SENIORS JOURNEY THROUGH GEORGIA



Seniors Settle Down in Sandy Springs

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Senior travelers, can you name the largest cities in Georgia?  Sure Atlanta, and then maybe Columbus, Savannah and Athens.  But where from there? Yes it’s Sandy Springs, located north of Atlanta with a population right at 95,000.

Sandy Springs, once a rural village and summer retreat was incorporated in 2005. The city was named after the natural sandy springs that still exist as a protected historic site.

The Sandy Springs Festival is the largest annual community event in Sandy Springs with approximately 30,000 attendees. Established in 1984, the annual Festival celebrated its 29th run this year. Another big draw is the Sandy Springs Artapalooza, a Fine Arts Festival that is held annually. Between 125 to 150 notable artists from around the country participate in this event.

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Wow, twelve parks in town including Heritage Green, a 4-acre park at the center of Sandy Springs new downtown development. It is the sight of the original underground springs for which the city is named and is anchored by the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum. Morgan Falls Park is the largest park in Sandy Springs and is rich with treasures like wildlife and panoramic vistas of the Chattahoochee River.

 Seniors Discover Home to Big Companies

Sandy Springs is known nationally for outsourcing  everything. It offers residents and senior guests immediate access to big-city excitement and traditional Southern charm. Sandy Springs is rich in a variety of unique delights: more than 20 miles of glorious shoreline along the Chattahoochee River, parks city-wide, a dynamic economy and a sense of community that sustains and welcomes all.

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Senior visitors are encouraged to explore the city for quality hotels, festive events and great places to enjoy a wide array of amazing outdoor recreational activities. You will discover  numerous fine dining and shopping options.

What put Sandy Springs on the map? Well, nota bene: It is home to over 8,000 businesses and headquarters of more Fortune 500 companies than any other city in Georgia and this figure even out numbers Atlanta. The largest employers in Sandy Springs include:  United Parcel Service, IBM, AT&T Mobility, WorldPay, Ceridian, AutoTrader.com, Global Payments and Cisco Systems.

When you plan a journey south, keep Sandy Springs in mind. It’s a great retreat.  jeb

 

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Enjoy Small Town Fremont, NH

imagesFremont, New Hampshire,  pop 4,000+, is a small town in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metro area. Senior travelers will find Fremont at the Rockingham Recreation Trail and New Hampshire Route 107 crossing.

It’s history goes back a long ways to the 1720s. Fremont was originally part of Exeter, a city of 15,000 and became its own town in 1764 when Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth granted the town’s incorporation.

Initially incorporated as “Poplin”, after a small English mill town, the town petitioned the state to change its name to “Fremont” in 1854. The town was named in honor of the popular General John C. Fremont, renowned explorer, military man and the first republican candidate in the 1856 presidential election. Incidentally, for senior historians, Fremont lost to James Buchanan, and the first territorial governor of Arizona, 1878-1883.

The town is known for a giant barrel just outside Spaulding & Frost Cooperage, established in 1874. That business has the distinction of being one of the oldest barrel manufacturers in the country. Guess somebody has to make barrels, and it may as well be in Fremont, right?

Seniors, Do You Know The Shaggs?

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The Fremont Historical Museum at 8 Beede Hill Road houses over 50 fascinating exhibits dating between 1734 and 2001 and is a mainstay for visiting senior tourists. The museum houses exhibits on the unique 1960′s all-girl band called “THE SHAGGS” – a nationally recognized “outsider music” group that received national attention during the late 1990′s.

The Town Hall dating back to 1911 is the only tin-sided Town Hall in New Hampshire and worth seeing. Ever seen a tin-sided building? There must be some darn good restaurants in town… when I did some research, up came several dishes that would make your mouth water, especially when it comes to some great pizza.

Seniors Find Quiet and Quaint

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Fremont’s population of 4,000 lends to its New England charm and ambience.  The town acts as a bedroom community for several nearby towns and cities such as Exeter, Portsmouth and Manchester.

