SENIORS TRAVEL TO NORTHERN NEW YORK STATE



Seniors Enjoy a Stopover in Watertown

bb I was watching the weather forecast for the eastern US and noticed the town of Watertown.  Senior travelers can find Watertown, New York (pop. 27,000) approximately 20 miles south of the Thousand Islands and the Canadian border, and 70 miles north of Syracuse on I-81.

The city of was settled in 1800 by pioneers from New Hampshire. They chose the area for the power supplied by the Black River for paper mills and other major industries. Named after the many falls located on the Black River, the city developed early in the 19th century as a manufacturing center.

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From years of generating industrial wealth, in the early 20th century Watertown was said to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in the nation. This senior learned that Watertown is the birthplace of the Five and Dime store (Woolworth’s) and the safety pin.

Seniors Find County Fair, Football Franchise and Military Base

The first portable steam engine was manufactured in Watertown and it has the longest continually operating county fair in the country at the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds. The local Red and Black football franchise is the oldest surviving semi-professional team in the United States. Fort Drum military base is northeast of Watertown and the town is a major service and shopping destination for the fort’s 13,000 personnel.

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Historic Thompson Park is a large, city-owned public park featuring a zoo, tennis courts, playgrounds, a public pool, picnic areas, large open fields which host various sports and activities, an 18-hole golf course, hiking trails, and many picturesque views of the city.

Me, I’d want to head off to the Burrville Cider Mill,  one of Jefferson County’s oldest establishments. The structure, formerly known as Burr’s Mills, was built in 1801 and was originally used as a sawmill and a gristmill. Electricity, rather than waterpower, now runs the Mill equipment.

 Scenic Area Draws Seniors

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Watertown has something for everyone! For the senior outdoors lovers, picturesque scenery of the Adirondacks opens the way to the 1,000 Islands region and Lake Ontario. Boating, fishing, rafting, hiking, camping, and quaint rural atmosphere abounds.

The Greater Watertown-North Country (GWNC) Chamber of Commerce boasts over 1,000 members. See what Best of the Road has to say about Watertown. Many well-known people hail from Watertown, including John Foster Dulles, the former U.S. Secretary of State.

Maybe drop in out of the sky, as the town has its own international airport. Seniors, see for yourself and experience all the amenities the town has to offer. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO CAPE COD



Seniors Flock To Wellfleet

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Seniors have you spent any time on Cape Cod? If not, say…not yet. It is one area to put on your travel bucket list. With a population of only 3,500, Wellfleet is a highly popular area on Cape Cod Bay and part of the Cape Cod National Seashore on Route 6.

Wellfleet was encountered by Europeans as early as 1606, when the French explorer Samuel de Champlain explored and named it “Port Aux Huitres” (Oyster Port) for the bountiful oyster population resident to the area.

The town is home to the Cape Cod National Seashore Headquarters and for senior birders, the 1,000 acre Massachusetts Audubon Society Wildlife Sanctuary is nearby. Some of Cape Cod’s finest ocean surf casting, fresh water pond and Cape Cod Bay boat fishing possibilities are found in Wellfleet. The town is well known for its plentiful supply of shellfish, including the famous “Wellfleet Oysters”.

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Seniors Find Great Scenery and Hospitality

Wellfleet abounds in scenery and the hospitality is legendary as is the beach landscape. Punch some buttons here and senior travelers will learn that the town is located some forty-five miles out into the Atlantic Ocean on the upper end of Cape Cod.

The town offers an abundance of quaint rural seaside character and charm and spectacular natural resources. It is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and the west by Cape Cod Bay.

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During the summer, the population swells from 3,500 year-round residents to an estimated 17,000 visitors. Senior visitors can enjoy the town’s miles of ocean and bay-side beaches; numerous beautiful, clear, spring-fed, ponds; many fine art galleries, shops and restaurants.

And then there is the magnificent Wellfleet Harbor offering a constantly changing panorama of sail boats, motor yachts, sport fishing boats and trawlers.

