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SENIORS TRAVEL ACROSS MONTANA



Seniors Enjoy A Weekend In Red Lodge

imagesRed Lodge, the county seat of Carbon County, Montana, seniors discover, is part of the Billings Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population runs just over 2,100. Red Lodge was originally a coal boomtown with as many as 22 mines and thus the name Carbon County.

 Senior visitors are invited to Red Lodge and the locals advertise that you must come see for yourself. Any time of year, Red Lodge is the perfect getaway. The Red Lodge Homepage notes that the town is tucked into a mountain valley between glaciers and plains.

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This unique community blends a love for the Great Outdoors with a strong spirit of hospitality and open friendliness.

Nearby, the 69-mile Beartooth Scenic Drive has a series of dramatic switchbacks overlooking snow-capped peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes and plateaus. CBS news correspondent Charles Kuralt called the Beartooth Pass the most scenic drive in America.

 Seniors Seek Out Scenic Hiking/Biking Trails

I counted five parks in Red Lodge so bring along your picnic basket and enjoy great scenery in all directions. Senior hikers, pack some good hiking boots or your bike and take the Rocky Fork Trail. For the only groomed trails in the area, check out Red Lodge Nordic Center, located west of Red Lodge on Highway 78. Over 15K of trails are laid out to take advantage of the inspiring views and easy-going nature of the terrain.

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Broadway Avenue in Red Lodge is a focal point of the community’s strong identity. The Pollard is a magnificently restored old town building in the heart of Red Lodge, where senior visitors enjoy traditional mountain hospitality and a number of top-quality hotel luxuries. Red Lodge is loaded with year-round festivities that bring in visitors from all over the world.

The city is full of amenities for folks of all ages, especially for those of us who crave the great outdoors. Spend a few hours in the Red Lodge Carnegie Library that has a collection of 12,000 books and periodicals.

Seniors Drawn to Old West History

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And for those of us who enjoy old west history, Carbon County Historical Society and Museum  has as its mission to preserve and communicate the history of the Carbon County area.

Red Lodge Mountain is close by for skiers. The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, formerly Beartooth Nature Center, is an educational adventure for the whole family where wild animal sightings are guaranteed. You can get up close and personal with over 60 rescued wild animals.

So set your GPS for Red Lodge and enjoy a town unlike many others in the Old West. It is in Red Lodge where visitors can experience true western hospitality in a quaint, historic, mountain town.  -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Pay A Visit To Springfield Gardens

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Coffee time this Sunday morning, senior friends, and we’re stopping in Springfield Gardens, a working class neighborhood in the southeastern area of the New York City borough of Queens.

The area was first settled by Europeans in 1660, and was subsequently farmed until the mid nineteenth-century. Today, senior visitors will find that the area maintains its low-rise suburban nature, and is home to many Caribbean immigrants of various ethnicity. It also is home to a majority African-American population.

So, why Springfield Gardens? Just because it is there. Senior visitors will discover that the borough is 14 miles from Manhattan. You can set your GPS straight north of JFK Airport in the Jamaica and southeast Queens neighborhood.

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The NY Times notes that it is “a place where some blocks seem more like the suburban Springfield in “The Simpsons.” The city has sought to protect the low-slung profile so much in evidence along 160th Street…in many ways, putting an expressive stamp on the area has also been an act of celebration on the part of the African-American population that migrated here from Manhattan and Brooklyn from the 1940s through the ’60s. Trading cramped apartments in run-down areas for roomy spreads in just-built neighborhoods bordered on a cathartic experience, some veterans of that era explain.”

 Seniors Discover Springfield Park

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A major draw to the area is the Springfield Park that consists of 23.54 acres, including the sizable Springfield Lake at its center.

The Park is located in a low-lying area that once had many springs, which is why 17th century settlers named the area Spring Field. Those settlers built a pond for irrigation purposes in the area that later became the park.

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Excelsior Prep High School provides students with a significant background in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). The Chamber of Commerce in Springfield Gardens provides services and information benefitting the entire community.

