SENIORS ENJOY VISITING WASHINGTON



Seniors Find Burlington/Skagit County Scenic

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Burlington is a city in Skagit County, Washington with a population around 8,500. Dotted with hundreds of lakes and blessed with millions of acres of forest land, Skagit County has something for every senior sportsperson: fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, rock-hounding and even paragliding.

Originally, Burlington’s businesses were centered around Fairhaven Avenue. Today, Fairhaven Avenue is the center of Burlington’s old downtown, and provides a gathering place for the whole city during the annual summer Berry Dairy Days.

Fishing is a top attraction. “As one of the longest rivers on the West Coast, the Skagit River meanders from its headwaters high in Canada 150 miles to its delta just southwest of the world-famous tulip fields of the Skagit Valley.

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Seniors Awed By The North Cascades

“In less than 35 minutes you can be in mountains, taking in the beautiful North Cascades. The North Cascades National Park Complex spans the Cascade Crest from the temperate rainforest of the wet west-side to the dry ponderosa pine ecosystem of the east.”

Burlington began as a logging camp, established by John P. Millett and William McKay, in 1882. It was officially incorporated on June 16, 1902. Today Burlington is locally famous for its proliferation of shopping malls and for having some of the best youth sports fields in Washington.

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A short 35 minute drive from Burlington west on Highway 20 will bring you to scenic, historic and unforgettable Deception Pass State Park, a 4,134-acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline as well as 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on four lakes.

Senior Hiking/Biking Paradise

Seniors can enjoy a stop at the Trainwreck Bar and a visit to the Sakuma Brothers Farm. Then there’s Orca whale watching, white water rafting and kayaking through Deception Pass. Senior hikers and bikers can enjoy bicycling through the Valley or hiking one of the many trails in the national parks and forests. The views will take your breath away.

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 Senior visitors will love the Skagit Valley. The Skagit River system is home to many year-round resident Bald Eagles but each winter their numbers increase dramatically with the return of spawning salmon. In all, five different species of salmon return to the Skagit River to spawn, then die along the shores of the river. With such an abundance of food during these circle-of-life phenomena, eagles have found the Skagit to be an excellent fishing spot.

Then there’s Skagit Speedway, the premier motorsports facility in the northwest United States. Each year hundreds of thousands of fans of fixed-wing dirt track racing flock to the Speedway to enjoy an evening of exciting fun.

Hiking trails abound in the region and vary widely as far as difficulty. Senior hikers, try the flat Cascade Trail that follows an abandoned railroad line.  So what are you waiting for senior travelers? Burlington sounds like a great destination area. -jeb

SENIORS DISCOVER MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, MAINE



Seniors Enjoy A Top Destination In The US

5816684222_055f700ccd_b Senior travelers, TripAdvisor recently listed the Top 25 Destinations in the US and up came Mount Desert (pronounced like dessert) Island as #15. News to me as the others I had heard of and even have written blogs on several of them.

Mount Desert Island, is the largest island off the Down East coast of Maine, always referred to by the locals in Hancock County simply as “The Island.

French explorer Samuel de Champlain’s observation that the summits of the island’s mountains were free of vegetation as seen from the sea led him to call the island “île des Monts Déserts”, or Island of the Bare Mountains.

There are four towns on Mount Desert Island with beautiful seashore views for visitors to enjoy. The Island is crowded with visitors during the summer months, but seniors can still find solitude by taking one the Island’s famed hiking trails. Shore Path is an enjoyable walk along the ocean next to Bar Harbor. Summer visitors discover that each of the villages has its own unique flavor and attractions.

 Seniors Find Crown Jewel In Acadia National Park

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Bar Harbor is the largest town, but Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor on the southwestern end affords senior visitors with both a quieter and more affordable stay. Frenchman Bay, named for Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who visited the area in 1604, is a popular aquatic scene.

Acadia National Park—one of the most popular parks in the United States—is Mount Desert Island’s crown jewel: some 40,000 acres of mountains, river valleys, glacial lakes, bluffs, and beaches. Mount Desert Island is rich in geological history dating back to approximately 550 million years.

