SENIORS STOP FOR THE NIGHT IN NORTHERN ARIZONA



These Two Seniors Visit La Posada

flowersYours truly and his wife spent a marvelous weekend in Winslow, Arizona enjoying the “grandest estate” called La PosadaBuilt around four historic buildings, La Posada, the last great railroad hotel has recently completed a $17 million renovation.

We spent the night in a room called Emilio Estevez. The 53 rooms are all named after famous people, mainly hollywood movies stars and historically famed personalities like John Wayne, Shirley Temple, Jackie Gleason, Will Rogers, Gary Cooper, Amelia Earhart, etc.

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Travelers from around the world come to this tiny Arizona town to stay in this Mary Colter-designed, historic, architectural gem.  La Posada is a hotel that must be experienced first-hand… it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Seniors Meet Affeldt, Colter and Fred Harvey

La Posada embodies the visions of both Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the hotel’s renowned architect, and Allan Affeldt, its current owner. But the story really begins with Fred Harvey, who “civilized the west” by introducing linen, silverware, china, crystal, and impeccable service to railroad travel. The Harvey Girls served train riders for many years.

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We walked near the tracks of the BNSF railroad and had fun watching trains go zooming by the old original depot that is being restored. Restoration efforts at La Posada are ongoing. My wife enjoyed winding around among a maze of straw bales that is on the 20 acre site.

We had dinner and breakfast in The Turquoise Room, an original restaurant incorporating authentic Arizona food. Considered by many to be the finest restaurant in the Four Corners region, the Turquoise Room opened in 2000 under the direction of renowned Chef John Sharpe, who oversees every detail of the preparation and service.

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Senior Visitors Enjoy Artist Tina Mion’s Work

Senior visitors will enjoy wandering through the entire site. Artist Tina Mion (Allen Affeldt’s wife) has a display of her paintings on the walls of her gallery on the second floor. A number of rooms feature original 1930 mosaic tile bathrooms complete with 6-foot cast-iron tubs where my wife soaked for a good half-hour.

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Many famous folks have spent a night or two at La Posada: James Cagney, Clark Gable, Charles Lindbergh, Gene Autry, Howard Hughes, Jane Russell,  Dorothy Lamour, several presidents and foreign dignitaries.

After exploring the entire site, we walked around historic Winslow on Route 66 and visited the local museum that captures the history of this old town.  I discovered that there are other hotels named La Posada, but this one stands alone for being so unique and memorable.

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Put La Posada on your travel bucket-list as you drive across Arizona on I-40. It lies just a mile off this well-traveled highway. Enjoy La Posada (usually referring to an inn or guest house) as the Beckers did. We hope to take family along on our next visit to La Posada. -jeb

 

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH CONNECTICUT



Seniors Slip Into Newington

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So why Newington? I wrote a series of language websites and am able to see where folks who access each site are from. And there it was, a senior from Newington, Connecticut, a town I had never heard of. So it was due a blog.

With a population of 30,000, this town in Hartford County is bordered by the capital city of Hartford just to the north.

Newington’s history goes back over 300 years, when it was a part of Wethersfield. Woodcutters were sent to Newington in the 1600s to harvest timber. The area was favored by settlers with its level land that was rich with glacial deposits.

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The community was legally named Newington by the General Assembly in 1721. This name, according to some sources, meant the “new town in the meadow.” It was officially incorporated as a town in 1871.

Seniors Enjoy Waterfall Festival

Today the local Chamber of Commerce notes that…“This charming suburb nestled between Hartford and New Britain offers all the key elements to develop a successful business – a strong town government, a strong community, a strong Chamber, appealing amenities and a strategic location.”

Newington is home to the famed Mill Pond Falls, near the center of town. The Falls is celebrated each fall during the Newington Waterfall Festival, an annual event held during late September on Market Square.

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Market Square’s pavement magically transforms into a colorful art gallery by artists young and old. The event has grown from 20 vendors to over 72 and continues to grow each year as the festival is becoming more popular attracting visitors and residents from surrounding Connecticut communities.

