Seniors Visit Historic Pottsville

imagesPottsville, with a population of just over 14,000, lies along the west bank of the Schuylkill River, 97 miles northwest of Philadelphia and not too far west of Allentown, yesterday’s blog. Senior travelers will find Pottsville in the coal region of the state. History dating to the early 1700s abounds in and around Pottsville.

Pottsville’s anthracite coal history began in 1790 when a coal seam was discovered by a hunter named Necho Allen. Legend has it that Allen fell asleep at the base of the Broad Mountain and woke to the sight of a large fire; his campfire had ignited an outcropping of coal.

By 1795 an anthracite-fired iron furnace was established on the local river. In 1806 John Pott purchased the furnace and thus the name Pottsville.

 Seniors Run Into Lavender, Breweries and Classic Cars


If you like highly scented flowers, cars from the early 50s, local beer and classic theater, Pottsville is for you. I would start off with a visit to Hope Hill Lavender Farm. I love lavender and the scent associated with those purple flowers.

At the Yuengling Brewery, America’s Oldest Brewery, senior visitors can enjoy a tour and a free sample at the end. Jerry’s Classic Cars and Collectible Museum is not your typical car museum. If you enjoy reliving the days of the past when cars were classically designed, Jerry’s Classic Cars & Collectibles museum can take you back in time and provide you with an unforgettable auto experience. Over 20,000 collectibles are housed in this old Studebaker dealership.


The Majestic Theater, one of two reverse-screen theaters remaining in the state of Pennsylvania, is the sole theater remaining in downtown Pottsville. Built in 1910, the Theater is an eclectic style, two-and-a-half story building with a Beaux Arts-classical façade.

Upstairs in Mud & Maker is a full-service ceramics studio where folks of all ages and abilities are able to learn hand-building, wheel-throwing, casting and more. And for your grandkids, TripBuzz found 68 things to do with kids in or near Pottsville.

 Seniors Enjoy Elegant Old Home


The Frank D. Yuengling House, constructed in 1913, is a fine example of early, twentieth century Tudor-Jacobethan Revival architecture and well worth a visit. Originally it was the home of the Yuengling family, the owners of the local brewery.

The formal living room paneled in solid mahogany with ornate tapestry wall hangings epitomizes the elegance of the neo-Jacobethan architecture. I know that my wife and I would really enjoy that visit.

The Schuylkill County Historical Society in Pottsville has a priceless collection of historical materials. Pottsville hosts over 100,000 tourists annually visiting Yuengling Brewery, Martz Hall, Pottsville Cruise, Block of Art, Jerry’s Classic Cars and Collectibles, Sovereign Majestic Theater and the Schuylkill County Historical Society, the city’s principal tourist attractions.

Perhaps a stay at The Maid’s Quarters B&B and Tearoom or Partridge House B&B, two classy older homes turned Bed and Breakfast would interest you.  I know it would us.  -jeb


Seniors Enjoy a Visit to Allentown


Allentown was originally named Northampton town by its founder, Chief Justice of Colonial Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, William Allen. Senior visitors learn that Allen, also a former Mayor of Philadelphia and successful businessman, drew up plans for the rural village in 1762.

Despite its formal name, from the beginning, nearly everyone called it “Allen’s town”. In 1838, the city officially adopted the name Allentown.


Trout Hall, built in 1770 by James Allen, William Allen’s son, is the oldest house in Allentown. From 1867 to 1905, it served as the home of Muhlenberg College. Allentown, on the Lehigh River, is the largest of the three Pennsylvania cities that make up the Lehigh Valley .

Seniors Visit Historical City

Allentown is probably most well known as the subject of the eponymous Billy Joel song. The long history of Allentown has left it with an impressive architectural heritage. The Allentown Art Museum, which contains a reconstructed room designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, offers exhibits, tours, galleries, lectures, workshops, and family activities.


The Liberty Bell Museum located in historic Zion’s Reformed United Church of Christ, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Mack Trucks Historical Museum as well as the America On Wheels Museum attract senior visitors who enjoy trucks and all modes of wheeled transportation.

The city is also home to the Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom amusement park. Visitors will discover a host of other things to see and do in Allentown starting off with the famed state-of-the-art Coca-Cola Park.


Allentown is full of history with beautiful parks and great events. The West End Theatre District is an area that interests senior visitors with its fine dining restaurants.

Arts Festival, One of the Largest

Mayfair, a five-day multicultural arts festival held each May, and the Lehigh Valley Blues Festival both attract a large following. The Allentown Civic Theatre is the Lehigh Valley’s home for Broadway-styled stage shows and where the annual production of A Christmas Carol is now a Lehigh Valley holiday tradition.


