SENIOR TRAVELERS ENJOY PENNSYLVANIA



Seniors Enjoy Lewisburg

top2 Lewisburg is a borough in Union County, Pennsylvania, 30 miles south of Williamsport and 60 miles north of Harrisburg, the state capital. In the past, it was the commercial center for a fertile grain and general farming region. The population runs close to 6,000. Senior travelers will find this county seat in central Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna River.

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Lewisburg was founded in 1784 by Ludwig Derr and originally was called Deerstown. A settler of the area (since as early as 1763-1769), Derr had purchased several tracts of land from the William Penn family and other neighboring landowners, the largest of which was known as “The Prescott”.

Its 19th-century downtown was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town is loaded with beautiful old historic homes with many types of architectural features.

Seniors Enjoy Vibrant Community

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Lewisburg is home to Bucknell University, a private liberal arts college founded in 1846 with an enrollment of around 3,700. With the influence of Bucknell University and well-preserved architectural housing styles, the community is vibrant, as well as charming. A 1995 publication, The 100 Best Small Towns in America, listed Lewisburg as one of the day’s most livable small towns. It is on my bucket travel list.

TripAdvisor encourages seniors to visit Bucknell University and check out the Campus Theater.  It is a big hit in Lewisburg and you will find it to be an authentically and beautifully restored Art Deco movie theatre that has been showing films since back in 1941. They also encourage senior oenophiles to drop by the Fero Vineyards and Winery and experience a great wine selection.

In February join the locals for Annual Polar Bear Plunge and take a dip in the Susquehanna River to benefit the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership. The same month, Beat the winter blues and Run/Walk the Frosty 5k during Lewisburg’s Ice Festival.

The Poetry Path, Historic Downtown And Covered Bridges

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Senior visitors can re-live history and take a self-guided tour of Lewisburg’s National Register Historic District, preferably as the streetlights turn on at dusk on a warm spring evening. 

Consider hiking the The Poetry Path, a neat way to take in Lewisburg and Bucknell.  Walk through historic downtown Lewisburg and Bucknell University and experience poetry along the way. Visitors to the Poetry Path will have the chance to read and hear recordings of poems by living poets, recited in the poets’ own voices. Ten markers along the Path feature poems that pay tribute to historic and culturally significant Lewisburg locales.

Do you like covered bridges? There are 17 covered bridges in Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties. You could make a day of it just visiting the various bridges. Be sure to set your GPS for Pennsylvania, there are other Lewisburgs in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and West Virginia. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY A VISIT TO PROVENCE



Seniors Discover Gargas and the Ochre Mines

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Gargas is a commune that seniors can find in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. Gargas is the site of old ochre mining operations. In 2009 the Mine d’Ocre de Bruoux was opened for tourists.

I would image that few of us have ever heard of Gargas. Even though I have been to Provence many times, Gargas is new to me. Located 5 km northwest of Apt, between Luberon and Vaucluse mountains, 600 kilometers southeast of Paris, Gargas is a neighbor to Roussillon.

gargas0027bI know that town as my professor at Harvard (Dr. Wylie) spent a year living there with his family. I have told my wife many times… “If you can’t find me anywhere, look for me in Provence.” It is my favorite area of all of France…after Paris.

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Seniors Visit Ocher Mines

Ocher is an earthy pigment containing ferric oxide, typically with clay, varying from light yellow to brown or red. Former ocher mines of Bruoux are presently equipped to welcome visitors. While the quarries of Rustrel and Roussillon are open, those of Bruoux are underground.

Gargas is the last village of the Vaucluse to possess ocher quarrying. The mines of Gargas are unique in all of Europe. Senior visitors can travel nearly 650 meters of galleries up to 15 meters high.

Throughout the course, one can admire the wide array of impressive colors. The underground quarry has been converted into an imposing cathedral.