 Seniors Discover Smallest Natural Waterfall

The town seal depicts Mill Pond Falls, named for a sawmill that was built there in 1860. The 16-foot (4.9 m) high falls, located in central Newington at Mill Pond Park, is the smallest natural waterfall in the country.

A walking path that encircles Mill Pond includes a footbridge which crosses over the waterfall. There is also an observation area with benches at the base of the falls. The park is popular with local residents as a place to walk dogs, ice skate, jog, and picnic.

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This senior enjoys visiting National Historic Landmarks and Newington has a couple of masterpieces that include the Gen. Martin Kellogg House built in 1808 and the Willard Homestead built earlier in 1730.

The architectural centerpiece of Newington Junction is the Willard Homestead. The National Iwo Jima Monument on Ella Grasso Blvd is also worth a visit.

The historic section of town focuses on Newington Junction.  The name of the area refers to the railroad junction where two railroad lines intersect.  So if you enjoy touring old houses, stop by Newington and while you are in Hartford County, consider visiting a series of sites that are all on the National Register of Historic Places.

So on your drive through the east coast, stop by Newington and enjoy. -jeb

SENIOR DESTINATION: PHILADELPHIA, PA



Seniors Enjoy Historical City

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Philadelphia is the second largest city on the East Coast, behind NYC. With historical landmarks such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, senior visitors see why 1.5 million people find this city such a fascinating place to live.

Philadelphia sits adjacent to the New Jersey and Delaware state lines, and as such, its metropolitan area encompasses counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Located at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley.

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Years back, I was in Philadelphia for a teacher workshop, and after being there only one day, I invited my wife to join me. She did and we had a great week enjoying Philadelphia.

Seniors Find The Spirit of Independence Still Alive

The Philly population runs right at 1.5 million and overflows with history. Until 1830, not L.A., not New York, but Philadelphia was the nation’s largest city. Today Philadelphia ranks #5 right behind Houston and Chicago for population.

Among the major highlights is the Philadelphia Museum of Art that houses one of the finest collection of 19th and 20th century art. A visit without seeing the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall would possibly mean you really have not been to Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia nightlife offers a diverse scene with something for everyone. Old City has many popular bars and Northern Liberties is another local favorite.

With a spirit of independence, the city and region are giving birth to a new generation of energized people designing this Modern Renaissance City only 90 minutes from New York City and a couple of hours from DC by train.

 Seniors Find Popular Center City

For senior visitors, the landing point will be what is called Center City, the “downtown” section of Philadelphia. The 2010 Center City residential population of 57,000 makes it the third most populated central business district in America, behind NYC and Chicago. Other popular districts you will not want to miss are Old City, West Philly, and South Philly.

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For you sports fans, Philly is home to the Phillies baseball team as well as the Philadelphia Eagles. The “Official State Website” notes that The City of Brotherly Love is the birthplace of our country.

Once senior visitors have seen the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House, and Independence Hall, they can explore the city’s myriad artistic and cultural offerings.

Senior tourists can get a Philly cheesesteak (Yum Yum), shop at the famed Italian Market, check out the funky scene along South Street, or visit one of Philadelphia’s many fine dining establishments.

 Philadelphia has America’s first zoo, a 42-acre Victorian garden that is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered.

Pick up a Philadelphia CityPASS, valid for nine consecutive days and provides admission tickets to 5 must-see tourist attractions in town. Spend several days exploring Philly and enjoy. -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE ACROSS SOUTHERN ARIZONA



Seniors Spend An Evening In Willcox

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My wife’s sisters drove from Van Horn, Texas to Willcox, Arizona.  So now we’re checking into Willcox, a town of just under 4,000. Originally known as “Maley”, the town was founded in 1880 as a whistlestop on the Southern Pacific Railroad.

It was renamed in honor of a visit by General Orlando B. Willcox in 1889. In the early 20th century, Willcox had the distinction of being a national leader in cattle raising. Today agriculture remains important to the local economy, and I-10 has replaced the railroad as the major transportation link.

