About: Jim Becker


Articles by: Jim Becker


Seniors Visit Historic Carlisle

UnknownCarlisle Borough, (pop. 20,000+), is one of Pennsylvania’s most treasured historic communities.  Senior travelers will find Carlisle located in picturesque south-central Pennsylvania just west of Harrisburg. Carlisle, founded in 1751,  has a long history dating back to before the American Revolution.

Carlisle overflows with historic treasures, including a church once attended by George Washington and a courthouse that was heavily damaged by artillery during the Civil War. Carlisle combines history and beauty as senior visitors will discover.


Carlisle’s tree-lined streets invite senior visitors to walk the same paths as those walked by the Commander of the Continental Army and President of the United States, George Washington;  Declaration of Independence signer, James Wilson; Olympic medalist, Jim Thorpe;  Battle of Monmouth heroine, “Molly Pitcher”;  and the list goes on and on.

Dickinson College is located in Carlisle and traces its history back to 1773 as Carlisle Grammar School. Today the school has  240 full-time faculty members and an enrollment of nearly 2,400 students, Dickinson College has been recognized for its innovative curriculum and international education programs.

Senior Car Buffs Enjoy Automotive Capital


Read up on the history of Carlisle. My wife and I recently visited a museum where Jim Thorpe was highlighted as an American hero and one of the most versatile athletes in history. Thorpe entered the school in 1907, played football under a famed coach named Pop Warner and he later won olympic fame.

Start your journey in the historic part of town. Strolling through historic downtown, senior visitors are greeted by unique architecture, quaint shops, and overall serenity. Carlisle Events Auto Show produces 13 annual events that puts Pennsylvania’s “automotive capital” on the map. A half a million folks come to Carlisle each year taking in the automotive events.

From Carlisle, hike a part of the Appalachian Trail that runs from Maine to Georgia. Do some biking, tan up a bit on the beaches and take in the great scenery in the nearby state parks.  Stop at a Farmer’s Market and stay in one of the Valley’s bed and breakfasts.


 Walk With The Mayor

Tag along with former Mayor Kirk Wilson on a short personal walk of Carlisle and become acquainted with the inviting ambiance of the borough. Carlisle is home to the US Army War College, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, the Molly Pitcher Brewing Company as well as the American Artisan Gallery. If you even get excited about the smell of leather or the sight of unique art, you will find it at the Gallery.

Stop in Carlisle any time of the year and take in a great Pennsylvania Borough. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Holland

hollandHolland is a coastal city in the western region of the Lower Peninsula of the state of Michigan with a population of 34,481. Senior travelers find it situated near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan on Lake Macatawa.

The city is perhaps best known for its Dutch heritage, which serves not only as a part of the city’s cultural identity, but the local economy as well. Holland is loaded with past history, including where the name Holland comes from.

The locals call the city ‘Holland’s Pure Michigan’. The traditional Klompen (wooden shoe) can be found everywhere. If possible, plan your visit around Tulip Time.

 Seniors Catch The Tulip Festival


The renown Tulip Festival that takes place the first Saturday in May. Named the “Best Small Town Festival” by Readers Digest, the Festival celebrates Holland’s Dutch heritage with a week of events and special attractions.

If you love a parade, Tulip Time has three – the Volksparade, Kinderparade, and Muziekparade. The Dutch Marktplaats serves up plenty of Dutch food, merchandise, and demonstrations, while the festive Kinderplaats provides kids with a park that is full of activities.

The number one attraction is the tulip itself — and there are literally millions to see, in city parks, Downtown planters, Tulip Lanes, Windmill Island Gardens, Nelis’ Dutch Village, and the biggy, Veldheer’s Tulip Farm.


Plan a visit to Hope College, a distinguished four-year liberal arts college with 3,388 students. Downtown Holland is loaded with arts and culture that includes an Armory, Civic Theatre, Holland Museum and Centennial Park.

Seniors Stroll Through Award Winning Downtown

From the award-winning ‘Downtown’ to white, sandy beaches, senior visitors will soon fall in love with Holland’s small town charm. Dine along the waterfront or at a cozy Dutch cafe. Climb to the top of a sand dune or the top of a local Dutch windmill.  Shop for a pair of Klompen that you will wear with a pair of heavy socks.


