Articles Tagged with: biking and hiking trails

SENIOR JOURNEY TO DOYLESTOWN, PA


Historic Doylestown Attracts Senior Travelers

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Doylestown, a borough and the county seat of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has a population of a little over 8,000.  Senior travelers will find Doylestown 27 miles due north of Philadelphia and 80 miles southwest of New York City.

Many feel that the name “Doylestown” was derived from an innkeeper named William Doyle who kept a public house in 1745 known as “Doyle’s Tavern”. Today Doylestown is known as a place for “Preserving the Past and Embracing the Future.”

The Doyle family originally came from France and their name was D’ouilli, but moved to Ireland during the Inquisition. Around 1600 their name was changed to D’oyley and later to Doyle.

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Dr. David Hanauer sends us on a photographic journey of Buck’s County and Doylestown. At the very bottom of this link is a short film from 1954 called “Our Home Town” and another focusing on the local Historical Society. I think that senior readers will find this link most interesting.

Seniors Hear of Famous Former Residents

Famous folks have called Doylestown home.  So it was for James Michener, Henry Chapman Mercer (an architect) and Oscar Hammerstein II. Pearl Buck, Margaret Mead and a rock star named Pink  called this borough home as well.

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Doylestown was originally the territory of the Lenni Lenape tribe of the Delaware Indians. Doylestown and Bucks County today remain widely regarded as some of the most beautiful countryside in the country. It is classified as one of the best places in the nation to raise a family.

Senior visitors will discover great places to bike and hike, and some fine restaurants in a downtown area lively with attractive small shops. The borough hosts events all year long that bring in folks from all over the county.

Seniors Even Find a Castle

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Fonthill, a concrete castle with over 40 rooms, was once the home of Henry Mercer (1856-1930). It is the #1 attraction in Doylestown. Mercer was an archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramist, scholar and antiquarian and built Fonthill both as his home and as a showplace for his collection of tiles and prints.

Mercer Museum rates high as well. Mercer constructed the building to house his collection of nearly 30,000 pre-industrial revolution tools and artifacts. Mercer began construction of the Museum in 1913 with the help of eight day laborers and “Lucy” the horse. He completed construction in June of 1916.

Take in the “Art & Soul” of Bucks County, the James A. Michener Art Museum. It offers a fine collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings with special exhibitions and showcases several regional artists.

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The Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle offer a wide array of programs, events, exhibits and tours. Senior genealogists, you can research your family history in their extensive Library operated by the Bucks County Historical Society.

I encourage you to put Doylestown in your itinerary when you are in eastern Pennsylvania. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY CEDAR CITY, UTAH


Seniors Enjoy Vacation Paradise

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Senior travelers will find Cedar City, Utah 250 miles south of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15. Cedar City’s 29,000 residents live amongst some of the most breath taking scenery anywhere.

There is a ton of history in and around Cedar City and its Historic District contains one hundred and seventy-two buildings that have survived to this day. Cedar City was originally an iron works town near the Mormon city of Parawan.

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After Brigham Young shut down the iron facilities, two-thirds of Cedar City’s residents left for other settlements. The remaining families prospered from sheep ranching.

The Cedar City Shakespeare Festival draws senior visitors. William Shakespeare would find himself at home in Cedar City, Utah, home of Utah’s extravagant annual, summer Shakespearean Festival.  Senior visitors also enjoy touring  scenic Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Cedar Breaks resembles a miniature Bryce Canyon. Many say that its magnificent colors may even surpass Bryce. The Indians called Cedar Breaks the “Circle of Painted Cliffs.” Situated at an elevation of 10,000 feet, Cedar Breaks is shaped like a giant coliseum dropping 2,000 feet to its floor.

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Senior Mountain Bikers, Take Note

Bikers come to experience excellent mountain biking at Brian Head. In the winter, Brian Head transforms into one of Utah’s great ski resorts, with excellent powder and runs, receiving over 400 inches of Utah powder annually. Southern Utah University adds an additional, exciting dimension to this vibrant community.