With only one main route running through Fremont (Route 107), the town sits far enough off the beaten path to be overlooked by those unfamiliar with the area, and that’s exactly how the residents of this tiny hamlet want it to stay: quiet.

The state of New Hampshire and Fremont have much to offer the outdoor senior enthusiast in the way of hunting, fishing, hiking and bicycling. The local abandoned railroad bed allows off-road vehicles and, in the winter months, snowmobiles access to an elaborate trail network that weaves through and around New Hampshire and even into some neighboring states.

So precisely where is Fremont? It is located 17 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, 10 miles from the New Hampshire- Massachusetts border, 24 miles from Concord, New Hampshire, and 16 miles from Manchester New Hampshire.  Enjoy your visit to this small laid-back New England town. jeb

SENIORS JOURNEY THROUGH IDAHO



Seniors Visit Nampa

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I knew that Boise, Meridian, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Coeur D’Alene and Twin Falls were in Idaho, but I had never heard of Nampa. So senior friends, let’s go exploring and check out Nampa.

In the south west corner of Idaho, Nampa is 20 miles west of Boise along Interstate 84, and six miles west of Meridian. Boise, the state capital, has over 200,000 inhabitants and Nampa follows with 80,000+. The name Nampa may have come from a Shoshoni Indian word Namb meaning either moccasin or footprint.

For three years, the America’s Promise Alliance has named Nampa one of its “100 Best Communities for Young People” and that says a lot about the city. Surrounded on three sides by mountains, Nampa is literally in the heart of an area called “Treasure Valley.”

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Nampa is primarily an agricultural community, however, its convenient proximity to the state’s capital, Boise, a scenic 10- to 20-minute drive away, allows Nampa Idaho all the benefits of being a much larger city.

Home to the famous Snake River Stampede, Professional Cowboys make the stampede an annual stop on the pro circuit.  The rodeo is held each year July 15-19th. It is loads of fun for grownups and children and an event senior visitors won’t want to miss.

Another “must” is the Idaho Center that includes a huge 10,500 seat amphitheater. The Warhawk Air Museum, another major draw in town, has an emphasis on WWII.

 Seniors Enjoy Wildlife Refuge And Wine Trail

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The nearby Snake River, a major river in the Northwest, is located 15 minutes south of Nampa and makes for some great sightseeing, fishing and jet boating. Lake Lowell, also close-by, offers water skiing and fishing for crappie and bass.

Family picnic areas surround the lake in an area known as the Deerflat Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a haven for hundreds of wildlife species. The watery oasis at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge provides an important breeding area for birds and other wildlife. For you birders, the refuge is a significant resting and wintering area for birds migrating all along the Pacific Flyway. The area also offers golfing, biking and hiking.

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Wouldn’t you know it, there is a wine trail nearby. I did not know that Idaho had vineyards. The Sunnyslope Wine Trail nestled along the Snake River, in a picturesque setting, is only a short drive from Nampa and features some of the Northwest’s finest wineries and wines.

Historic downtown Nampa is in the heart of the city where you can savor Idaho wines, some great Idaho food, view an historic Train Depot, a Farmers Market, and perhaps, if your timing is right, the Downtown Nampa Criterium race held each year in June.

Whatever you traveler interests or needs, Nampa is out to fill each and every one.   jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO TEXAS



Seniors Round Up In Round Rock

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This senior loves that name: Round Rock, Texas. I have driven by the city several times on Interstate Hwy 35, a very busy corridor. Named after a large boulder in the middle of Brushy Creek, Round Rock is located 15 miles north of downtown Austin, the state capital.

And the name… the famed ROUND ROCK is where cattlemen would pass the word that this location was a good place to move your cattle across Brushy Creek. They say that there are cattle and horse prints marking the rock yet today.

One Of The Best, Seniors Discover

Money Magazine likes Round Rock and named it one of the top ten American best small cities. Round Rock is the one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and said to be one of the best-managed cities in Texas.

