SENIORS TRAVEL TO BELGIUM



Seniors Take In a Gem Called Antwerp

Unknown-1Seniors, have you been to Belgium? Antwerp is one of those cities that attracts thousands of visitors of all ages from around the world.  Antwerp is the capital of the Antwerp province of Belgium located on the right bank of the Scheldt River.

With a population of 510,000, it is the second most populous city in Belgium, after the capital Brussels. The name “Antwerp”, in case you are wondering, is most likely derived from “aan de werpe“, which is Dutch for “at the throw”, referring to a place where the bending river throws its sand.

 Seniors Enjoy World’s Leading Diamond City

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Renowned for being the “world’s leading diamond city“, more than 70% of all diamonds are traded in Antwerp. The Diamond Market is the hub of the economic section in Belgium. More than 50% of cut diamonds and 40% of industrial diamonds are traded in the city.

Even back in the 16th century, Antwerp was one of the most important financial centers of the world, where traders from all over Europe and Asia sold and bought their goods. Eupedia (new to me) has a helpful overview for senior tourists that includes major highlights you will not want to miss.

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‘Antwerp (Antwerpen/Anvers in Dutch/French) is the country’s capital of cool, a powerful magnet for mode moguls, club queens, art lovers and diamond dealers.’

In the mid-16th century it had been one of Europe’s most important cities and home to artist Pieter Paul Rubens, as you’ll be so constantly reminded.

‘Despite many historical disasters and severe WWII bombings, the city retains an intriguing medieval heart with café-filled cobbled lanes, a riverside fortress and an impressive cathedral.’ Today, Antwerp is known for its fashion, entertainment scene and architectural and cultural heritage.

Fashion, Design, Music…

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The NY Times gives senior visitors 36 hours to explore this magnificent city. TripAdvisor calls the city a “hidden gem”. It is loaded with museums, churches and historic streets. One thing for sure is that you will not be able to miss the huge port that dominates much of the city.

Diamonds, sure, and Belgian chocolate, yes, and the big cathedral, most assuredly.  Antwerp today however is more about fashion, design, music jams, cocktails, record labels, and spending your money on a sunny terrace.

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Antwerp has one of the highest density of cultural venues per capita in Europe. You will undoubtedly start off in Antwerp’s Grote Markt (town square), a jewel of 16th century architecture and the houses of the Guilds, the Stadhuis (Town Hall) and the 1887 statue of Brabo, the legendary slayer of the giant.

‘Hofstraat’, a street situated near the Town Square, is the place where the ‘Old Stock Exchange’ stood until 1533. Seniors, include Antwerp in your next European trip. – jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Senior Trips…

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Grab your coffee, friends and let’s talk about vacation options for our senior travels. There are dozens of traveling options for seniors and About.com is a great resource to help you find that perfect fit for you. I like their Top Destinations for Seniors as well as several of their Guided Tours.

If I were young again, I would certainly consider a Peace Corps opportunity.  How about you? A volunteer vacation is the perfect way to get to know the heart and soul of a country.

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Get away from the crowds and connect with the local people.  Discover what it is like to travel with the National Peace Corps Association. Trips from 10 to 14 Days in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

USA Today had an article that speaks directly to us travelers. “Travel helps senior citizens live longer”, University of Arkansas’ geriatrician and author Dr. David Lipschitz told “The Dallas Morning News.”

And seniors who find themselves suddenly single and  afraid to journey solo, there are travel organizations that have special programs designed for single seniors.

 Senior Travelers Seek Out Top Destinations

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HomeAway has many destination guides for you to consider. For many people, retirement opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The kids are grown and on their own, and you are no longer tied to your work.

This is your chance to get away, see the world, play lots of golf, and enjoy life to its fullest with family and friends. The world is your oyster, so why not spend your days out exploring.

 

 Senior travelers can find information about top destinations in the U.S. and Canada. No matter which state you visit, you’ll find many things to see and do. You’ll enjoy gorgeous scenery, entertaining shows, top-notch museums and more as you travel around the U.S.

