About: Jim Becker


Articles by: Jim Becker


Seniors Pay A Memorable Visit To The Big Apple

imagesYes, most everyone knows what the “Big Apple” is, it’s NYC. Been there yet, seniors? New York, often called New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the State of New York, is the most populous city in the United States (8.4 million) and the center of many world class businesses.

It is one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world and welcomes over 50 million visitors a year. New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance (Wall Street), media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment (Broadway). And yes, I discovered that NYC has its own Official Website Homepage with lots of helpful information for senior visitors.


There is so much to see, so many places to visit, and so many things to do. Visiting New York City attractions can be pricey, but not for New York Pass holders. No need to skip some Attractions because of the costs, with the New York Pass you can visit them all (Google it).

Senior Visitors Like The ‘Smart Card’

Senior travelers need to know that The New York Pass is a ‘smart card’ – like a credit card with a computer chip inside – which allows you completely cash free entry to over 80 New York tourist attractions.

I recommend a Gray Line Double Decker Tour of NYC. Buy this ticket for 48 hours of Hop-On, Hop-Off double-decker fun that includes the Downtown Loop, Uptown Loop, Brooklyn Loop, Bronx Loop and Night/Holiday Lights Tour. I liked very much what TripAdvisor had to say on NYC: “conquering New York in one visit is impossible”.


They advise that you concentrate on the “must sees” like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Museum of Modern Art and then head off the beaten path to maybe the Cloisters or a famed library.

Expedia has a  Vacation Travel Guide Video on NYC that will provide a nice overview prior to your visit.

 Senior Discounts In New York City

When as asked for “facts of NYC” I discovered 20,300,000 results.  Good luck. Now start choosing from among those that make good sense to you as a senior visitors. nota bene:As people get older, sometimes it seems as though opportunities for entertainment, enrichment, and all around fun disappear. But in New York City, opportunities for senior citizens abound.

MuseoartemetSenior citizens get special discounts almost everywhere in New York City, and there are deals to be had for tours, performances and tourist venues that are available to the savvy of any age.

Many NYC attractions, museums, and events even make a point of offering special discounts for seniors in order to encourage them to buy tickets.

Enjoy your visit to the “Big Apple”. Take a bunch of good bites and fill your memory book and memory chips with some great experiences. -jeb


Seniors Visit Zaragoza

Unknown Zaragoza, also called Saragossa in English, a large city with a population of nearly 700,000, is one of Spain’s major cities. This capital of the Region of Aragon is located on the banks of the Ebro River, halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. Seniors discover Zaragoza to be one of the great monumental cities in Spain.

My wife and I have found that Spain has a plethora of marvelous historic cities and monuments and  scenic beauty wherever you travel. The city center in Zaragoza is conveniently small, with walking distance between most sites of interest. The city is a  veritable architectural treasure.

Senior history lovers and slow strollers are in for a real treat in the Old Town (Casco Historico) and Downtown (Zona Centro) areas, that display uncountable splendid buildings and monuments that bear witness to the city’s 2000-year-old history.


Seniors Enjoy The Capital Of Culture

Zaragoza, the Capital of Culture, has a history extending as far back as the 7th century B.C. when it was a Carthaginian outpost. In 24 B.C., the city was invaded by the Romans and in 714 A.D., the Arabs came to call during their conquest of Spain. It wasn’t until 1118 during the Reconquista that Spanish Christians regained control of the city and made it the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon.

The University of Zaragoza was founded in 1542. The school can trace its origins back to the Ecclesiastical Schools of the 7th century and today has more than 35,000 students and 3,500 professors. Thanks to the huge university campus, there is a growing young population that guarantees a busy night life.


Many buildings from the empires that ruled the city are still visible today. If you are a senior art enthusiast and are seeking out the great art of Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Zaragoza is incredibly significant.

Goya, the city’s greatest citizen, was born in the nearby town of Fuendetodos. The modest home where Goya spent the first few years of his life has been fully restored and is now a national monument.