Despite being a growing city with major employers like Dell and Ikea, features like minor league baseball, seven golf courses, a 40,000 sq foot water park, an outlet mall, and historic growth of medical facilities, Round Rock retains a “small town” atmosphere.

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A number of historic buildings form a kind of downtown square in Round Rock. Most have been given new life these days as restaurants, coffee shops, sports bar and retail stores. The city is a sports haven and home to the Houston Astros AA affiliate team, the Round Rock Express.

On Main Street, you’ll see a stately brick residence known as the Nelson-Crier House (1895-1900) in a beautiful setting, surrounded by mature trees and a white picket fence, where three generation of Nelsons lived.

Old Town Round Rock is an historic area dating to 1854, when the first settlers set up camp along the banks of Brushy Creek. The streets are lined with notable historic sites, including the Palm House and Old Broom Factory.

Historic Town: Gunfights, Bank And Train Robberies

It was also once the site of many a riotous gunfight, including the spectacular capture of the notorious outlaw train robber Sam Bass who was the perpetrator of the largest train robbery in U.S. history. He was ambushed by lawmen in 1878, as he tried to rob a local bank and he died two days later.

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I learned that Round Rock and Williamson County have been the site of human habitation since at least 9,200 BC. Wow! One of the most important discoveries in recent times is that of the ancient skeletal remains dubbed “The Leanderthal Lady”.

Round Rock is perhaps best known as the international headquarters of Dell, a privately owned multinational computer technology firm. The Palm House Museum, the Williamson Museum, the Neill-Cochran House Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art and some great Texas local wineries are often on the itinerary of senior visitors from across the country.

Nearby Lake Travis provides a variety of opportunities for water sports, from sailboats and windsurfing regattas to competition ski boats, as well as cruisers and mansion-like houseboats. Enjoy your stay in Round Rock.  jeb

SENIORS VISIT MANZANILLO, MEXICO



Seniors Head South of the Border

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Manzanillo (pop. 25,000+), a city in the Mexican state of Colima, is located on the Pacific Ocean. Mexico’s busiest port and the third port created by the Spanish in the Pacific, Manzanillo is responsible for handling cargo for the Mexico City area.

The city is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World”. Since 1957, it has hosted important national and international fishing competitions, such as the Dorsey Tournament, making it a very attractive fishing destination. Manzanillo has become one of the country’s most important tourist resorts, and its excellent hotels and restaurants continue to meet the demands of both national and international tourism.

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Senior visitors will see lots of ships in and around the Manzanillo harbor. In addition, it is home to the Navy’s Pacific Naval Force. There is a host of things to see and do including the Isla Navidad Golf Course, the famed Playa Miramar and the Barra Navidad that lays at the end of the Bay from the town of Melaque.

Historical and Magical Attract Senior Visitors

“Magical, Historic, Cultural and Intimate” are but a few of the words that best describe the balmy and magical escape senior citizens will experience in Manzanillo. The twin bays, the Bahia de Santiago (Santiago Bay) and Bahia de Manzanillo (Manzanillo Bay) both stretch for five miles along the Pacific Coast and are separated by the Santiago Peninsula.

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The centro historico (historic downtown) of Manzanillo is located on the far eastern end of Manzanillo Bay, whereas the majority of the luxury resorts in Manzanillo are located in the area between the bays that surround the Santiago Peninsula. The beaches line the five-mile stretch of golden sand that curves around the Santiago Bay.

The weather in Manzanillo is pleasant year-round, and the beach sees an average of 350 days of sunshine each year. That matches the sun here in Arizona. Manzanillo’s close proximity to the Sierra Madre Mountains helps to keep temperatures slightly cooler than many of the other well-known resort destinations located up and down the Pacific Coast.

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The best time to visit Manzanillo is during the winter months from November to April. Perhaps some of you senior citizens will remember the famous slow-motion scene of Bo Derek running along the beach in Blake Edwards’ 10. This scene was filmed here.