Seniors Plan To Visit During the Wellfleet OysterFest

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The fifteenth annual Wellfleet OysterFest will take place the weekend after Columbus Day, Saturday and Sunday, October 17 & 18.

This two-day family festival celebrates the town’s famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions bringing together folks from all ages for a weekend full of hometown flavor and big time fun.

There is something for everyone: local cuisine, arts and crafts, educational programs, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, walking tours, live music, a road race, and the annual Oyster Shuck-Off competition.

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So set your GPS for Wellfleet, shuck some oysters, eat a few  and enjoy the ambiance that Wellfleet offers.

Incidentally, the name “Wellfleet” is disputed; some argue that it comes from “Whale Fleet”, after the burgeoning whaling industry in the town, while some say it comes from a brand of oyster popular in England at the time, in order to help sales.

You choose. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Wellfleet. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY NEW HAMPSHIRE



Seniors Stop In Laconia

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Laconia, New Hampshire, “City on the Lakes”, provides year round recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages and senior visitors will find scenic beauty in every direction. Your stay in Laconia will be enjoyable whether you spend a few days, a week or longer.

Established as a city in 1893, the town’s name was likely taken from the name of the original company, the Laconia Company, formed by the Captain John Mason and the Masonian proprietors in order to sell parcels to the original colonists during the colonial era. Laconia likes to be called “Our Town.”

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Next to the beach along Lakeside Ave lies the boardwalk.  Rebuilt in 2010, the boardwalk is over 1300 feet long and offers amazing views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the Ossipee mountains. The lake has been a popular tourist destination for more than a century. The communities of Meredith, Laconia, Sanbornton, Belmont, and Tilton surround the lake.

 Senior Bikers Enjoy The Oldest National Bike Rally

A major annual event for Laconia is Laconia Motorcycle Week, now the oldest national bike rally in the United States. From its humble beginnings with just a few hundred bikers, the event grew to a week long in 1935 and Laconia Bike Week was born.

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The rally remains the world’s oldest, and is one of the largest rallies in the country with over 300,000 attending. The Rally began humbly way back in 1916, alongside the roots of the sport of motorcycling, and needless to say, continues to make a significant economic impact on Laconia.

The 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest is a powerful presence in the White Mountains and loaded with awesome scenery. Highly popular, Weirs Beach, is located on the southern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, a lake that contains has many as 258 islands, many with the same name.

Perennial favorites for senior visitors include cruising Lake Winnipesaukee and taking in the views while touring the Castle in the Clouds estate. What does Winnipesaukee mean? It’s an Indian word, which is is thought to have several meanings. The most common interpretation is “Smile of the Great Spirit”.

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 Seniors Visit New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is made up of over forty towns, most of which are of the friendly and  small variety.  Seniors, when you visit the Lakes Region, be sure to visit as many of these towns as you can. Their individual personalities and histories are a big part of what makes this area in New Hampshire so special.

 

Join me for a DragonFly aerial view of Laconia.  Senior travelers, expect to breathe in some clean mountain air, bring your fishing gear for some great excitement and plan to spend a few days enjoying the scenery and getting to know the locals. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY FRANCE’S CHAMPAGNE COUNTRY



Seniors Journey to Hautvillers, France

746550215 Many seniors enjoy a glass of sparkly champagne from time to time. If we trace the history of the bubbly beverage, a visit to Hautvillers in France is a must.

Hautvillers (pop. 864) is a commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France. The Abbey of St. Peter which existed in this town until the French Revolution was the home of the famous Dom Pérignon, a Benedictine monk who, back in 1670, developed the process for making champagne. The legend of Dom Pérignon adds an intangible yet real halo to Hautvillers.

Called “Hautvillers” (high), it is indeed up on the slopes. The French feel strongly that “authentic champagne” comes only from the champagne region in France.  I learned that the Romans were the first to plant vineyards in this area, so its history goes way back.