TripAdvisor notes that this “charming and compact” city offers visitors a great home base for exploring the area. Golf, skiing, biking and other outdoor recreational activities abound.

2013_slider2Called the “Festival City” due to the incredible theatrical and cultural offerings, Cedar City plays host to a number of prestigious film, theater and art festivals throughout the year, making anytime a great time to visit. 

Hiking trails are found in all directions from Cedar City. Senior visitors will discover a unique small city complete with world-renowned theatricals, astounding beauty, and unbelievable outdoor recreation.

The Arts And The Rodeo Draw Senior Visitors

The Frontier Homestead State Park Museum is open year-round in the heart of Cedar City.  The Heritage Center presents an assortment of plays, symphonies, ballets, art shows and a multitude of cultural events and entertainment.

Many tourists come for the Cedar City Rodeo that takes place each June. A full contingent of Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association events include Bareback, Steer Wrestling, Tie Down Roping, Saddlebronc, Team Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding each performance.

Iron Mission State Park provides visitors with more information on Cedar City’s history and boasts a large collection of horse-drawn wagons. Additional Cedar City landmarks include the Old Rock Church next to the city offices and the former Union Pacific Depot building, which is now a fine dining restaurant.

Senior travelers, when you are in Utah, put Cedar City on your itinerary. jeb

 

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH TEXAS


Seniors Can’t Pass Up McKinney

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…and for good reason. McKinney was selected as the#1 “Best Place to Live” by Money Magazine, Oct 2014. So this senior did some checking to see why McKinney, Texas earned this prestigious award.

Both the city and the county were named for Collin McKinney who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Today it is a city of around 145,000 located 30 miles north of Dallas on Interstate 75.

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The history of McKinney notes the city to be one of the oldest towns in North Texas, dating to 1841 when the first settlers arrived in the region from Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

Seniors Enjoy Old and Authentic

McKinney has one of the oldest authentic and thriving historic downtowns in Texas. The downtown district offers over 100 unique shops and for the senior gourmand, more than a dozen unique restaurants. It is said in McKinney…”Don’t expect to lose any weight while visiting McKinney; quite simply, the food is way too good.”

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Senior visitors will encounter an assortment of specialty shops, art galleries, furniture stores, exquisite antique collections, gifts and home décor and apparel boutiques. Town Lake Recreational Area is an attractive 22 acre lake for fishing or for boating. Senior hikers, the Lake is surrounded by a 1.3 mile hike and bike trail.

So as you are cruising around Dallas, swing north into McKinney and plan to spend a few days.  Seems like something is brewing all year long. Annual Events include Bike the Bricks, Red White and Boom!, Mickey Mantle World Series, Oktoberfest, Dickens of a Christmas and the Heritage Guild Holiday Homes Tour.

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Historic Homes, Courthouse Square and Village

If you are into historic sites, like me, McKinney is home to over 1700 historic homes and buildings and an  historic Courthouse Square. Chestnut Square Historic Village is a collection of six historic homes, a replica of a one-room school house, chapel and store on 2.5 acres just south of the downtown McKinney square.

The grounds also include a blacksmith shop, smoke house, and beautiful chapel and reception gardens.  The buildings include period artifacts showing how people lived in Collin County from 1854-1920.

The city’s tree-lined streets, historic downtown and tight-knit community give McKinney a friendly, small town feel. Check out the Grand Hotel… it would make a great place to bed down in historic downtown McKinney. Enjoy your visit to this Number One Town.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH MASSACHUSETTS


Seniors Enjoy Wompatuck State Park

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Wompatuck State Park, a recreational area of about 4000 acres in size, is located primarily in Hingham, Massachusetts, but the park extends into the neighboring towns of Cohasset, Norwell, and Scituate. Senior travelers will find the park is located just a 35-minute drive from downtown Boston. 

Wompatuck State Park offers campsites, 12 miles of paved bicycle trails, and many miles of wooded bridle paths and hiking trails.