I’d like to share with you a new discovery I’ve made, TomZap… filled with a lot of information.  So, senior travelers, consider spending some quality time in Manzanillo and bring along lots of sunscreen.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH ARKANSAS



Seniors Enjoy Springdale

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Springdale, the fourth-largest city in Arkansas, is located in both Washington and Benton counties in Northwest Arkansas. This senior has driven through Arkansas several times going south from Iowa, but I did not realize that Springdale was that large, around 75,000.

It’s history goes way back, founded in 1838 and was originally known as Shiloh. In 1840, a Baptist church was founded in the town but the building was burned down during the Civil War and rebuilt in 1868. In 1878, the town was incorporated with the name of Springdale.

Tyson Foods corporate headquarters is in Springdale and accounts for much of the city’s growth and economics.   One of the largest US chicken producers, Tyson’s fresh meats division makes it a giant in the beef and pork sectors, as well. It helped to put Springdale on the map.

Railroad, Baseball and Rodeo Draws Seniors

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The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad (A&M) has its corporate headquarters in Springdale. If you enjoy baseball, the NW Arkansas Naturals invite senior visitors to the Arvest Ballpark for a great game. Stop in and visit The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, a regional history museum focusing on the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks. The museum takes its name from the pioneer community of Shiloh.

The Rodeo of the Ozarks is an American Classic for over 70 Years. In an effort to find relief from the stress of World War II, Rodeo of the Ozarks began on the patriotic weekend of the fourth of July by founder, Shorty Parsons and today is one of the top 5 Outdoor rodeos in the entire United States.

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No matter the season, downtown Springdale has much to offer. Stroll tree-lined Emma Avenue and you’re steps away from some of northwest Arkansas’ best visitor venue. No matter your entertainment taste, Springdale can deliver a memorable experience that might just require more than one visit.

Seems like there’s always something happening in Springdale. From the region’s best community theater to Friday night firework shows at Arvest Ballpark, your visit to Springdale will be a memorable one. For all senior oenophiles, you will be invited for free wine tasting, 7 days a week at the Tontitown Winery that is housed in the “o House” built in 1917.

So stop in northwest Missouri and enjoy a day or two in Springdale.  jeb

SENIORS VISIT NEWPORT BEACH CALIFORNIA



Seniors Sail In To Newport Harbor

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Newport Beach with a population of 90,000+ is home to the famed Newport Harbor. It is on the coast 50 miles south of Los Angeles and 85 miles north of  San Diego. With nearly 22 square miles of ocean and bay, including  several islands, the city offers the greatest variety and number of restaurants with water view dining in all of Orange County.

Senior visitors can enjoy unlimited things to do with 8 miles of beach, luxury shopping, spa treatments, championship golf and even more.

 Senior travelers find Newport Beach to be a coastal fantasyland where leisure and style come together in nine distinct neighborhoods. Newport Beach contains some of the most expensive real estate in southern California with homes costing $2 million and up that are surrounded by one of the world’s largest small yacht harbors.

Newport Beach boasts outstanding fishing, swimming, surfing and all types of aquatic sport activities. The 920-foot pier at Balboa Beach was voted Orange County’s best.

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Travel from the east to the west side of the city or the north end to the south end and you will get a flavor of the distinct residential and commercial areas that combine to make the city one of the most attractive communities on the west coast.

Newport Beach is known for what are called “villages”, each with its own distinct character and appearance, ranging from ritzy neighborhoods to adorable cottage-style beach colonies.

 Nature Preserve Draws Senior Hikers and Bikers

Senior visitors will find plenty to see and do in and around Newport Beach. The city is noted to possess one of the cleanest beaches in Southern California which makes for perfect surfing, swimming, body boarding and other water activities.

The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve offers senior hikers and bikers a unique look at one of Southern California’s most unspoiled estuaries. After a fine dinner, consider the many attractions along Harbor Boardwalk or stroll through Fashion Island, Orange County’s premier coastal shopping destination. Here is a fun aerial view of Newport Beach with lots of action. I think you’ll like it if you enjoy a ride in a small plane.

