Seniors Bask in West Palm Beach Sun

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West Palm Beach is the county seat of Palm Beach County with a population of just over 100,000. Senior visitors soak up Florida sunshine on pristine beaches and golf on world-class courses.

Located along Florida’s famed “Gold Coast,” West Palm Beach offers visitors year-round excitement within easy reach of smooth-sand beaches and some of the nation’s most enticing waterways.

CityPlace, about 4 blocks West of the Intracoastal Waterfront has dozens of restaurants, high-end shops and live bands. Along the Gold Coast are over 40 miles of beautiful sandy beaches and the proximity of the Gulf Stream keeps the waters warm year-round.

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West Palm Beach is home to sunny palm-lined streets, breathtaking waterfront views, quaint shopping districts, historic and scenic neighborhoods, and exciting year-round outdoor festivals. With the development of the West Palm Beach Waterfront, downtown has become very boat-friendly.

Gulf Stream Waters Attract Senior Visitors

Enjoy the fascinating array of cultural venues, sample the culinary masterworks of celebrity chef-owned restaurants, and take in one of dozens of internationally renowned destination events. Fish or dive in the Gulf Stream-warmed waters and take pleasure in the breathtaking beauty of the unique Florida ecosystem.

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McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary is a favorite stop for many senior visitors. The Sanctuary has treated hundreds of native animals that were sick or injured. Everything from foxes to bobcats, Sandhill Cranes to pelicans, hawks, owls, and many others have received veterinarian care by the staff and then were released back into the wild. It is a fun stop for folks of all ages where you can view up close 170 permanent resident animals.

One of the most recognizable landmarks is the Kravis Center for Performing arts that has recently added a 31-million dollar extension which includes new rehearsal space, instrument practice rooms, classrooms and a dance studio.

The Norton Museum of Art is worth a visit, featuring a collection of over 7,000 works. Maybe enhance your afternoon visit to the Norton with a 50-minute docent-led tour of the Museum Collection and selected special exhibitions.  In addition, the Palm Beach Zoo and Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are a couple more highlights for any visit.

Mansions, Yachts And Centennial Square

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I know that I would enjoy taking a self-guided tour on a motor scooter available from iScootPalmBeach.  Then scoot along the Atlantic Ocean past huge mansions and costly yachts. TripAdvisor has it all set for you including suggestions for hotels, B&Bs and over 100 attractions.

The $30-million Centennial Square waterfront complex at the eastern end of Clematis Street, with piers, a pavilion, and an amphitheater, has transformed West Palm into an attractive, easy-to-walk downtown area.

A major event is called SunFest – Florida’s largest waterfront music festival, generally held in late April and early May. Note that Amtrak has a stop in downtown West Palm Beach. So when you plan your visit to Florida, remember to include West Palm Beach.  jeb


Seniors Enjoy Brignoles

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It’s a town in Provence called Brignoles (pop. 16,000+), a commune in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southern France, most famous as the summer residence of the counts of Provence. The castle  dates from the thirteenth century. Senior visitors will find that Brignoles is a market town, known for its peaches, honey, olives and olive oil.

From the second half of the 19th century until the 1960′s, Brignoles was a mining center, with bauxite mines and still today the old mines are scattered all over the region. Since those days, the area has evolved towards wine, agriculture and light industry. Also in the past, the marble quarries at Candelon were renowned; you can still see the quarries, about 3 km southwest of town.

The name, Brignoles, is thought to be derived from the Latin brinonia, plum, since plums have been grown in this region since Roman times.

A Stream Flows Through It

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As per usual, senior visitors will find some quality wine in the area. Brignoles is considered the center of one of my favorites rosé wines, Côte de Provence. The town has an annual wine fair, Foire de Brignoles, the first half of April.

The river Le Caramy flows through Brignoles and offers a welcome piece of green in the town center. That’s true from my experience of so many villages in France.  A stream flows right through the heart of the old quarter.