Lincoln Financial Field is home to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Phillies play at the brand-new, 43,000-seat Citizens Bank Park. The Wachovia Center hosts the home games of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and the NBA’s 76ers, so its sports galore in and around Allentown.

Blue Marsh Lake offers good hiking trails, boating and fishing in the summer, and ice fishing, ice skating and sledding in the winter.

Miller Symphony Hall is the premier performing arts facility in Allentown. Senior visitors can’t help but notice the Albertus Meyers Bridge, commonly called the 8th Street Bridge at the time it was built, and said to be the largest concrete bridge in the world.

There seems to me to be something awaiting for just about everyone who visits Allentown.  -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Ann Arbor


Ann Arbor is a city of just over 16,000, was founded back in 1824 by land speculators, and named for wives of the village’s founders and the stands of Burr Oak trees. Senior travelers will find Ann Arbor 45 miles west of Detroit.

Who has not heard of this city and the famed Wolverine football team?  Let’s not forget their hockey team either along with a host of other awesome sports teams.

The university shapes Ann Arbor’s economy significantly employing about 30,000 workers, including about 12,000 in the medical center. I learned that the U of Michigan with a student body of 40,000, was once in Detroit and moved to Ann Arbor in 1837.


“Tree Town” Attracts Senior Visitors

Nicknamed “Tree Town” from the dense forestation of its many parks and residential areas, Ann Arbor also has the Matthael Botanical Gardens with over 300 acres of gardens. The city abounds in performing arts groups and facilities on the University of Michigan’s campus.

It is said that Ann Arbor has a small town feel and the excitement of a big city. In the winter, holiday light festivals and the Ann Arbor Folk Festival are always crowd pleasers. Senior visitors enjoy  wandering one of America’s Best Main Streets.


Amongst the things for seniors to see and do is the Michigan Stadium, called the Big House, the largest football stadium in the country. You will also want to take in the Kerrytown District, “an historic area of downtown that offers one of a kind shops, restaurants, markets, delis, concert house, art galleries, a Farmers’ Market, a children’s museum, as well as a rich and diverse culture.”

 Ann Arbor is a Destination City

The NY Times notes that the..”urban sophistication of this town with its mix of restaurants, bars, boutiques, art-house movie theaters and world-class art museums keeps many University of Michigan alumni from leaving long after they have graduated.”


For senior visitors, the sheer energy and the abundance of cultural opportunities, from classical dance performances to bluegrass concerts, makes it easy to get into the college spirit, even if you’re not a student.

Ann Arbor is a great destination all year long. It ranks 13 in top places to live in U.S. Being a Master Gardener, I’d just have to take my wife to the Nicholas Arboretum, lovingly known as “the Arb”… a great place to enjoy a summer day with 123 acres of nature trails and gardens. -jeb


Seniors Swing Into Frontier Abilene


When I decided to write on Abilene, this senior was reminded of the song “Abilene.” Here’s George Hamilton IV who made it famous back in 1966. Enjoy. Abilene, in west central Texas, has a population of 120,000.

Senior travelers will find Abilene approximately 180 miles due west of the Dallas/Fort Worth near the center of the state. It is the center of a 22-county area commonly referred to as the Texas Midwest or the Big Country. Abilene is home to Abilene Christian University, founded in 1906, with an enrollment of 4,500 students.

Abilene was established in March 1881 upon the completion of the Texas & Pacific Railroad. It was the railroad that promoted Abilene as the “Future Great City of West Texas.”

Abilene is the home to Texas Tech with over 30,000 students. “A new era of excellence is dawning at Texas Tech University as it stands on the cusp of being one of the nation’s premier research institutions.”

Seniors Enjoy Pedestrian-Friendly Downtown


Abilene is rated one of the Top 20 places to visit in Texas. About Abilene, a travel magazine,  wrote: “Abilene won readers’ praise for its small-town feel, state park, zoo, shopping, history, and restaurants, which range from classic barbecue joints to newcomers like Abi-Hau.”

Senior visitors could easily spend a full day just exploring the pedestrian-friendly downtown, which dates to the late 1800s. The high-tech museum Frontier Texas illustrates regional history and the Grace Museum covers the art scene.

The Center for Contemporary Arts is another hit that was founded in 1989, when a former department store in the heart of downtown Abilene was converted into three beautiful galleries, classrooms and artists’ studios.

The city began life in 1875 when it was decided to establish a railhead to make it easier for ranchers to get their cattle to eastern markets. In just two years, hundreds of thousands of cattle were herded over the Western Trail to Abilene.