Inside the gallery at Bruoux

The Luberon ocher was once exploited in mines, carved into the cliffs in the light of the carbide lamp, the deck hand. From 1880 to 1950, more than 50 km of galleries have been shaped. As isolated as it be, wouldn’t just know that TripAdvisor has paid a visit to Gargas. Touch the All Visitor Photos link on this site for some awesome views of the mines.

The “mines” are carved into the hillside: you don’t descend significantly to enter inside. Up to 15 meters (49 feet) high, the soaring, vaulted interior chambers resemble the nave of a cathedral.

Seniors Enjoy Provence

The village of Gargas is a pleasant and somewhat typical villages in Provence. There’s a large central square with a few shops, including a pharmacy, tabac-magazine shop and a café-restaurant with a large, shady terrace where you can enjoy a Ricard Pastis.,  perfect in Provence, especially the late afternoon.

The old stone fountain, set back in the shade opposite the terrace café, is quite nice, and a nearby iron windmill adds a touch of interest. Enjoy Provence, Gargas and the Mines of Bruoux. Seniors set your GPS for Gargas and take in “Marvelous Provence” and the famed mines.-jeb

SENIORS STOP IN ST. JOHNSBURY, VERMOMT



Seniors Enjoy Upstate Vermont

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 This senior was having breakfast with his wife at Cracker Barrel recently and noted that the syrup bottle came from St. Johnsbury, Vermont. I said to my wife, who is my editor here…”looks like a blog to me”. So let’s go check it out.

St. Johnsbury is the shire town of Caledonia County, Vermont with a population of just under 7,000. The town is located approximately 10 miles northwest of the Connecticut River and 48 miles south of the Canadian border…great place for maple trees and maple syrup. The town was originally granted in 1760 as part of the New Hampshire Grants and named Bessborough. It was re-granted by Vermont in 1786 as Dunmore, and settled the same year. The locals like to refer to the town as St. Jay.

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Senior visitors will find plenty to see and do in St. Jay. The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum is the only National Historic Landmark in the Northeast Kingdom. Colby Hall on the St. Johnsbury Academy campus is a beautiful old building.

You will want to take a walk along Railroad Street and get a feel for this historic town. Look for a monument in Courthouse Park that honors volunteers who died in the Civil WAR. It stands high and is quite attractive. St. Jay is a great place to watch trains go zipping by.

 Senior Dog Lovers Visit Dog Mountain

TripAdvisor has paid a visit to St. Jay and has ten things not to be missed starting with Dog Mountain. Dog Mountain is set on 150 acres on a mountain top location in St. Johnsbury. The grounds are always open to people and their dogs. This unspoiled haven is covered with hiking trails and dog ponds. Dogs are not just welcome here, they are cherished!

Stephen Huneck’s home and studio were in St. Johnsbury, Vermont which he shared with his wife, Gwen, and his three dogs. Stephen wrote 10 books inspired by his black Lab, Sally, and carved out a niche in the art world as a sculptor with a playful twist. So bring along your dog and enjoy the scenery.

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Senior shoppers, Green Mountain Mall is a shopping mall north of downtown St. Johnsbury on U.S. Route 5. There has been an annual First Night community celebration of the arts on New Year’s Eve since 1993. The town also has 12 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, the most in Caledonia County. So plan to drive around town checking out all the historic buildings. I know that this is what my wife and I would do.

Seniors, set your GPS for St. Johnsbury VT. Stop by the St. Johnsbury History and Heritage Center to gain an authentic feel for the community and its past. And enjoy some pancakes with the local maple syrup. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS VISIT NEW HAMPSHIRE



Seniors Enjoy Time In Nashua

DocumentNashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire with a population of nearly 887,000, making it the second largest city in the state after Manchester. Known as the “Gate City”, senior travelers find Nashua 30 miles north of  Boston, 60 miles from the seacoast, 70 miles to the Lakes Region, and 90 miles to the White Mountains.

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It’s Downtown Nashua that makes the city a memorable place. It’s distinctive and historic. Downtown Nashua is not only about visiting, shopping, and dining; it is most excitingly becoming recognized as a great place to live and work.

