Search Results for Category: Learning Vacations


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 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 Dine Well in Waxhaw, NC

benchSlow Food USA recently designated Waxhaw as a place senior gourmands might enjoy  some great food…from New Town Farms. Waxhaw (originally called the Wysacky), is a town located in Union County, North Carolina with a population right at 10,000.

Slow Food is a group of dedicated to sustainable local agriculture and Matt Jones shared this great new find with USA Today (Oct. 19). Farm-to-table restaurants are booming all over the country, he writes, and farms are getting into the act. They offer super-fresh cuisine that is often raised on site.


New Town Farms is that small family farm, established in 1990 by Sammy and Melinda Koenigsberg.

New Town Farms focuses on the art and craft of growing vegetables on a five acre garden, and has diversified to include what they call “pastured poultry”, “pastured laying hens”, and “Heritage breed, free range hogs.”

Sound good to you? New Town Farms is able put together a full meal from the farm.

 Seniors Surprised By Serene, Park-like Farm

Arriving at the farm, senior visitors would not expect a meandering gravel drive with well-established trees ringing a beautiful lake.  New Town Farms is so serene, it feels more park-like with trees and shade, open pasture for chickens, wooded areas for the Ossabaw hogs and a tilled garden.


There is a beautiful house on the property that the Koenigsbergs hope one day to turn into a related enterprise – an Inn that would serve guests food from the farm.  It’s a fitting vision for a family that is so incredibly hospitable.

Sammy Koenigsberg, a former architect, who operates the farm with his family, says “Healthy Soil.  Healthy Plants.  Healthy Us.”

Sammy writes…”We are a small diversified family farm with a focus on certified organic vegetables. We also raise pastured poultry, Heritage breed pastured pork, and free range eggs. We market our food through Community Supported Agriculture, The Matthews Community Farmers market, and to local restaurants.


Our season begins early spring and goes throughout the summer, usually ending in September. We harvest every Tuesday and members of the Community Supported Agriculture Program pick up on the farm or have a choice of two other pick up points in Charlotte.

We plan and plant for the largest variety of vegetables possible including a lot of specialty items The vegetables are always harvested and delivered on the same day”

Seniors Learn A New Kind Of Farming


Sammy built a poultry processing facility. Seniors can learn about his love for Red Bro chickens, how financially beneficial the facility has been, what it takes to build a poultry processing facility, and the importance of learning about where our food comes from.

Seniors, here is a site that will fill you in on products and crops from the organic gardens at New Town Farms.

Plan on viewing the farm and spending an evening dining with the Koenisbergs and enjoying their special cuisine. It will be memorable. jeb


Seniors Check Out Wildlife In Kansas


 Grab your coffee, senior friends, and perhaps a pair of binoculars. We’re going to visit a National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas today. Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located in south central Kansas near Stafford, was established in 1955 to provide wintering and migration stopover habitat for migratory birds along the Central Flyway of North America.

The name “Quivira” comes from a Native American tribe that lived in the area when the explorer, Coronado, visited in 1541. Jim Sano, VP with the World Wildlife Fund, chose ten wildlife hotspots in the US that included NWR. Senior visitors to this refuge are surprised to discover the abundance and diversity of wildlife.


The refuge spans 22,135 acres, one third of which are wetlands.  It was designated as a Wetland of International Importance in 2002. Many of the birds and mammals that live there can be seen from your vehicle on the 14 mile scenic drive through the refuge.

Attention Senior Hikers and Birders


There is an observation platform and spotting scope along Wildlife Drive. Senior hikers, there are several miles of maintained hiking trails and interpretive signage along some of the trails and roads.

This area serves as a fueling stop for waterfowl and shorebirds that include the endangered whooping crane and least tern. This Refuge was selected as one of the top sites in the country for observing wildlife.

For years, the marshes of Quivira National Wildlife Refuge have attracted thousands of migrating waterfowl. These marshes, together with a wide diversity of other habitats, provide food, cover, and protection for wildlife.


Wetlands, large and small, are present throughout the Refuge; there are approximately 7,000 acres of wetlands with slightly to moderately saline water. A system of 21 miles of canals and 25 miles of dikes provides all these acres with managed wetlands and marshes.