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I just had to include this site called RETIRED BRAINS for you to look at.  It is loaded with Senior Vacation Ideas. Exploritas is the new name chosen for the very successful Elderhostel program. The program offers nearly 8,000 educational tours in every state and over 90 countries.

Elderhostel, Now Exploritas Targets Seniors

The Elderhostel program, now called Exploritas, has been the not-for-profit leader in educational travel since 1975.

Exploritas effectively targets seniors who value in-depth, engaging travel experiences. This  organization serves seniors looking for a vacation that involves lectures, field trips, and learning.

Here are what Daily Women Talks lists as their Top 8 U.S. traveling destinations for seniors. I really liked their photos that highlight each of those sites.

Seniors, enjoy searching for a super trip somewhere in the world.  We have lots of options. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH NORTH DAKOTA



Seniors Roll Into “Buffalo City”

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Jamestown, a year-round vacation area, is the ninth largest city in North Dakota, with a population around 16,000. Jamestown was founded in 1872 and today is known as “Buffalo City” , home to the World’s Largest Buffalo. Senior visitors will find Jamestown in the valley where the James and Pipestem rivers meet the city. 

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Jamestown was founded in 1872 and General Thomas Rosser of Northern Pacific named it after his hometown in Virginia. Jamestown offers a variety of entertainment, excellent accommodations, and fine dining.

Jamestown is home to both the National Buffalo Museum and the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. Museum exhibits include Plains Indian artifacts, artwork, 19th century firearms used by bison hunters, remains of prehistoric bison, a children’s room featuring wildlife of North Dakota, and a video presentation about the history of bison.

Seniors Enjoy the Sports Hall of Fame

The Sports Hall of Fame honors those who have made outstanding contributions in sports. Roger Maris is an example who spent his youth in Jamestown. Phil Jackson, head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Darin Erstad, Travis Hafner and Jim Kleinsasser all hail from North Dakota.

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Jamestown, also known as Pride of the Prairie, extends friendly hospitality to senior visitors. Whether touring the Frontier Village, a re-created prairie town of more than 20 buildings, viewing a live herd of buffalo, visiting historical sites, or joining folks for a tournament at one of the town’s sporting complexes, you will enjoy Jamestown.

Senior visitors can enjoy the great outdoors with 21 lakes, a variety of campgrounds, and over 35 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

 Seniors Find A Basilica, Wagon Train And White Cloud

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Housed in the historic Arts and Crafts-style Lutz Mansion, the Stutsman County Memorial Museum features period antiques and memorabilia in such themed rooms as the Library, Railroad Room, Music Room, Parlor, Kitchen, Ballroom, Country Store, Barber/Beauty Shop, Nursery Room, Medical Room and the Post Office. The Museum is open from June to October.

The Basilica of St. James is a major landmark in Jamestown. This stunning American Gothic-style church was erected between 1910-1914. It has been designated a Basilica by the Holy See because of its antiquity, dignity and historical significance. Guided tours are available by appointment.

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Drop by and see White Cloud, a female white buffalo, rare indeed. Perhaps visit the campus of the Jamestown College, home of the Jimmies. Follow the Jamestown Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jamestown’s downtown area offers a self-guided walking tour which includes the childhood home of Louis L’Amour, a world-renowned western author.

Seniors, stop in on your way across North Dakota and plan to spend a day or two enjoying the sites and attractions in and around Jamestown. jeb

SENIORS VISIT HISTORIC LEWES, DELAWARE



Seniors Find ‘The First Town In The First State’

imagesLewes is located on the Delaware Bay in eastern Sussex County, Delaware with a population of 3,000. Senior visitors will be welcomed to a quiet but progressive town where the sun, the sand, and the sea are still the number one attractions.

Founded in 1631, the townspeople have taken great pride in their historic heritage and enjoy the opportunity of sharing it with visiting seniors. Among the town’s several honors, it professes to be “The First Town in The First State.”