At one time there was a dispute between the area north of the Nashua, and the area south of the Nashua River. During that time the northern area (today “French Hill”) called itself “Nashville”, while the southern part kept the name Nashua. They reconciled in 1853 and joined together to charter the “city of Nashua”. Makes good sense as the river carries the name of the city.

Seniors Find Another ‘Best Place To Live’

Built around the now-departed textile industry, in recent decades Nashua  has been swept up in southern New Hampshire’s economic expansion as part of the Boston region. Nashua was twice named “Best Place to Live in America” in annual surveys by Money magazine. It is the only city to be named the No. 1 ranking twice—in 1987 and 1997.

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TripAdvisor has over two dozen attractions for senior visitors to explore beginning with the 325 acre Mine Falls Park of forests, wetlands and open field. The name “Mine Falls” dates from the 18th century, when low-quality lead was supposedly mined from the island below the falls.

Historic downtown Nashua offers an amazing variety of shops, restaurants, cafes and boutiques. On the North End is Greeley Park with hiking trails, woods, picnic areas, playgrounds & wading pools, horseshoe pits, tennis courts and ball fields. Greeley Park is a community favorite. Senior travelers, put Nashua on your list when you’re in New Hampshire, you won’t regret it. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY TRAVELING THROUGH KANSAS



Seniors Check Out Garden City

UnknownThis Master Gardener is attracted to towns or cities with names like Garden City. I figured it must be small, but not at all, with a population of over 27,000. The city is the county seat of Kinney County. While senior visitors tend to hang out around downtown, me, I’d want to check out the Sandsage Bison Range & Wildlife Area, known as the Finney Game Refuge, located a half a mile south of Garden City.

The 3,760 acre area provides visitors a unique opportunity to view the sand sage prairie ecosystem of southwest Kansas. Not only is the area noted for its unique plant community, but it is also home to the oldest publicly owned bison herd in Kansas. Ever see bison up close? Senior visitors will see one of the largest herds of bison in the world.

Seniors Find An Oasis On Kansas Plains

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May through July, senior baseball fans can take in a baseball game. The Garden City Wind, part of the Pecos Professional Baseball League, plays its home games at Clint Lightner Stadium, located in Finnup Park on the south side of Garden City.

The city is home to Garden City Community College and the Lee Richardson Zoo, the largest zoological park in western Kansas. Often referred to as an oasis on the plains of Kansas, it is home to hundreds of Kansas native and exotic animals.

Another popular summer attraction is the municipal swimming pool, affectionately called “The Big Pool,” and said to be the largest pool in the world. It’s like a flooded football field, but even larger. Originally, it was hand-dug. Now, let’s hop aboard a helicopter and take a leisurely tour over Garden City at dusk. Note the wide variety of the terrain and the serene beauty of the town.

 Wine, Golf and Social Events…

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The local Chamber of Commerce notes that The Wine Tasting held in August, is one of Garden City’s most social events of the year. The event features the largest variety of fine wines, 50 of them, in one place in southwest Kansas.

The Annual Golf Tournament in June is another big draw for the locals. In late September the Fall Fest and Art in the Parks is held in downtown Garden City.

The Finney County Museum features permanent and revolving exhibits, and a visit provides senior travelers a look into the spirit, both past and present, of Southwest Kansas. Google the Garden City Telegram newspaper and read all about what’s happening in town. I always figure a newspaper is a great means to “really get to know” any town.

Enjoy your stop in Garden City!  -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS ENJOY NEW JERSEY



Seniors Find Solace in Maple Shade

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With my interest in plants as a Master Gardener, I just had to check Maple Shade. It is a township of around 20,000 inhabitants located in Burlington County, New Jersey, the Garden State. This senior has always been impressed with the state of New Jersey.

What is now Maple Shade was originally formed as Chester Township on November 6, 1688. First settled by the Roberts family in 1682, Maple Shade developed in the early years, before the independence of the colonies, as primarily agricultural.