Zaragoza, A Senior Destination


Zaragoza is an interesting destination to consider. Senior travelers can make various walks of the most important tourist areas or perhaps pick your landmarks and aim to discover the city. Zaragoza offers food and drink for every budget and taste. But enjoying the local tapas is a gastronomic must.

The best way to enjoy Zaragoza’s monuments is to stroll through its attractive streets where you can sense the wealth of its 2,000 years of history. The city walls, churches, basilicas, palaces, stately houses and squares of the old quarter reflect the different civilizations that settled the city. Romans, Moors, Jews and Christians all “left their indelible mark on the Spanish soul.”

Put Zaragoza on your travel-bucket list and make plans for a visit. – jeb


Seniors Find Pigeon Forge

pigeon forgeWith a name like that this senior just had to find out more on this city. My son recently took his family to a log cabin in the mountains near Pigeon Forge.  They had a wonderful time and can’t wait to go back.

The name “Pigeon Forge” comes from an iron forge built by Isaac Love (1783–1854) sometime around 1820. The name of this forge referred to its location along the Little Pigeon River, in the vicinity of what is now the Old Mill.

The name of the river comes from the flocks of passenger pigeons that frequented its banks at the time of the first Euro-American settlers’ arrival. Love’s son, William, also built a tub mill ten years later and today the Old Mill is a National Historic Site.

Seniors Find A Mountain Resort City


Pigeon Forge is a mountain resort city in Sevier County, Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States. The city has a population just under 6,000. The locals like to call the area ‘The Land of More’.

Located about five minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park  and about seven minutes from Gatlinburg, Tenn., entertainment options range from the Dollywood theme park (one of the best family attractions in the South) to hiking in the Smokies.

Pigeon Forge is a relatively inexpensive destination, especially if seniors can avoid the weekends. The city is a “second home” to over 11 million visitors a year who come to enjoy affordable attractions. A plethora of popular attractions, rides, amusements, theaters, museums, and gift shops line the five mile main parkway through town, all serviced by Trolleys.


 Smokies, Appalachian Wilderness And Dollywood

TripAdvisor notes that it is set against the misty blue backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a gateway to 500 thousand acres of Appalachian wilderness.

If hiking over 800 miles of mountain trails and camping in dense ancient forests isn’t your thing, head over to Dollywood for a different sort of fun. Founded by country queen, Dolly Parton, Dollywood combines roller-coasters, water-slides, and live bluegrass and gospel concerts, with a down home country fair.


Check out some of the other major attractions that bring in so many folks. It is the “Center of Fun in the Smokies.” The Titanic Museum, an Elvis Museum and WonderWorks (an entire building that is constructed upside down) keep visitors coming to the area.

The local Chamber of Commerce is highly active and promotes the city in every way possible. Where senior visitors can stay, things to see and do, where to eat, shopping and more all on their site. Pigeon Forge has become the southeast mecca for car and truck enthusiasts. The calendar of car and truck show events runs from April through September.

Enjoy your visit to Pigeon Forge.   -jeb


Seniors Check Out Zelienople

customLogo.gifWith a name like Zelienople, I just had to pay a visit to discover what’s there for senior visitors to enjoy and the derivation of the name of the town. I learned that Zelienople is a borough in Butler County, Pennsylvania, 28 miles north of Pittsburgh. It’s small with a population right at 4,000.

The borough is situated on the south bank of Connoquenessign Creek in an area that is rich with coal and iron ore. Me, I find the names Connoquenessign Creek and Zelienople kind of go together, don’t you agree? Zelienople is called a ‘Modern Place with Old Fashioned Grace’.


There’s plenty for senior travelers to do,  from exploring museums and art galleries to enjoying the breathtaking scenery of great parks and rolling countryside. Relax at the spa, hit the greens or take in a memorable wine tasting experience.

Seniors Find Interesting Name, Interesting History

Zelienople was named for the eldest daughter, Zelie, of Baron Dettmar Basse (1762–1836).  Baron Basse arrived in 1802 from Germany and purchased a tract of 10,000 acres of land in Butler and Beaver counties.


