About: Jim Becker


Articles by: Jim Becker


Seniors Seek Out Cartersville


Senior visitors will find Cartersville  within the northwest edge of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The population runs right at 20,000 and today is perhaps one of the oldest inhabited areas in the United States.

What now is known as Cartersville, was inhabited by Indians of the Woodlands era. About 200 BC these Middle Woodland Indians began to flourish in northwest Georgia. Today archeologists refer to this group as the Cartersville Culture. Eventually they adopted ceremonies and beliefs from a larger group centered in the Ohio River Valley known as the Hopewell Culture.

Cartersville was known as Birmingham to its original English settlers. The town was incorporated as Cartersville in 1854. The present name is for Colonel F. Carter. Cartersville was designated the seat of Bartow County in 1867 following the destruction of Cassville by Sherman in the American Civil War. Cartersville was incorporated as a city in 1872. The Etowah River runs nearby and adds to the town’s scenic charm.


 Seniors Checkout Downtown Cartersville

Downtown Cartersville is small but quite historic, which is what makes this small town one seniors will want to visit. The Grand Theatre holds shows for several schools and companies, such as the Steps of Faith Dance Company and Cartersville City Ballet. Downtown Cartersville has annual Christmas parades and monthly car shows. Georgia Highlands College is located in Cartersville.

The Tellus Science Museum is a world-class 120,000 square foot museum located in Cartersville. Senior visitors can check out the 80 foot-long Apatosaurus and a replica a Wright flyer.

I’d want to visit the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site in Cartersville. The area was home to several thousand Native Americans from 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.D. The 54-acre site protects six earthen mounds, a plaza, village site, borrow pits and defensive ditch.


Etowah Mounds is the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeast  and showcases ceremonial mounds that date from 1,000-1,500 A.D. Artifacts in the museum show how natives of this political and religious center decorated themselves with shell beads, paint, complicated hairdos, feathers and copper ear ornaments.

 Seniors Find Character And Charm in Cartersville

Head into Downtown Cartersville for charming boutiques and memorable local restaurants. Visits to the Smithsonian Affiliates Booth Western Art Museum and Tellus Science Museum, Bartow History Museum, Rose Lawn Museum and as mentioned above, the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site are a must. The Booth Western Art Museum rates #1 with TripAdvisor.

The Cartersville Downtown Development Authority is highly visible and they note that “whether you are a first time visitor to Downtown Cartersville, or have lived here for years, you are invited to explore dozens of colorful shops and a variety of fine restaurants, from southern flavor to fine dining.


Learn about the local history at Bartow History Museum and See America’s Story at Booth Western Art Museum; attend outstanding performances at the Grand Theatre and Legion Theatre. Or simply take a walk or drive through historic neighborhoods.”

Senior visitors are invited to enjoy the character that Cartersville, Georgia offers. Located in the former Train Depot, let the Cartersville Welcome Center welcome you to this charming town.

I leave you today with a tribute to small town Cartersville. No charge for the music on this video. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Visit Macau

macau_positionI just learned that Macau was selected as one of the top 25 places in the world to visit in 2016. Seniors, get your coffee and let’s go there for a closer look to see why. Macau is a small peninsula in mainland China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong.

A Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. Its giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname, the “Las Vegas of Asia”.

One of its more striking landmarks is the 338m-high Macau Tower, with sweeping city views. The history of Macau (The City of Dreams)  is traced back to the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE).

 Seniors Visit One Of The World’s Richest Cities

Macau, also spelled Macao, is a special administrative region on the southern coast of the People’s Republic of China. Macau is one of the world’s richest cities, and it became the world’s largest gambling center in 2006. Its economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism, as well as manufacturing. This Travel Guide on Macau can put senior travelers in touch with major attractions and things to see and do.


Lonely Planet notes that the city lies 65km to the west of Hong Kong, has 566,000 inhabitants and is a city of duality. Its fortresses, churches and the culinary traditions of its former Portuguese colonial masters speak to a uniquely Mediterranean style on the China coast.