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The municipality’s name was changed to Maple Shade Township as of November 6, 1945, based on the results of a referendum passed that same day. If you are a senior history buff, this site is just for you.

Seniors Visit The Little Red Schoolhouse

Senior visitors will find plenty to do with lots of attractions in and around Maple Shade. TripAdvisor notes that Main Street Art is always a big hit with visitors and ranks #1 for things to do in Maple Shade.

Maple Shade’s history spans more than three centuries. The settlement became more permanent in 1794 when Main Street was constructed. In 1811, property was set aside for the Chesterford School, also known as the “Little Red Schoolhouse.” In 1867, the township gained an identity with a train station and a rail stop.

The Little Red Schoolhouse on Main Street is always popular with senior visitors. Students from all over the former Chester Township walked to this school from the years 1812 to 1909.  Remember walking to school? I sure do. It was a mile to school and a mile home in my hometown of 250.

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The school was replaced with a larger, two room version in later years. This “Shade” schoolhouse as it is called, now serves as headquarters for the Maple Shade Historical Society and enjoyed a recent $125,000 renovation.  It is well worth a visit to view a small piece of history. Put it on your bucket list on your visit here. The Maple Shade Custard Stand is just across the street, so it’s two birds with one stone.

 Rumor Says The House Is Haunted

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Many small towns owe their history to a railroad crossing paths with the vicinity, I know my hometown did. Along with the railroad came various industries and businesses, several shops, a post office, and an active brick-making business.

Maple Shade gradually changed from a rural community to a suburban town. Today many of these early settlers are still known through street names: Robert Stiles, Samuel Coles, Alexander Mecray, and the Rudderows were all early settlers of Maple Shade.

Rumor has it that the Collins House in Maple Shade is haunted. If you are “into that kind of thing”, you just might find it of interest. Spend some time enjoying Maple Shade and all the amenities it has to offer. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS ENJOY STATE OF WASHINGTON



Seniors Find Ferndale Enjoyable

images-1 Ferndale is a city in the northwest corner of Whatcom County, Washington with a population of around 12,700. Any ideas, seniors, on why it might be called Ferndale? Well, you guessed it. First settled in 1872, Ferndale was given its name because of the ferns that once grew around the original school house.

Ferndale was originally called Jam as the town was located next to a huge log jam on the Nooksack River. The original schoolteacher decided it needed the more picturesque name, Ferndale. Ferndale was officially incorporated on March 19, 1907.

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Originally, Ferndale’s economy was based on timber, and shortly after, agriculture of the surrounding land. Dairy processing was a significant employer for the town. The construction of the Ferndale Refinery west of town in the 1950s caused a population boom. The Cherry Point Refinery was constructed to the northwest in the 1970s.

Seniors Enjoy Area Around Ferndale

Senior travelers will find Ferndale on the Interstate 5 corridor, approximately 6 miles north of Bellingham and 13 miles south of the Canadian Border. There are many nearby attractions including Mount Baker, the San Juan Islands, numerous lakes, and the Nooksack River. Ferndale also enjoys a close proximity to Vancouver, British Columbia.

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I know that my daughter, a veterinarian, and also a federally licensed rehabilitator would enjoy paying a visit to the Sardis Raptor Center.

TripAdvisor not only provides a map for you but also has ten things to see and do that visitors can enjoy. The Silver Reef Casino is a popular choice of many seniors. Nestled within the City of Ferndale is an irreplaceable treasure called Pioneer Park. The Park represents one of the finest collections of original pioneer log cabins and contents in the Northwest.

Pioneer Park Interests Seniors

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These eleven log cabins, built by the early pioneers of Whatcom County, sat alone in the early forests and rough clearings. Left to deteriorate they had an opportunity for a new life at Pioneer Park. To save them from destruction they were moved from various locations over the course of several decades to this site next to the Nooksack River.