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Lewes is named after the town of Lewes in England, which is situated in Sussex county. The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Lewes as one of its Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

Lewes is home to one of Delaware’s oldest buildings, erected in the 17th century. Southern Living magazine called Lewes a “Delaware Seashore Surprise.” They suggested that visitors take the ferry across the Delaware Bay to Cape May, New Jersey, and back again just for the thrill of it. Coastal Living calls Lewes “The Sleeper on the Bay,” highly complementary and deserving.

Seniors Find Beautiful Beaches, Nature Trails And Bird Sanctuaries

On a map, Lewes is situated where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet at Cape Henlopen. Nowhere can the beauty of Cape Henlopen State Park be equaled. In this preserved land senior visitors will find miles of beautiful beaches, nature trails and bird sanctuaries. All the natural beauty includes a spectacular bay and ocean vistas, a unique saltwater lagoon (Gordons Pond), and the Great Dune which rises 80 feet above sea level.

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A two-mile paved trail recently was added for walkers, runners, cyclists, and skaters. For senior hikers, Lewes is a walking town. Within a half-square mile you will find the Historic District, museums, several Inns, Bed & Breakfasts, fine restaurants, and a variety of fine shops.

Worthwhile sites you will not want to miss include the Zwaanendael Museum built in 1931 that was created to honor the 300th anniversary of Delaware’s first European settlement, Zwaanendael, back in 1631.

Cape Henlopen State Park is a 5,193 acre Delaware State Park. William Penn made the beaches of Cape Henlopen one of the first public lands established in 1682. The Bay and ocean beaches in and near Lewes provide swimming, fishing, boating and other water-sports. Beaches, nature trails and the Seaside Nature Center can be found at Cape Henlopen State Park.

So drop by Lewes and enjoy this historic and fun city. jeb

SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH ONTARIO, CANADA



Seniors Head North To Enjoy Unionville

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Unionville is a suburban village in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Senior travelers will find it 33 km northeast of downtown Toronto. History comes to life in and around the streets of Unionville.

Settled in 1794, the village became a milling center through the middle and late 1800s. It’s been a hub of social and cultural importance ever since. Unionville’s name was derived from Ira White’s Union Mills built in 1839.

The merchants of Main Street Unionville offer an amazing array of wares in their shops, from couture fashion and accessories to fine home decor, a variety of sweets and so much more. The historic Main Street Unionville attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Seniors Take In Historic Main Street Unionville

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Main Street also has a number of “century homes” dating to the 19th century. All along historic Main Street Unionville, senior visitors will find structures that are virtually unchanged from its founding back in 1794.

Renowned for its pubs, parks, restaurants, and its historical European view, the road hosts the annual Unionville Festival, which draws several thousand visitors the first weekend in June. Those visitors come for live music, fun and games like treasure hunts, pet contests, karaoke sing-offs and the spectacular colorful parade of the Governor Generals Horse Guards.

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Unionville has a number of regular events ongoing throughout the year including a Jazz Festival in August, the Unionville Heritage Festival held on Labor Day, Canada Day and Thursday Nights at the Bandstand that go on all summer long.

Pubs, Century Homes And Walking Paths Draw Seniors

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Developed in the early 1840s when Ira White built Union Mills, historic Main Street Unionville attracts senior visitors who come to enjoy dining in some great restaurants and pubs, shopping in interesting gift shops and “century homes” dating back to the 1800s.

Tourism is a major part of the economy of Unionville and the historic village or downtown section is typical of a small town that developed over a century or so starting in the early 1840s. Senior visitors will find many historic buildings that draw their attention.

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For hikers, walking paths through the local conservation lands connect directly to the village roads, one of the most used being the path around Toogood Pond, named after the Toogood family. The pond was originally the mill pond that powered the grist mill in the 1840s.

CNN Travel Photo of the Day noted Unionville as a great place to visit. It will be a memorable stop. jeb

 

SENIORS STOP IN DEMING NEW MEXICO



Seniors Enjoy a Stopover in Deming

imagesDeming, New Mexico, located 60 miles west of Las Cruces, is only 33 miles north of the Mexican border,  with a population right at 15,000. Senior visitors will find Deming rich with history, atmosphere, and sunshine, all in great abundance.