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 This Senior Spent Two Weeks In The Region

This Abbey of St. Peter warmly greeted Dom Pérignon, whose life was  closely associated with the creation of champagne. Dom Pérignon collaborated with another Benedictine monk to a develop a process called “méthode champenoise.” The bubbles in the bottle did indeed create this well-known effect.

Dom Pérignon’s tomb lies today in the chancel of the Saint-Sindulphe abbey church. Senior visitors find Hautvillers to be a charming wine-producing village lined with old houses decorated with a wide array of forged iron shop signs.

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Moi, I did not think I liked champagne until I spent two weeks living in the champagne vineyard region. I served as a tour group leader with  Elderhostel (now called Road Scholar). The program was called Food and Wine of France. Sampling a variety of champagne daily, I discovered it to be quite tasty. The Guardian suggests  you consider following the Champagne Wine Route as we did.

 Seniors Learn About Wine Making

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At harvest time, grape pickers in Champagne begin the month long harvest called les vendanges, sometimes even hiring seniors to help with the task.

The winemakers will then do a single press of the three grape varieties used to make Champagne —Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier—bottle it, and wait until the carbon dioxide builds into a delicate fizz through a two-step fermentation process known as the méthode champenoise.

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Three years makes a nonvintage bottle. Vintage Champagnes—meaning those of a particular year, such as the famed Dom Pérignon, can take much longer, often at least a decade. The oldest champagne-world record was set by an 1825 Perrier-Jouet and it was still good.

The winemaker hospitality in this region is as legendary as is the surrounding landscape that overflows with vineyards. The Abbey of Saint-Pierre is a major attraction in Hautvillers.

TripAdvisor has been to the region and lays out seven things to do, four restaurants not to be missed and suggested lodging and vacation rentals. Seniors, plan to stay a few days in Hautvillers: Le Berceau du Champagne, the Cradle of Champagne. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH SOUTH CAROLINA



Seniors Spend Time In Historic Sumter

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Known as the Gamecock City, Sumter lies near the geographic center of the state of South Carolina with a population of 42,000. Senior travelers find Sumter only a 90 minute drive to the state’s beautiful beaches and a short three-hour drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sumter, the seat of Sumter County, is the 8th largest city in South Carolina and truly is in the middle of everything.

Incorporated as Sumterville in 1845, the city’s name was shortened to Sumter in 1855. It has grown and prospered from its early beginnings as a plantation settlement. The city and county of Sumter bear the name of Revolutionary War General Thomas Sumter  (1734-1832), a resident of the area, and the “Fighting Gamecock” of the American Revolutionary War.

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This county has changed its name and boundaries several times. His place in U.S. history is secure as a patriot and military genius. General Sumter was one of the models for Mel Gibson’s character in the 2000 movie, “The Patriot.”

Seniors Enjoy Sumter’s Colorful History

During the Civil War the town was an important supply and railroad repair center for the Confederacy. After the war, Sumter grew and prospered, using its large railroad network to supply cotton, timber, and by the start of the 20th century, tobacco to the region.

Sumter has a colorful history stretching back more than three hundred years. In the 1740s, the first English-speaking settlers arrived to establish roots along the banks of the Wateree River. The “Carolina Backcountry,” as it was then known, became a predominantly agricultural area called Craven County, later Claremont County.

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I counted 16 properties in Sumter that are on the National Register of Historic Places. The O’Donnell House and Scarborough House are prime examples. Sumter is an active community and home to several collegiate institutions.

Seniors Enjoy Beautiful Swan Lake Iris Gardens

TripAdvisor suggests seniors visit the Swan Lake/Iris Gardens, the only public park in the United States containing all eight known species of swan. The beautiful black waters of Swan Lake form the setting for the spectacular Iris Gardens.

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The lake is dotted with colorful islands, and wildlife is abundant. The Iris Festival, held every May is a multiple winner of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” Award and is South Carolina’s oldest continuing festival.

The Sumter Opera House is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility and a beautiful historic site with a rich and intriguing past. The Sumter Gallery of Art and the Sumter County Museum are highly popular with senior visitors as well.