He proceeded to lay out a village and build his own private residence, a three-story castle, complete with towers, turrets and battlements, named “The Bassenheim” (Basse’s Home). Basse then established a sawmill, brickyard, and an iron furnace.

For the past 44 years, one of the major annual events is the town’s summer Horse Trading Days Arts and Music Festival. Crafters, vendors, entertainers and tourists are drawn from the entire tri-state area to participate in the family-oriented event that features concerts, games, contests, shopping, food, and a 5-mile (8 km) run/walk event.

 Zelienople-Harmony Area Interests Senior Travelers


The neighboring town of Harmony grew from a pacifistic commune established by the Pietist “prophet” Johann Georg Rapp in 1803.

The 4000 acres, purchased from Barron Basse became the Harmony Society whose members pledged to combined their worldly goods and live as one spiritual family.

Steeped in rich history, the Zelienople-Harmony area provides senior tourists and travelers a variety of interesting facts and curious folklore.

Senior golfers, bring your clubs and play a round at the Cranberry Highlands Golf Course. TripAdvisor suggests you check out the Strand Theater.The Mussig Flower Shop is another worthwhile stop, along with both Fishers Bar and Restaurant and Rumors Bar and Grill for some quality dining. As you explore the streets of Zelienople, you’ll notice a fine old building on Main Street up a few doors from The Passavant House.


Stop at Zelienople’s Main Street Park at the four corners where there are a variety of events at the Annual Country Fall Festival.

Music, food, historic encampments, farmers market, pony rides and farm pets, antiques, crafters, and maybe take a free ride in a horse drawn trolley wagon and dine in a friendly restaurant. It’s all there in Zelienople -jeb


Senior Trips…


Grab your coffee, friends and let’s talk about vacation options for our senior travels. There are dozens of traveling options for seniors and About.com is a great resource to help you find that perfect fit for you. I like their Top Destinations for Seniors as well as several of their Guided Tours.

If I were young again, I would certainly consider a Peace Corps opportunity.  How about you? A volunteer vacation is the perfect way to get to know the heart and soul of a country.


Get away from the crowds and connect with the local people.  Discover what it is like to travel with the National Peace Corps Association. Trips from 10 to 14 Days in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

USA Today had an article that speaks directly to us travelers. “Travel helps senior citizens live longer”, University of Arkansas’ geriatrician and author Dr. David Lipschitz told “The Dallas Morning News.”

And seniors who find themselves suddenly single and  afraid to journey solo, there are travel organizations that have special programs designed for single seniors.

 Senior Travelers Seek Out Top Destinations


HomeAway has many destination guides for you to consider. For many people, retirement opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The kids are grown and on their own, and you are no longer tied to your work.

This is your chance to get away, see the world, play lots of golf, and enjoy life to its fullest with family and friends. The world is your oyster, so why not spend your days out exploring.


 Senior travelers can find information about top destinations in the U.S. and Canada. No matter which state you visit, you’ll find many things to see and do. You’ll enjoy gorgeous scenery, entertaining shows, top-notch museums and more as you travel around the U.S.


I just had to include this site called RETIRED BRAINS for you to look at.  It is loaded with Senior Vacation Ideas. Exploritas is the new name chosen for the very successful Elderhostel program. The program offers nearly 8,000 educational tours in every state and over 90 countries.

Elderhostel, Now Exploritas Targets Seniors

The Elderhostel program, now called Exploritas, has been the not-for-profit leader in educational travel since 1975.

Exploritas effectively targets seniors who value in-depth, engaging travel experiences. This  organization serves seniors looking for a vacation that involves lectures, field trips, and learning.

Here are what Daily Women Talks lists as their Top 8 U.S. traveling destinations for seniors. I really liked their photos that highlight each of those sites.