The Old West experience starts at Frontier Texas museum, starting point of a walking tour through downtown Abilene where you can see historic buildings from the city’s rich past. The Paramount Theatre, built in 1930 by H. O. Wooten, is the only structure of its grandeur between El Paso and Fort Worth. The theatre was fully restored and renovated in 1986.

Senior travelers will get a feel of the traditional heritage of the Old West with the advantages of a thriving contemporary city. The Old West lives on in Abilene so make plans to spend some time checking out all the amenities that the city has to offer visitors.  You will experience real Texas hospitality in Abilene.  -jeb


Potato Capital of the World Snags Seniors

Unknown Blackfoot, Idaho with a population of approximately 12,000 people is the seat of Bingham County . This senior learned that the name “Blackfoot” can be traced to the summer of 1818 when a group of fur trappers and traders from Hudson’s Bay Company passed through the area where wildfires had previously broken out.

The moccasins of the people who walked through the burned earth, turned black, thus the name today. When I first saw the name, I figured it was named after the Niitsitapi, also known as the Blackfoot Indians, but I was wrong. Those black moccasins make for a much neater story.


Blackfoot lies between two major Idaho cities, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. With the largest potato industry to be found anywhere, Blackfoot is called the “Potato Capital of the World”.

Senior visitors will find the famous Idaho Potato Museum, which has the world’s largest baked potato and potato chip. The museum was voted one of the top 50 museums worth a visit in the entire country.

It is said that…“In certain ways the mighty Snake River is the mother of Idaho’s potato industry. It has deposited much of the silt that farmers cultivate today in lower lying fields along the river and has provided much of the water that makes possible the growing of a plant that needs a soil moisture of eighty percent for ideal growth.” Blackfoot has invested a lot of money in the industry of growing potatoes, and consequently the potatoes production is an impressive one.

 Senior History Buffs, Birders and Golfers…


Two major annual events include the Blackfoot Triathlon, that packs the house, and the Eastern Idaho State Fair. The Bingham County Historical Society’s museum, once the social center of Blackfoot, was built in 1905 by John G. and May Brown who brought their family from Tennessee, complete with servants, chauffeur and Chinese cook to live in the mansion.

Toss your clubs in the trunk and play the famed Blackfoot Golf Course. One of the treasured facilities in Bingham County is the hospital that bears the Bingham Memorial Hospital name. Jensen Grove Park is a familiar hangout for families and for hiking.

Idaho State University calls Blackfoot home. The Wild Adventure Corn Maze is a family fun place and is guaranteed to keep you busy for a while. Well worth a visit is the Nuart Theatre, which has the distinction of being listed among only seven Idaho theatres on the National Register of Historic Places.


The history of the settlement is typically American. In 1874 the first general store was built after the owners learned that a railroad was going through. Then a post office opened. The first name of the settlement was Grove City, changed in 1879 to Blackfoot.

For senior birders, the Blackfoot Reservoir is the place to spend a few hours watching the pelicans along with raptors, shorebirds, songbirds, upland birds, and waterbirds.   jeb


Seniors Visit Seoul, South Korea


Do you have your coffee?  Make yourself comfortable and let’s make a trip to Seoul, South Korea to check out one of the World’s Most Visited Attractions. This senior searched “World’s Most Visited Attractions,” and discovered a list of the 50 most popular.  

What’s your guess for any of the top five? I did pretty well and have visited several myself. According to the Daily Mail #1 was Las Vegas with nearly 40 million visitors each year. #2 was Times Square in NYC follow by Central Park #3.


I also discovered a few that I had never heard of, including Lotte World Theme Park, #42 with 6,383,000 visitors a year. I have not been to South Korea (yet) so I wanted to lure you in and invite my senior friends to visit this site with me while we drink our coffee this morning. 

Indoor and Outdoor Adventure at Lotte World

Opened in 1989, Lotte World (Songpa-gu) is a major recreation complex in Seoul, South Korea.  Lotte is actually in two parts: Magic Island an outdoor amusement park and Adventure that is indoors. Lotte World has South Korea’s largest ice skating rink.


One of the major reasons tourists are attracted to Lotte World are the hyper-exciting rides. The Gyro Drop and Gyro Swing are the top draws – a steep drop with an altitude of 70 meters. Adventure seekers can taste the thrilling sensation of being inside a tornado.

Lotte World offers a variety of small and big performances and festivals in the park. The Park is located in the heart of the city…the perfect spot for entertainment and sightseeing. The theme park is filled with thrilling rides, the enormous ice rink, a variety of parades as well as a popular folk museum, and a beautiful lake.