TripAdvisor  offers a variety of restaurants in Springfield Gardens. For seniors who enjoy a good Chinese menu, the Bamboo House on Springfield Blvd rates high with TA. A Jamaican restaurant called Creative Wraps is another that you will want to try out. It is a highly exciting borough. Enjoy your visit. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY MISSISSIPPI



Seniors Settle Into Natchez

2869632563_6e351e978bThe winners of the 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards for the Best Southern Small Towns are in. The contest, sponsored by USA Today and 10Best.com selected Natchez, Mississippi at #5. Incidentally, Natchitoches, Louisiana was #1.

Natchez, pop.16,000, is the county seat and only city of Adams County, Mississippi. So let’s go for a visit to Natchez and see for ourselves what makes it so special. This senior learned that Natchez is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River and it has more antebellum, historic homes than any other place in the country.

Those homes alone would make a visit to Natchez worthwhile to my wife and me. We enjoy visiting old historic cities like Natchez. Established by French colonists in 1716, Natchez was one of the most important European settlements in the lower Mississippi River Valley.

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Seniors Enjoy National Historical Park

The area around Natchez was loaded with early platform mounds that exist yet today. By the late 17th and early 18th century, the Natchez (pronounced “Nochi”), descendants of the Plaquemine culture, occupied the site.

The locals like to say that “Natchez is what you love about the south.” You’ll understand exactly what this means once you immerse yourself in the rich, vibrant history and culture of this charming southern city.

Natchez National Historical Park, popular with senior visitors, commemorates the history of Natchez, and is managed by the National Park Service. The Park celebrates the rich cultural history of Natchez and interprets the pivotal role the city played in the settlement of the old southwest, the Cotton Kingdom and the Antebellum South.

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A tour of the Natchez City Cemetery provides a glimpse back in time to the early days of historic Natchez, revealing the rich and colorful tapestry of this early southern city. Many of those who built the magnificent antebellum homes are buried there.

Seniors Also Enjoy Antebellum Mansions

Few cities offer and in-depth look at the past and present Southern lifestyle like Natchez. Walk in the footsteps of  Southern belles, cotton barons, Civil War soldiers, and Civil Rights pioneers. Senior visitors may visit a variety of antebellum homes like Longwood, also known as Nutt’s Folly, that is an historic antebellum octagonal mansion.  

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Folks of all ages enjoy the local museums for historical tidbits about the Natchez Indians or daily life in antebellum Natchez. From biking the Natchez Trace Parkway, visiting Longwood Plantation and St. Mary Basilica, there’s a vast array of Natchez attractions for every interest.

Enjoy bird watching, tour an ornate historic cemetery, meander through a walk-able downtown, and enjoy watching amazing sunsets over the Mississippi River. Stop at the Natchez Visitors Center that sits at the head of the Mississippi River Bridge. Its a great place to “get the feel” of Natchez featuring a 20-minute movie about city history viewed in a large comfortable theater.  -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL AROUND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA



Seniors Pay A Visit To Vacaville

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We seniors who know a little Spanish, know that vaca means cow. So what’s the history of this city called Vacaville in northern California? Well, I discovered that cows have nothing to do with Vacaville.

Once a stage stop for the Pony Express, the city was originally laid out on land deeded by Manuel Cabeza Vaca in August 1850. Its original plat was recorded on December 13, 1851. It became a city 41 years later in 1892.

Today Vacaville is one of California’s most charming cities and is often referred to as the fresh fruit capital of California. Downtown Vacaville attracts senior visitors to the city with its fine array of older buildings like the Vacaville Opera house, originally built by Sidney Clay Walker in 1897. And to appease your appetite,  Joe’s Creekside Cafe at 301 Main Street.

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Senior Find Orchards, Farmland and Rolling Hillsides

Vacaville lies midway between San Francisco and Sacramento on Interstate 80. The city has a beautiful setting bordered by rolling hillsides, fruit orchards and fertile farmland.  It’s rich history has transformed the community from a small agricultural town into a thriving and progressive city; now a diverse population of around 97,000.