These are intermixed with the customs, alleys, temples and shrines of its Chinese heritage. On the other hand, Macau is the ‘Vegas of the East’, the only place in China where gambling is legal.


Seniors Enjoy Colonial History Of Macau

Wikitravel kicks in with their take on Macau and wants you to know that Macau was one of the earliest European colonies in Asia and the last to be relinquished (1999), giving it a more visible colonial history than Hong Kong.

Walking through the old city, senior visitors could be convinced they were in Europe – if the streets were devoid of people and signs in Chinese, that is. The Portuguese and Macanese populations continue to maintain a presence but, as expected, most of the population is native Chinese.


Besides the city itself, Macau includes the islands of Taipa and Coloane, which are connected to Macau by bridges and to each other by a causeway, now built up into the Cotai Strip.

TripAdvisor has over 200 suggestions for senior visitors to consider in Macau, starting with the Casino at Venetian Macao. The Historic Center of Macau is where I would want to start my visit.

Unique Macau will put you in touch with videos that can serve as itinerary guides prior to a visit. Enjoy your stay. -jeb


Seniors Head West To Bozeman

entry_sub1Bozeman, the county seat of Gallatin County, Montana, senior travelers learn, is in the southwestern part of the state. Bozeman is called “The Most Liveable Place.”

The city is named after John M. Bozeman who established the Bozeman Trail and was a key founder of the town in August 1864. Bozeman is a college town, home to Montana State University. The city is served by Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.


In 1863 John Bozeman, along with a partner named John Jacobs, opened the Bozeman Trail, a new northern trail off the Oregon Trail leading to the mining town of Virginia City through the Gallatin Valley and the future location of the city of Bozeman.

Seniors Admire Bozeman’s Location


One of MSU’s greatest assets is its location. Bozeman is known as one of the top towns for outdoor recreation and high quality of life in the country; just look at its top rankings in magazines like Outside, National Geographic Adventurer, Powder Magazine and Fly Rod.

Runner’s World magazine recently named Bozeman’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Run to the Pub the No. 2 “must-run” half marathon in the nation.

Seniors, Bozeman averages 300 days of sunshine and because of the dry climate, summers are pleasant with warm days and cool nights. Mild winter weather is not unusual, and more than a week of consistently frigid weather is infrequent.

Bozeman is small enough to have a personality and big enough to have all the amenities of a city. The area attracts artists, photographers, filmmakers, authors and entrepreneurs who want to work close to nature. Cultural offerings include a symphony orchestra, opera, theatre and ballet companies.


 Seniors Discover A ‘Dream Town’

There’s a reason Bozeman (pop. 38,000) has been dubbed a “dream town” by Bizjournal.com and lauded for offering high quality of life by National Geographic Adventure. Add the cultural amenities of a local symphony and ballet, the vibrancy of a college community, and an energetic downtown-Bozeman is the complete package.

Senior travelers, when you fly in over the Bridger Range or drive into the valley and find yourself surrounded by mountains, it’s easy to understand why people want to live, work and play in this place.


Bozeman’s Main Street was named one of the “10 Great Streets for 2012″ by The American Planning Association and their program, Great Places in America. Enjoy world-renowned fly fishing, dramatic mountains for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, hunting, and backcountry exploring. Then there’s Yellowstone National Park, and all its impressive wildlife.

Me, I’d head for Downtown Bozeman and take a good stroll around and then I would head over to the Gallatin History Museum and discover all that has happened in this area. Seniors, enjoy all the amenities this great city has to offer. -jeb

Seniors Visit Florida’s Sea Islands

Seniors Flock Over To Amelia Island

imagesAmelia Island is part of the Sea Islands chain of barrier islands, on Florida’s Atlantic coast. If seniors are looking for a tranquil getaway, give a good look at Amelia Island, along Florida’s northeast coast.