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The estuary on Back Bay is a birder’s paradise, while the protected beach at Crystal Cove is favored by hikers. Surfers catch the best breaks on what’s called The Wedge.

It’s a fact that Newport Beach is one of southern California’s most picturesque,  dynamic and popular beach communities. Widely known for its vast recreational opportunities and outstanding shopping, dining and lodging, the city surrounds Newport Bay and more than 9,000 boats of all types are docked within the 21-square-mile harbor area.

Senior travelers find Newport Beach to be “a real gem. jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Get The “Blues” in Clarksdale

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Clarksdale, located in the Mississippi Delta region, is an agricultural center, and has been home to many blues musicians. The City of Clarksdale, is located at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49, “the crossroads”, and the surrounding Delta region is known as ”the land where the blues began”.

With a population of approximately 20,000, Clarksdale is the Mississippi Delta’s second largest city and home to many of The Delta’s cultural and historical landmarks. Ever since the 1920′s Clarksdale has been known as the hub for blues culture. With it’s economy booming, audiences for entertainment were created, thus allowing the blues culture to flourish.

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Seniors who enjoy blues music might first take in the Delta Blues Museum that recently unveiled its latest exhibit “In the Belly of the Blues”. The Museum is in the historic Clarksdale freight depot, built in 1918 for the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad.

The Rock & Blues Museum is packed full of music memorabilia from the 1920s through the 1970s. Senior visitors can follow the evolution of America’s music from blues, R&B, and rockabilly to rock ‘n roll and soul and see how it influenced people all over the world.

The Riverside Hotel is another “must see”, one of many historical blues sites in town. Clarksdale received a historic marker as a site on the Mississippi Blues Trail by the Mississippi Blues Commission in recognition of its importance in the development of the blues in Mississippi. Clarksdale is called “Ground Zero Music” and for good reason. Be sure to “fire up” the video on this site to get the full effect.

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Seniors Explore The Mississippi Delta

Clarksdale and Coahoma County, are a colorful mix of Delta characters and fascinating places. Few places in America are as interesting as the Mississippi Delta.  Stretching 250 miles from Memphis in the north to Vicksburg in the south, and about 80 miles wide, the delta is a pancake flat alluvial plain bordered by the Mississippi River on the west and the Mississippi hill country on the east. The majority of its residents are African Americans.

When you are traveling through Mississippi, discover a hotel where blueswoman Bessie Smith died and John F. Kennedy, Jr. slept. Eat a tamale or dine at a restaurant co-owned and frequented by Morgan Freeman. Clarksdale is the crossroads of culture and quirkiness with a heavy dose of the blues.

Make plans to take in one of several annual festivals in Clarksdale: the Juke Joint Festival in April, the Delta Jubilee in June, the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in August and the Tennessee Williams Festival in September-October. jeb

SENIORS ENJOY AUSTRALIA



Seniors Go “Down Under” to Visit Brisbane

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Brisbane is the capital and most populous city (1 million +) in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. The popular phrase used to describe Queensland is … “Beautiful one day, perfect the next!” Sounds very inviting to me.

Brisbane is the largest of Australia’s six capital cities by geographic area and the third largest in the world, occupying some 1,140 km². A river curving and curling its way around the landscape makes Brisbane one of the most unique capital cities in Australia.

Brisbane came into being long before the state of Queensland was established, when intrepid Surveyor General John Oxley named the river he discovered after the Governor of New South Wales – Thomas Brisbane – in 1823. Today,  Brisbane is one of the fastest-growing capital cities in Australia in terms of population and employment.

Senior Visitors Find a City Open, Green and Clean

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As a city, Brisbane is a vast open undulating green expanse and it is truly something to marvel at. Brisbane is known for its 1,700 parks.

Brisbane is also famed for providing free facilities, such as clean and well maintained BBQ’s, picnic facilities complete with tables and seating, all having ample shelter from the warm sun as well as carefully maintained public facilities.