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Much of the economy is now tied to the highway, which runs immediately north of the town. Interstate 10 serves the city with three exits into town, so it is an easy exit for senior travelers. Check out Railroad Avenue, the main drag through downtown.

 Seniors Remember ‘The Arizona Cowboy’, Rex Allen

Any chance you remember a cowboy named Rex Allen?  He was born in Willcox and known as “The Arizona Cowboy.”  Rex wrote and recorded many songs, and starred in several western movies during the early 1950s.

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The Rex Allen Museum awaits your visit. So does the Chiricahua National Monument that has several balanced rocks that are well known and well worth a visit.

Senior oenophiles (that’s folks who appreciate fine wine), Willcox is home to Arizona’s upcoming wine country with a wide variety of grape varietals (16 to be precise) grown nearby.

Historic Cochise County Attracts Seniors

The local Chamber of Commerce notes that Willcox offers outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, camping, golfing and bird watching as well as beautiful sunsets.

Historic downtown Willcox is home to the oldest continually operating store in Arizona, along with antique shops, museums, unique restaurants, specialty shops, and great people.

For your information a note on Cochise County: it was established on February 1, 1881, during the 11th Territorial Assembly. The County was formed from the southeast corner of Pima County and the original County seat was in Tombstone. After the decline of silver mining in Tombstone, the county seat was moved to Bisbee in 1929, where it remains today.

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The three industries that put Cochise County on the map are copper, cattle and cotton. Agriculture continues to be an important industry in the county today, even with new-to-the-County agricultural ventures such as vineyards.

Fort Huachuca has also played a major role in the development of the county and contributes substantially to the local economy.

This part of Arizona is flooded with scenery, history and Arizona regional cuisine. Enjoy your stop in Willcox.  -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Les Personnes d’un Certain Âge Aiment Bien La Polynésie Française

fpmap-1In French this means…“Older Folks Like French Polynesia a Lot” and they do indeed. Senior travelers  will have a choice from the 118 islands in French Polynesia, Tahiti and the Society Islands.

Historically the French annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century. 280,000 people now inhabit the many islands that make up Polynesia. The islands are found about halfway between California and Australia.

Wikitravel notes that Tahiti and her islands cover four million square kilometers of ocean, which is the same area as the European Union. However the land above sea level accounts for only some 7,000 square kilometers consisting of 118 islands, grouped into five archipelagos (4 volcanic, 1 coral).”

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The Polynesians inhabited these islands for several hundred years before their discovery by western explorers. Several marae (religious sites) still exist, scattered throughout the islands as evidence of this inhabitation.

The British discovered Tahiti in the mid 1760′s and Captain Cook visited there in 1769 to observe the Transit of Venus before sailing on to the south and west in search of the fabled Terra Australus Incognita with the assistance of a Polynesian navigator.

Seniors Enjoy Picture Perfect Beaches and Georgous Scenery

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Papette, the capital, is a long haul, about eight hours, from LA. French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic. Visitors will find a wide array of nationalities: Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%, with French the official spoken language.

Moorea, loaded with outstanding scenery, is highlighted by green mountains that descend to Cook’s Bay. Balai Hai (remember those words?), is that mountain made famous in the movie “South Pacific”. Dotting the countryside are bunkers built by American servicemen during WW II.

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Read what TripAdvisor has to say about French Polynesia. They note that Tahiti and Bora Bora are the most well known French Polynesian islands, thanks to their picture-perfect beaches and romantic ambiance. Be sure to check out their Things to Do link.

Tropical flowers abound and in every color, shape and size. Hibiscus, plumeria, orchids and dozens of other species are found everywhere you look. Seniors, think and dream about a trip to the south Pacific and enjoy everything about French Polynesia.  It might be a trip of a lifetime.  -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH TEXAS



Seniors Take A Break In Van Horn

IMG_1362Here is a new one for this senior, Van Horn, Texas. My wife’s sisters have been traveling and stopped in Van Horn. So, I just had to do a blog on this town. Van Horn, with a population of 2,400, is called by some, ‘the westernmost town in the U.S’.