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The island has a year-round population of 10,500+, although it is roughly estimated that two and a half million tourists a year visit Acadia National Park.

Seniors May Run Into Some Notables

The island is home to numerous well-known summer colonies such as Northeast Harbor and Bar Harbor. A few of current notable summer residents include George Mitchell, Tim Robbins, David Rockefeller, Susan Sarandon, and Martha Stewart. Nature abounds as do scenic views in every direction.

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Mount Desert Island has a rich history, established culture and thriving economy separate from Acadia National Park. The island has a  population that swells every summer.

Senior travelers will not want to miss the fantastic drive along the 27-mile Park Loop Road and then perhaps hike one of the great trails. Enjoy your time on Mount Desert Island. Perhaps I will see you there. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Settle Into Helsinki, Finland

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 Senior friends, pour yourself a cup of coffee ad let’s head up north to Helsinki, Finland’s capital. You will find this popular tourist destination sitting on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland.

Its central avenue, Mannerheimintie, is flanked by institutions like the National Museum, that traces Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present. Also on Mannerheimintie are the imposing Parliament House and Kiasma, a contemporary art museum. Ornate red-brick Uspenski Cathedral overlooks a harbor. The population runs right at 630,000.

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 Helsinki is sure to leave a lasting impression on its senior guests. This charming city boasts an array of attractions, historical sites and grand structures that sit next to the city’s other half, the ocean itself which stretches along the Gulf of Finland, the easternmost projection of the Baltic Sea.

Seniors Enjoy This International Metropolis

The “Daughter of the Baltic” has been the Finnish capital since 1812, when it was rebuilt by the tsars of Russia along the lines of a miniature St. Petersburg, a role it has played in many Cold War movies.

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Today, Helsinki pulls off the trick of being something of an international metropolis while still retaining a small-town feel. The best time for seniors to visit Helsinki is in summer, when Finns peel off their overcoats and flock to outdoor bars and cafes to enjoy the sunshine. The city is officially bilingual, with an 86% Finnish-speaking majority and a visible 6% Swedish-speaking minority.

Helsinki is among the world’s northernmost capitals and the lengthy winter, from November all the way up to March, is dark and freezing. You can find several quality tours of the city both on foot and by water.

Seniors Find Beautiful Seaside City

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Helsinki is a vibrant seaside city of 300 beautiful islands, great green parks and many historic buildings. Helsinki was founded in 1550 by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden as a trading post.

The Ateneum is Finland’s best-known art museum and the home of Finnish art. The Cathedral, by Carl Ludvig Engel, rising on the northern side of the Senate Square is the stage of national and academic festive services and one of the most popular tourist sights.

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Lonely Planet notes that Helsinki is a “quirky adventure”, the capital of a country with watery geography,  that “entwines so spectacularly with the Baltic’s bays, inlets and islands”.  TripAdvisor suggests seniors check out the Fortress of Suomenlinna, the Rock Church, and the Seurassari Island and Open-Air Museum. 

While Helsinki can seem a younger sibling to the Scandinavian capitals, it’s the one that went to art school, scorns pop music and works in a cutting-edge studio. Despite being a capital and a popular tourist destination, Helsinki is considered to be a safe city.

So visit with your  travel agent and make plans to visit this exciting city way up north. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL IN CONNECTICUT



Seniors Visit the Best Small Town in Connecticut

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Sherman has been named “Best Small Town in Connecticut” three times by Connecticut Magazine. The Appalachian Trail goes through the northern end of Sherman and part of Squantz Pond State Park is in the town.

Sherman is the northernmost and least populous town of Fairfield County. The population runs right at 3,600. The town was formed in 1802 and is named for Roger Sherman, the only person who signed all 4 founding documents of the United States of America.

He had a cobblers shop in the north end of town which has been reconstructed behind the Northrup House in the center of town.