Seniors, enjoy searching for a super trip somewhere in the world.  We have lots of options. -jeb


Seniors Roll Into “Buffalo City”


Jamestown, a year-round vacation area, is the ninth largest city in North Dakota, with a population around 16,000. Jamestown was founded in 1872 and today is known as “Buffalo City” , home to the World’s Largest Buffalo. Senior visitors will find Jamestown in the valley where the James and Pipestem rivers meet the city. 


Jamestown was founded in 1872 and General Thomas Rosser of Northern Pacific named it after his hometown in Virginia. Jamestown offers a variety of entertainment, excellent accommodations, and fine dining.

Jamestown is home to both the National Buffalo Museum and the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. Museum exhibits include Plains Indian artifacts, artwork, 19th century firearms used by bison hunters, remains of prehistoric bison, a children’s room featuring wildlife of North Dakota, and a video presentation about the history of bison.

Seniors Enjoy the Sports Hall of Fame

The Sports Hall of Fame honors those who have made outstanding contributions in sports. Roger Maris is an example who spent his youth in Jamestown. Phil Jackson, head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Darin Erstad, Travis Hafner and Jim Kleinsasser all hail from North Dakota.


Jamestown, also known as Pride of the Prairie, extends friendly hospitality to senior visitors. Whether touring the Frontier Village, a re-created prairie town of more than 20 buildings, viewing a live herd of buffalo, visiting historical sites, or joining folks for a tournament at one of the town’s sporting complexes, you will enjoy Jamestown.

Senior visitors can enjoy the great outdoors with 21 lakes, a variety of campgrounds, and over 35 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

 Seniors Find A Basilica, Wagon Train And White Cloud


Housed in the historic Arts and Crafts-style Lutz Mansion, the Stutsman County Memorial Museum features period antiques and memorabilia in such themed rooms as the Library, Railroad Room, Music Room, Parlor, Kitchen, Ballroom, Country Store, Barber/Beauty Shop, Nursery Room, Medical Room and the Post Office. The Museum is open from June to October.

The Basilica of St. James is a major landmark in Jamestown. This stunning American Gothic-style church was erected between 1910-1914. It has been designated a Basilica by the Holy See because of its antiquity, dignity and historical significance. Guided tours are available by appointment.


Drop by and see White Cloud, a female white buffalo, rare indeed. Perhaps visit the campus of the Jamestown College, home of the Jimmies. Follow the Jamestown Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jamestown’s downtown area offers a self-guided walking tour which includes the childhood home of Louis L’Amour, a world-renowned western author.

Seniors, stop in on your way across North Dakota and plan to spend a day or two enjoying the sites and attractions in and around Jamestown. jeb


Seniors Find ‘The First Town In The First State’

imagesLewes is located on the Delaware Bay in eastern Sussex County, Delaware with a population of 3,000. Senior visitors will be welcomed to a quiet but progressive town where the sun, the sand, and the sea are still the number one attractions.

Founded in 1631, the townspeople have taken great pride in their historic heritage and enjoy the opportunity of sharing it with visiting seniors. Among the town’s several honors, it professes to be “The First Town in The First State.”


Lewes is named after the town of Lewes in England, which is situated in Sussex county. The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Lewes as one of its Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

Lewes is home to one of Delaware’s oldest buildings, erected in the 17th century. Southern Living magazine called Lewes a “Delaware Seashore Surprise.” They suggested that visitors take the ferry across the Delaware Bay to Cape May, New Jersey, and back again just for the thrill of it. Coastal Living calls Lewes “The Sleeper on the Bay,” highly complementary and deserving.

Seniors Find Beautiful Beaches, Nature Trails And Bird Sanctuaries

On a map, Lewes is situated where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet at Cape Henlopen. Nowhere can the beauty of Cape Henlopen State Park be equaled. In this preserved land senior visitors will find miles of beautiful beaches, nature trails and bird sanctuaries. All the natural beauty includes a spectacular bay and ocean vistas, a unique saltwater lagoon (Gordons Pond), and the Great Dune which rises 80 feet above sea level.


