in August, 1888, on a hunting trip to the Selkirk Mountains and remarked about how “rough-and-tumble” the area was.

Sandpoint’s Winter Carnivals are  said to be “a sure cure for cabin fever.” Then there is the Festival at Sandpoint, a summer concert series that is held every August. Oenophiles can enjoy wine tasting and tours at the award-winning Pend d’Oreille Winery.

With two golf courses in Sandpoint, including a Jack Nicklaus signature course, and over 20 courses within a two-hour drive, anyone ready to hit the links can be assured their skill level can be matched.

 So make plans to spend a few days in Sandpoint enjoying all the sights and many attractions. jeb


Seniors Travel Through Plantation Country

The very name “Plantation Country” hearkens back to a time when cotton was king and southeastern Louisiana was the site of some of the most beautiful homes ever built in the United States. Originally the purview of millionaire farmers and traders, many of these houses have been restored and welcome senior visitors, either for tours or as bed-and-breakfast inn guests.

Plantation Country is more than a mecca for tourists. Its many charming small towns are ideal places for people who want to retire to a place where the pace of life is calm, the neighbors are friendly and big-city amenities are just a short drive away.

Straddling the Mississippi River, Plantation Country is a region rich with fascinating chapters of Louisiana’s history. Plantation homes that have become world-famous antebellum landmarks dot the winding River Road;  many are open for tours or inns. Small towns across the region lure senior visitors with historic sites, heritage museums, antique shops and art galleries.

Seniors Begin Tour At Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge is in the heart of Louisiana Plantation Country and is the Pelican State capital city. To the west, the alluvial riverfront terrain changes to the rolling hills of the Parishes, where vintners craft wine from Louisiana grapes, Civil War battle sites host reenactments and historic communities show the influences of 19th-century English settlers.

Plantation Country is also a gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin, opening the splendor and beauty of swamps and bayous to adventurous senior visitors. Most plantations produced sugar, which provided their owners with the kind of vast wealth it took to build these lavish estates.

From exquisitely maintained plantation homes and historic forts to fascinating family graveyards, river locks and a wealth of outdoor activities and scenic beauty, the State Parks and Historic Sites of Louisiana’s Plantation Country offer the senior visitor a treasure trove of unique and memorable experiences.

Senior Travelers Follow the Great River Road



Just west of New Orleans, the Great River Road begins its winding journey along both sides of the Mississippi River. Flowing fields of sugar cane occasionally give way to mysterious views of towering mansions set amongst centuries-old, moss-draped live oaks. Diverse cultural traditions combine to create the local “River Road cuisine” and the music: blues, zydeco, jazz, country and rock’n’roll.

San Francisco Plantation House, the most opulent plantation house in North America, is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River less than 40 minutes from New Orleans. So y’all come on down and see for yourself. jeb


Seniors Learn About Acoma Sky City

Acoma Pueblo’s Sky City is situated on a 370 foot high mesa located about 45 minutes west of Albuquerque and an hour east of Gallup. Seniors discover that this is the homeland for the Acoma people with over 300 homes and structures on the mesa which are owned by Acoma women. These houses are passed down from family to family.

Sky City has the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. There are a couple of other sites that also claim this fame, such as St Augustine Florida, and Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. Acoma families have lived in a traditional Pueblo, high above the desert floor, since the early 1100s.

Sky City is on the National Register of Historical Monuments, but it is owned and operated by the Acoma People that trace their ancestry to nearby Chaco Canyon. Sky City has served as the physical and spiritual homeland for the Acoma people.

Hour-long guided tours take senior visitors to this amazing mesa. You will see the ancient Pueblo, the Mission and have an opportunity to shop for Acoma pottery that dates back more than 1,000 years. Dense local clay, dug up at a nearby site, is essential to Acoma pottery.  The Acoma are best known for their handsome pottery.

Seniors, Meet the Acoma People

The Acoma are one of the rare native tribes who have been one people living continuously on their land for over 2000 years. In their oral history, they go back even further. The location of the Sky City is beautiful as senior travelers approach, with perpendicular cliffs reaching three hundred fifty feet in the air.

Senior visitors will want to sign up for a tour of the old pueblo high atop the mesa. From the cultural center a shuttle will take you up the hill and an Acoma guide will take  you around the village, through the mission and past many pottery vendors.

Francisco Vaques de Coronado’s army visited Acoma in the year 1540 and became the first white man to ever enter Sky City. He described Acoma as: “One of the strongest ever seen, because the city was built on a high rock. The ascent was so difficult that we repented climbing to the top. The houses are three and four stories high.”

Saint Stephen’s mission church, a National Historic Landmark, is another must see for senior visitors. Wikipedia has Sky City all tied together for you with helpful information and advice for first-time visitors.

New Mexico welcomes you with color and art, music and dance, breathtaking landscapes, and a heritage of Indian, Anglo, and Hispanic cultures that cannot be found in any other state in the union. From prehistoric times until the present, cultures and tribes have journeyed through New Mexico’s land. So when you travel to New Mexico, don’t miss Acoma Sky City.  jeb


Seniors Discover the Isle of Yelapa

I would like to think that this senior knows Mexico fairly well, having been there several times. Nevertheless I had never heard of Yelapa, called “A Hidden Gem” or by others…”A State of Mind.”