The Palais des Comtes de Provence dates to the 12th century and now houses the Musée du Pays Brignolais. The exhibits include all sorts of items from Brignoles history and an ancient Christian sarcophagus, as well as paintings, etchings and drawings.

Old Quarter Attracts Senior Visitors

The old quarter of the town dates from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The Place des Comptes de Provence, renovated in 2001, housed the first ever Palace of the Counts of Provence.

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The 13th century Chateau des Comptes de Provence has a regional museum. The museum shows the history and life of the Brignoles area, with contents given by inhabitants of the region. The museum’s chief exhibit is the Bayole tombstone, from the end of the 2nd century.

You may see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie around Brignoles as they started leasing the chateau in 2008.  After viewing many possibilities in France, the couple found the chateau to be the most beautiful and charming place to raise their family and purchased the chateau.

Brignoles is surrounded by walking trails through forests, and horseback riding very is popular in the area. Market day is on Wednesday and seniors will discover a fragrant flower market every Saturday. For you gourmet folks, a good choice might be the Abbaye de la Celle just outside Brignoles, which is run by the famous chef, Alain Ducasse.

Maybe enjoy a kir royal in the main square around 4 pm and just sit and people watch. That is something I would enjoy.   jeb


Seniors Are Welcomed in Cookeville

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So what do you know about Cookeville?  Me either. I was recently reading in Automobile Magazine that several high-end vehicles were being driven from Detroit to New Orleans. In doing so, they passed near Cookeville and called the city the “Paris of Tennessee.

So curious Jim just had to find out more and why. This retired, senior French teacher knows lots about Paris, France but “rien du tout” about Cookeville. Well, let’s get on with it. I discovered right away that Cookeville is also known as the “Hub of the Upper Cumberlands.” The “county town” was named “Cookeville” in honor of Richard F. Cooke, who served in the Tennessee Senate from 1851-1854.

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Cookeville has a population of just over 35,000, but if we combine all those living in Cookeville’s ZIP codes, it runs over 65,000. So they have a lot of neighbors.

It is home to Tennessee Technological University. Today TTU, Nashville State Community College, Medvance Institute and Tennessee Bible College all make up  a significant part of the economic hub.

Senior travelers, check out these “Must See and Do” in town. The Cookeville History Museum is one site I would not want to miss,  featuring an enormous collection of artifacts, photographs and special exhibits, covering the history of Cookeville from prehistoric times through the present.

The Historic West Side of town boasts a fine collection of specialty shops, local restaurants, antique stores and eateries, all within easy walking distance.

‘What A City’, Says Senior Visitors

What a city! Senior visitors and the locals can enjoy art galleries, hiking or picnicking in one of the beautiful parks or wilderness areas. There are three area Corps of Engineers lakes, one inside the county that has 415 miles of shoreline for boating, water skiing or fishing

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So bring along your pole and maybe hook into a record bass. Cummins Falls State Park draws visitors all year round. Located on the beautiful Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, this idyllic 211-acre site in Jackson County is home to Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall at 75 feet high. Bring along your swimming suits, the Falls has been listed as one of the ten best swimming holes in the United States by Travel & Leisure and Conde Naste magazines.

The old Cookeville Depot Museum will bring back memories of railroad days and trains for many of us. It is ranked the #2 attraction in town after the Cummins Falls. The museum is located in the old Tennessee Central Depot, which served Middle Tennessee’s main rail line in the early 1900s. The depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

The Del Monaco Winery and Russell Stover are two other worthy stops.  So plan to stop in town and take in all the amenities next time you are in Tennessee.  jeb


Seniors Go South To Tuscaloosa

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Tuscaloosa, that’s a mouthful, is a city in west central Alabama on the Black Warrior River. It is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of just under 100,000. Founded in 1819, on the site of a Creek village, it was named after Tuscaloosa, the chieftain of a Muskogean-speaking people.

At the head of the Tuscaloosa Basin in the Appalachian foothills, today the city is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area known as West Alabama. Tuscaloosa has appeared in Money Magazine’s annual list of best places to live in the entire nation.