While they did not stay at the Hotel El Capitan, I learned that this famous, historic site is not to be missed. The entire hotel recently went through a $2,500,000 renovation. Does that tell you something about the hotel?

Located just 2 blocks off Interstate I-10, The Hotel El Capitan is the new destination in Van Horn. The hotel has 52 rooms and suites. Historically, it was one of the five Gateway Hotels in a chain built by Charles Bassett in Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. The El Capitan Hotel, begun in 1927 and opened in 1930 was based on a design by the famous El Paso Architect Firm of Trost and Trost.

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Seniors Hike In Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The town is named for Lt. James Judson Van Horn who commanded an army garrison at the Van Horn Wells beginning in 1859. Lt. Van Horn’s command was relatively short-lived as the post was seized by Confederate forces in 1861 and Lt. Van Horn taken prisoner. Poor guy.

In 1899 the first Old Settlers’ Reunion was held; it would become Van Horn’s biggest event, held annually on August 28 and featuring rodeo events, dancing, and a barbecue. Sounds like a fun event, especially that Texas barbecue.

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While there are hundreds of great towns in Texas, there is only one “TOP” that sits north of Van Horn inside Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  Guadalupe Peak is 8,749 feet in the sky.  A trip to the top covers approximately 8.4 miles, takes 6-8 hours to hike, and includes 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

Now climb aboard as we ZIP through town on our way to the Guadalupe Mountains…and boy do we ever zip. Attach those seat belts.

 Seniors Enjoy History of Cattle, Mining And Railroads

Van Horn is loaded with Texas history. The best place to dig into its past history of cattle, mining, and railroads is the Clark Hotel Museum, a museum, not to be missed. The Museum was the first permanent structure in town, started in 1901 and the main portion was later completed in 1905 to 1906.

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Senior visitors will find many relicts from the American Indians, pioneers and families who resided in the area. Included are artifacts from the railroad and the saloon in Van Horn.

Take a ride with me into Van Horn and note the hotel and historic main street. And sure enough, senior visitors will note the El Capitan and Clark Hotels. So now, you have been to and through Van Horn.  Plan to stop next time you are driving through. You will find Pure Texas all over town.  -jeb

NEW YORK CITY, SENIOR DESTINATION



Seniors Pay A Memorable Visit To The Big Apple

imagesYes, most everyone knows what the “Big Apple” is, it’s NYC. Been there yet, seniors? New York, often called New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the State of New York, is the most populous city in the United States (8.4 million) and the center of many world class businesses.

It is one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world and welcomes over 50 million visitors a year. New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance (Wall Street), media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment (Broadway). And yes, I discovered that NYC has its own Official Website Homepage with lots of helpful information for senior visitors.

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There is so much to see, so many places to visit, and so many things to do. Visiting New York City attractions can be pricey, but not for New York Pass holders. No need to skip some Attractions because of the costs, with the New York Pass you can visit them all (Google it).

Senior Visitors Like The ‘Smart Card’

Senior travelers need to know that The New York Pass is a ‘smart card’ – like a credit card with a computer chip inside – which allows you completely cash free entry to over 80 New York tourist attractions.

I recommend a Gray Line Double Decker Tour of NYC. Buy this ticket for 48 hours of Hop-On, Hop-Off double-decker fun that includes the Downtown Loop, Uptown Loop, Brooklyn Loop, Bronx Loop and Night/Holiday Lights Tour. I liked very much what TripAdvisor had to say on NYC: “conquering New York in one visit is impossible”.

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They advise that you concentrate on the “must sees” like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Museum of Modern Art and then head off the beaten path to maybe the Cloisters or a famed library.

Expedia has a  Vacation Travel Guide Video on NYC that will provide a nice overview prior to your visit.

 Senior Discounts In New York City

When as asked for “facts of NYC” I discovered 20,300,000 results.  Good luck. Now start choosing from among those that make good sense to you as a senior visitors. nota bene:As people get older, sometimes it seems as though opportunities for entertainment, enrichment, and all around fun disappear. But in New York City, opportunities for senior citizens abound.