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Vacaville remains a “small town at heart,” whose residents pride themselves on the high level of community involvement. The city holds the annual Vacaville Fiesta Days, which includes a parade featuring the public school marching bands, gymnasts, an electric car showcase and a host of fun activities.

Senior visitors are attracted to Nut Tree Plaza, a legendary California Road Stop. Set along Interstate 80 in Vacaville, Nut Tree began in 1921 as a small, family-owned fruit stand. Today, it’s a massive complex filled with shops and kid-friendly restaurants, including fast-food eateries and ice cream shops. Vacaville Premium Outlets is another main draw for shoppers.

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 Seniors Enjoy Vineyards And Historical Downtown

Let me fill up your travel shopping bag with more to take in: great nightlife, the Suisun Valley Wine area, great shopping and fine restaurants. Lagoon Valley Park, located just west of Vacaville, provides a multitude of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, disc golf, archery and kayaking. Vacaville is home to two state prisons.

Vacaville is surrounded by rich farmland and gentle rolling hills covered in orchards and vineyards. Fodor’s advises visitors not to miss the historical downtown that is lovely and with lots of annual events.

Senior visitors, when you are in northern California, don’t miss Vacaville.  Enjoy! jeb.

SENIORS ENJOY THE STATE OF NEW YORK



Seniors Spend Time In Poughkeepsie, NY

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Poughkeepsie, the Queen City of the Hudson River, is a town of 45,000 in the state of New York, and serves as the county seat of Dutchess County. National Geographic Traveler magazine named the Hudson Valley one of the “Top 20 Best of the World” places to visit in 2013.

Poughkeepsie was settled in the 17th century by the Dutch and became New York’s second capital shortly after the American Revolution. It was chartered as a city in 1854.

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I have always loved that name…Poughkeepsie, and find it easier to spell than a lot of other cities with difficult pronunciations. “Poughkeepsie” derives its name from a spring or stream feeding into the Hudson River south of the present downtown areas, where Indians once gathered to weave lodges from the cattail reeds.

Seniors Walk Over The Hudson

Poughkeepsie is home to Vassar College (1861), one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation. On the college campus is the Lehman Loeb Art Center, designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli. The Center is the oldest college art museum in the United States and houses over 18,000 works of art and is free to the public. Marist College, founded in 1929, and Dutchess Community College are two additional well known schools.

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Main Mall Row, a group of nine 1870s Renaissance Revival storefronts along Poughkeepsie’s Main Street is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Senior visitors will find lots to see and do in Poughkeepsie and enjoy shopping at the Arlington Business District that has a selection of quality specialty shops and fine dining establishments.

The beautiful Hudson River flows along side Poughkeepsie and a well-known bridge crosses the river.  Originally built as a railroad bridge in 1889, the Walkway Over the Hudson opened in 2009 as a pedestrian park.

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It is a great vantage point to view not only the Hudson River and ships passing by, but also a wide array of fall colors.

Over a mile and a quarter long from one end to the other, and 212 feet above the Hudson, it is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. When you plan your itinerary for a visit to town, put the Walkway on your bucket list.

 Seniors Enjoy The Waterfront

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And parks, my…300 acres of parkland in 22 separate parks. The Vassar Golf Course invites senior golfers of all abilities to play the 9-hole 2,500 yard course that dates  back to 1930. 

My wife and I would enjoy spending an evening at The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, in the downtown district. It is the oldest continuously-operating theater in New York State.

The Waterfront offers restaurants with great views over the Hudson River and fine places to spend an evening dinner hour.

Seniors, begin your Hudson River Valley getaway in Poughkeepsie. You will discover an abundance of natural scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, historic landmarks, restaurants, festivals and so much more.

Looks like a great place to spend a few days, seniors. Enjoy Poughkeepsie!  -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THE MAINE COAST



Seniors Spend Quality Time In Rockport

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Rockport, Maine, a popular tourist destination with a population of 3,500, has a longstanding reputation as an artists’ community. Seniors learn that notable artists and art institutions play a significant role in the town’s economic and social life.