The desert with the Florida mountains in the background offer spectacular views year round. The local state parks are diverse from one end of the desert to the other and into the mountains of the Black Range. The water and the agricultural influence make Deming a true oasis in the desert.

Deming is named after Mary Ann Deming Crocker, wife of Charles Crocker, one of the Big Four of the railroad industry. The city, founded in 1881 and incorporated in 1902, was an important port of entry on the US-Mexican border until the Gadsen Purchase of 1853. A nickname was given to the city at the time of its founding, “New Chicago”.

Seniors Enjoy The Mimbres Museum

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At the Luna Mimbres Museum, senior visitors can enjoy a replica of the streets of pioneer Deming, a cowboy exhibit based on the Diamond A Ranch and military history.

They will also find a gem and mineral room, an art gallery, automobiles, dolls, books and toys from past generations. Then there is the  Hispanic room; and Mimbres Indian pottery and basketry.

For senior oenophiles, Deming has some fine wineries and vineyards to be enjoyed that include the St. Clair and Luna Rossa Wineries.

While copper mining and refining have been a primary source of wealth in the surrounding area for most of the twentieth century, Luna County has a proud and successful heritage in farming and ranching producing chilies, pecans, cotton, melons, sweet onions, and grapes.

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 Senior Rockhounds Take Note

For you rock hounds like my daughter, the Rockhound State Park in the Little Florida Mountains, with elevations that range up to 7,700 feet, offers access to silica minerals, quartz crystals, chalcedony, blue agate, and white and pink common opals.

Senior rockhounds are invited to gather up to 15 pounds of rock to take home with you. The park offers picnic facilities, hiking trails, wildlife including Persion Ibex and attractive gardens. You will discover a variety of rock formations that make Deming a beautiful scenic wonder.

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Deming’s downtown commercial buildings retain much of their historic integrity and remain part of a historic zone. Presently, 16 buildings have been placed on the State Historic Register and four of the 16 buildings are on the National Register of Historic places. My wife and I love those old historic buildings.

There are numerous ancient Native American sites around Deming. The Mimbres and Casa Grandes cultures made pottery of remarkable quality, and the Deming area is rich in native pottery artifacts, as well as beads, stone implements, stone carvings, graves, etc. I feel you will find Deming to be to your liking.  Senior travelers can easily spend a few days there.  -jeb

SENIOR TRAVEL CALIFORNIA



Seniors Make a Day Trip To Pescadero

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This senior first read about Pescadero in an article on super-fresh cuisine and dining at Harley Farms.  Pescadero (pop. 700) is a farming and ranching community near the Pescadero Marsh, a wildlife refuge.

The name would signify that in the early days it was a fishing settlement, (fish = pescado in Spanish) although the location of the village is about three miles from the ocean.

Pescadero itself is a small valley in San Mateo County and  greatly resembles the bottom of a cup with the hills rising all around, eliminating the winds of the Pacific Ocean.

An annual event in Pescadero is the Pescadero Art and Fun Fair. The Alto Velo Bicycle Racing Club holds another annual event, the Pescadero Coastal Classic Road Race, which travels through the town and nearby countryside, in early- to mid-June.

Seniors Find A Farmer’s Market and A Working Gallery

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Pescadero comes with it’s own beach, and a spectacular one it is. Senior visitors will find a farmers market and a working gallery, Made In Pescadero, that crafts and displays the very finest custom furniture, art and accessories by the area’s most talented craftsmen and artists.

Small as it be, TripAdvisor has rounded up several things for senior visitors to see and do. The #1 attraction in the area is the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America and has been guiding mariners since 1872.

 Seniors Also Find The Elephant Seals

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“The Año Nuevo State Park, with a rich variety of natural and cultural resources, draws visitors from around the world. The park’s Natural Preserve offers an extraordinary wilderness experience, where every year up to 10,000 elephant seals return to breed, give birth, and molt their skin amongst the scenic dunes and beaches.”

Harley Farms has grown from six pet goats to today’s herd, with their delicious, critically-acclaimed cheese. In 2011 the owners bought neighboring fields, a historic barn and a hidden orchard and overgrown garden which they are restoring gently.