No matter what your interests are, senior visitors will find Dutch heritage everywhere. Dutch Dancing is big and the entire city turns out for the festive occasion.  I learned that nearly 1,000 costumed locals perform traditional Dutch dances every day throughout the City of Holland at Tulip Time.

The history of Dutch Dance began in 1935 with local high school girls performing at the Tulip Time Festival. They were dressed in costumes and were called “Klompen Dancers.” Originally the dancers’ costumes were delft blue with white organdy caps and aprons.

C089F0AD60B4CC969E8D3FB0A0343301The Nelis’ Dutch Village is where you can take a step back into the Netherlands of over 100 years ago on a day when the carnival came to town, complete with authentic Dutch architecture, flowering gardens, canals and windmills.

A must stop for gourmet senior visitors is the Deboer Bakkerij and Dutch Brothers Restaurant for some great local cuisine.  -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Fontana-on-Geneva Lake


Fontana-on-Geneva Lake is a village on the west shore of Geneva Lake, Wisconsin with a  population of nearly 1,700. Fontana offers senior travelers the peace and serenity of a small town, but with easy accessibility from Milwaukee.

One of the favorite activities for visitors to Fontana is paddle boarding and you will see many folks who enjoy this fun activity on the Lake. For a fantastic bird’s eye view of Geneva Lake, take an unforgettable parasail ride via Jerry’s Majestic Marine.  All takeoffs and landings are smooth and dry from the flight deck of a specially designed 32′ Ocean Pro boat.

If parasailing is not up to your liking, jump on a wave runner and enjoy cruising around Geneva Lake. The Abbey Resort is popular with senior guests featuring a 90 acre hotel property, complete with luxury spa resort and great dining options.

Abbey Resort

Natural Beauty of Geneva Lake Area Draws Seniors

The local Chamber notes that the Geneva Lake West shoreline communities of Fontana-0n-Geneva Lake , Walworth, Williams Bay, and the surrounding area have long been appreciated for their natural beauty. “Rolling hills, towering trees, grassy prairies and a sparkling lake set the backdrop for the best place to Live, Visit and Be in southeastern Wisconsin.

Senior visitors will find resorts, spas, bed & breakfasts, and quality restaurants in the area. Also boat outings, golf, and music festivals and treasure-filled antique stores.

Fontana is just a stone’s throw from the border of Illinois making it an easy journey from Chicago and not all that far from Milwaukee. Founded in 1874, the Lake Geneva Yacht Club is one of the oldest and most internationally renowned Inland Lake Yachting Association Clubs.


The Club is the site of numerous international and National Sailing competitions, so perhaps you will luck out and get to personally view one of these exciting events. Tours, cruises, fishing, dining or just soaking up the sun and more await your visit to Fontana.

 Senior Shoppers Find Shopping Paradise

The Yerkes Observatory, Lake Geneva Petting Zoo, Clown Hall of Fame, Webster House Museum, Green Meadows Farm, Old World Wisconsin and the Wild Country Game Farm are all in the vicinity of Fontana. It’s a shopping paradise all around Fontana with plentiful outlet malls.


My wife and I have visited both Delavan and Elkhorn, next door to Fontana, towns loaded with history and amenities. All around Geneva Lake, senior visitors will find plenty to keep you busy.

For you history folks, stop by the Geneva Lake Museum of History then take in the Woodstock Opera House and pack a picnic for a visit to Woodstock Square Park. Toss your clubs in and play a round or two at the Big Foot Country Club. Plan a stay in one of the famed B&Bs in Fontana.

You will not lack for things to see and do in Fontana-on-Geneva Lake.  -jeb


Seniors Find a Green Gem in Emerald Isle

EII was watching a Big Ten wrestling match and one of the competitors was from Emerald Isle, North Carolina.  Sounded like a neat place to check out, so senior traveling friends, let’s go to Emerald Isle for a visit.