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Rockport, or “the River” was settled in 1769 by Robert Thorndike. Goose River Village, as it was known until 1852, was originally part of the Megunticook Plantation.

Rockport got its name for the rocky terrain and its well-known limestone industry. The town supplied most of the stone used in the US Capitol Building in Washington DC after it was damaged during the War of 1812.

Andre the Seal Statue at the Rockport Marine Park is dedicated to a seal that was saved by a local fisherman, becoming a sort of local mascot. The marble statue was unveiled by Andre himself, 8 years before he died in 1986.

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Senior Visitors Enjoy Rockport Harbor

Rockport Harbor is highly scenic, whether you choose to sail or boat from the harbor or just dine at a waterfront restaurant where senior visitors can order a fresh steamed Maine lobster. Rockport Charters offers  views of local wildlife and lighthouse tours.

Bay Chamber Concerts has brought music, particularly classical music, to the midcoast area. Being on the Atlantic coastline, seafood reigns at 21 fine restaurants. Check out the many vacation rentals.

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Senior golfers can play a round or two at the 18-hole Oceanside Course said to one of the finest by Golf Digest. Or a round or two at the Samoset Resort Golf Course. Seniors can spend your favorite winter holiday at the Samoset an historic Maine resort.

Consider a cruise on the Schooner Yacht, Heron, from the Rockport Harbor. If you have a few days to spare and enjoy cruising, take a long sailing adventure, also known as camping on the water trips, that are available with the Schooner Timberwind.

 Seniors Meet Oreo Cookie Cows

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The Belted Galloway, more commonly known as Oreo cookie cows due to their black and white stripe coloring, are a surprisingly popular attraction. The 136-acre Aldermere Farm is highly popular with folks of all ages.

In the late 1800s, Rockport became one of the leading lime producers in the country, with production happening all year round. The town also became known for its “Lily Pond Ice” export. 50,000 tons of clear ice was harvested every year and exported to different countries around the world.

Rockport is one of those small harbor towns that senior travelers will not want to pass by on your way up the Maine coast. Enjoy your lobster, that cruise, the inviting ocean breeze and all the amenities that Rockland has to offer. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO NORTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND



Seniors Settle Into Settle

1 Settle, (pop. 8,421), is a bustling market town in one of the most scenic areas of the Yorkshire Dales. Historically, it is served by Settle railway station located near the town centre (note the Brit spelling).  Senior travelers will find Settle at the centre of Yorkshire Three Peaks. Settle is thought to have 7th-century Anglian origins, its name being the word for settlement.

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So what brings senior visitors to Settle? Lots. Settle’s market is held weekly on Tuesdays in Victoria Hall in the town centre. The Square is surrounded by local businesses, most of which are family-owned, with some offering items for sale unique to the Settle area.

The Naked Man is believed to be the oldest cafe in the country, so put it on your restaurant bucket list and whatever you do, bring along a hearty appetite.

Settle combines excellent surrounding landscape for outdoor activities with a bustling town centre, festivals and value for arts and crafts, making it a great base for tourists and locals alike. The village is ideally situated between the scenic Yorkshire Dales and the area of outstanding natural beauty, the Forest of Bowland.

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Seniors Love The Scenic Landscape

The surrounding limestone landscape abounds with dry stone walls, meadows, scars, peaks (three of them!), field barns, waterfalls, becks, caves, potholes ….. and sheep!  Senior visitors find that it is a great spot for exploring.

The #1 attraction seems to be Malham Cove and Gordale where you can take a good hike on the Gordale Scar Walk, so bring along a good pair of hiking shoes. Right behind for favorites is the Settle-Carlisle Line, a 73-mile (117 km) long main railway line in northern England. It is also known simply as the Settle and Carlisle.

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And then there’s Ingleborough, the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, at 723 metres. I’ll let you figure out the height in feet.

 Seniors Enjoy The Market And Railway Line

Settle is an ideal visit for outdoor lovers and seniors looking for peace and quiet. Nestled in the shadow of the striking Castleberg Crag, this sleepy town is famous for its lively outdoor market, breathtaking railway line and Victoria Hall.