‘Wompy’ as the locals refer to it, is close to Nantasket Beach, Boston Harbor Islands and Plymouth Rock. One of the most notable features of the Park is Mt. Blue Spring which is a popular source of fresh drinking water. Visitors can help themselves for free.

The water comes from an aquifer and is maintained by the park. Mt. Blue Spring was first bottled in the mid 1800′s and was forced to stop in the 1940′s when the US Army took over the land to create the Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot Annex.

Seniors, Meet Chief Wompatuck

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The park is named for an Indian chief the local colonists knew as Josiah Wompatuck. In 1665, Chief Wompatuck deeded the park and the surrounding land to the English settlers. Wompatuck, who died in 1669, was a leader of the Mattakeesett tribe of the Massachusetts Indians.

This senior did not know that Massachusetts was the name of an Indian tribe.  Always wondered where a long name like that came from and now I know. Wompatuck was an early friend of European settlers. Being an entrepreneur, he sold the British the land upon which the city of Boston was established. Unfortunately he was slain in 1669 when he led a force of his warriors in an attack upon the powerful Mohawks.

Fun Park For Biking

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Thirty-five years ago, senior visitors to Wompatuck State Park could still find open munitions storage bunkers and rusting barrels of toxic materials – remnants from a period when the military used the site to store ammunition and assemble explosives.

According to the park’s historians, the Navy also tested missile parts there in the early years of the Cold War and experimented with rocket fuels. Today the park’s munitions storage history survives in events such as the “Landmine Classic’’ bike race.

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Mountain biking is popular in the park and many folks visit the park just to go riding. There are a number bicycling trails and paths for riders of all abilities. For those who seek off-road riding there is a vast amount of challenging single track.

There is also a large paved trail system which can be enjoyed by riders of all abilities. Seniors can spend some  fun time in this park.  Maybe bring your tent along and spend a few days here. Explore the old munitions plant and check out all the interesting graffiti.  All these will make for memorable times in the park.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH FLORIDA


Seniors Visitors Stop In Fellsmere

city-of-fellsmere Fellsmere, a city in Indian River County, Florida has a population of just over 7,500. Many folks, including seniors come for the annual Frog Leg Festival held the third week of January. They say it is the largest such festival in the world.  Who is to debate that?

Frog Leg Festival is big in Fellsmere and is a great means of raising funds for the needs of the local children. With over 100 crafters, midway rides and plenty of games it’s fun for visitors of all ages. Frog Leg and Gator Tail Dinners are the main fare but there is also a huge variety of other festival foods available.

Ever eaten gator?  I have, in Texas.  Not bad really. And then there’s swamp cabbage, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, grits and Catfish. Naturally, there is a Frog Leg Eating Contest and that takes a whole lot of local frogs out of service.

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 Seniors Enjoy The Historic

Fellsmere picked up some national attention when it was the first city in Florida to adopt women’s suffrage. A local chapter of the National Organization for Women still meets every August to commemorate the historic moment.

Fellsmere is a city with a vision for its future and a respect for its past. Founded in 1911, Fellsmere is located only 4 miles west of I-95 on Hwy 512 and not all that far from the Atlantic Ocean. The city is a dramatic account of floods, land “booms” and land “busts” and overflows with historic sites.

Named for E. Nelson Fell, who already had an impressive worldwide resume before coming to Florida, he founded two communities, the English colony of Narcoossee and the farming town of Fellsmere. The Fellsmere Farms Land Development Company promoted the area’s rich soils and natural resources. By 1915, Fellsmere had a railroad, an electric company, two hotels and women could vote.

St. Sebastien River Intices Seniors

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Another major attraction to Fellsmere is the St. Sebastien River Preserve State Park that features open grassy forests of longleaf pine that were once commonplace throughout Florida. These habitats are home to many native plants and animals, including over 50 protected species.

Senior photographers, bird-watchers, and nature enthusiasts can explore miles of trails on foot, bicycle, or horseback. Canoeing, boating, and fishing on the St. Sebastian River are popular activities.