Visitors in this city tend to make the same statement, “Brisbane is so clean and everything is free”. Senior visitors discover Brisbane from the inside out and explore the vibrant urban villages across the city. Each suburb is a hub of activity with its own distinct vibe, unique personality and seemingly endless offering of things to see and do.

Shoppers…enjoy The City: From Queensland’s largest selection of fashion and award-winning food and drink, to an extensive free entertainment program. There are over 1000 stores to choose from, including the state’s largest collection of flagship stores and unique boutiques, making The City Queensland’s premier shopping destination.

 And A City Filled With Energy

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City Botanic Gardens, the city’s oldest park, was originally planted by convicts in 1825 with food crops in order to feed the prison colony. These gardens include ancient trees, rainforest glades and exotic species.

The City Centre Heritage Trail takes you on a journey through a range of sites and events that have shaped Brisbane’s history. Roma Street Parkland, an oasis in the heart of Brisbane, is a perfect place to go exploring with its spectacular subtropical plant displays, sweeping vistas and unique artwork, and it’s only a short walk from Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.

 In Brisbane seniors will discover a city filled with energy, you’ll also find it’s filled with endless things to do… pack a hat and plenty of sunscreen. With 12 months of sunshine-filled days and clear blue skies, Brisbane has a climate that sets the scene for year-round activities. Even in the midst of a Brisbane winter senior visitors can play in the parks and dine outdoors. What a setting huh?  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH CENTRAL ILLINOIS



Effingham At The Crossroads

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I went looking for the most popular tourist towns in each state today.   Effingham came up for Illinois.  I just had to check it out and see why.  It is very close to where my brother lived in central Illinois. That is certainly not a name that stands out for most of us, seniors, like Chicago, Springfield, Aurora or Rockford.

Effingham is located right in the heart of central Illinois where Interstates 57 and 70 intersect.. Some argue that Effingham is named after Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Effingham, who resigned his commission as general in the British army in 1775, refusing to serve in the war against the Colonies.This contention is unsubstantiated. The name is Anglo-Saxon for “Effa’s house“. Just figured you senior historians would find that fact of interest.

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The rather small town of just over 12,000 bills itself as “The Crossroads of Opportunity” because of the intersections of major Interstate highways running both east and west and north and south.

For a small town, Effingham has its amenities and senior visitors find plenty to do. A big draw in town is the Mid America Motorworks, My Garage Museum. Corvettes, Volkswagens, Herbie, and Fin McMissile are the highlights. Actually, only the Herbie was real (several actual Herbies from various Disney movies) but the Fin McMissile was just a million dollar lookalike.

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Visitors find the Cross at the Crossroads to be quite memorable as the tallest in the world at 198 feet tall and 113 feet wide, forged out of over 180 tons of steel anchored in untold fathoms of cement. The Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association came into existence as the result of a desire to promote interpretive culture and history.

 Seniors Find Themselves In The Center Of A Crater

An interesting fact is a circular crater 200 to 210 miles in diameter, and centered on Effingham Illinois. The crater covers the southern half of Illinois, and part of Indiana, with St Louis on the West South West side. Must have been a real big HIT eons of time ago.

The town is loaded with history. Folks started making their way to Effingham, first called Broughton, in the early 1800s when settlers moving west along the Old Cumberland Trail stopped to work in the rich soil along the Little Wabash River.

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The trail became The National Road which is now recognized as a Scenic Byway. In the mid-1800s, the new railroad brought with it a “boom” of not only new people and homes, but also new business.

Effingham is located some 200 miles from Chicago, due south on I-57, just far enough away for the locals to speak with a soft twang (whatever that is!)

For senior oenophiles, the Tuscan Hills Winery is located in Effingham  and for foodies, John Boos and Company is the oldest industry in Effingham, Illinois and has been in business continuously since 1887.

Spend some quality time and you too will fall in love with Effingham. jeb

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