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The local area contains a number of interesting caves and waterfalls, Victoria cave is located in the hills above Settle; it notably contained prehistoric remains. Attemire cave is close by as well as numerous smaller caves.

The waterfalls Scaleber foss and Caterick foss are worth seeking out. The caves and waterfalls can all be reached by walks from Settle. I found some photos that will whet your appetite.  Settle is on my travel bucket list and I invite you to add it to your’s. jeb

SENIORS JOURNEY THROUGH NORTH DAKOTA



Seniors Visit The State Capital

ND_bismarckBismarck on the east bank of the Missouri River and across the river from Mandan, was voted second most patriotic city in the United States. This second most populous city (62,000) in North Dakota after Fargo has undergone phenomenal growth. In 2014,  Forbes magazine ranked Bismarck as the seventh fastest-growing small city in the US.

The 19-story Art-Deco State Capitol is the tallest building in the state, located in central Bismarck, stands 240 feet in the air and on a clear day can be seen from 20 miles away. The state government employs more than 4,000.

As a hub of retail and health-care, Bismarck is the economic center of south-central North Dakota and north-central South Dakota. The city was named in honor of German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, they say, in hopes of attracting German investment to the area.

Seniors Find Custer’s Hang Out

800px-St._Mary's_Church_Hague Bismarck was founded in 1872 and has been North Dakota’s capital city since the State was created from Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union in 1889. The local Chamber welcomes folks of all ages to Bismarck-Mandan.

They note…”From an outstanding quality of life to a vibrant business community, our recent national accolades confirm what we already know…this is a great place to live, work and play.” Now hop in and take a leisurely drive through  Bismarck.

The Cathedral District is a historic neighborhood near downtown Bismarck and gets its name from the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. There are homes in the neighborhood dating back to the early 1880s. Driving around Bismarck you will find five colleges and a university.

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A main tourism attraction is Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, located 7 miles south of neighboring Mandan. It is where General Armstrong Custer hung out before the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

 Seniors Hike The Trails And Fish The River

Kirkwood Mall the the major shopping center attracts senior shoppers from all over the area. The Belle Mehus  Auditorium, a center for the arts in the area, is an historic building in downtown Bismarck dating to 1914.

Bring along a picnic lunch and some good walking shoes as Bismarck has a large park system and an extensive network of exercise trails. North Dakota is known for its fishing and hunting seasons for deer, pheasant, and waterfowl. Fishing is a year-round sport on the Missouri River bordering Bismarck.

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In February 2007, Bismarck broke the record for most snow angels made in one place. A total of 8,962 participants came to the capitol grounds for the event. That’s a lot of folks and a lot of wings.

The Bismarck Tribune is the city’s daily newspaper and was established in the 1870s. It is the oldest continuously operating business in town.

Seniors, pay a visit to Bismarck the next time you’re driving through North Dakota. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Find Adventure in Mountain Village, Alaska

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Mountain Village, elevation 16 feet, is the 4th largest city in Wade Hampton Census Area, Alaska, with a population of 827 hearty residents. Seniors will find Mountain Village on the mighty Yukon River near the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Mountain Village, 20 miles west of St. Mary’s, is a small Eskimo-Yup’ik village of approximately 700 inhabitants that manages to keep a relatively low profile and seldom does it make the urban newspapers. Cities near Mountain Village include Pitkas Point, St. Marys and Wade Hampton.

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The seasonal economy is based on fishing and subsistence. There are few full-time jobs, with the majority of employers being the City, school district, government, and native corporation. The Zip Code is 99632.

Seniors Find Town Accessible By River

The history books tell us that Mountain Village was first established with the opening of a general store in 1908. Prior to that it had only been a summer fishing camp. Local lore attributes the founding of Mountain Village to a Yup’ik man by the name of Chekohak.

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The original name of the village was Asa’carsarmiut, which means “beginning of the mountains to the north and to the south,” a reference to the 500 ft Azachorok Mountain that rises above the village.