Sportsman’s Specialties hunting and fishing pro shop corrals lots of the locals who enjoy the sports in the area. So bring along a cooler to take some of these specialties home with you.  And enjoy your time in Fellsmere. jeb

Filed under : United States

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH NEBRASKA


Seniors Learn All About Big Red

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Seniors, if you have ever been to Lincoln, Nebraska, then you know all about Big Red.  It seemed to me that the whole city was dipped in Red… the color of the University of Nebraska Football teamTake in a game at Memorial Stadium and senior visitors will see throngs of rabid fans all dressed in red.

Lincoln is the capital and the second-most populous city of the State of Nebraska, after Omaha. Lincoln, founded in 1856, is also the county seat of Lancaster County. Lincoln’s population is estimated at 265,000+.

 Seniors Visit A State Capital

Omaha was the original state capital, but it was moved to Lancaster, shortly after the Civil War. The town was then renamed Lincoln in honor of the recently-assassinated president. Because this is home to the state capital, senior citizens will find many attractions in Lincoln having to do with the history of the city and state, its arts, and culture.

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Today tourism is an important industry, and Lincoln attractions include several important museums like the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Museum of Nebraska History and the University of Nebraska State Museum, which contains a planetarium.

Other attractions include the Governor’s Mansion which is open for tours, and the beautiful State Capitol Building itself, constructed between 1922 and 1932. Soak in the panoramic view of the city from the 14th floor observation tower of the 400-foot high capitol building, whose white stone Art Deco spire can be seen from miles around.

For some outdoor fun, head to one of the city’s parks, the largest of which is Wilderness Park, whose hiking, biking and equestrian trails will keep your blood circulating.

Unusual Museums Interest Senior Visitors

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You won’t be wanting for Things to Do in Lincoln as I’ve found 101 of them for senior visitors to consider. After your visit to the state capital, consider the #2 attraction in town founded in 1992 by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith. The Smith Collection Museum of American Speed is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and displaying physical items significant in racing and automotive history.

Sunken Gardens features an annual floral display of over 30,000 individual annual plants which are redesigned to a different theme each year. The theme for 2014 is “Thunder Birds.”

My wife and I would hit The Historic Haymarket District of Lincoln, a restored turn-of-the-century warehouse district that includes restaurants, antique shops, specialty shops, and art galleries. The highlight of nearby Iron Horse Park is the “Iron Horse” Legacy, a brick mural showing the first locomotive to cross the prairie.

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I’m about of room for this blog but I just had to toss in this attraction. The National Museum of Roller Skating in Lincoln features a collection of roller skates. The museum has a display showing the evolution of the roller skate wheel from 1860 to 1998.

On your way through Nebraska, stop by Lincoln and enjoy all the amenities this great city has to offer. jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO NEW HAMPSHIRE


Littleton, A Great Mainstreet Town

riverdistrict_logoLittleton, in Grafton County, New Hampshire (The Granite State), with a population of 6,000 happy folks, is situated at the edge of the White Mountains, and bounded on the northwest by the Connecticut River.

Travel & Leisure selected Littleton as one of America’s Greatest Mainstreets. Outside Magazine also chose the town as one of America’s Best Towns.

Incorporated in 1784, Littleton soon became a commercial and cultural center for New Hampshire’s North Country. It’s Main Street that puts Littleton on the map. The Littleton Opera House stands tall and proud as the staple of Main Street. A trip to the famous “Chutters” candy store, home of the longest self-serve candy counter is in order, senior travelers. So bring your sweet-tooth to Littleton.

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Littleton is the center for business, shopping, medical care, education and services in New Hampshire’s North Country. Recreation and activities abound and Main Street features dozens of unique shops.

Located in an old gristmill, Schilling Beer Co. has won fans since opening last fall for its custom small-batch brews and homey, rustic vibe, exposed beams and uneven wood floors.

“Whether you’ve packed your hiking boots or are looking for some good old New England culture, the Littleton Area has lots to offer! Having a little bit of everything in the area, it can be hard to decide what to do first!”

