Articles Tagged with: fishing

SENIORS TRAVEL TO NORTHERN NEW YORK STATE


Seniors Enjoy a Stopover in Watertown

bb I was watching the weather forecast for the eastern US and noticed the town of Watertown.  Senior travelers can find Watertown, New York (pop. 27,000) approximately 20 miles south of the Thousand Islands and the Canadian border, and 70 miles north of Syracuse on I-81.

The city of was settled in 1800 by pioneers from New Hampshire. They chose the area for the power supplied by the Black River for paper mills and other major industries. Named after the many falls located on the Black River, the city developed early in the 19th century as a manufacturing center.

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From years of generating industrial wealth, in the early 20th century Watertown was said to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in the nation. This senior learned that Watertown is the birthplace of the Five and Dime store (Woolworth’s) and the safety pin.

Seniors Find County Fair, Football Franchise and Military Base

The first portable steam engine was manufactured in Watertown and it has the longest continually operating county fair in the country at the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds. The local Red and Black football franchise is the oldest surviving semi-professional team in the United States. Fort Drum military base is northeast of Watertown and the town is a major service and shopping destination for the fort’s 13,000 personnel.

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Historic Thompson Park is a large, city-owned public park featuring a zoo, tennis courts, playgrounds, a public pool, picnic areas, large open fields which host various sports and activities, an 18-hole golf course, hiking trails, and many picturesque views of the city.

Me, I’d want to head off to the Burrville Cider Mill,  one of Jefferson County’s oldest establishments. The structure, formerly known as Burr’s Mills, was built in 1801 and was originally used as a sawmill and a gristmill. Electricity, rather than waterpower, now runs the Mill equipment.

 Scenic Area Draws Seniors

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Watertown has something for everyone! For the senior outdoors lovers, picturesque scenery of the Adirondacks opens the way to the 1,000 Islands region and Lake Ontario. Boating, fishing, rafting, hiking, camping, and quaint rural atmosphere abounds.

The Greater Watertown-North Country (GWNC) Chamber of Commerce boasts over 1,000 members. See what Best of the Road has to say about Watertown. Many well-known people hail from Watertown, including John Foster Dulles, the former U.S. Secretary of State.

Maybe drop in out of the sky, as the town has its own international airport. Seniors, see for yourself and experience all the amenities the town has to offer. -jeb

SENIOR DESTINATION: DURANGO, COLORADO


Seniors Ride the Narrow Gauge Railroad

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Durango, Colorado is a year-round, vacation destination where senior visitors can ride the world famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train is a remnant of the time when Durango was a mining town where silver and gold flowed from the mines of the La Plata Mountains.

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Many visitors go over to nearby Mesa Verde National Park where skiers and snowboarders enjoy the slopes of Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort.

I would try to time my visit in the fall, that perfect season to enjoy the color and beauty of the mountains. We would explore downtown’s shopping boutiques, fine restaurants and historic hotels.

My wife and I always choose to stay in a historic B&B or hotel on our visits. The Strater Hotel would fit the bill quite nicely. Dating back to 1887, it is one of the West’s iconic hotels in downtown Durango.

300 Days of Sunshine Attracts Seniors

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The City of Durango, with its population of 17,000, is the county seat of La Plata County and enjoys over 300 days of sunshine. Seniors can enjoy the scenic countryside; the San Juan range is amazing to visit in any season.  

You won’t have any problem searching for attractions in Durango. Senior visitors can choose whitewater rafting, hiking the Animas River Trail, skiing, biking, fishing in the local streams, horseback riding and snowmobiling.

For another “adventure” the Full Blast Zipline Canopy Tour is  only 1 mile from downtown Durango. Oh yes, Fort Lewis College calls Durango home.

 Historic Train Attraction

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The Animas (that’s River) Museum is in the old City School (1904) with the history of La Plata County. It features exhibits, programs, archives of old photos and if you are interested, a research library to take you back to the olden days in and around Durango.

Much of Durango’s history dates back to the building of the railroad. In 1860, a prospector discovered flakes of gold in the San Juan Mountains north of present-day Durango.

The train that hauled precious metals in the 1880s, now takes tourists for a 47-mile, open-air journey through mountains and forests and past abandoned mines to historic Silverton and back.

Seniors, set your GPS for Durango and experience some of Colorado’s scenic wonders and its many attractions. It’s a city that offers a dozen vacations in just one destination. I would have to agree that Durango is one crafty little mountain town! - jeb

SENIORS DRIVE TO SHEBOYGAN, WISCONSIN


Seniors Discover the “Spirit on the Lake”

city_montageThe Spirit on the Lake is Sheboygan, Wisconsin. This senior has always liked that name “Sheboygan”. This city of around 50,000 is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan 50 mi north of Milwaukee and 64 mi south of Green Bay.

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TripAdvisor suggests Bookworm Gardens  followed by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. After those fun visits, I’d want to head off to the Sheboygan County Historical Society. They note that it is believed that in 1635 Jean Nicolet, the French explorer, was the first recorded European settler to have visited this locality.