 Seniors Enjoy a Winery and a Playhouse

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Senior visitors can enjoy a visit to White Silo Farm and Winery, an award winning farm and winery located in the attractive foothills surrounding Sherman. White Silo Farm is a family operated boutique winery where you can also harvest a variety of berries, fruits and vegetables.

I’d want to follow up with an evening at the Sherman Playhouse with my wife. For over 89 years the Sherman Players has provided Sherman and the surrounding communities a full range of high quality theatre.

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History is packed into every corner in Sherman however it was only after the flooding of Candlewood Lake that Sherman began to increase in size. Candlewood Lake attracts many visitors and would be a great spot for a picnic. This artificial lake is the largest in Connecticut.

 Seniors Walk The Historic District

The Sherman Historic District is a favorite for senior visitors who enjoy a walk around and through older structures. A old historic federal house was named for the Northrop family, prominent Sherman residents for several generations.

The Old Store and Museum, the first store at this site is listed in the Sherman land records as a mercantile belonging to David Northrop, Jr. in 1829.  It was acquired by the Society in 1999, preserved with the intent of “reviving” the Old Store.

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Featuring displays from its past, the Old Store has a wide range of gifts for the family and for friends. The Old Mercantile sold for every need, so does the Museum Shop of today.  A store museum c. 1867 gives visitors a chance to reminisce and a second floor gallery shows rotating historical and art exhibitions.

Tobacco was a large cash crop grown during the early 1900′s. Considered to be of superior quality, it was dried in barns and shipped out as the wrapper leaf for cigars.

Facebook has a take on Sherman including the evaluation and opinions of folks who have been there. Seniors, swing by Sherman for a memorable visit. -jeb

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Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS DISCOVER SOUTH COUNTY, RHODE ISLAND



Seniors Find A Real Treasure

00001I rarely focus in on a county or country per se, but this exception pays off for senior visitors in Rhode Island. South County’s vacation appeal reaches to charming villages, rolling countryside, historic sites and hundreds of acres of woodlands.

 Senior travelers will enjoy unlimited opportunities for hiking, canoeing, cycling, shopping and touring. History and culture are evident throughout South County as well.

Historic inns and bed & breakfast establishments offer senior visitors the opportunity to personally experience Colonial- and Victorian-era South County.

Regional history thrives at local museums like South County Museum, Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Smith Castle, while summer stock theatre productions delight audiences at charming Theatre by the Sea.

Seniors Enjoy Cultural Hotspot

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South County is long recognized as a cultural hotspot with its thriving arts scene. The numerous art galleries alone are a major draw for many tourists. Parks and recreation areas dot the landscape.

The Matunuk Oyster Bar would be high on my choices for a dining experience, learning about all the work the owner goes through to put oysters on the table in his Bar.

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South County’s reputation for coastal beauty precedes itself.  With 100 miles of breathtaking coastline, the wide variety of beaches are the jewels in Southern Rhode Island’s crown. From tame, foot high, family friendly waves to pristine stretches of sand, South County is an ideal spot for seniors seeking rejuvenation.

Seniors Enjoy South County’s Villages

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Historic downtown Westerly is another major draw along the coast. I would put the South County History Center on my bucket list as it is located at the Old Washington County Jail ( 1858-1861) in historic Kingston Village.

TripAdvisor offers 184 things for senior visitors to see and do. TripAdvisor further notes that South County is one of New England’s favorite vacation spots.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for adventure or you want a peaceful setting where you can simply relax and unwind, South County is the perfect vacation destination.

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For you oenophiles, South County features some awesome vineyards. Scarborough, Misquamicut, Narragansett, Charlestown, and Matunuck beaches, offer open sand, some surfing, equipment rentals, and pavilions with plenty of summer food.

Senior travelers, you are welcome in South County, a place you can’t help but enjoy -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY VIRGINIA



Seniors Head for Fairfax County, Virginia…

hd-vienna-va-2…and here’s why: seniors, it’s for a visit to Vienna, a town ranked third by CNN/Money and Money magazine on its list of the 100 best places to live in the United States.