 Seniors Stroll The Riverwalk

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You are invited to stroll along the peaceful Riverwalk path that meanders along the Ammonoosuc River, across a covered bridge, and past many historic Littleton landmarks. Across Main Street dances a bronze statue of Pollyanna, that icon of gladness whose author, Eleanor Porter, called Littleton home.

Boston Globe highlights Littleton a “buzz around these parts that is teetering on the edge of hipness.” Some would argue that it had already achieved that status back in 1941 when Bette Davis came to town to premiere her movie “The Great Lie,” at the Jax Jr. Theater, which is still in operation.

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In any case, it’s clear that Littleton, located just north of Franconia Notch, is loaded with charm. Most of the action centers on Main Street, named one of America’s best main streets as well by the Huffington Post last month.

Always something going on in Littleton so come prepared for a good time and plan to spend a couple of days in town.  Swim, fish, hike, bike, ski or snowmobile at Franconia Notch State Park. Ride to the top of Mount Washington courtesy of the historic Cog Railway.

Littleton is a picturesque New England gem offering something for everyone including fine dining and art galleries, unique shops and historic buildings, and a range of outdoor activities for all seasons… all awaiting your visit. jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Pull Out Your Sleeping Bags

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Grab your coffee, senior friends and let’s think about sleeping under the stars in a tent…or no tent! I just came across a neat site from The Active Times that highlights 16 spectacular National Park campgrounds.

Our national parks offer access to some of the nation’s most scenic and stunning landscapes, which makes each the perfect backdrop for a picturesque camping trip.

Not that other campsites across the country aren’t worthy of visits from overnight adventurers, but when it comes to a truly memorable camping experience, what could compare to a night spent watching the sunset amidst tremendous rock formations in the California desert? Or waking up to a beachside sunrise shaded by palm trees?

These Seniors Have Great Camping Memories

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Senior campers, are you in? I hope so. My wife and I along with our 3 children spent countless hours camping all over the US and Canada.  Each of our kids still enjoy camping and I am sure that the initial experiences we shared over all those years contributed to their interest today as campers.

Our national parks are so diverse that each has something to offer for every type of camping personality. Sleep directly under the stars or seek the shelter of a rustic log cabin. Pitch your tent among magnificent mountain ranges or set up sleeping bags on the beach.

We pitched our tent along the Flathead River near Glacier National Park in Montana. I have to admit that we got soaked a few times even in our tent and later our small camper was threatened with terrible windstorms. We lived through it all and cherish every memory.

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National Parks Draw Senior Visitors

A road trip with National Parks in mind sounds like a neat idea. Great sunsets, rare wildlife encounters, alluring rock formations, 5,000 year old pines, cave formations, park amphitheaters, shady trees, serene surroundings, great camp stores, fishing, kayaking, swimming.

Take your bikes along and your hiking shoes and check out the hiking trails across the country.  A great way to get better acquainted with this great country we live in…get acquainted with our National Parks.

Jim and Jeannine Becker

SENIORS TRAVEL TO GEORGIA


Seniors Enjoy Small Town Suwanee

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Suwanee is a town in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The population runs just over 15,000. Seems like many seniors and a wide host of others are always on the alert searching for what are called the “best places to live.” CNN Money picked Suwanee #10 among the top best 100 towns in the entire country.

That’s pretty high folks considering the many alluring small towns. Let’s go exploring. CNN selects only smaller towns and interviews many locals, looking for that great combination of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community.

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That’s Suwanee! Located a short distance northeast of Atlanta. Historically, Suwanee was put on the map when the railroad was constructed through that section of Gwinnett County in 1871.

There are various accounts regarding the naming of the town. One suggests that Suwanee is an Indian word meaning “echo” while another maintains that it is the Creek word for Shawnee. Another account credits the name to the early white settlers’ way of pronouncing the word “Shawnee.” Either way, the name Suwanee appears to be closely tied to the town’s Native American heritage.