Others may be added in the future. It is a very interesting site, the buildings are labeled and are all authentic. The Park provides a rare opportunity for an excursion into by-gone days, showing senior visitors the remarkable lives of Whatcom County’s Pioneer ancestors.

Stop and visit this attractive community on your travels through Washington. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Enjoy Colorful Lodi, California

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I will admit upfront that the idea for this travel blog came off a bottle of Malbec wine.  It was bottled in Lodi, California. I did not know anything about the town or the region and that’s why this senior is off today to check out the town. Get your coffee and let’s enjoy some time in this delightful city.

Lodi (LOHD-eye) is a city located in San Joaquin County, California, in the northern portion of California’s Central Valley. The population runs right at 63,000 inhabitants. The local Visitor’s Center suggests that you “pass the afternoon sipping wine with a local winemaker, shop for that perfect antique or gift in our historic downtown, stroll barefoot along the beach at Lodi Lake, tour a museum, catch a concert or play at a performing arts theatre and dine in casual or upscale surroundings.” That sounds inviting, doesn’t it.

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Lodi is also a city in northern Italy where Napoleon defeated the Austrians in 1796 and won his first military victory. More than likely, some of the earliest settler families were from Lodi, Illinois and it is said that they chose to use the same name as their hometown.

Seniors Enjoy Lodi’s Mokelumne River

Senior visitors will find the calm and beautiful meandering Mokelumne River passing through Lodi. Explore both Lodi Lake and the Mokelumne River. Rent a kayak, peddle boat, or stand up paddle board. Ever try one of those? I have seen people who do that with a dog on their board. Consider a guided tour along the river, a picnic in a park, or take a hike along several nature trails where you will find a riparian habitat that is home to many species of mammals, reptiles and fish.

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Lodi is the home of the state’s largest wine-grape appellation. Senior visitors will discover why wine experts and visitors alike are referring to Lodi as one of Northern California’s top wine country destinations. Lodi is located 35 miles south of Sacramento and 90 miles east of San Francisco. I counted ten wineries with a Lodi address and several more not far away.

 Seniors Find Zinfandel Capital

Lodi is known as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World”. Although its vintages have traditionally been less prestigious than those of Sonoma and Napa counties, in recent years, the Lodi Appellation has become increasingly respected for its Zinfandel wine and other eclectic varietals.

Lodi has ten annual special wine events and a fascinating historical business district.  Many say that the downtown district has the feel of the early fifties. I discovered that the town is the birthplace of A&W Rootbeer and they celebrate that as well.

Over a thousand businesses call Lodi home.  Lodi is much more that just wine as you will discover, so set your GPS for San Joaquin County and enjoy the wide variety of amenities the area has to offer senior travelers. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY FLORIDA



Seniors Visit the Butterfly Capital of the World

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Yes, it is in Florida and the city is called Coconut Creek. This senior has visited some fine butterfly houses like the one in Vienna, Austria, (The Vienna Schmetterlinghaus) the Botanical Garden in Phoenix and a couple of others, but the one in Coconut Creek matches any and all in the world.

It is nicknamed Butterfly Capital of the World, because it is home to the world’s largest butterfly aviary, with over 80 species and 5,000 individual butterflies. It all began when Ronald Boender started raising butterflies and their food plants in their Florida home and it went sky high from there.

The city took its name from the many coconut trees that were planted in the area by early developers. Robert E. Bateman, one of the developers, named Coconut Creek after combining the names of Miami-Dade County’s village of Indian Creek and the Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove.

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Today the city has a population of around 56,000 and is part of the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is home to over five and a half million inhabitants.

Seniors Find Another Best City In America

Hi-lighted as one of the “Best Cities to Live in America” by Money Magazine, and a Top Ten Place to Live in Florida by Movoto and NerdWallet, annually Coconut Creek draws a host of folks of all ages to Broward County.