A two-mile paved trail recently was added for walkers, runners, cyclists, and skaters. For senior hikers, Lewes is a walking town. Within a half-square mile you will find the Historic District, museums, several Inns, Bed & Breakfasts, fine restaurants, and a variety of fine shops.

Worthwhile sites you will not want to miss include the Zwaanendael Museum built in 1931 that was created to honor the 300th anniversary of Delaware’s first European settlement, Zwaanendael, back in 1631.

Cape Henlopen State Park is a 5,193 acre Delaware State Park. William Penn made the beaches of Cape Henlopen one of the first public lands established in 1682. The Bay and ocean beaches in and near Lewes provide swimming, fishing, boating and other water-sports. Beaches, nature trails and the Seaside Nature Center can be found at Cape Henlopen State Park.

So drop by Lewes and enjoy this historic and fun city. jeb


Seniors Head North To Enjoy Unionville


Unionville is a suburban village in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Senior travelers will find it 33 km northeast of downtown Toronto. History comes to life in and around the streets of Unionville.

Settled in 1794, the village became a milling center through the middle and late 1800s. It’s been a hub of social and cultural importance ever since. Unionville’s name was derived from Ira White’s Union Mills built in 1839.

The merchants of Main Street Unionville offer an amazing array of wares in their shops, from couture fashion and accessories to fine home decor, a variety of sweets and so much more. The historic Main Street Unionville attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Seniors Take In Historic Main Street Unionville


Main Street also has a number of “century homes” dating to the 19th century. All along historic Main Street Unionville, senior visitors will find structures that are virtually unchanged from its founding back in 1794.

Renowned for its pubs, parks, restaurants, and its historical European view, the road hosts the annual Unionville Festival, which draws several thousand visitors the first weekend in June. Those visitors come for live music, fun and games like treasure hunts, pet contests, karaoke sing-offs and the spectacular colorful parade of the Governor Generals Horse Guards.


Unionville has a number of regular events ongoing throughout the year including a Jazz Festival in August, the Unionville Heritage Festival held on Labor Day, Canada Day and Thursday Nights at the Bandstand that go on all summer long.

Pubs, Century Homes And Walking Paths Draw Seniors


Developed in the early 1840s when Ira White built Union Mills, historic Main Street Unionville attracts senior visitors who come to enjoy dining in some great restaurants and pubs, shopping in interesting gift shops and “century homes” dating back to the 1800s.

Tourism is a major part of the economy of Unionville and the historic village or downtown section is typical of a small town that developed over a century or so starting in the early 1840s. Senior visitors will find many historic buildings that draw their attention.


For hikers, walking paths through the local conservation lands connect directly to the village roads, one of the most used being the path around Toogood Pond, named after the Toogood family. The pond was originally the mill pond that powered the grist mill in the 1840s.

CNN Travel Photo of the Day noted Unionville as a great place to visit. It will be a memorable stop. jeb



Seniors Enjoy a Stopover in Deming

imagesDeming, New Mexico, located 60 miles west of Las Cruces, is only 33 miles north of the Mexican border,  with a population right at 15,000. Senior visitors will find Deming rich with history, atmosphere, and sunshine, all in great abundance.

The desert with the Florida mountains in the background offer spectacular views year round. The local state parks are diverse from one end of the desert to the other and into the mountains of the Black Range. The water and the agricultural influence make Deming a true oasis in the desert.

Deming is named after Mary Ann Deming Crocker, wife of Charles Crocker, one of the Big Four of the railroad industry. The city, founded in 1881 and incorporated in 1902, was an important port of entry on the US-Mexican border until the Gadsen Purchase of 1853. A nickname was given to the city at the time of its founding, “New Chicago”.

Seniors Enjoy The Mimbres Museum


At the Luna Mimbres Museum, senior visitors can enjoy a replica of the streets of pioneer Deming, a cowboy exhibit based on the Diamond A Ranch and military history.

They will also find a gem and mineral room, an art gallery, automobiles, dolls, books and toys from past generations. Then there is the  Hispanic room; and Mimbres Indian pottery and basketry.