Just 30 miles from Jacksonville, it is a world apart. Golden-hued sands and guided horseback rides along the shore. Dolphin and osprey and maybe even a glimpse of the endangered right whale. Today it’s a popular holiday destination known for its luxury resorts, golf courses and numerous sandy beaches.

Named for Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of Great Britain, the island has changed hands between colonial powers a number of times. It is claimed that eight flags have flown over Amelia Island: French, Spanish, British, Patriot, Green Cross, Mexican, Confederate, and United States.

Seniors Find ‘A Pearl In The Necklace’


Travel & Leisure notes that Amelia Island is A Pearl in the Necklace of barrier islands that hug the Atlantic Coast from South Carolina to Florida. Now part of Nassau County, Florida, Amelia Island has been claimed by many colonial powers and native people-from Indian tribes to pirates-all of whom have left their mark on the small island.

Thankfully, travel to Amelia Island these days is short on piracy and long on golfing featuring 117 holes of championship-caliber golf.

A timeless destination known for pristine nature and uncrowded beaches, it offers world-class golf, spas and restaurants, plus a rich history. It is 30 minutes from JAX International Airport and 90 from St. Augustine. Senior visitors learn that the Fort Clinch State Park, the Amelia Island Historic District and the Fernandina Beach are not to be missed.


Rich in history and natural beauty, senior visitors will enjoy 13 miles of pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and clear, calm waters. Amelia Island and its quaint charm has been a beloved destination for generations.

Seniors Enjoy Golf, Events and Historic Pirate Town

Amelia Island  is host to the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, a Jazz Festival, Chamber Music Festival, Film Festival, the automotive charitable event Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and a Blues Festival.

There are seven golf courses on Amelia Island. One of the most popular resorts is Amelia Island Plantation, a 1350 acre AAA Four Diamond resort that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west.


Senior visitors learn that the northern third of Amelia Island is dominated by the historic pirate town of Fernandina Beach, birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Much of the red brick architecture along Centre Street reflects the 1800s and early 1900s.

While Fernandina is normally a sleepy little town, each May thousands of visitors from around the Southeast crowd Centre Street for the annual Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival.

Perhaps Amelia Island is best known for its huge bluff-height dunes and white sandy, wide beaches. Spend a few days on Amelia Island and you will return home with many fond memories. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy San Luis Potosí


I have been all over Mexico, but not to San Luis Potosí, commonly called SLP or simply San Luis. This capital city in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí is home to over 722,000 inhabitants. Seniors, get your coffee, we’re off to Mexico today to a Bucket List city.

San Luis Potosí, which has some of the richest silver mines in Mexico, is also where Gonzales Bocanegra wrote the Mexican national anthem in 1854. The state, San Luis Potosi, is a glorious secret for senior outdoor adventurers, encompassing territory as diverse as rainforest and high desert and scored by hundreds of majestic mountains.


Located in North-Central Mexico, the state is bordered by 9 other Mexican states, making it the state with the most borders with other neighboring states. The mean elevation is about 6,000 ft ensuring a temperate climate for the most part.

TripAdvisor notes three dozen things that senior visitors can see and do, starting off with the Huasteca Potosina and the beautiful Cathedral. Me I’d want to be sure to take in a site called the Cave of Swallows (Sotano De las Golondrinas).

Seniors Find Colonial Charm

The city is full of “Colonial Charm,” but then Mexico has that in all four corners. Historically, while scant information exists on the state’s pre-Hispanic era, the Huastecos, Chichimecas and Guachichile Indians are believed to have inhabited the lands that now comprise San Luis Potosí as far back as 10,000 B.C.


The grand old dame of colonial cities, San Luis Potosí was once a revolutionary hotbed, an important mining town and seat of government to boot. Today the city has maintained its poise as the prosperous state capital, orderly industrial center and university seat.

The city’s colonial core is made up of numerous plazas and manicured parks that are linked by attractive pedestrian streets. Although not as striking as Zacatecas or Guanajuato, this lively city’s cultural elegance is reflected in its delightful colonial buildings, impressive theater and numerous excellent museums. I am good at wandering, ask my wife…how about you?