It has been traditionally known as the “Druid City” because of the numerous water oak trees planted in its downtown streets since the 1840s. And football, Tuscaloosa is well known nationally for the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide success in several sports, and particularly in football.

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 Senior visitors, consider taking a fun boat ride on the Bama Belle. The boat is a modern day replica of the grand paddlewheel riverboats that graced the nation’s river ways in the early 1900′s. Today, seniors can experience the same magical, romantic, nostalgic celebration of the American spirit on the Bama Belle.

Tuscaloosa abounds in spirit, energy and passion. The oldest operating theatre in Tuscaloosa dates to 1938.  It is called the Bama Theatre and served as the community’s grand movie house, as well as the only air conditioned building in that era. The Theatre was one of the last movie palaces built in the South.

 Seniors Enjoy Big Sports City

Check out a popular City Visitors Flip Guide. The Tuscaloosa Visitor Center is located in the historic 1862 Jemison Mansion on Greensboro Avenue. TripAdvisor suggests 23 attractions that senior visitors can enjoy that include the Paul W. Bryant Museum.

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Bear” Bryant was the U of Alabama coach for many years and the museum is dedicated to his many consecutive and successful years. Wikitravel offers ideas and suggestions for your itinery. Sports are kind of around Tuscaloosa and the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission is actively supporting athleticism at all competitive levels.

Tuscaloosa covers a broad sporting spectrum due to the advantage three colleges located within 15 minutes of each other: The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College.

The city is also home to the first automotive assembly plant of Mercedes Benz in North America, and holds a number of excellent attractions like the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and of course football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Tuscaloosa County is a Mecca for water sports. The most popular lakes for recreation are Lake Tuscaloosa, Holt Lake, Lake Lurleen, Lake Nichol and Oliver Lake. The Black Warrior River also provides additional recreational opportunities.

There are three state parks in the Tuscaloosa area: Lake Lurleen State Park, Moundville Archeological Park, and Tannehill State Park. Enjoy all the scenery and cheer on the “Tide.” jeb


Seniors Enjoy “Atomic City”

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Paducah (pop. 25,000), the county seat of McCracken County, is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers and is often called the Four-Rivers Area due to the proximity of the Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, and Mississippi Rivers.

Paducah, about halfway between St. Louis and Nashville, was first settled as Pekin. It began as a mixed community of white settlers and Native Americans in the year 1815. The settlers were attracted by its location and in 1827 was renamed Paducah.

Yes, that is an unusual name and probably why this senior citizen choose to write this travel blog.  Although local lore long connected this to an eponymous Chickasaw chief “Paduke” and his tribe of “Paducahs”, authorities on the Chickasaw have since made clear that there was never any chief or tribe of that name, anything like it, nor any words like them in the Chickasaw tongue.

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Lewis and Clark probably named the town for the Comanches, known at the time as the Padoucas. The city was formally established as a town in 1830. Its growth is credited to the valuable port facility it offered to the steam boats that traveled across the river system. Paducah was incorporated as a city in the year 1856.

 Seniors Drawn to the City of Crafts and Folk Art

Attention quilters! Home to the National Quilt Museum, this historic river town offers an authentic cultural experience for senior visitors from around the globe. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Paducah, Kentucky the world’s seventh City of Crafts and Folk Art.

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The Floodwall Murals are another principal attraction. Senior travelers will want to visit Paducah’s thriving riverfront and take a self-guided tour of portraits from Paducah’s past depicting its rich history in more than 50 life-sized panoramic murals by renowned artist Robert Dafford and the Dafford Murals Team. And just for the Beckers, they have NINE B&Bs in town.

 Senior visitors will find four museums and several art galleries plus the Market House Theater. The Land Between The Lakes is a designated national recreation area under the management of the USDA Forest Service.