Emerald Isle is a one of North Carolina’s coastal islands and beach community in Carteret County. It is part of the Crystal Coast and is located entirely on the Bogue Banks. The population runs nearly 4,000, but as many as 50,000 visitors descend upon the area during the summer season.

In 1893, whalers settled on the small section of the island that is now Emerald Isle. Bogue Banks Island is 30 miles long, with Atlantic Beach at the easternmost end, Salter Path and Indian Beach in the center and Emerald Isle on the westernmost portion.


Seniors Learn Of  Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles

Seniors, if you are “into Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles”, this is the place to watch them come ashore where they lay their eggs. 

Rent a boat, play a round of golf, go parasailing, play miniature golf, rent a bike, spend some time at a spa or enjoy massage therapy.  Coming up March 28th is the Half Marathon that you may want check out.


Where did Emerald Isle get its name? A few have said that the water is more green than blue. Others said that phosphorus deposits left behind on the beach by lapping waves created a green glow about dusk each day.

When the original developers were contemplating the purchase of this undeveloped half of the island, a consultant from Florida was hired to advise them. This consultant asked to be flown over the property.

With no development at the time and appearing from the air as a solid green gem in the middle of a sea of sparkling water, he looked down and said, “This Place Shall be Known as Emerald Isle”. Visitors come to admire the lush emerald maritime forests that surround the community.


Seniors Enjoy Fishing Off The Pier

Emerald Isle was a notorious area for piracy in the 1700s and during the Revolutionary War patriot privateers were known to control the inlet.

“Wide sandy beaches, a shaded path for cyclists, runners, and strollers, and rocking chairs filled with folks of all ages licking ice cream piled high on a sugar cone – these are just a few of the inviting images you’ll find on Emerald Isle.” Senior visitors find an almost perfect blend of modern amenities and old-fashioned beach town values.

The Bogue Island Fishing Pier is a legendary landmark and a paradise for anglers. Emerald Isle hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Festivals in North Carolina. EmeraldFest, a summer concert series provides live entertainment during the summer months.

Do some island hopping, shark fishing, look for dauphins or take a sunset cruise, and enjoy -jeb


Seniors Head For Montauk


“Montauk, population 3,500, is an oceanfront playground located 110 miles from New York City with over 5,000 acres of pristine public beaches and breathtaking diverse landscape.” Senior visitors enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, boating, golfing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, biking, bird watching and nature at its best and the area overflows with popular culture.

Wondering about that name? Montauk derives its name from the Montaukett tribe who once lived there. Big Reed Pond in Montauk is a freshwater pond that is mostly undeveloped and is where the tribe called home until the mid-19th century. The hamlet abounds with history.


Montauk is a major tourist destination and with six state parks to choose from. It is particularly famous for its fishing, claiming to have more world saltwater fishing records (big big fish) than any other port in the world.

Seniors Discover Spa, Fishing Fleet and Lighthouse

Gurneys Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa is good reason for a senior visit. It is one of the most famous in the Hamptons and was recently refurbished. Lake Montauk is a 900-acre embayment in Montauk that is home to the largest commercial and sporting fish fleets in the state.

Montauk Point Light, Montauk, NY, photos-709859

The 200 year old Montauk Point Lighthouse is a major draw to Montauk and a National Historic Landmark. The Point Lighthouse, commissioned by George Washington in 1792, has a powerful beam that carries out 17 miles. This was the first lighthouse in New York State and the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the country.

Montauk Point State Park is at the end of everything with the lighthouse, its rocky beaches, a picnic area, a gift shop and quality hiking trails. Senior visitors, plan to visit Ditch Plains, the legendary offshore break, and wide, inviting beach. Summer is highly popular with visitors, however in the winter, senior visitors will find the luxury of peace and quiet and the same quality sites.

 Location-_0000s_0005_MontaukSeniors: “The Last Resort”

Montauk is called a beach resort and promotes itself as “The Living End” or “The Last Resort”. Montauk  has a plethora of fine restaurants, B&Bs, hotels, and is a popular vacation spot during the warm summer months.

Camp Hero State Park is located on Montauk Point featuring a beach, fishing, hiking, a bridle path, biking, and cross-country skiing. It is the former site of Montauk Air Force Station.