Lake, Mountains and Trails Draw Senior Visitors

Suwanee, like so many other Georgia cities and towns, grew up with both agriculture and the railroads. Although it incorporated in 1949, Suwanee remained a predominantly small community into the 1970s. When highways made it easier for people to move in and out of cities, however, Suwanee blossomed.

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The city official website can fill you in on all the amenities of Suwanee.  One of the first things I noted on this site was the 100 reasons link. Check it out and then go exploring on the dozens of other links.  You will soon see why Suwanee rates high for senior visitors and why CNN selected this town as one of the Best. And Kiplinger’s chose Suwanee one of ten Best Places to Raise a Family.

Suwanee’s “downtown” encompasses two distinct, vibrant areas: historic Old Town with a quaint commercial area along Main Street and the emerging award-winning Town Center. Suwanee is one of those great small towns that keep getting better and better.

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It has excellent schools, some of the best parks in the state, great dining and shopping, and affordable housing. As a middle class suburb of Atlanta, it is close to many jobs and offers great opportunities for those that own their own business.

Only a few minutes from Suwanee is Lake Lanier and not far past the lake is the North Georgia Mountains   where you can hike, camp, and enjoy a plethora of wildlife.  And cycling trails. You will find them all over the place.

Senior visitors, enjoy this town for yourself. You will find it highly inviting and full of folks who will join in on any conversation you wish to start. jeb

SENIORS ENJOY IOWA CITY


These Iowans Know Iowa City

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Both the senior Beckers were born and raised in Iowa. One in Monmouth (moi) and one in New Hartford (elle), both small towns. We stand proud of the fact that we spent our childhood years in Iowa… a great state to raise a family.

Jim (moi) spent a summer at the Univ. of Iowa taking graduate courses in French and Jeannine (elle) was a Speech Therapist. We cherish our time living in Iowa City with our two small children.

Iowa City, in Johnson County, with a population of 70,000, is the fifth-largest city in the state. Offering big-city amenities with small-town hospitality, Iowa City seems to have  it all. Nestled in the heart of the Midwest in east central Iowa, it has long served as a locus for culture, education, variety and fun.

Seniors Find Iowa City’s Story Downtown

Image 25Iowa City’s Downtown District provides a memorable experience for senior visitors. Downtown is a story in of itself, a place steeped in local flavor and history, alive with participatory art and music, a living room to the University of Iowa, a home to literary giants, and an extraordinary community experience.

It is home to unique shops and restaurants with art galleries and performance venues dotting the landscape.

The University of Iowa campus, intertwined with Downtown, showcases the Old Capitol Museum, the Pentacrest Museums, the Museum of Natural History and other fine cultural attractions. Seniors can enjoy a variety of art and cultural options throughout the year.

The University’s Writer’s Workshop is internationally acclaimed, having fostered the creative talents of Ray Bradbury, Flannery O’Connor, Jane Smiley, and Kurt Vonnegut. Iowa City is recognized as one of only five UNESCO Cities of Literature in the world. The University also includes one of the largest university-owned teaching hospitals in the nation.

Parks And Trails

Image 22 There are 41 public parks in the city and for you dedicated hikers, the six-mile Iowa River Corridor (IRC) Trail is Iowa City’s longest and most heavily used trail. The IRC Trail provides access to several parks, the University of Iowa campus, downtown Iowa City and the Iowa River.

It connects to many intersecting streets and sidewalks, and on its north end provides access to its next-door neighbor Coralville.

The Coralville Reservoir, just 3½ miles north of Iowa City, offers a multitude of recreational opportunities. The area is laced with attractive hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing trails. The Amana Colonies are just a 20-minute drive west of the city. The seven colonies offer the best in German home-style food and traditional crafts.

The small town of Kalona lies southwest of Iowa City, offering senior visitors a glimpse into the culture of the Amish population that calls the area home. West Branch is located just east of Iowa City and is the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, America’s 31st president and home to his Presidential Library.

Iowa City can fill an itinerary with lots of memorable things to see and do. jeb

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