The Harley Farms chèvre (goat in French), fromage blanc, ricotta and feta cheeses have been consistent winners at the American Cheese Society awards, and hold two international World Cheese Show medals.

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 Senior Hikers Seek Out The Nature Trail

Bean Hollow State Beach features a nature trail for hikers. For birders, Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is popular. For beach lovers, Pescadero State Beach has a mile-long shoreline with sandy coves, rocky cliffs, tide pools, fishing spots and picnic facilities.

My wife and I love to stay in historic B&Bs and the “Bed and Biscuit Inn” sounded really neat to me, especially that biscuit part for breakfast. I discovered five other classy B&Bs that senior travelers might want to check out. Pescadero is roughly 17 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 35 miles north of Santa Cruz.

Enjoy your stop in Pescadero. -jeb

SENIORS VISIT MEDELLÍN, COLOMBIA



Seniors Find A New Hot Spot!

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This senior read recently in a Sunday newspaper that Medellín, Colombia is now a hot spot for tourists. The city has undergone a massive social and economic transformation and it’s now known in tourist circles for spectacular Christmas light displays that enrobe local churches, buildings and parks as well as the Medellín River.

I have a friend who went on a mission trip to Medellín and found it to be fascinating. Today it is considered a Colombian hub for business, industry and technological development. Medellín (pop. 2 million) is  surrounded by 8 smaller towns and together they form the Area Metropolitana with almost 3.5 million people.

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Its pleasant climate, like Cuernavaca, Mexico, gives both cities the nickname – the City of Eternal Spring, with 80 degrees Fahrenheit every day. Rich in cultural institutions, the city has three universities, several 17th-century churches, and a national mint.

Seniors Find Good Roads and Tourism in Medellín

Medellín, officially the Municipality of Medellín, is the second-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the department of Antioquia. The varied topography of the department of Antioquia allows going from one climate to another in just minutes thanks to an excellent road infrastructure that promotes trade and tourism.

Located in a central region of the Andes Mountains in South America, Medellín sits 4,905 feet (1,495 meters) above sea level in a valley surrounded by tall green mountains. Its close proximity to the Equator ensures constant spring-like temperatures year round.

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Medellín is today becoming one of the “it” cities in the world, with throngs of tourists and  ex-pats. Read from the NY Times and Henry Alford who reported that he had just got back from Medellín.

Another reader reports…“I have visited this fascinating city 5 times over the last 3 years. The paisas are the most wonderful, warmest and accommodating people in all my latin travels. Visit the Fernando Botero museum, great shopping at El Tesoro and Santa Fe, fantastic night life at El Poblado.”

Art/Culture, Great Restaurants And Great Weather…

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Medellín is served by José María Córdova International Airport (IATA), located in the nearby city of Rionegro. Huffington Post reports that.. “With the world’s best weather, great restaurants, tons of art/culture and amazing nightlife, it should be on any curious traveler’s bucket list.”

Medellín has been transformed. It’s now a vibrant destination for senior travelers seeking a culturally rich vacation.  The Pablo Escobar Daily Tour is a popular history tour emphasizing the true story of the life and death of Pablo Escobar, the “King of Cocaine.” Colombia is one of the world’s top coffee producers, therefore it’s every visitor’s duty to sit down and enjoy a cup or two.

In the last 20 years Medellín has undergone transformation: big improvements in public safety, Colombia’s first metro system, as well as new parks and libraries. Talk with your travel agent and set your sights on Medellín.  Buen viaje, senior travelers! -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Enjoy The Friendship Force

banner2On one of my recent tours at Taliesin West, I met a fellow who is very active with an organization called Friendship Force. I’d not heard of this organization. This gentleman had traveled the world and was eager to share Friendship Force International with this curious senior. I was impressed with what I learned.

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There are more than 377 Friendship Force International (FFI) Chapters in 56 different countries, and over 15,000 members worldwide who enjoy the People to People, Heart to Heart travel.

Join the group and you will have opportunities to visit other countries and other parts of America that includes staying in the homes of FFI club members for four to seven days.