Travel & Leisure notes that the best time to head to “the End” is in the fall, when the weather still sparkles and the crowds have cleared out. At that time and in this place, you will find an escape from the city. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Beautiful Cannon Beach


Cannon Beach, with its population of around 1,700, is home to the Oregon coast’s iconic Haystack Rock. Senior travelers will find this well-known rock landmark southwest of downtown Cannon Beach, near Tolovana Park.

It’s an igneous rock outcrop with an elevation of 235 feet (72 m) and is often accessible at low tide, especially in the summertime. There is a small cave system that penetrates the rock and can be seen from the coastline.

The attractions in Cannon Beach draw senior visitors to this popular and picturesque resort area. The  four mile long beach, the Icefire Glassworks, the Coaster City Playhouse, and the Cannon Center and Museum all play host to more than 750,000 visitors annually.


Seniors Find One of the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Places’

As you might well guess, there just has to be a lighthouse near Cannon Beach and the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse fits the bill. Cannon Beach Sandcastle Day and Festival is a fun time and a great time to see some well sculpted and unique formations on the beach. Four parks can be found within the city limits.

Cannon Beach was named as one of “The 100 Best Art Towns in America” by author John Villani and “One of the World’s 100 Most Beautiful Places” according to National Geographic, June 2013 issue.


The Oregon Coast Visitors Association notes that a “walk along the beach is a visual treat, with ever-changing vistas of ocean, mountains and rugged coastal outcroppings.”

Haystack Rock is a protected Marine Garden and a National Wildlife Refuge” where senior visitors will discover colorful tide pools and nesting seabirds including Tufted Puffins.

Senior Visitors Enjoy a ‘Winter Beach Paradise’


Cannon Beach was ranked number seven of the “World’s Best Beaches” by the Travel Channel. This vacation destination has a little bit of everything, along with a whole lot of beautiful Pacific Ocean waves. It’s called a Winter Beach Paradise… away from all the action during summer months.

Senior visitors will find over a dozen art galleries as well as fine restaurants, boutique shops and some super oceanfront lodging.


The Hug Point Recreation Site, a great hiking area, is only a short distance south of the city where you will find a sandy cove beach dotted with ferns and sitka spruce.   Seaside is just five miles north and it too is a great spot to enjoy the ocean breezes.

Cannon Beach looks to me to be a great choice for a vacation along the beautiful Oregon coast. One could easily spend several days enjoying all that Cannon Beach has to offer. -jeb


Seniors Stop In Westminster


 These seniors had coffee recently at a new bakery in town. The owners moved here from Westminster, Maryland where they’d had a bakery. I just had to check out the town as the owner said that it was about the same size as Fountain Hills.

Westminster is a city in northern Maryland and the seat of Carroll County with a population of 19,000. It looks like the community has grown. The community of Westminster was founded in 1764 and was officially incorporated as a city in the year 1818.


 Senior visitors will find over 100 dining establishments in Westminster plus a host of things to see and do that includes the Carroll County Farm Museum.

The Museum grounds include original farm structures like the Farmhouse, built in 1852-53, and a bank barn. Additional buildings include a Smokehouse, Broom Shop, Saddlery, Springhouse, Living History Center, Wagon Shed, General Store exhibit, and a One-room Schoolhouse.

 Senior Visitors Enjoy the Arts

The Carroll County Arts Council is located in the magnificently renovated Carroll Arts Center in downtown Westminster. The art deco building houses a 263-seat theatre, the Tevis Gallery, Community Gallery, Director’s Hall Gallery, Gift Shop, two art classrooms and offices.


Downtown Westminster, once host to both Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War, provides senior visitors with a unique shopping, dining and cultural experience. Main Street is pedestrian-friendly with mature shade trees overhead and colorful brick crosswalks.

Senior oenophiles, plan a visit to Serpent Ridge Vineyard, located in Carroll County and is famed as Westminster’s first Vineyard Winery. Newly opened in 2009, the owners specialize in small lots of handmade wine from grapes grown in their vineyards. For a colorful visit, check out Old Westminster Winery. If you enjoy hiking, Westminster is loaded with well planned trails.