Tiny Yelapa’s charm is that the best things are free and is presently highly recommend by travel magazines as a place to seek refuge on your next trip to Mexico.

Nestled in the southernmost cove of the world’s 7th largest bay, lies the peaceful village of Yelapa in the State of Jalisco. Although there is a road which leads to the pueblo, the isle is most easily accessible by boat. You will discover that it is “somewhat isolated” and hemmed in between jungle and ocean.

This might be neat…Yelapa has no roads or cars and very few phones. Could you handle that? Plus there are no street names or maps but no need to worry. Yelapa is the kind of place where someone will just point you in the right direction.

If you’ve been to Puerto Vallarta you can easily locate Yelapa 30 miles to the south. It’s a sleepy little find that many call the “Stuff of Fairy Tails”.

Set in a cove at the foot of mountains that tumble down into the sea and at the end of a bone-rattling road followed by a bit of a hike through Chacala (Huichol) Indian land, that’s Yelapa.

Yelapa, Hot Senior Destination

These days, Yelapa is hot. Why? It is a perfect destination for senior travelers who wants to get away from it all. In the last couple of years, it has emerged as one of the must-visit destinations in Mexico, or anywhere. Hilary Swank vacations here and so does Peter Coyote.

This peaceful little village, surrounded by over 50,000 acres of the second most bio-diverse jungle and waters of the world, focuses on artistic ventures, nature and outdoor recreation. Lounging on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, hiking to one of the island’s jungle waterfalls or mountain biking are popular pastimes. Yoga retreat spas are highly sought after.

From one end of Banderas Bay to the other takes only about 45 minutes. Behind the beach where boats land is a village of steep paths, randomly laid out. The atmosphere in Yelapa is very laid back, which is what drew bohemians, artists, and hippies in the 1960s and 1970s.

Senior Citizens Visit This “Getaway”

Just so you comprehend what you can expect, Yelapa is straight out of Daniel Dafoe’s famous castaway novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’. It is an artist/hippie retreat.

The island’s charm beckons adventurous senior visitors and folks wishing to enjoy these untouched shores. Yelapa hotels provide a spectacular level of privacy and tranquility, tucked into this tiny little village that has been largely undisturbed by the tourism industry.

You adventure loving seniors, pack your carry-on, swimming gear and plenty of sun tan oil and head to Yelapa for some “true peace and calm.” jeb


Seniors Have You Been To Apalachicola?

A charming fishing town, maybe a little more Cape Cod than Deep South, Apalachicola, Florida offers senior visitors terrific seafood, lovely waterfront parks and enchanting inns. That’s one cool name for a town isn’t it?  The word “Apalachicola” is variously translated as “place of the ruling people”, “those people residing on the other side or shore”, or “land of the friendly people”.

Let’s just say “Apalach!”

Some call the area the “Forgotten Florida Coast.” In fast-growth Florida, there’s something different about Apalachicola or Apalach, as the locals often abbreviate it. I just loved it when I discovered that there’s only one traffic light along its main road, the two-lane Highway 98.

In Apalach, seniors will have an opportunity to glimpse the Florida Panhandle’s oyster, timber and fishing history from ground level. TripAdvisor can fill in your itinerary for a wonderful visit with lots to see and do. Some senior visitors find that “This is the way Florida used to look,” and that “This is the real Florida.”  

Within easy range of Apalachicola you will find miles of pristine beaches on St. George Island and an endless supply of protected shallow bays, excellent fishing, and acres of national and state forests to explore.

There’s antique-ing in the town’s many charming and unique shops and there are several outstanding examples of antebellum architecture that are open to the public. Apalach offers maritime history and a still-working waterfront plus plenty of restaurants serving the freshest seafood on the coast.

Historic Downtown Draws Senior Visitors

Once considered the third largest shipping port on the Gulf Coast, Apalach is the county seat of Franklin County. Remnants of its colorful and diverse past remain visible today through its many historic homes and buildings.

Downtown Apalach keeps the city moving forward. On August 11, 2010, the Apalachicola City Commission unanimously voted to endorse the newly established non-profit corporation, Historic Apalachicola Inc., in it’s application for the National Trust For Historic Preservation’s Main Street program.

Senior visitors can stroll around Apalachicola’s waterfront, business district, and Victorian-era homes. Combine all this with some of the finest seafood in the country and some of the nicest people anywhere, and your stay is sure to be memorable.

 And those beaches…

St George Island State Park- nine miles of beach and pristine shoreline. There is the Crooked River Light House- historic 103 foot structure built in 1895. Apalachicola National Estuarine Reserve- Over 246,000 acres in the Apalachicola Bay.

Visit the Educational Center on Market Street. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park- excellent snorkeling, swimming, birding and hiking. Top those off with the St Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge- an unspoiled, uninhabited barrier island at the west end of Apalachicola Bay.