Restoration of the town’s beautiful old buildings has allowed a variety of businesses to open shop. The Paducah Renaissance as it is called, has been a huge success both financially and culturally. Twenty blocks of the city’s downtown have been designated an historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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When people in the Paducah area discuss “yellowcake,” it probably does not involve any sort of baked goods. The confectionery nickname represents uranium’s solid form — a dense yellow powder. Uranium has been part of the Four Rivers region for over 50 years at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. This is why Paducah is called “Atomic City.”

The beautifully restored turn-of-the-century architecture and brick-lined sidewalks of the Historic Downtown work to create a romantic, vintage atmosphere that visitors enjoy with a stroll. Enjoy Paducah.  jeb


Seniors Take A Look At World Heritage Sites

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There are 21 historical sites in the US declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Eight of these sites are Cultural and the rest are considered Natural. 13 more are on a list called Tentative. Being a guide at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ, this senior was pleased to note that 11 of Frank Lloyd Wrights Buildings are on that list.

The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage is an international agreement that was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972. It is based on the premise that certain places on Earth are of outstanding universal value and should therefore form part of the common heritage of mankind.

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Myself, I am real big on World Heritage Sites. It’s a great way to fill up any itinerary wherever you travel. UNESCO notes that a World Heritage Site is “a natural or man-made site, area, or structure recognized for its outstanding international importance and therefore deserving special protection.”

Sites are nominated to and designated by the World Heritage Convention, an organization of UNESCO. Sites can be a forest, a mountain, lake, island, desert, monument, building, complex or even an entire city.

The Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef, Versailles, Galapagos Islands, Victoria Falls, Machu Picchu, Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower and the Acropolis are examples. They simply “stand out”. Thousands and thousands visit each of these sites annually.

Seniors Enjoy World Heritage Sites

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Wikipedia states that “As of 2013, 981 sites are listed: 759 cultural, 193 natural, and 29 mixed properties, in 160 states parties. By sites ranked by country,  Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites with 49, followed by China (45), Spain (44), France and Germany (both 38).

Senior travelers, if you have personally seen some of these, were they not a highlight of your visit? UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with an identification number; but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part of larger descriptions.

As a result, the identification numbers exceed 1,200 even though there are fewer on the list. They are everywhere in the world. While each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state or country where the site is located, UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.

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There is an additional listing of World Heritage Sites considered to be in danger. The list is intended to increase international awareness of these threats and to encourage counteractive measures. Threats to a site can be either proven imminent threats or potential dangers that could have adverse effects on a site.

What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located. So, next time you travel, input into a search engine where you want to go, then add World Heritage Sites and note what comes up. Bon Voyage! jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice


Seniors Find Magic in Billings


Billings, the largest city in Montana with a population of 165,361, is the only city in “Big Sky Country” to surpass 100,000 people. Called Montana’s Trailhead, Billings was nicknamed the Magic City because of its rapid growth from its founding as a railroad town in March 1882.

The city is named for Frederick H. Billings, a former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. With one of the largest trade areas in the United States, Billings is the trade and distribution center for most of the state. The Rimrock, or sandstone cliffs, that rise on the city’s eastern and northern sides help to make Billings a very scenic prairie town.

The Alberta Bair Theater has been an integral part of the cultural scene in Billings for more than 80 years. The Moss Mansion, designed by a prominent architect, is a huge, red-sandstone, turn-of-the-century mansion that combines several architectural styles. All Billings residents are well acquainted with the Moss Mansion, a massive structure and on the National Register of Historic Places.


Built in 1902, the mansion sits on two acres and features 28 charming rooms. The cost to build the Mansion was $105,000, which was over 30 times the cost of the average home back in 1902. It is fabulous. Plan a tour and see first hand the opulence and extravagance the wealthy enjoyed a century ago.

 Senior Golfers, Theater Goers and Gourmets, Attention Please

Gardens, museums and parks attract hundreds of senior visitors to Montana and in particular Billings. And golfers, bring along your clubs; Lake Hills Golf Club is a championship club. While in town, senior visitors can take in the famed Babcock Theater. Filled with Vaudeville type performances, its rich history is reminiscent of the early days of the city.