 Seniors See White Pelicans, Sandhill and Whooping Cranes


Thousands of Canada geese, ducks, white pelicans and other migratory birds, such as sandhill cranes and shorebirds, use these wetlands as they pass through the Refuge on their annual migrations.

Whooping cranes stop on their northward migration in spring, often for just one night. But on their fall return, whoopers and their young can spend up to four weeks on the refuge during October, a testament to the strategic importance of Quivira’s wetlands.

Over 100,000 people visit each year, and over 800,000 geese and 250,000 sandhill cranes make the trip annually.There is also an abundance of American avocets, least terns, white-faced ibis and snowy plovers.


Plus, senior visitors can look for Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. For birders, National Wildlife Refuge is home to over 300 species of birds and among the many mammals found on Quivira NWR are weasel, badger, mountain lion, coyote, fox, skunk, squirrel, muskrat, river otter and jackrabbit.  Ring-necked pheasants, bobwhite quail, wild turkey, white-tailed deer and prairie dogs are observed as well.

Appears to be a living wild zoo to me.  Enjoy the Refuge.  jeb


Seniors Stand Tall on the Tallgrass Prairie


Seniors, did you know that Tallgrass Prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America? Within a generation the vast majority was developed and plowed under. Tallgrass prairie grasslands once stretched from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Today less than 10% remains, mostly in the Kansas Flint Hills and Osage Hill regions of Kansas and Oklahoma.


The Tallgrass Prairie is a rugged wild landscape full of  grasses swaying in the breeze with myriads of insects, songbirds, and beautiful wildflowers. The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is the largest preserved tract of native tallgrass prairie.

On a map, the area is roughly 12 miles wide and 9 miles long, about 40,000 acres, with 25,000 acres reserved for the bison. The Tallgrass Prairie is the largest protected area of tallgrass in the world and it is in this place that the prairie takes its last stand.

Seniors Enjoy a National Preserve


The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a public/private partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the National Park Service. This partnership is dedicated to preserving and enhancing a nationally significant remnant of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem and the processes that sustain it, including the heritage associated with the former ranch property.

 Seniors, this is a wonderful place to visit for many reasons, but one of the most important is seeing this landscape that was almost lost. As the settlers came westward, the Bison were hunted and the land plowed to create rich and bountiful farmlands.


The hunting of bison in the 1800s had been so intense that the last wild bison seen in Osage County was in 1869. As early as the 1930s environmentalists began to push for conservation of America’s tallgrass prairies. Consisting mostly of big bluestem, little bluestem, Indiangrass, and switchgrass, these prairies once existed in fourteen different states.

Seniors View Bison, Wildflowers, and the Prairie


The Preserve Headquarters offers a great visitors center. One memorable exhibit shows just how tall the grasses at the tallgrass prairie can grow – as tall as a grown man. Senior visitors will discover that the grasses on the tallgrass are very nutritious and part of an amazingly fertile ecosystem.

Enjoy taking the scenic drive through the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve on public country roads. This drive takes senior travelers through the heart of the preserve including the bison unit. The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is home to a host of wildlife including white-tailed deer, coyotes and more than 2,000 bison.

There is the well stocked gift shop with one of the best collections of nature books anywhere. In addition, there’s a picnic area, a short (3 mile) trail, and a couple dozen miles of county roads, plus a historic bunkhouse. Oh, and of course there’s the prairie and the buffalo. Enjoy… jeb


Seniors, Let’s Go Mushrooming


Have you ever been mushroom hunting, senior friends? I have done it dozens of times in Iowa. Most of the time I get lucky and find a few spongy Morels, which are my favorites. We would not have any trouble finding mushrooms in Kennett Square, a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Grab your coffee and let’s go…

The town, just off of Hwy 1, is known as the Mushroom Capital of the World. Over 51% of the nation’s mushroom crops are grown in southern Chester County. Mushroom farming in the region produces over a million pounds of mushrooms a week.


To celebrate this heritage, Kennett Square has an annual Mushroom Festival, where the town shuts down to have a parade, folks tour mushroom farms and have a good time. Now in its 29th year, the annual fest is expected to attract more than 100,000 mushroom aficionados. Highlights of this year’s festival include the National Fried Mushroom Eating Championship.