Seniors Enjoy Big, Awesome Architecture

From El Mirador, a famous waterfall, Tangamanga Park and great museums, I’d want to be sure to wander around the Historic Downtown area starting in Founders Square that dates back to 1592. Don’t miss the Water Tank, a neoclassical monument quarry.

San Luis Potosí is synonymous with big and awesome architecture. Many buildings are made of quarry in Baroque style that contrasts with the lordly and elegant neoclassic style prevalent in the city as well as in the local architecture of the houses with their characteristic facades and the large, iron window frames.

Senior travelers, enjoy the many amenities of this awesome Mexican city. -jeb


Seniors Drop by Lufkin


Lufkin, a city in Angelina County in eastern Texas, was founded in 1882. The population is approaching 36,000. Senior travelers will find Lufkin in what is known as “Deep East Texas.”

The city is named for Abraham P. Lufkin, a cotton merchant and Galveston city councilman. Lufkin was the father-in-law of Paul Bremond, president of the Houston, East and West Texas Railway which developed the town.

Located in the beautiful Texas Forest Country, Lufkin is conveniently located near major cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Waco. Lufkin remains peaceful and quaint while serving as a regional hub for retail shopping, medical facilities, industry, and government.


 Seniors Find Home to Industry, Candy and Grocery Chain

Lufkin is home to Lufkin Industries, which manufactures and services oil field equipment and power transmission equipment, and supplies of creosote-treated utility poles. It is also home to the Atkinson Candy Company, the creator of the Chick-O-Stick, and Brookshire Brothers, a chain of grocery stores in Texas and Louisiana.

Check out the longhorn steers on this video called “My Home Town.” Angelina College is a community college in Lufkin with special-purpose branches in nearby Nacogdoches and Crockett. The student population runs little over 5,000.


Senior golfers, toss the clubs in the trunk and play a round or two at the Lufkin Golf Club then relax in the Kit McConnico Park or stroll along Ratcliff Lake. Plan a visit to the Naranjo Museum of Natural History in Lufkin that unveiled an almost 4 billion-year-old moon rock display that is on permanent loan from NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Seniors Enjoy Cultural Center

Since its inception in 1976, the Museum of East Texas has grown to become a dynamic cultural center. Originally in a historic 1906 church, the Museum contains an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures produced by East Texas artists as well as American, Latin American and European masters.


Care to learn all about early logging in the area? Then the Texas Forestry Museum will be to your liking where you will can enjoy a “Hands on Experience” of early Texas. For those of you who enjoy early history, this museum is a must.

The Ellen Trout Zoo is highly popular with visitors, seniors to children and began offering educational programs to schools in the area in 1977.  After your visit to the Zoo, you are invited to shop, dine and enjoy the 50 name-brand stores, specialty boutiques, restaurants and service providers at Lufkin Mall.

Seniors, plan to spend some quality time enjoying Lufkin when you are driving through East Texas. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Archeological Tours


Grab your coffee, seniors, we’re checking into archeological tours today. If you enjoy archeology, as I do, check out  Archeological Adventures. You will also discover a wide range of museums throughout the world that focus on ancient ages. You are invited to journey back in time and some even offer biking as part of a tour.


This former teacher of French would enjoy an archeological tour of southern France. “Archeological Tours create a customized tour to take in the artistic splendors of France, from the earliest times to the present. This can include, depending on your interests and time available, the spectacular cave art sites of south west France, the enigmatic Neolithic carvings of southern Brittany, the stunning Medieval and Renaissance architecture and art in the Loire Valley, Ile de France, Picardy and Normandy, the exquisite Bayeux tapestry.”


Guatemala, Rome, Easter Island and China rise to the top from among the many interesting choices. You will want to get acquainted with the AIA, Archaeological Institute of America that can help senior travelers find just what they might be looking for.