Vienna…brings back memories of my daughter’s and my trip to Vienna, Austria a few years ago. What a neat trip that was!

In addition to highly ranked public schools, this town of 16,000 includes a downtown with many small businesses, a Washington Metro station,  and a portion of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, with a hiker/biker trail cutting through the center of town.

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 Seniors Learn Interesting History

In 1754, prominent soldier and landowner Colonel Charles Broadwater settled within the town boundaries. Broadwater’s son-in-law, John Hunter built the first recorded house there in 1767, naming it Ayr Hill, recalling his birthplace, Ayr, Scotland.

That name was subsequently applied to the tiny, developing community. The name of the town was changed in the 1850s, when a doctor named William Hendrick settled there on the condition that the town would rename itself after his hometown, Phelps, New York, then known as Vienna.

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Senior travelers will find Vienna just south of the Potomac River and west of Washington D.C. Fabulous high-end shopping and dining can be found at Fairfax Square, a shopper’s heaven that includes Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and Morton’s Steakhouse. The steakhouse looks good to me.

Seniors Find A ‘Safest City’

Senior visitors can find a performance of their choosing at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. And then there’s Meadowlark Botanical Garden that folks say is “utterly enchanting”. This Master Gardener would first head for the Garden.

FYI… Vienna was recently named one of the 15 safest places in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Seniors, set your GPS for Vienna and explore all  that this city has to offer. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Seek Sun And Fun In Trinidad and Tobago

imagesSeniors, get your coffee, we’re headed for the nation of  Trinidad and Tobago, off Venezuela’s coast in the southern Caribbean.

With a Creole culture incorporating African, European, East Indian and Chinese traditions, it’s known for its distinct cuisine, calypso and soca music, and boisterous Carnival celebration.

Home to diverse flora and fauna, including some 400 bird species, the red Chaconia is the national flower of Trinidad and Tobago and thus the red color of their flag. Trinidad & Tobago’s population is around 1,225,225.

 Seniors are invited to experience “the True Caribbean” in Trinidad and Tobago.

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 Seniors Find Wealthy Country

Trinidad and Tobago is the third richest country by GDP per capita in the Americas after the United States and Canada. Furthermore, it is recognized as a high income economy by the World Bank.

Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, the country’s economy is primarily industrial with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. The country’s wealth is attributed to its large reserves and exploitation of oil and natural gas. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas.

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Trinidad and Tobago have distinct personalities. Trinidad is the larger of the two, the country’s industrial center and is the location of most of the country’s cities and activity. Tobago is known for tourism, its main industry, and is a popular tourist destination.

 Seniors Find A Place Of Beauty

Both islands have their  share of natural beauty. TripAdvisor suggests that senior travelers not miss the Nylon Pool, an in-sea shallow white ground coral pool, accessible by boat. Its name is derived from its resemblance to a swimming pool. Next is Pigeon Point Beach, often considered Tobago’s most beautiful beach.

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Arawak and Carib Indians prospered on the island the Amerindians called Ieri, land of the Humming Bird, until Columbus spotted the island he named for the Holy Trinity.

LonelyPlanet says, “Trinidad and Tobago are an exercise in beautiful contradiction. In Trinidad, pristine mangrove swamps and rain forested hills sit side by side with smoke-belching oil refineries and ugly industrial estates.

Tobago has everything you’d expect from a Caribbean island, with palm trees and white sand aplenty, yet relatively unchanged by the tourist industry. This twin-island republic offers unparalleled bird-watching, first-class diving, drumming and dancing, luxuriant rain forests prime for hiking, waterfall swimming and cycling, and electric nightlife, with the fabulous Carnival easily the biggest and best of the region’s annual blowouts.”