 Seniors Enjoy National Register Historic Districts


“Beautiful countryside, clean air, abundant water, healthy climate, quality schools, industrious workforce, and easy accessibility to Baltimore” are a few of the reasons that people are attracted to the City of Westminster as a place to live and work.

Visitors are  drawn to Westminster and its National Register Historic Districts. If your hunger pains take over, pay a visit to Johansson’s Dining House on West Main Street. It overflows with an historical past.

Located right in the center of Carroll County, Westminster has an historic downtown that has preserved its vibrant past. McDaniel College, tree lined streets, wide sidewalks, boutique shopping, abundant dining options, art and entertainment all encourage visitors to stay awhile.


On Saturdays you can enjoy shopping at the outstanding Farmer’s Market on Railroad Avenue. Enjoy your stop in Westminster. -jeb


Seniors Duck into Duck


I read in a local Sunday newspaper that Duck is one of the top resort destinations with one of the best beaches on the East Coast. Duck, known for its upscale charm and boutique shopping is located a few miles North of Kitty Hawk. Senior travelers will discover a 7 mile stretch of beaches in the middle of NC Highway 12 in a totally natural setting.

The region was named for the many ducks and waterfowl in the area. During the peak vacation season the population increases to over 20,000.

Duck is loaded with history and has remained relatively undiscovered for hundreds of years since its initial settlement in the late 1600s.

Seniors, Do You Like Jazz and Fine Dining?


‘Duck is a resort town with an impressive reputation for great beaches, water sports and outdoor adventures, first-class events including a nationally-known Jazz Festival, fine dining, and eclectic shopping.’

A big attraction in Duck is the boardwalk where senior visitors can enjoy a quiet and leisurely stroll.  

From Duck Town Boardwalk to Duck’s Cottage, the town offers many different types of activities, including: General Shopping, Piers & Boardwalks, Water Sports and General Tours so consider bringing  along your grandkids.


“This Outer Banks seaside town of 400 residents offers miles of clean beaches, miles of bike paths and a walkable village center with shops, restaurants, a sound-front park and lots of activities.

The area is especially well known for surfing due to the consistent winds, temperate weather, shallow sound waters and rolling ocean swells.”

Top Beaches In The Nation at Duck

hdr-sanderling-resort-map The wide, uncrowded Duck beaches have been ranked among the top in the nation, thus a primary focus is on getting wet in one fashion or another. Water sports are big, whether it’s swimming, surfing, sea kayaking, beach walking or just soaking up the sun lying by the ocean.

On the other side of this narrow island is Currituck Sound that is a perfect place to sail, paddle a canoe or kayak, parasail, Jet Ski or windsurf. Senior citizens will discover plenty see and do in Duck. 


One of the largest draws to Outer Banks visitors is the fantastic collection of locally owned shops in the middle of Duck. One thing the town of Duck is known for, besides the beach, is its great shopping. “Duck is definitely the place to go when you’re longing for a little recreational retailing. The many stores are arranged in a series of low-key, coastal shopping complexes, and are close enough to each other that it’s easy to park the car and explore the stores on foot.”

Considering the area’s national popularity as one of America’s best beaches, it’s hard to believe that just a few decades ago, Duck’s only visitors were hunters and fishermen in search of, well, ducks.  -jeb


Seniors Journey Uphill to Fairplay

Home_page_B_Nagy Fairplay, just south of Breckenridge, is located in South Park at an elevation of 9,953 feet with a population of 672 hardy folks. Senior travelers find a small town that is loaded with history.

This historic gold mining settlement was founded in 1859 and incorporated in 1872 during the early days of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. The town got its name by settlers who were upset by the generous mining claims given to the earliest prospectors and promised a more equitable system for its residents.


Surrounded by Kenosha Pass to the North, Wilkerson Pass to the East, Trout Creek Pass to the South and Weston Pass to the West sits the quiet valley of South Park in the Central Colorado Rockies.