There are many interesting facts associated with Sumter. I liked the fact that the local Palmetto Pigeon Farm is the source for squab served at Buckingham Palace and Sumter High School graduate Shawn Weatherly was Miss Universe back in 1980. I remember her.

Seniors, experience for yourself an outstanding city -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH OHIO



Seniors Discover River City Marieta

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Marietta (pop. 14,000+), seniors discover, is the seat of Washington County, Ohio. Pioneers to the Ohio Country established Marietta in 1788 as the first permanent settlement of the new United States in the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio.

Marieta is the second-largest city in the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, West Virginia-Ohio (part) Metropolitan Statistical Area. My, that’s a mouth full! The private, nonsectarian liberal arts Marietta College is located in this town. It was a station on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.

Nestled in the picturesque hills of the Mid-Ohio Valley, this historic riverboat town and environs are bucolic spots for holidays, vacations, romantic getaways, family gatherings and conventions.

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 Seniors Discover Ancient History Around Marieta

Ancient history abounds in and around Marieta. Between 100 BC and 500 AD, the Hopewell culture built the multi-earthwork complex on the terrace east of the Muskingum River near its mouth with the Ohio. It is now known as the Marietta Earthworks.

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Ancient tribes and pioneers discovered Marieta to be ideally located between the rivers and the hills in southeastern Ohio at the mouth of the Muskingum River at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers.

TripAdvisor suggest that senior visitors check out the Campus Martius Museum, the Mound Cemetery and the Castle. The Buckley House is a highlight experience set in one of the classic homes of Marietta.

Marietta Named For Marie Antionette

1280px-TheCastle_MariettaOhio For its size Marieta has plenty to see and do for folks of all ages. Senior visitors can take a walk through Marietta and enjoy the beauty of its historic buildings, streets and parks. 

Originally known as Adelphia, meaning “brotherhood,” the city was later named Marietta in honor of Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, who had aided the colonies in their battle for independence.

The local Chamber of Commerce notes that Marietta is a city of beautiful parks, two rivers, 19th century architecture, brick streets, historical landmarks and museums. Senior travelers will find one of America’s most robust downtowns alive with shops, restaurants and businesses.

So that’s Marieta. Seniors, spend some time in this historic town and enjoy all the amenities. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Get Good and Wet on Roatán Island

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This one just popped up in my Smithsonian Magazine this morning and I want to share Roatán Island with you senior bucketeers.  So get your coffee, get comfortable and lets head off to the island that lies 30 miles off the north coast of Honduras.

It is suggested that if senior adventurers wanted to get good and wet, they can check out the Roatán Institute of Deepsea Exploration.

RIDE is a Honduras-based group that offers folks an opportunity to dive 2,000 feet below the surface of the Caribbean in Isabel, the submarine. Interested?

The Cayman Trench is the deepest part of the Caribbean and you are guaranteed to see sea lilies, glass sponges, pompom anemones and lots of lace coral. If that does not trip your trigger, let’s go and check out the island for a wide variety of excitement.

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 Seniors Find Vacation Paradise

Roatán and the Bay Islands are a Caribbean vacation paradise, home to pristine white sandy beaches, amazing tropical jungle-covered hills, a diverse and unique reef system, heartwarming people, unique cultures and authentic Caribbean charm.

Roatán, often called the Caribbean’s best-kept secret, is the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands. Throughout European colonial times, the Bay of Honduras attracted an array of individual settlers, pirates, traders and military forces.

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It is approximately 77 kilometers long, and less than 8 kilometers across at its widest point. Ok, I’ll give it to you… 48 miles long and 5 miles wide. TripAdvisor suggests senior visitors start with Little French Key and then bend over to West Bay Beach.

 Seniors Find Eco-Tourism Destination

The most populous town of the island is Coxen Hole, the capital of Roatán. Located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea (second largest worldwide after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef).

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Roatán has become an important cruise ship, scuba diving and eco-tourism destination in Honduras. While tourism is its most important economic sector, fishing is also an important source of income for the locals.