Seniors Discover Long Mushroom Growing History

Kennett Square’s founder is credited with introducing mushroom growing to the area. He grew carnations, a popular local commodity around 1885, and wanted to make use of the wasted space under the elevated beds. He imported spawn from Europe and started experimenting with mushroom cultivation.


Did you know that mushrooms grow from spores, not seeds, that are so tiny you can’t see individual spores with the naked eye? I know from visiting a mushroom grower that they prefer dark, cool, moist, and humid growing environments, so a dark cave with high humidity is a great place to grow them.

I learned that every 10 weeks, the beds inside the mushroom rooms are filled with compost mixed with spores, and covered with peat moss. The spores germinate and create a thick web of white threads called mycelia. Cocoa shells from a Hershey’s chocolate plant in Hershey, Pa., are just one ingredient in the compost that mushroom growers use to feed the fungi.

 We Could Grow Our Own…


Welcome to Phillips Mushroom Farm, in Kennet Square the largest grower of specialty mushrooms in the US. Now you can tell a Shitake from a Maitake or an Oyster from a Baby Bella.

We could drop by Kennet Square and the Mushroom Capital and pick up a kit to grow our own shitake and oyster mushrooms. Of course we could also purchase several varieties to take home.

Actually I think I’ll just head for the timber to find my beloved morels. jeb


 Seniors Enjoy A ‘Site Not To Miss’


CNN selected one site ‘not to be missed’ in each of our 50 states. In Mississippi, it was the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The Seashore offers senior travelers recreation opportunities and preserves natural and historic resources along the Gulf of Mexico barrier islands of Florida and Mississippi.

The protected regions include mainland areas and parts of seven islands. A unique dune habitat is created from wind and waves blowing sand into large piles, which are held in place by the root systems of beach grass and sea oats. The Gulf Islands National Seashore is known as “Mississippi’s Wilderness Shore.”


The Seashore spreads across two island chains off the coast of Mississippi and Florida’s panhandle. These scenic out-islands offer historic forts, white sand beaches, awesome emerald water and endless opportunities for seniors to learn and have fun.

Senior Military Historians Take Note

Military historians will find much to see and do at the Fort Barrancas Visitor Center, Fort Pickens, Pensacola Naval Air Station, and the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center. Senior visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery, hike a trail or explore the beautiful old historic brick forts within the park.

The Seashore is located on barrier islands which are a coastal landform and a type of barrier system, that is exceptionally flat and lumpy areas of sand, parallel to the mainland coast. These islands are famous for their natural, bright white sand, which is composed of quartz and scraggly pine tree forests that make a living among the sandy soil.


 Senior visitors will want to visit the Fort Pickens National Park. Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay, Florida, and its navy yard. The fort was begun in 1829, completed in 1834, and was named in honor of Major General Andrew Pickens of the South Carolina militia.

Pickens fought with distinction in several Revolutionary War battles and he also led several campaigns against the Cherokees, who called him “Wizard Owl.” That just has to be a total compliment, don’t you think? The park’s forts were built over a span of nearly 150 years; several were built as part of the Third System of coastal fortifications, a defensive system constructed between 1816 and 1867.

Outdoor enthusiasts can camp, fish, swim, snorkel, hike, bike, and birdwatch along miles of pristine shoreline. The Andrew Jackson Trail is one of nine trails leading out of Naval Live Oaks, which also offers a 40-mile biking loop.  Enjoy the Shore.  jeb


Attn. Senior Bikers…


 Ready for a great two-wheel trip, senior bikers? If you aren’t a biker, get your coffee and enjoy the thought with me! 10Best Readers’ Choice has several trips to make a great day on your bike.

These nominees were selected by USA Today and plus a panel of biker experts who have made the trips.

One of the finest bike trips is the Cabot Trail way up in Nova Scotia. It would make a fine journey just getting to Nova Scotia. My wife and I have dreams one day to make the trip from Phoenix to Quebec via some of the travel blog cities that have stood out among all those that we have previously described on our blog.


Close behind the Cabot Trail, one finds the Pig Trail Scenic Byway in Arkansas.  Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog on Yellowstone Park and the Beartooth Pass in Montana.

Perhaps you know of these three highways already but let me go on and provide several other top choices for your senior biker trip.

Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap that crosses both North Carolina and Tennessee might take you on into Virginia to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  That is one beautiful drive and the Cherohala Skyway is also nearby.


Gas up and go on to Texas to ride the Three Sisters (Twister Sisters). The California Pacific Coast Highway is also on our list for a long trip all along the beautiful California Pacific coastline. This is a curvy, scenic drive.

Two more are highlighted: The San Juan Mountain Skyway in Colorado and the U.S. Highway 101 that runs from Washington State and Oregon, down into California.

And another list of 100 great routes to choose from. Senior biker, find your route and have a great ride!!!

Enjoy the rides and let us know how you found each one, okay? jeb



Seniors Warm Up In Hot Springs

photo_4287 Hot Springs. There seem to be hot springs all over the country. One of my favorites is Hot Springs, Arkansas.  I’m confident that I would love this one as well. One of this senior’s all-time dreams was to own property with a hot springs stream flowing right through the front yard so that I could jump in whenever I wanted.

Well, Hot Springs, South Dakota is known as the Southern Gateway to the Black Hills. It has great water, small population, just under 4,000 and is the county seat of Fall River County.

Called Minnekahta (warm waters) by the original white settlers in 1879, the town’s name was changed to Hot Springs in 1886. Earlier, the Lakota and the Cheyenne Indian tribes fought for control of the natural warm waters. Wouldn’t you? Of course you already knew that Minne meant waters like Minnesota.

Hot Springs, Black Hills and Wooly Mommoths


The Springs is nestled in the southern Black Hills, surrounded with charm, scenic beauty and tons of friendly people. Hot Springs is home to soothing natural warm water springs, great year-round weather, fantastic outdoor activities, beautiful sandstone architecture, and the most inviting and friendly people you’ll find anywhere.

The Fall River County Courthouse, a unique red sandstone courthouse, was built in 1891 and is a major landmark in town. In 1890, Fred Evans established Evans Plunge and made the natural springs available to the public and today many senior visitors choose to take a plunge into the hot waters. The Plunge has been used to treat chronic diseases, arthritis, rheumatism, gout and other frailties.

The Springs is world famous for Mammoth Site.  More than 26,000 years ago, large Columbian and woolly mammoths were trapped and died in a spring-fed pond near what is now the southwest edge of town.  The Mammoth Site, as it is called, is a unique museum and paleontological site.

It houses the remains of fauna and flora preserved by the entrapment in a sinkhole where Mammoth bones were found in 1974. The world’s largest mammoth research facility, is open year round and features Ice Age geology and paleontology. It has the world’s largest and most  extensive collection of mammoth remains.


Seniors Discover Wild Horse Sanctuary

The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary was established to give undesirable and un-adoptable horses a quality environment in which to live. Seniors can pay a visit to the Pioneer Museum where the past comes alive in a beautiful 19th century four-story sandstone building that was used as a schoolhouse until 1961.

If you are into spelunking, visit Wind Cave National Park established in 1903. It is the fifth longest cave in the world at 137 miles in length. Oh my, I almost bypassed Angostura Reservoir, a water-lover’s haven with breathtaking, scenic views, offering crystal clear waters, 36 miles of shoreline, and some of the finest sandy beaches in the state.  So swing on by Hot Springs for some assured fun and great warm waters.  jeb


History Is Alive In Lexington


Lexington, 35,000 population, is called the “Birthplace of American Liberty”. The town has a proud tradition of hosting visitors from throughout the nation and around the world interested in the historical picture of our nation’s first patriots.

Few towns that I have visited in Massachusetts typify the New England spirit like Lexington. It is an affluent community that prides itself on the scenic beauty of town, land and of its glorious history.

It was on Battle Green, on the morning of April 19, 1775, that “the first blood was spilt in the dispute with Great Britain,” as George Washington wrote in his diary. In this first skirmish, 77 Minutemen (local colonists who had volunteered to be first responders to military and other threats) faced British Regulars.


Today there is an annual reenactment of the First Shots Fired. They still are not sure who did fire the first shot, but that’s not important anymore. It takes place on Lexington Green, the triangular common area in the center of old Lexington center, where they say the first shots of the American Revolution were fired.