Enjoy your visit to the Florida Panhandle. jeb


Seniors Flock To The Sandhill Crane Migration

For five weeks each spring, senior visitors to the Platte River Valley in south-central Nebraska can enjoy the symphony of sounds and dancing rituals of 90 percent of the world’s sandhill cranes.

The Cranes are very large, tall birds with a long neck, long legs, and very broad wings. My wife and I were amazed at their size and number as we viewed the birds in fields all along Interstate 80 near Kearney.

Approximately 500,000 sandhill cranes stop to gain energy from the fertile lands along the Platte River. Just imagine witnessing the gathering of half a million cranes under a blazon Nebraska sunset. The experience will stir your senses and spark your imagination like few experiences can.

Kearney is where I would advise that senior travelers park to watch this phenomenal site. About 80 percent or more of the world’s sandhill cranes will visit the Platte during March through Mid-April.

During the night, the cranes rest on the Platte River, and then feed in fields within 3 miles of the river during the day.

Stay in your car for best viewing like we did, and do not drive into the fields to get a closer look. Cranes are wary, and besides landowner permission is required when entering private property.

In addition to the cranes this time of year, you can view 7-10 million ducks and geese that use the Platte River and the neighboring Rainwater Basin wetlands. More than 2 million snow geese made a stop in the area last spring alone. The arrival of these waterfowl is celebrated at the Spring Wing Ding in Clay Center.

The excitement of the crane season is further enhanced by events like the Wings Over the Platte celebration in Grand Island and the Rivers and Wildlife Celebration in Kearney. Both offer senior visitors a variety of tours with experienced birders and informational workshops.

Seniors Become Birders With The Cranes

Rowe Sanctuary’s viewing blinds are strategically placed along the Platte River to provide excellent views of the Sandhill Cranes while they are on their river roost. Viewings are scheduled daily during March and early April.

They last approximately two hours and are led by trained guides. Walking distances to the viewing blinds range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile over relatively level terrain, with a portion of the walk occurring during low light conditions (before sunrise/after sunset).

 In the evenings, the cranes return to the river itself to roost overnight. They favor broad channels with abundant bare sandbars where large groups of cranes can congregate in large noisy masses of up to 50,000 or more.

As the sun starts to go down, wave upon wave of sandhill cranes drop gracefully into the river like so many floating cottonwood seeds.

Make plans now be part of the entourage who enjoy bird watching at this annual spectacular occurrence. It’s a pure adventure providing many memories.  jeb


Seniors, Been to Logan, Utah?

Logan, Utah, nestled in beautiful Cache Valley, a high mountain valley, is known for outdoor adventures. One of the first things senior travelers will notice about Cache Valley is its natural beauty.

Surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains on the west and the Wellsville Mountains on the east, favorite outdoor activities in Cache Valley are fishing, horseback riding, golfing, hiking, birdwatching and exploring the area’s natural caves and arches. Cache is a French word meaning “to hide or store one’s treasure.”

Logan was picked as a top city to visit in 2014 and senior visitors will find that Bear Lake is one good reason. The lake is known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” for its intense turquoise blue water. As you catch your first glimpse of Bear Lake you will marvel at its color and wonder what makes the lake so blue.

During summer its beautiful, turquoise waters attract visitors of all ages interested in boating, fishing, sailing and other water sports. Campgrounds right on the lake and in the nearby mountains are popular spots for getaways and reunions.

Downtown Logan Draws Senior Visitors

Logan boasts a handsome downtown area and pretty tree-lined residential neighborhoods. Its architectural focal point is the gleaming Logan Temple set on a hill near the center of town. Utah State University, with its 20,000 students, adds youthful energy to this pleasant rural town.

The Center Street Historic District is a locally prized collection of houses dating back to the 1860s. Summerfest Arts Faire offers fine art, great food and entertainment to senior visitors as well as quality entertainment with headliner concerts each evening. 

 The Shoshoni Loved It Too

The Logan area has been ancestral hunting grounds of the Shoshoni Indians for thousands of years. It was home to mountain men in the 1820s, and was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s. The American West Heritage Center is a celebration of living history where activities honor these groups.

Logan is home to great examples of early Mormon pioneer architecture, including the Temple and Tabernacle, historic courthouse and Old Main building on the campus of Utah State University. Incorporated 1866, Logan initially grew as the manufacturing center for an agricultural area, but later developed as the location of several aerospace and satellite research facilities.

Logan Canyon surprises senior visitors year round and natural beauty abounds. Beaver Mountain is a popular ski and snowboard resort area with plenty of varied terrain to accommodate all tastes and abilities. Hole In the Rock is a fascinating 14-room 5,000 square foot home chiseled, sculpted and blasted out of a huge rock.

If you are a first-time visitor to Cache County, you will want to start your visit at the Logan Visitor Center which occupies the grand historic Cache County Court House. There is always plenty to see and do in Logan all-year round. Enjoy your visit. jeb

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