Seniors Enjoy Comfortable to Luxurious

The Archeological Conservancy offers tours to the remote jungles of Honduras. Archeological tours offer in-depth land trips that range from comfortable to ultra-luxurious and cruises aboard small ships that dock and anchor at historic ports and towns that larger ships are unable to visit.


Throughout the world senior archeology enthusiasts will come in contact with a heart of history that is very exciting. The Yucatan Peninsula, an exciting trip for my wife and me, offered great sites that included Chichen Itza and Tulum. Read what USA Today has to say about this portion of Mexico.

If I wanted to take in Egypt, I would visit the Land of the Pharaohs with the most famous archaeologist in the world – Dr. Zahi Hawass. There is no better person to lead you through the fascinating history of ancient Egypt than Dr. Hawass. For over 20 years he held all the keys to the Egyptian antiquities and he is renown throughout the world for his expertise.


Seniors Enjoy Learning Vacations

Tara Tours will help you discover the Ancient treasures of the Moche, Chimu, Nazca and Inca civilizations, while you travel through some of the most spectacular geographical locations on earth. Peru is a country full of interesting archaeological sites. Perhaps biblical archeology is up your alley, mingling with archaeologists and Bible scholars who share their latest research and findings.

Archaeology tours explore bygone cultures to learn what shaped and drove these ancient societies along with their politics and technological developments, and how they helped shape our modern world.


Andante Travels offer over 120 archaeological tours that focus on cultural holidays, exploring every corner of the ancient world. Elder Treks features adventure tours for folks over the age of 50, that’s us.

Seniors, what are we waiting for? Check them all out!  -jeb


Seniors Seek Out Bethpage

Bethpage1Bethpage is a hamlet located on Long Island within the Town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County, New York. The population runs just over 16,000. Seniors, are you wondering where the name, Bethpage, came from? Me too.

A devout Quaker, Thomas Powell, bought the land from Native Americans and named the area after the Biblical town Bethphage, which was between Jericho and Jerusalem in the Holy Land. Present-day Bethpage was part of the 1695 Bethpage Purchase.

Powell’s land was situated between the settlement of Jericho and what had previously been referred to as Jerusalem (now Wantagh). How about that bit of history for you historians?


 Seniors Find Education And Golf Important In Bethpage

Bethpage is home to Hofstra University as well as Briarcliff College, the NY Institute of Technology, Farmingdale State College and Nassau Community College.

Check out all the ducks in Bethpage Lake. And also check out and view what Facebook has lined up for visitors. Senior travelers can easily fill in a planned itinerary off this site.  TripAdvisor chimes in right behind with their choices of must see and must do sites with 56 restaurant choices.  Looks to me like a gourmet mecca.


Toss in your clubs and play a round or two at the Bethpage State Park Golf Course. A word of warning however as The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which is recommended only for highly skilled golfers.

Among those highly skilled are Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover, who captured the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens in this place. So what! Give it your best shot or head for Pebble Beach or Augusta or maybe Saint Andrews in Scotland.

 Seniors Also Visit Old Bethpage

Bethpage is home to the Grumman Corporation that was a major supplier of military aircraft during World Wars I and II. Grumman also built the first Lunar Module which was sent to the moon.


At its height, Grumman employed over 25,000 workers on Long Island.  It eventually merged and became Northrop-Grumman.  It sill maintains a large presence in Bethpage, however today the corporation is based in California.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides senior visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th-century American village. The 209-acre village includes an assortment of homes, farms and businesses.

Each fall, the village hosts the Long Island Fair, a traditional county agricultural fair that draws tens of thousands of visitors. After 170 years the Long Island Fair continues as the only county fair sanctioned by New York State for the counties of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk.

Senior travelers are sure to discover a host of amenities in and around Bethpage to keep you busy and interested.  -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Find The “Other Vienna”


About the Town of Vienna: It is a 36-square-mile geographic and governmental unit located in northern Dane County, Wisconsin. Senior travelers will find Vienna conveniently located just north of Madison, home of the State Capitol.