With these outbound exchanges you can see the world through the eyes of its citizens. This reminds me of the dozen or so student groups I have taken to France that included a week-long family stay and then a week exploring France.

Senior Travelers Enjoy a ‘Close-Up Experience’

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 As an “Ambassador” to countries worldwide including the U.S., seniors can experience a culture up close, sharing family life of FFI club members, meeting folks just like yourself, engaging in their community and enjoying the sites of the region.

With volunteers on the ground in 70 countries, the programs bring diverse people together, into one another’s cultures and even homes, to share one-of-a-kind experiences not available to regular tourists. It is a super means to see the world through new eyes. This is what I call “a close-up experience” that is hard to match.

While the uniqueness of a country or place visited may fade with time, the friendships made are likely to remain forever. It is a rich and rewarding way to gain knowledge of places and people. Conversations across the table are highlights of your time together.

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Bring The World To Your Doorstep

Upon your arrival in the country of your choice, you will be met by “Ambassadors” and attend a welcome dinner to meet FFI members. While lasting friendships develop, visits to historic and cultural sites become memory builders.

Seniors can bring the world to your doorstep by hosting international visitors to your home. You may even select a cultural program that focuses on specific interests of your’s such as hiking, gardening and wine-tasting for example.

Seniors can check out your own city to see if a FFI group exists locally. You will discover that every friendship formed across the barriers of nationality, language, religion or politics makes our world a better place to live. Enjoy the experience.

The International Headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia. For additional information call: 404.522.9490. Enjoy the experience. -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice

SENIORS TRAVEL TO JAMAICA



Round Hill Fits The Bill For Many Seniors

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So how and why did this senior come up with Round Hill?  Well I saw an old photo of Paul Newman and his wife Joan Woodward having fun at Round Hill in Jamaica. Figured it must have been a great attraction so today we are going to check it all out and hopefully, you will find it a great place to visit.

Jamaica lies 550 miles south of Florida at the very heart of the Caribbean. “The island is famous for the unique appeal of its scenic and rugged interior – the Blue Mountains rise to well over 7,000 feet – combined with the unmatched beauty of dazzling tropical beaches bordering the blue-green water of the Caribbean Sea.”

Blue Mountain Coffee comes from those hills. Each year, more and more senior visitors are attracted by the island’s magic, reggae music, its history and its world-class facilities.

Senior Visitors Enjoy Renownd Hotel

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I discovered that Round Hill was not a city or a town, but a renownd hotel and villa resort. The historic Round Hill hotel and villa resort near Montego Bay in Hopewell, Hanover, Jamaica opened in 1952.

It is located on a 100-acre peninsula that was originally a sugar plantation and subsequently changed to coconuts and allspice. Expedia notes… “Occupying a former plantation on a secluded peninsula 17 km (10 mi) west of Montego Bay, this seaside family-friendly resort offers rest and relaxation for the world-famous and the world-weary.”

Historically, when Columbus sailed into the area in May 1494 he was the first European visitor. The Spanish began to settle in Montego Bay after 1510 in the area of the Fort and they called the Bay “Bahia de Mantega” because of the large quantities of pigs’ lard they exported to their colonies in South America and the West Indies.

Seniors Visit Montego Bay

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Senior travelers, have you been to Montego BayMoBay as the locals call it? This tourist destination enjoys  duty-free shopping, a cruise line terminal and several beaches with clear turquoise waters. Due partially to its area on the island’s north shore, MoBay has earned the title ‘tourist capital of Jamaica.’

Gloucester Avenue is lined with visitor inns, shops, art galleries and restaurants. At Doctor’s Cave Beach and Bathing Club, white sands fringe clear, calm waters that some believe are fed by springs with a high mineral content.

In the early 1920s a famous British osteopath, after swimming, declared that the water had curative powers – a claim which helped shape the future of Montego Bay by luring visitors from around the world. That would lure this senior in. Hotels sprung along the beach and the area became a tourist hotspot.

To fill out this blog I leave you with the Top Ten Tourist Sites not to be missed in MoBay. Enjoy. jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice

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