In the heart of this valley lays Fairplay, one of the many wild mining towns from the time of gold and silver and the largest community in this grassland basin.

Less than 200 years ago, the Nomadic Ute and Arapaho native Americans did great battle over what was once incredibly rich summer hunting grounds. Famed frontiersmen like Zebulan Pike, Kit Carson and John Fremont crossed the region in their explorations of Colorado.

Seniors Say Yes To Burros, Trout Fishing and History


Among the major events in Fairplay is the Burro Days Festival held on the last weekend of July. The event celebrates the town’s mining heritage with many colorful burros. The main feature of the festival is a 29-mile burro race over rough terrain and approximately 3,000-ft elevation from downtown Fairplay to the 13,000-ft summit of Mosquito Pass.

Senior visitors enjoy an authentic restoration of a mining boomtown dating back to the 1880s. Originally called Tarryall, Fairplay sprang into life about 1859 as miners found gold along the South Platt river. A church built in 1874 still stands as does the 1874 courthouse.

Fairplay, Colorado 7-71 112

Also interesting to note  beside the Hand hotel, ia the grave of a burro that worked in the mines for 62 years. Rupert M. Sherwood, partner to the burro, requested when he died he be cremated and buried beside Prunes, his burro. Where else in the world can one find a grave for a renown burro?

The local Chambers notes that… “Today, Fairplay is the center of commerce for Park County, with a thriving business community and vibrant local arts. The many lodging, dining and retail options reflect the unique character of this quaint mountain town.Surrounded by majestic peaks and pastoral beauty and fall foliage, Fairplay calls out to artists of all media, many of whom have made Fairplay home.”

Fairplay is known as the official Trout Fishing Capital of Colorado.  Senior visitors enjoy the unique mountain character of Fairplay, Colorado scenery at its best, good food and ambiance that this unique town has to offer. -jeb


Seniors Discover Archeological Tourism

images-3Archaeotourism or Archaeological tourism is a form of cultural/heritage tourism. Leisure travelers, this senior learned,  represent 71% of the U.S. adult population, or approximately 170.4 million Americans.

76% of all leisure travelers (129.6 million) can be defined as cultural/heritage travelers, having participated in cultural/heritage activities on their most recent trip or within the past three years.

Archaeological sites and historic places are major tourist attractions worldwide. In the last few years, visits to historical sites have ranked third,  after dining in restaurants and shopping, among activities undertaken by visitors traveling abroad.


Archaeological tourism, or cultural/heritage tourism, has been defined as “travel designed to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past. Cultural/Heritage tourism is a very big industry in the United States and worldwide and can include cultural, historic and natural resources.

Archaeological parks—prehistoric or historic sites preserved and interpreted for the public—have always been obvious tourism magnets for the communities in which they are located. Archaeological parks are one of the most important and impressive cultural riches in countries all over the globe.

Seniors Drawn to World Heritage Sites


Some of the most scientifically and historically important, aesthetically spectacular, and famous archaeological World Heritage Sites have seen a dramatic increase in numbers of visitors over recent decades.  The major challenge in Archaeological tourism programs is ensuring that increased tourism does not destroy the very qualities that attract visitors in the first place.

The Archeological Institute of America notes that the popularity of archaeological sites as tourist attractions means that they are valuable sources of revenue, but unfortunately this is often not matched by reinvestment in proper management to ensure both protection of the site and continued enjoyment of it by tourists.


Archaeological sites are fragile resources and inadequate site management will result in deterioration or even destruction of the site and its related social, historical, educational, and economic potential. The number of people that visit archaeological sites rises every year and the increase in traffic can result in damage to sites. In extreme cases, sites have been closed to the public to prevent further damage.

This Guide may help you to become more informed about Archaeological tourism. The Archaeological Institute of America is North America’s oldest and largest archaeological organization. The Institute has nearly 250,000 members and subscribers in more than 100 local societies.

It was chartered in 1906 by Congress in recognition of its work in developing the Antiquities Act, a cornerstone in the preservation of archaeological sites in the U.S. Today. So, read up a bit, make some plans, and enjoy an experience that may be your “once in a lifetime” tour. -jeb


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