MuseoartemetSenior citizens get special discounts almost everywhere in New York City, and there are deals to be had for tours, performances and tourist venues that are available to the savvy of any age.

Many NYC attractions, museums, and events even make a point of offering special discounts for seniors in order to encourage them to buy tickets.

Enjoy your visit to the “Big Apple”. Take a bunch of good bites and fill your memory book and memory chips with some great experiences. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY SPAIN



Seniors Visit Zaragoza

Unknown Zaragoza, also called Saragossa in English, a large city with a population of nearly 700,000, is one of Spain’s major cities. This capital of the Region of Aragon is located on the banks of the Ebro River, halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. Seniors discover Zaragoza to be one of the great monumental cities in Spain.

My wife and I have found that Spain has a plethora of marvelous historic cities and monuments and  scenic beauty wherever you travel. The city center in Zaragoza is conveniently small, with walking distance between most sites of interest. The city is a  veritable architectural treasure.

Senior history lovers and slow strollers are in for a real treat in the Old Town (Casco Historico) and Downtown (Zona Centro) areas, that display uncountable splendid buildings and monuments that bear witness to the city’s 2000-year-old history.

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Seniors Enjoy The Capital Of Culture

Zaragoza, the Capital of Culture, has a history extending as far back as the 7th century B.C. when it was a Carthaginian outpost. In 24 B.C., the city was invaded by the Romans and in 714 A.D., the Arabs came to call during their conquest of Spain. It wasn’t until 1118 during the Reconquista that Spanish Christians regained control of the city and made it the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon.

The University of Zaragoza was founded in 1542. The school can trace its origins back to the Ecclesiastical Schools of the 7th century and today has more than 35,000 students and 3,500 professors. Thanks to the huge university campus, there is a growing young population that guarantees a busy night life.

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Many buildings from the empires that ruled the city are still visible today. If you are a senior art enthusiast and are seeking out the great art of Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Zaragoza is incredibly significant.

Goya, the city’s greatest citizen, was born in the nearby town of Fuendetodos. The modest home where Goya spent the first few years of his life has been fully restored and is now a national monument.

Zaragoza, A Senior Destination

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Zaragoza is an interesting destination to consider. Senior travelers can make various walks of the most important tourist areas or perhaps pick your landmarks and aim to discover the city. Zaragoza offers food and drink for every budget and taste. But enjoying the local tapas is a gastronomic must.

The best way to enjoy Zaragoza’s monuments is to stroll through its attractive streets where you can sense the wealth of its 2,000 years of history. The city walls, churches, basilicas, palaces, stately houses and squares of the old quarter reflect the different civilizations that settled the city. Romans, Moors, Jews and Christians all “left their indelible mark on the Spanish soul.”

Put Zaragoza on your travel-bucket list and make plans for a visit. – jeb

SENIORS ENJOY TENNESSEE



Seniors Find Pigeon Forge

pigeon forgeWith a name like that this senior just had to find out more on this city. My son recently took his family to a log cabin in the mountains near Pigeon Forge.  They had a wonderful time and can’t wait to go back.

The name “Pigeon Forge” comes from an iron forge built by Isaac Love (1783–1854) sometime around 1820. The name of this forge referred to its location along the Little Pigeon River, in the vicinity of what is now the Old Mill.

The name of the river comes from the flocks of passenger pigeons that frequented its banks at the time of the first Euro-American settlers’ arrival. Love’s son, William, also built a tub mill ten years later and today the Old Mill is a National Historic Site.

Seniors Find A Mountain Resort City

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Pigeon Forge is a mountain resort city in Sevier County, Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States. The city has a population just under 6,000. The locals like to call the area ‘The Land of More’.

Located about five minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park  and about seven minutes from Gatlinburg, Tenn., entertainment options range from the Dollywood theme park (one of the best family attractions in the South) to hiking in the Smokies.