This mountain, though nowhere near as massive as anything in the Alaska Range, was the first mountain encountered by those traveling up the lower Yukon River. That’s life in and around Mountain Village, an adventure as seniors discover.

The climate is primarily continental with temperatures that range from -44 to 80 °F and an annual precipitation of about 16 inches, with snowfall of 44 inches. The village is accessible by riverboat or barge from mid-June to October, and has summer road access to Pitka’s Point, Andreafsky and St. Mary’s.

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 Seniors Enjoy Beauty All Around

After the village was established in 1908, residents of Liberty Landing and Johnny’s Place immigrated to the area and a Covenant Church missionary school was built. In 1923, a post office was built, and since it was a fishing village, a salmon saltery was opened in 1956 and a cannery in 1964. Today the village is home to the Stivers, who are part of the Lower Yukon School District. Scenic beauty abounds in all directions.

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Jana outlines her journey as a new teacher to Mountain Village, a Yu’pik Eskimo village, with some neat photos. Her blog archive is filled with personal experiences including a moose hunting adventure.

Topix notes that modern conveniences like cellphones and the Internet increasingly make living in rural Alaska less rural and decidedly more intriguing. With small villages scattered across the largest state connected by frozen roads and air travel, Alaskans are innovative in many ways and seniors will feel welcomed in Mountain Village.

Senior travelers can fly into Mountain Village and there are several hotels. If you are “up for a travel bucket adventure,” Mountain Village awaits your arrival.  Enjoy your trip. -jeb

SENIORS JOURNEY THROUGH WASHINGTON



Seniors Pay A Visit To Lynnwood

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Lynnwood, Washington with a population that runs right at 36,000, is called a “bedroom to Seattle” its next-door neighbor and is a “hub city” due to its retail shopping.  Seniors ask, “why the name Lynnwood”?

A developer from Seattle planned to build something at Hwy. 99 and Alderwood Road, (now 196th St SW). He named the building “Lynn” for his wife and “wood” for Alderwood. Many other stores around took the name Lynnwood and became known as the Lynnwood Business District.

Whether indoors or outdoors, Alderwood Mall is Puget’s Sound’s favorite destination for shopping, popular dining and a host of entertainment venues. Me, I’d like to take in the AMC Cinema, a 16 screen movie-plex featuring IMAX movies that I always enjoy wherever I travel.

Seniors Find Gateway To North Puget Sound

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Senior visitors will find Central Washington University, Edmonds Community College and some fine secondary and elementary schools in town. Located just 16 miles north of Seattle and minutes from ferries, mountains, wineries and casinos, Lynnwood is the ideal gateway to everything the North Puget Sound has to offer.

Seniors can float a river, hike a mountain trail or shop till you drop. Lynnwood offers senior visitors beautiful city parks, extensive public art, historic Heritage Park, hiking trails, an aquatic center, a municipal golf course and a myriad of diverse dining options.

Outdoor music and performances during the long warm summer evenings are offered by Lynnwood and surrounding communities. Ethnic Fairs, Parades and Festivals plus a host of other celebrations that include dance, crafts and food are popular all year long.

Seniors Also Find Great Wineries And Breweries

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Washington State is known for great wine and the wineries and wine tasting rooms in Snohomish County are diverse, innovative and tasty.  Were you aware that Washington State ranks second, only to California, in the production of grapes used to create premium table wines in the United States? And if you can’t make Munich for Oktoberfest this fall, there are over 75 micro-breweries and 350 different types of beers being produced in the state.

Take in a Seattle Mariner baseball game at Safeco Field in Seattle, only a 30 minute drive away. And if you enjoy the WNBA, the Seattle Storm plays their games in Key Arena in Seattle and the Seahawk and Washington Huskies football teams pack the house as well.

And just imagine a city with 17 public parks sprinkled throughout the area. Bring your bike or a pair of good hiking shoes and trek the Interurban Trail. Hop in and take a drive through Downtown Lynnwood and all its green scenic beauty.   -jeb

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