The Town population is estimated to be 1,523 as of August 1, 2016. The unincorporated community of Norway Grove is located in the town.

The area around Vienna  is unique. Dane County is a special place, home to more than 500,000 residents, Wisconsin’s State Capitol, world-class colleges and universities including the University of Wisconsin and Madison College, good schools, more than 60 cities, villages and towns, and some of the most productive farms in the state and the nation.


In Dane County, senior visitors can enjoy beautiful natural spaces with fish-filled lakes, rivers and streams, and parks abundant with opportunities for rest and relaxation. Dane County is also home to one of the few free zoos in the country.

Seniors Find Horses, A Cow And An Elephant

The Vienna Equestrian Center is a popular site for folks who enjoy horses. They offer both rough/pasture board or stall board.


In town, seniors will find trails for hiking, biking, and even bird watching. There are also ponds and streams for fishing, canoeing and kayaking nearby, an Outdoor Sports Center and A Sissy the Cow and Pinkie the Elephant.

Wisconsin welcomes senior visitors. Locals share hidden gems and festivals happen at the drop of a hat. Generations of families make memories and would like to share the real Wisconsin with you.

 Seniors Enjoy The Dairy State

So stop by the Vienna Tourism Office in the Comfort Inn, located in the Town of Vienna. You can find connection to the Village of DeForest, Village of Windsor, Village of Waunakee and Village of Dane.

In addition, visitors will find an easy access both on and off of Interstate I90/94/39 where you will find lodging, food, gas and anything else you might need during your travels in Wisconsin, the Diary State. -jeb


Seniors Stop In Casares


Casares Spain is a picture postcard village with a population of just three thousand and senior travelers will find that the view from the approach is worth a photo. Casares is one of what is called Andalucia’s “White Towns.” To say that Casares is beautiful is an understatement.

Located about 20 km inland from the Costa del Sol town of Estepona, Casares is of Arab origin and  has been designated a Historical-Artistic Site. Its main attractions are the quaint streets, the ruins of the Medieval castle and the Birthplace of Blas Infante. I’d want to check out the Old Roman Spa with ferric sulfurous baths that were rebuilt by the moors.


Casares Castle is perched on a limestone massif overlooking the region’s valleys, hills and meadows. It is an ancient Arab fortress and its remains include towers, walls and two gates.

 Seniors Enjoy Enchanting Village

Most of the so called White Villages are beautiful, but there is something very special about the sight of Casares that causes the visitor to park the car and check out the village. It is a little difficult to believe that this enchanting Spanish village lies only nine miles from the hustle and bustle of the coast and somehow succeeded in avoiding the typical tourist circuit.


This village, situated on a bed of limestone, has many attractions, including the birthplace of the political Blas Infante, considered the “Father of the Andalusian Homeland”. This is also where Julius Caesar supposedly was cured of a liver complaint, thanks to the sulfuric waters that still pour out of the local spring.

The 12th century Castle, around which grew the present town center, was founded by the occupying Moors. Seniors, plan your stay around one of the special celebrations in Casares. The main fair (Feria) of Casares takes place during the first weekend in August. The day of the patron saint, the Virgen del Rosario, is celebrated in the first week in September, and in the middle of January is the Feria del Cristo. The most important of the Romero takes place the last Saturday in May, so take your pick.


 Seniors Find Narrow, Steep and Winding Streets

The old original fortress at the pinnacle of the village lies 1,400 feet above sea level, which would have been a superb vantage point during a time of invasion and piracy. The village streets are narrow and wind steeply so be prepared for a steep and energetic climb, rather than a tranquil stroll through the village. Senior visitors, wear good shoes.

Casares is one of the most scenic and photographed White Villages in Andalucia and is ideally located to offer something for everyone in Southern Spain. Don’t miss it. Enjoy. -jeb

Filed under : Europe, Family Travel

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