Seniors Will Enjoy Folk Museum


If you say “Lotte World” to your average Seoulite, most people will assume you mean the Magic Island. Situated outdoors, in the middle of Seokchon Lake, where the dazzling Magic Castle is located, Magic Island also offers thrilling high-altitude rides that you can’t experience elsewhere. Visitors will find a peaceful walking trail around the lake.

The Folk Museum is the most popular museum for foreign tourists. Folk cultural items trace back 5,000 years in Korean history along with miniature villages. One visitors commented “What I found interesting was the “Traditional Korean Parade.” I thought that this was going to be a really tacky show but it turned out to be fascinating. There were tons of traditional dresses, people beating on drums, dragons, etc. It was actually pretty worthwhile.”

A visit to Seoul, might include the Lotte Theme Park for a memorable and fun time. jeb


Seniors Find A Progressive City


Senior travelers will find Jonesboro in northeast Arkansas, with population of around 70,000 making it the 5th largest city in the state. Years ago State Senator William A. Jones extended his support in the state legislature for the formation of Craighead County and in recognition of his effort, Jonesboro was named after him.

Seems like there is always something going on in Jonesboro and senior travelers are invited to stop by  and to join in. Jonesboro, one of the state’s most progressive cities, was established back in 1859 among the rolling hills of Crowley’s Ridge in northeast Arkansas.


Downtown Jonesboro is positioning itself to be one of the top cultural destinations in northeast Arkansas. Located about two miles from Arkansas State University’s main campus and close to several commerce hubs, downtown Jonesboro is becoming the place to eat, shop and live.

Seniors Spend Time in Downtown Jonesboro

Senior visitors seeking true Arkansas hospitality will find it in Jonesboro. Downtown is filled with gift shops, fine dining, art galleries, a day spa and an active civic center. Arkansas State University offers one of the mid-South’s finest museums, a fine arts center and an indoor sports/entertainment complex.


Numerous buildings have been listed on the state and national historic registers. Among the major draws in town include the Forrest L Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center. The Center offers senior visitors the chance to experience and explore a unique piece of North America and its wildlife.

A scenic drive might be of interest to you along Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, where you can take in the dramatic landscape and rich history of this portion of the South. From fresh fruit and vegetable stands along the roadside, remains of an ancient inland sea, or historic and cultural spots, the Parkway offers much to see and do.

Jonesboro invites you to visit their city.  -jeb


Seniors Like “River City by the Sea”


Jacksonville, situated on the Atlantic coast of northeast Florida is the largest city in area in the continental United States with 840 square miles. The metropolitan area has a population of more than 1.25 million people and, as senior visitors learn, is home to the country’s largest urban park system with 111,669 acres of parks.

Jacksonville is known for its beautiful beaches, including Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach. This is home to the Jacksonville Jaguar NFL football team as well as the PGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame.

The arts and cultural community stand tall with their museums, boutique galleries, and performing arts. Jacksonville is a traditionally hard-working, blue-collar city. Jacksonville offers a great blend of outdoor appeal. It has an attractive downtown area spanning the St. Johns River and two river walks.

Seniors Smile At Former Movie Town


I discovered that back in 1916, over 30 movie companies called Jacksonville home with stars such as Oliver Hardy and Fatty Arbuckle making movies in town. Citizens became fed up with the noise and the industry moved to California.

 Most senior visitors don’t know where to start enjoying all the activities that Jacksonville offers. They may start with the #1 attraction, the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary.  Then maybe take in the Jacksonville Symphony or a stroll through Little Talbot Island State Park.

A throng of colleges and universities add to the demeanor of the city. There is a pretty cool bridge in town, the Dames Point Bridge, the second longest concrete cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

 Senior Visitors Enjoy Jacksonville’s Parks

jacksonville-s-beaches notes that “Jacksonville, perfectly positioned along the Atlantic Ocean in northeast Florida, is a natural paradise for visitors looking for an affordable yet luxurious destination.”

The “River City by the Sea” boasts more than 20 miles of wide and uncrowded beaches, close to 40 miles of the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway canal, and the longest stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River.

Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the nation, with 10 state and national parks. Senior travelers enjoy Jacksonville’s authentic cuisine, their thriving craft-beer scene and the fun and cosmopolitan nightlife.  The Jacksonville Landing is a popular destination.


Seniors are more than likely to see dolphins rolling just outside the surf line.

Jacksonville overflows with history, both ancient and colonial. Archeological evidence indicates 6,000 years of human habitation in the area. Pottery pieces have been excavated dating to 2500 BC, nearly the oldest in the United States.

And for the books, Jacksonville was named for General Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of Florida who, incidentally, never visited Jacksonville.  jeb


We wish our senior friends happy traveling this year.  Stay safe.  Enjoy.  Be blessed.

from Jim and Jeannine



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