 Seniors Find History, History, History

Lexington is probably most well known for its history and is home to many historical buildings, parks, and monuments, most dating from Colonial and Revolutionary times. Just 11 miles northwest of Boston, Lexington is only a 2 to 3 hour drive from Cape Cod.


Senior visitors, you can board a classic trolley to ride along the historic Battle Road while your costumed guide recounts the exciting events of April 19, 1775. The gravestones on The Old Burying Ground dating from 1690 are the oldest in Lexington. Senior citizens can walk in the footsteps of Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and George Washington.

Lexington was first settled in 1642 as part of Cambridge, Mass. What is now Lexington was incorporated as a parish, called Cambridge Farms, in 1691. How it received its name is the subject of some controversy. Some people believe that it was named in honor of a fellow named Lord Lexington, an English peer. A few, on the other hand, think that the town was named after Lexington, which was pronounced and today spelled Laxton in England.


Seniors Visit Old Houses, Old Taverns, Old Bridges

Senior visitors enjoy the old houses like the Hancock-Clarke House (1698) , The Buckman Tavern (1704-10), the MunroeTavern (1690). Old Hartwell Tavern on Battle Road has to fit in as well. I remember Old North Bridge that is equally as famous as this video shows. Paul Revere rode 16 miles from Olde North Church in Boston to Lexington.

The Minute Man National Historical Park with over 900 acres, is operated by the National Park Service and located within the Massachusetts towns of Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord. The Park preserves and protects the significant historic sites, structures, properties, and landscapes associated with the opening battles of the American Revolution.

So come and feel the excitement that still reigns in Lexington.  jeb


Seniors Stop In “Folksie Berea”

Image 51

Berea, Kentucky is unique. I know, I’ve been there. This senior conducted a computer workshop at Berea College, which is part of what is so unique about the town. Its most prominent institution is the college which owns a substantial percentage of the city’s land.

The College, founded by ardent abolitionists and radical reformers, continues today as an educational institution still firmly rooted in its historic purpose “to promote the cause of Christ.” Students, faculty, and staff at Berea are engaged in a continuous learning environment.

Image 43

This environment encourages all workers to be active learners, workers, and servers, in a place where the Christian values of human compassion, dignity, and equality are expressed and lived. At Berea College everybody works.  I found that amazing.

 Senior Visitors Enjoy Folk Arts & Crafts Capital

Berea lives up to its calling as the “Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky.”  More than 50 professional artisans call it home.

Today the area in Bluegrass country boasts over 30 studios, galleries and shops dedicated to crafts. Berea is home to a thriving population of weavers, instrument makers, furniture artisans, jewelry designers, glass workers, potters, painters, sculptors, and musicians.

Image 48

Start your visit in Old Town, where you’ll have a good chance of seeing artists actively at work in their shops. Senior visitors will find superbly crafted glass, pottery, metal and forged steel, sculpture, note cards, works from wood, fine furniture, and jewelry, as well as fiber and paper, specialty foods, music and books.

First Interracial College in the South

The story of Berea’s artisan community is interwoven with the historic Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. Berea has a longstanding tradition of diversity, social justice, environmental responsibility, and community service.

Both college and town are committed to the practice of sustainability and conservation. Berea is situated in southern Madison County near the edge of central Kentucky’s Blue Grass Region. Boasting a small town atmosphere and rich cultural and historic roots, Berea is an ideal place to live, work and play with a population of 14,000.

Image 47

Whether your interest is writing for children, playing the dulcimer, or blacksmithing, the Berea Festival of Learnshops (July 11-27 2014) has something for senior visitors.

Select among workshops that last from two hours to five days to pursue your interest in sustainable living, culinary arts, collage, painting, Appalachian crafts, fiber arts, jewelry, glass, storytelling, literary arts, theatre, music, dance, Native American folk arts, bonsai, woodworking, or professional development for educators.

The Festival is family friendly, so bring your kids and grandkids, enroll them in the children’s activities or join an intergenerational class and create together. Southern Living Magazine labeled Berea as the “Best Small Town In Kentucky.

When you are in Kentucky, don’t miss Berea where ‘Art’s Alive’.  jeb


Find Your Destination

Travel DestinationsTypes of Vacation/Travel
  • Polls

    Where would you most like to travel in 2013?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...