Senior gourmets… your attention please. Juliano’s is an award-winning restaurant, and one of the most revered restaurants in Montana. And along with Julianos is the Windmill Club, another elegant restaurant.

Image 1Located in the heart of what is called the Yellowstone Valley and rimmed by several hundred foot high cliffs of sandstone, Billings offers senior visitors a pleasant city to base themselves for accessing the abundance of recreational opportunities that Montana has to offer.

I well recall visiting the battlefield is where General George A. Custer and 263 of his soldiers died in 1876, marking a victory for the Cheyenne and Lakota tribes. “Custer’s Last Stand” was also a last stand of sort for the Plains Indians, and the battlefield is a national monument today.

The Western Heritage Center is located in the historic Parmly Billings Memorial Library in downtown Billings. Another must-see museum in Billings is the Yellowstone County Museum. Watch Turk and the Boys drive a herd of cattle right through downtown Billings. Now that’s the real West.

Billings is an ideal base to see Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. So put on your cowboy hat, a big belt buckle, some shiny boots and join the fun in Billings. jeb


Seniors Visit Canberra

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Some of us seniors thought that either Sydney or Melbourne was the capital city of Australia. Well… It’s Canberra. With a population of 380,000+, it is Australia’s largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall.

Canberra is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 170 miles southwest of Sydney. Folks who call Canberra home are known as a “Canberran”. As the Australian capital, it is home to embassies and the Australian Federal Parliament.

Seniors Visit Planned City

The site of Canberra, midway between Melbourne and Sydney, was selected for the location of the nation’s capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city similar to the American Federal District of Columbia.

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All the areas of natural vegetation in town have earned Canberra the title “bush capital” and for those of us who love open green spaces, that’s almost perfect. The surrounding bushland, as it is called, and the original bushland from which Canberra was built is a mixture of eucalyptus savanna, open grassland, scrub land, swamp, and dry eucalyptus forests.

Senior travelers will discover that Canberra lies on a plain at the foot of 6,200-foot spurs of the Australian Alps, enjoying warm summers, cool winters and receiving considerably less rainfall than the surrounding highlands.

Historically, a small squatters’ settlement of stockmen, called Canberry or Canbury (a derivation of an Aboriginal term, “meeting place”), was made there as early as 1824. By 1836 the name had evolved to Canberra.

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European exploration and settlement started in the Canberra area as early as the 1820s. Lonely Planet notes that the city was designed by visionary American architect Walter Burley Griffin.

Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring and full of flowers. This iconic Canberra event, which is now in its 26th year, runs for 30 days over the months of September and October.

 Seniors Experience Australian Culture and History

A lake was formed in the center of the city and it is named after the designer of the city. Highlights include the National Museum of Australia, Parliament House, Ainslie, National Gallery and Australian War Memorial.

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Canberra is a great place to visit with excellent golf courses for senior golfers and nearby towns like Goulburn, are full of early history. The surrounding regions are mostly fertile grazing land growing some of the quality wool, beef and lamb that Australia is famous for.

Discover for yourself that Canberra is not just a beautifully designed city, but where senior visitors will experience Australian identity, culture, history, indigenous heritage, politics, art, sport, flora and fauna. It is said that Canberra is one of the most underrated places to visit in all of Australia.

The city has a lively nightlife due to the many young people who call it home. There are more cafes and restaurants per person than anywhere in Australia. Senior travelers, take in Canberra for yourself.  jeb

Filed under : Australia


Seniors Stop in Hartford

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Hartford, the state capital, is Connecticut’s second-largest city, 125,000, after the coastal city of Bridgeport. Nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World”, Hartford houses many insurance company headquarters, and insurance remains the region’s major industry.

Almost 400 years old, Hartford is among the oldest cities in the United States. The name “Hartford” was chosen to honor the British town of Hertford (pronounced “Hartford”) in Herfordshire, home of Samuel Stone, one of the early settlers in the area.