Pigeon Forge is a relatively inexpensive destination, especially if seniors can avoid the weekends. The city is a “second home” to over 11 million visitors a year who come to enjoy affordable attractions. A plethora of popular attractions, rides, amusements, theaters, museums, and gift shops line the five mile main parkway through town, all serviced by Trolleys.

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 Smokies, Appalachian Wilderness And Dollywood

TripAdvisor notes that it is set against the misty blue backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a gateway to 500 thousand acres of Appalachian wilderness.

If hiking over 800 miles of mountain trails and camping in dense ancient forests isn’t your thing, head over to Dollywood for a different sort of fun. Founded by country queen, Dolly Parton, Dollywood combines roller-coasters, water-slides, and live bluegrass and gospel concerts, with a down home country fair.

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Check out some of the other major attractions that bring in so many folks. It is the “Center of Fun in the Smokies.” The Titanic Museum, an Elvis Museum and WonderWorks (an entire building that is constructed upside down) keep visitors coming to the area.

The local Chamber of Commerce is highly active and promotes the city in every way possible. Where senior visitors can stay, things to see and do, where to eat, shopping and more all on their site. Pigeon Forge has become the southeast mecca for car and truck enthusiasts. The calendar of car and truck show events runs from April through September.

Enjoy your visit to Pigeon Forge.   -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH PENNSYLVANIA



Seniors Check Out Zelienople

customLogo.gifWith a name like Zelienople, I just had to pay a visit to discover what’s there for senior visitors to enjoy and the derivation of the name of the town. I learned that Zelienople is a borough in Butler County, Pennsylvania, 28 miles north of Pittsburgh. It’s small with a population right at 4,000.

The borough is situated on the south bank of Connoquenessign Creek in an area that is rich with coal and iron ore. Me, I find the names Connoquenessign Creek and Zelienople kind of go together, don’t you agree? Zelienople is called a ‘Modern Place with Old Fashioned Grace’.

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There’s plenty for senior travelers to do,  from exploring museums and art galleries to enjoying the breathtaking scenery of great parks and rolling countryside. Relax at the spa, hit the greens or take in a memorable wine tasting experience.

Seniors Find Interesting Name, Interesting History

Zelienople was named for the eldest daughter, Zelie, of Baron Dettmar Basse (1762–1836).  Baron Basse arrived in 1802 from Germany and purchased a tract of 10,000 acres of land in Butler and Beaver counties.

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He proceeded to lay out a village and build his own private residence, a three-story castle, complete with towers, turrets and battlements, named “The Bassenheim” (Basse’s Home). Basse then established a sawmill, brickyard, and an iron furnace.

For the past 44 years, one of the major annual events is the town’s summer Horse Trading Days Arts and Music Festival. Crafters, vendors, entertainers and tourists are drawn from the entire tri-state area to participate in the family-oriented event that features concerts, games, contests, shopping, food, and a 5-mile (8 km) run/walk event.

 Zelienople-Harmony Area Interests Senior Travelers

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The neighboring town of Harmony grew from a pacifistic commune established by the Pietist “prophet” Johann Georg Rapp in 1803.

The 4000 acres, purchased from Barron Basse became the Harmony Society whose members pledged to combined their worldly goods and live as one spiritual family.

Steeped in rich history, the Zelienople-Harmony area provides senior tourists and travelers a variety of interesting facts and curious folklore.

Senior golfers, bring your clubs and play a round at the Cranberry Highlands Golf Course. TripAdvisor suggests you check out the Strand Theater.The Mussig Flower Shop is another worthwhile stop, along with both Fishers Bar and Restaurant and Rumors Bar and Grill for some quality dining. As you explore the streets of Zelienople, you’ll notice a fine old building on Main Street up a few doors from The Passavant House.

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Stop at Zelienople’s Main Street Park at the four corners where there are a variety of events at the Annual Country Fall Festival.

Music, food, historic encampments, farmers market, pony rides and farm pets, antiques, crafters, and maybe take a free ride in a horse drawn trolley wagon and dine in a friendly restaurant. It’s all there in Zelienople -jeb

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