The Caracol People are an English-speaking group who have been established in Northern Honduras (specifically, the Bay Islands) since the early 19th century. They are chiefly of European and British-Afro-Caribbean descent.

Reef systems are very delicate and have experienced massive damage and degradation worldwide. At the Roatán Marine Park you can rent snorkel equipment and get up close to some beautiful marine life.

Enjoy your time in Roatán. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH NORTHERN MICHIGAN



Seniors Check Out Kalkaska

emma-blog-kalkaska Kalkaska made the local paper today as farmers there are working to develop their barley crops used for manufacturing beer. They seem to be doing quite well at it. Seniors learn that Kalkaska is a village in Michigan with a population of just over 2000. I love small towns as I hail from one in Iowa with a population of 300.

Kalkaska is the seat of Kalkaska County and is part of Kalkaska Township. The name Kalkaska is thought to be a Chippewa word meaning flat or burned-over country.

Kalkaska County has over 80 lakes and 275 miles of streams and rivers with numerous state and county parks. The village of Kalkaska has a lot going for it considering its size. Oil and gas, manufacturing, and tourism are important industries in the village and surrounding county.

Seniors Discover Year Round Vacation Destination

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Tourism in the Kalkaska area began around the turn of the century as people in the midwestern cities discovered the county as a place to vacation all year-round. Kalkaska has a well used sports complex, “The Kaliseum,” which has an indoor pool and an indoor skating rink.

Senior visitors also find neat horse barns built by the very active local equestrian clubs. Snowmobile, motocross and horseback riding enthusiasts will find numerous marked trails that wind their way through the county. The 126 inches of snow from the lake effect of Lake Michigan adds a lot to wintertime activities.

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In 1916, the noted author Ernest Hemingway visited and fished for trout in Kalkaska, and later immortalized the town in his story “The Battler”. The National Trout Festival in April attracts many anglers at what is called “The Reel Thing.”

Seniors Enjoy “Up North” Winterfest

Established in 1965, Kalkaska Winterfest  in February is an annual celebration of wintertime activities and where you can experience the true “up north” spirit of the state. Each year, Kalkaska Winterfest hosts a variety of family-friendly attractions during the weekend-long event.

Sled dogs overtake the town to participate in the largest sprint sled dog race in the Lower 48.  When senior visitors feel that Fall Is In The Air, they can take in the Bell’s Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge, a 27.2 mile point-to-point mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City and takes place  traditionally on the first Saturday of November.

 The annual County Fair in August, a Strawberry Festival in June and Christmas in Kalkaska are additional annual events that attract senior visitors. Me, I’d enjoy a visit to The Kalkaska County Museum located in the Train Depot building in downtown Kalkaska. The original structure has been well preserved and kept in much the same design and shape as when it formerly served as a depot.

Hop on the back of this snowmobile as it goes buzzing along a nearby trail and enjoy. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO CROSSVILLE, TENNESSEE



Seniors Stop in a Golf Capital

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Crossville, senior travelers will find is the county seat of Cumberland County, Tennessee, and has a population that runs right at 11,000. On the city water tower it reads…“Golf Capital of Tennessee”.

Golf course designers Jack Nicklaus, Joe Lee and others saw Crossville’s Cumberland Plateau terrain and took advantage of the picturesque hills, meadows, breathtaking vistas and mild Southern weather. The area is home to some of Tennessee’s most acclaimed vacation and retirement resorts.

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The Mayor writes “Welcome to the City of Crossville!  We are located atop the beautiful Cumberland Plateau on Interstate 40, only a short drive to three metropolitan cities.

Our 2,000 foot elevation offers a mild, four season climate year round. Our rural area offers an abundance of outdoor possibilities, with mountainous wildlife reserves, lakes, streams, and the Cumberland Mountain State Park.”

Seniors Discover The World’s Largest Yard Sale

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Known as the Golf Capital of Tennessee, Crossville, with nine pristine courses has become a golfers’ paradise of national recognition.