Seniors, set your sail for Trinidad and Tobago and enjoy your visit.  -jeb

Filed under : Caribbean, Editors Choice

SENIORS ENJOY NOVA SCOTIA



Seniors Get Their Feet Wet In Peggy’s Cove

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Peggy’s Cove is a small rural community that senior travelers find  is famous for the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse. Peggy’s Cove is 43 kilometers (26 miles) southwest of Downtown Halifax and comprises one of the numerous small fishing communities located around the perimeter of the Chebucto Peninsula.

The community is named after the cove of the same name, a name also shared with Peggy’s Point, immediately to the east of the cove. The village marks the eastern point of the St. Margaret’s Bay.

Peggy’s Cove is famed for its picturesque and typically East-Coast profile, with houses perched along a narrow inlet and on wave-washed boulders facing the Atlantic.”

Seniors Enjoy Fishing Village

Peggy's_Cove_Ropes,_Nova_Scotia,_Canada Although this unique environment has been designated a preservation area, it is still an active fishing community. Nova Scotia is home to over 160 historic lighthouses, but no beacon is as photographed as the one in the vibrant fishing village of Peggy’s Cove.

The first recorded name of the cove was Eastern Point Harbour or Peggs Harbour in 1766. The village is likely named after Saint Margaret’s Bay, Peggy being the nickname for Margaret, which Samuel de Champlain named after his mother Marguerite.

There has been much folklore created to explain that name. One story suggests the village may have been named after the wife of an early settler. The popular legend claims that the name came from the sole survivor of a shipwreck at Halibut Rock near the cove.

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From its inception, the community’s economy revolved around fishing. However, tourism began to overtake fishing in economic importance following the Second World War. Today, Peggy’s Cove is a major tourist attraction, although its inhabitants still fish for lobster, and the community maintains a rustic undeveloped appearance.

Seniors Go For The Fresh Seafood

The regional municipality and the provincial government have strict land-use regulations in the vicinity of Peggy’s Cove, with most property development being prohibited. Similarly there are restrictions on who can live in the community to prevent inflation of property values for year-round residents.

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 The restaurants and cafes in the area offer senior visitors the freshest Nova Scotia seafood. Lobster is a specialty, but don’t miss a feed of mussels or a meal featuring the wonderful fresh St Margaret’s Bay haddock.

Scenic beauty abounds in all directions and salt air fills your lungs . Senior travelers can enjoy the great outdoors, history, shopping or simply “taking time to smell the roses” along the Nova Scotia coast. A warm maritime welcome and down home hospitality await your visit. Seniors, enjoy Peggy’s Cove. -jeb

Filed under : Asia/Pacific, Canada

SENIORS TRAVEL TO ALASKA



Seniors Head North To Ketchikan

Welcome to KetchikanKetchikan, population 8,214, is an Alaskan city that senior travelers will find facing the Inside Passage, a popular cruise route along the state’s southeastern coast. It’s known for its many Native American totem poles, on display throughout the town.

Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “first city” due to its location at the southern tip of the Inside Passage. This city, 689 miles northwest of Seattle, is the first city you reach as you cruise north, and for many visitors, their first introduction to the beauty and majesty of Alaska.

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Nearby Misty Fiords National Monument is a glacier-carved wilderness that features snow capped mountains, waterfalls and salmon spawning streams. It’s also home to rich wildlife including black bears, wolves and bald eagles.

Seniors Like The Totem Poles

Its history goes back to 1885 when a fellow named Mike Martin purchased 160 acres of land from Chief Kyan, and this area later became the township of Ketchikan.

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The Cape Fox Tlingits and Tongass used Ketchikan Creek as a fish camp. They called the area ‘kitschk-hin.’ The large resources of timber and fish attracted the non-natives to Ketchikan. In 1892, the Ketchikan Post Office was established. Seven canneries were in operation by 1936. Later on, several lumber mills opened in the city.

The living, artistic traditions of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples gave rise to the original totem poles that are on display in The Totem Heritage Center. Senior visitors can enjoy the Ketchikan Public Library, the oldest continually-operating library in the State of Alaska, founded in 1901.