Senior visitors eventually head off to The Promenade at Coconut Creek, an outdoor lifestyle shopping destination with a wide array of upscale stores. Seminole Casino also is another major draw of visitors with over 2,400 Vegas-style and bingo-style machines.

1024px-Morpho_peleides_at_Butterfly_WorldTripAdvisor has sixteen attractions that you will not want to miss on your visit to Coconut Creek. Broward County notes that Coconut Creek is widely recognized as a well-planned community with a unique environmental consciousness. The city touts an abundance of trees, waterways, attractive landscaped roads, beautiful parks, and butterfly gardens throughout the neighborhoods.

Seniors Also Find A Community Wildlife Habitat

Coconut Creek is the first in the State of Florida and eleventh in the country to be certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat. Anyway you view Coconut Creek, it is the plethora of colorful butterflies in Butterfly World that would bring these seniors, me and my wife, to the city. In one word…they are awesome!

Toss your clubs in your vehicle and play a round or two at either the Adios or Wynmoor Golf Courses. Senior golfers will find several more courses in nearby Pompano Beach. So plan to visit Coconut Creek and discover the many amenities available and why the locals enjoy living in this community. -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH ILLINOIS



Seniors Stop At Lombard

DocumentSenior travelers find that Lombard is a village and a suburb of Chicago with a population that runs around 43,000. Lombard was officially incorporated in 1869, named after Chicago banker and real estate developer Josiah Lewis Lombard.

The city has a very interesting history. Originally part of Potawatomi Indian lands, the Lombard area was first settled by Americans of European descent in the 1830s. Lombard shares its early history with Glen Ellyn. Brothers Ralph and Morgan Babcock settled in a grove of trees along the DuPage River in what was known as Babcock’s Grove. Lombard developed to the east and Glen Ellyn to the west.

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In the mid-1830′s, early settlers were attracted to Babcock’s Grove, (as Lombard was called at the time) by rich farmland; more settlers came when the railroad route westward from Chicago followed the St. Charles Road Trail.

In 1837, Babcock’s Grove was connected to Chicago by a stagecoach line which stopped at Stacy’s Tavern at Geneva and St. Charles Roads. Fertile land, the DuPage River, and plentiful timber drew farmers to the area.

Seniors Enjoy The Lilac Festival

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Josiah Lombard purchased 227 acres of land in 1868 and spearheaded the incorporation of Lombard in 1869. Stylish Victorian homes appeared on North Main Street. The Lombard Historical Museum maintains a house museum in the style of one of these homes circa the 1870s.

The Maple Street Chapel, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1870 to serve a growing population. The “Lilac Village” as it is called, has much to offer senior visitors in part because of its proximity to Chicago.

If you enjoy the scent of lilacs… since 1930, Lombard has hosted an annual Lilac Festival and parade in May. “Lilac Time in Lombard,” is a 16-day festival ending in mid-May. Sixteen days…wow.

Lombard is loaded with scenery and a visit would not be complete without a few photos of the Little Orphan Annie  House on Lombard’s Main Street.

Seniors Visit Lilacia Park

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TripAdvisor has a listing of several attractions that seniors can enjoy, starting with the Lilacia Park, a 8.5 acre garden,  located at 150 South Park Avenue. It specializes in lilacs and tulips and is open to the public daily.

The park, once home to Colonel William R. Plum’s lilac garden, is now a park with poetic appeal. Originally the Plums purchased two lilacs, Syringa vulgaris ‘Mme Casimir Périer’, a double white, and Syringa vulgaris ‘Michel Buchner’, a double lilac color. The present collection of lilacs in Lilacia began with these two cultivars.

The park was bequeathed on the passing of Colonel Plum, a Chicago lawyer and Civil War veteran,  in 1927. With a name like “Plum” one can better understand why purple is supreme around Lombard. For me, a Master Gardener, I’d want to then head off to the Lombard Historical Society Museum to learn more about Lombard.

Senior travelers, make a stop in Lombard next time you are in the Chicago area.  You won’t regret it.  jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

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