Senior visitors enjoy the Cumberland County Playhouse and the historic Palace Theatre on Main Street. The Playhouse is a theatrical force behind its double stage doors and is one of the 10 largest professional theaters in rural America.

The United States Chess Federation is headquartered in Crossville, along with a restored railroad Depot & Caboose Visitor’s Center, and the World’s Largest Yard Sale.”

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Crossville developed at the intersection of a branch of the Great Stage Road between Nashville and Washington, DC and thus the name of the city.

Around 1800, an early European-American settler named Samuel Lambeth opened a store at this junction, and the small community that developed around it became known as Lambeth’s Crossroads. The store was located at what has become the modern intersection of Main Street and Stanley Street, just south of the courthouse.

Seniors Also Discover World’s Largest Treehouse

 So why do seniors stop by in Crossville? There are many things for seniors to see and do and just this morning, the World’s Largest Treehouse made national news again.

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TripAdvisor suggests the famed Cumberland County Playhouse that rates #1. Right behind is the Model Railroad Exhibit that my brother-in-law in Iowa would love…he has a great model railroad exhibit in his backyard.

The local Chamber of Commerce wants to you know that from the beautiful scenery, to some of the best golf courses in the south, whether you are visiting or relocating, Crossville is right for you. For senior oenophiles, I’d join you to do some sampling at the Chestnut Hill and Stonehaus wineries.

Set your GPS for Crossville and get a feel for some old time southern charm, beautiful country scenery and small town ambiance. In Crossville the hospitality is as legendary as the scenic landscape. Enjoy Crossville. -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH UTAH



Seniors Search For Old Bones in Vernal, Utah

Vernal_Utah I read an article in the morning paper that has a story on Vernal, Utah,  this senior had not heard of that town, so it’s due for a blog.

Vernal, the county seat and largest city in Uintah County, is located in northeastern Utah about 175 miles (280 km) east of Salt Lake City and 20 miles (32 km) west of the Colorado border. The population runs just over 10,000.

Vernal, unlike many Utah towns, was not settled by Mormons. Brigham Young sent a scouting party to Uintah Basin in 1861 and received word back the area was good for nothing but nomad purposes, hunting grounds for Indians and “to hold the world together.”

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Today Vernal’s economy is based on extracting natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, phosphate, and uintaite, more commonly known as Gilsonite. This has led to the establishment of branch offices of major companies such as Halliburton and Schlumberger.

Seniors Enjoy the Scenic views and Petroglyphs

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Vernal is proud to be the original home of James Woods, a film and TV actor. There are many scenic views in and aroung Vernal, but the big T-Rex pink dragon will certainly catch your eye upon arrival.

TripAdvisor has paid a visit to Vernal and has some activities all lined up for senior visitors. The nearby McConkie Ranch and its hiking trails rates very high with folks who enjoy a good walk and who are interested in the ancient Dry Fork Petroglyphs. With Holiday River close by, river rafting is lots of fun in Vernal.

The Utah Field House of Natural History Museum is another major  attraction. Senior visitors can discover the prehistoric world, dig for fossils, and explore the dinosaur garden. Within an 80-mile radius of Vernal is evidence of the entire Earth’s history and is visible at the Museum. Utah Field House reveals this geologic story with hands-on exhibits and activities.

Dinosaur Footprints and Fossils

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Utah is famous for its ancient dinosaur fossils and the Vernal area is one of the best places in the state to view them first hand. Fantasy Canyon, an area composed of unique erosional features, is located about 27 miles south of Vernal.

Red Fleet State Park features a 750-acre reservoir and a fossil trackway of dinosaur footprints.  The canyon and the park draw in many visitors from all across the nation.

Sheep Creek Geological Loop is an awesome scenic drive at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Northeastern Utah. The Loop features an interesting display of unique rock formations that can be seen along the fault, including towering monoliths along with rock that has been fractured, jumbled, discombobulated

I have always loved that word. Seniors, get undiscombobulated  in Vernal. Spend a few days in town and take in the many nearby sites. -jeb

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