 Seniors Enjoy Alaska’s First City

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There are a good number of lakes like Fawn Lake and Scout Lake, where your chances of landing one are good, so toss in your best rod and reel. I’d want to visit the Tongass Historical Museum where seniors will learn the history of Alaska’s feisty “First City.” The Museum tells the authentic tale of Ketchikan as a Native fish camp, gold and copper mining center, fishing port, timber town, cannery site, transportation hub, and lively community.

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Then there’s Dolly’s House – the only “den of iniquity” that still stands today at Number 24 Creek Street. Its green dollhouse appearance looks much like it did during its heyday. Inside you’ll find photos of Dolly, the cabbage rose wallpaper she favored, and you might even spot the “secret closet” in Dolly’s bedroom, where she stashed contraband liquor during the Prohibition years.

The 40 acre Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, 8 miles from Ketchikan, has tall stands of spruce, hemlock and cedar trees with a forest floor saturated with mosses, wild flowers and a variety of berries.

Ketchikan, the fifth most populous city in the state, is truly the beginning of the last frontier. Set at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s famed Inside Passage—a network of waterways that snake through some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful wilderness in the world—Ketchikan is best known for three things: feisty salmon, idyllic scenery, and an incredibly rich Alaska Native culture.

Seniors, enjoy Ketchikan. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL SOUTH TO DEL RIO, TEXAS



Seniors Find ‘The Oasis of Texas’

del-rio-texasDel Rio, “The Oasis of Texas,  with a population of 40,500, senior travelers will find by driving west of San Antonio for 150 miles. Del Rio is connected with Ciudad Acuña which is located in the Mexican state of Coahuila south of the Rio Grande River. This metropolitan area is also known as “Tierra de la Amistad”.

Del Rio is home to Laughlin Air Force Base, the busiest United States Air Force pilot training complex in the world. Del Rio’s growth got a huge boost when the Amistad Dam and Reservoir was built on the Rio Grande River in 1969. Built for flood control, irrigation, power, and recreation, today, it is a major recreational area.

Del Rio thrives with a ranching economy of primarily Angora goats and sheep, supplemented by tourism, trade with Mexico, and the Air Force military base with a population of 1,650.

Senior Visitors Seek Out The Amsted National Recreational Area

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Del Rio was originally known as San Felipe Del Rio however the name was shortened to Del Rio by the USPD in 1883. The city of Del Rio can trace its history back to the 17th century, when Spanish colonists unsuccessfully attempted to settle the north and south side of the Rio Grande.

San Felipe Creek provided ample water for farms, orchards, and vineyards thanks to its many springs. Today, these springs feed millions of gallons of water into the creek, creating Del Rio’s pristine swimming holes, including Blue Lake and Horseshoe Park.

The Amistad National Recreational Area is a major draw for senior visitors. The beautiful blue water Lake Amistad was formed when the Rio Grande was dammed in 1969 and encompasses around 70,000 surface acres, which are shared between both Mexico and the United States.

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History and Art abound in Del Rio. Justice of the Peace Judge Roy Bean is buried in Del Rio. See if you can find his tombstone.

 Seniors Enjoy Bass Fishing, Cave Art and Bull-Riding

Senior visitors can enjoy The Whitehead Memorial Museum, a western museum complex in downtown Del Rio. Don’t miss the huge Star of Texas made totally out of diamondback rattlesnake tails. Val Verde Winery is the oldest continuously running winery in Texas established in 1883 by Italian immigrant Frank Qualia.

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Lake Amistad has some of the best bass fishing in Texas and the area is rich in archeology and rock art, and contains a wide variety of flora and fauna. Del Rio is home to the George Paul Memorial Bull-Riding, the oldest stand-alone bull riding event in the world.

Senior explorers can examine some of the oldest Native American cave paintings in North America and savor a glass of cabernet sauvignon or Sangiovese at the oldest winery in Texas.

Del Rio, Texas is an all-year vacation destination ideally suited for those seniors who love to explore the great outdoors. Enjoy Del Rio. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

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