 From Connecticut River Trading Post to Insurance Capital

From its origins as a Connecticut River trading post in 1633, Hartford has become not only the state capital but also the insurance capital of the world. With a slew of historical attractions, Hartford has a thriving arts and entertainment center, a revitalized riverfront and beautiful parks and public gardens.

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Hartford is home to historic and cultural attractions, many that senior travelers can visit absolutely free. The Mark Twain house is where he and his family lived in a 19-room mansion from 1874-1891. It is one of the “must sees” in town along with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the first public art museum in the United States.

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. features 50,000 pieces ranging from ancient to contemporary, the largest collection of Hudson River School paintings in the world. Hartford is where Twain lived and wrote his most well-known books, and where Harriet Beecher Stowe decided to settle after commotion from her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, died down a bit.

 Seniors Visit One of Nation’s Oldest State Houses

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For you flower lovers like me, Elizabeth Park is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is totally loaded with beautiful roses. The park is huge and encompasses 102 acres and boasts many garden areas, pathways, greenhouses, lawns, a picnic grove, a pond and recreation areas.

Wikitravel has key information for senior visitors. For you history buffs, the Old State House, at 800 Main St, presents a glimpse into the past, while offering an immersive new education center, a museum store and a new audio tour of the facility. It was designed by famed New England architect Charles Bulfinch. This 1796 National Historic Landmark is one of the nation’s oldest state houses and is one major reason to take in downtown Hartford.

Several stately and historical churches are situated in the downtown area. Additional sites seniors will not want to miss visiting include the Old State Capital, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Bushnell Memorial Park and Traveler’s Tower observation deck where you can get super views of the entire city.

Connecticut is a gorgeous state and Hartford is a beautiful city.  Seniors, enjoy historic Hartford.  jeb


Seniors Explore Fascinating St. Joseph

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St. Joseph Missouri, between Kansas City and Omaha on Interstate 29, is the largest city in northwest Missouri with a population of over 77,000. St. Joseph is perhaps best known as the starting point of the Pony Express and the death place of Jesse James.

Fascinating historical sites and museums commemorate the generations of folks who have made the area their home. It’s hard to even go a few feet in the city without coming across a historical marker that recounts an extraordinary story, and that’s what senior visitors remember best about the city.

St. Joseph was founded on the Missouri River by Joseph Robidoux, a local fur trader from St. Louis, and was officially incorporated in 1843. Robidoux laid out the town in 1843 and named it for his patron saint.

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In its early days, it was a bustling outpost and rough frontier town, serving as a last supply and jumping-off point on the Missouri River and toward the “Wild West.”  St. Joseph, or “St. Jo”, as it is called by the locals, was a “Jumping-Off Point” for those headed to the Oregon Territory in the mid-1800s.

 Seniors Find History All Over

The main draws for senior visitors include the Patee House Museum, Pony Express Museum and the Missouri Theater. The city overflows with history and you will find a plethora of historical buildings, mansions, and traditions that still remain in St. Jo.

The city is fortunate to be settled along the longest river in the nation, a river that brings with it opportunities for commerce, recreation, and beauty. In its 2,320 mile-journey, the Missouri River flows past while ballplayers catch pop flies at the Heritage Park Sports Complex, senior visitors dine al fresco at the St. Jo Frontier Casino, and other seniors visit the Remington Nature Center.

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Factory workers make wire rope cables, downtown merchants flip their signs from “closed” to “open”, and employees in the St. Jo stockyard area continue the livestock business that started back in 1887. St. Jo takes pride in its history and the river is the beginning of that history.

The St. Joseph Metro Chamber’s ‘Parties on the Parkway’ concert series always ends the summer with a bash along the river’s banks near the Remington Nature Center. It is fitting to celebrate there—a full circle—saying farewell to summer near the exact spot where Joseph Robidoux welcomed travelers and pioneers to his trading post.

The Missouri River gave the city its beginning and continues to help it grow in both commerce and recreation. Senior visitors can take part in living history and enjoy St. Jo.  jeb

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