For senior oenophiles, Deming has some fine wineries and vineyards to be enjoyed that include the St. Clair and Luna Rossa Wineries.

While copper mining and refining have been a primary source of wealth in the surrounding area for most of the twentieth century, Luna County has a proud and successful heritage in farming and ranching producing chilies, pecans, cotton, melons, sweet onions, and grapes.


 Senior Rockhounds Take Note

For you rock hounds like my daughter, the Rockhound State Park in the Little Florida Mountains, with elevations that range up to 7,700 feet, offers access to silica minerals, quartz crystals, chalcedony, blue agate, and white and pink common opals.

Senior rockhounds are invited to gather up to 15 pounds of rock to take home with you. The park offers picnic facilities, hiking trails, wildlife including Persion Ibex and attractive gardens. You will discover a variety of rock formations that make Deming a beautiful scenic wonder.


Deming’s downtown commercial buildings retain much of their historic integrity and remain part of a historic zone. Presently, 16 buildings have been placed on the State Historic Register and four of the 16 buildings are on the National Register of Historic places. My wife and I love those old historic buildings.

There are numerous ancient Native American sites around Deming. The Mimbres and Casa Grandes cultures made pottery of remarkable quality, and the Deming area is rich in native pottery artifacts, as well as beads, stone implements, stone carvings, graves, etc. I feel you will find Deming to be to your liking.  Senior travelers can easily spend a few days there.  -jeb


Seniors Make a Day Trip To Pescadero


This senior first read about Pescadero in an article on super-fresh cuisine and dining at Harley Farms.  Pescadero (pop. 700) is a farming and ranching community near the Pescadero Marsh, a wildlife refuge.

The name would signify that in the early days it was a fishing settlement, (fish = pescado in Spanish) although the location of the village is about three miles from the ocean.

Pescadero itself is a small valley in San Mateo County and  greatly resembles the bottom of a cup with the hills rising all around, eliminating the winds of the Pacific Ocean.

An annual event in Pescadero is the Pescadero Art and Fun Fair. The Alto Velo Bicycle Racing Club holds another annual event, the Pescadero Coastal Classic Road Race, which travels through the town and nearby countryside, in early- to mid-June.

Seniors Find A Farmer’s Market and A Working Gallery


Pescadero comes with it’s own beach, and a spectacular one it is. Senior visitors will find a farmers market and a working gallery, Made In Pescadero, that crafts and displays the very finest custom furniture, art and accessories by the area’s most talented craftsmen and artists.

Small as it be, TripAdvisor has rounded up several things for senior visitors to see and do. The #1 attraction in the area is the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America and has been guiding mariners since 1872.

 Seniors Also Find The Elephant Seals


“The Año Nuevo State Park, with a rich variety of natural and cultural resources, draws visitors from around the world. The park’s Natural Preserve offers an extraordinary wilderness experience, where every year up to 10,000 elephant seals return to breed, give birth, and molt their skin amongst the scenic dunes and beaches.”

Harley Farms has grown from six pet goats to today’s herd, with their delicious, critically-acclaimed cheese. In 2011 the owners bought neighboring fields, a historic barn and a hidden orchard and overgrown garden which they are restoring gently.

The Harley Farms chèvre (goat in French), fromage blanc, ricotta and feta cheeses have been consistent winners at the American Cheese Society awards, and hold two international World Cheese Show medals.


 Senior Hikers Seek Out The Nature Trail

Bean Hollow State Beach features a nature trail for hikers. For birders, Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is popular. For beach lovers, Pescadero State Beach has a mile-long shoreline with sandy coves, rocky cliffs, tide pools, fishing spots and picnic facilities.

My wife and I love to stay in historic B&Bs and the “Bed and Biscuit Inn” sounded really neat to me, especially that biscuit part for breakfast. I discovered five other classy B&Bs that senior travelers might want to check out. Pescadero is roughly 17 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 35 miles north of Santa Cruz.

Enjoy your stop in Pescadero. -jeb

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