Senior visitors will find plenty to see and do in Sheboygan. I counted nine additional museums in town. The Blue Harbor Resort is a classic lakeside getaway. The Lake View Mansion B&B is another choice for a stay with a memorable view of Lake Michigan. And seniors will find that Harbor Centre is a popular hangout.

Seniors Enjoy Views of Lake Michigan

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From breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and large sandy beaches to world class sailing and premier charter fishing, this costal community is full of “spirit.” For time spent out of the water, the historic downtown district boasts unique shopping, dining, and entertainment for senior visitors.

Sheboygan has 34 beautiful parks and 3 athletic complexes that offer a variety of outdoor recreation options. The Hmong population (over 5,000) are part of the city, and like many towns in Wisconsin, Sheboygan has few readily apparent signs that such a large Hmong population is indeed there.

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Sheboygan was officially founded in 1846 and lumbering was the first major industry. Trees were harvested and shipped to eastern markets through the Great Lakes. There are many theories as to how Sheboygan got its name, but most likely Sheboygan was a Chippewa Indian word meaning “passage or waterway between the lakes.”

 Seniors Enjoy Downtown Historic District

You will find nine buildings, including four churches, in the downtown historic district that are worthy of National Register listing. In addition, The Sheboygan Indian Mound Park is a public park with 18 Indian burial mounds distributed over 15 acres.

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Many of us remember the (in)famous ‘80′s commercials featuring the phrase, “Charlie’s cookin’ Johnsonville Brats!” Few others know that these are the very sausages that have made Sheboygan famous. Visitors can attend the annual Bratwurst Days festival as well as see the Dairyland Surf Classic, the largest lake surfing competition in the world.

Put your clubs in the trunk and play a couple of rounds at the Whistling Straits golf course that “Illuminates The Sheboygan Area” to get a taste of Pebble Beach right in the heart of the Midwest.  It is where the 2015 PGA Tournament was played.

The University of Wisconsin has a campus in Sheboygan. My wife and I always enjoy a nice walk through the campus. Seems like something is going on all year long and all four seasons. -jeb

SENIORS DISCOVER ISLA HOLBOX, MEXICO


Seniors Enjoy the Eden of Mexico

holbox_main Holbox (pop. 1,600) is an island in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, located 7 miles north of the Yucatán Peninsula. Senior travelers can find this island about 40 miles northwest of Cancun. Holbox Island is just 26 miles / 42 km long.

Holbox, called the “Eden of Mexico,” is separated from the mainland coast of Mexico by a shallow lagoon which gives sanctuary to thousands of flamingos, pelicans and other exotic birds and creatures. It is an ideal place for senior birders to enjoy spending a couple of days just enjoying the winged wonders of the island.

Holbox has several alternatives to enjoy nature, but the one that attracts most visitors is the experience of swimming with the impressive whale shark from June to September, an opportunity you can experience in very few parts of the world.

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Seniors Discover One Of Mexico’s Well Kept Secrets

Isla Holbox is a well kept secret not known to many Mexicans outside of the Yucatan. The island was settled by pirates who intermarried with local Mayans living in the area. Incidentally for your information, Isla Holbox is pronounced i-la holebosh – “x” in Mayan is pronounced “sh”.

If you are like me and enjoy a tour of wherever you are before you go out to discover sites for yourself, check out the various tours available on Isla Holbox. A modern catamaran takes senior visitors to Holbox in just 15 minutes.

Holbox (“black hole” in Yucatec Maya) is full of surprises. Both the land and the people are special, something to be explored at leisure and cherished. The locals of Holbox invite you to enjoy the natural beauty of their island.

Fishing, Birding and Whale Watching

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Fishing remains a major draw for those of us who enjoy casting a line. For the more adventurous visitors, kiteboarding is lot of fun at Isla Holbox. The island is lined with seemingly endless beaches, tranquil waters and a galaxy of shells in various shapes and colors.

Lying within the Yum Balam reserve, Holbox is home to more than 150 species of birds, including roseate spoonbills, pelicans, herons, ibis and flamingos. In summer, whale sharks congregate nearby in unheard-of quantities. Once on site you will want to enjoy the Yalahau Lagoon. The La Odonata is a great place for enjoying the seafoods of the Caribbean.

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The highlight of Isla Holbox is the annual migration of the whale shark, the largest fish in the world, an event that happens every summer in the Gulf of Mexico. Dolphin and whale watching is another fun activity. All transportation on the island is by golf-carts, motorbikes, bicycles and of course walking.

They say that it is hard to believe that a place like this could be so close to the megalithic tourist destination of Cancún and yet be a million miles away in attitude, natural beauty and environmental diversity and so loaded with “Island Life.”  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO VENICE, FLORIDA


Seniors Find a Paradise on the Gulf

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It’s Florida, not Italy and this Venice is noted for its large snowbird population, kind of like Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun in Arizona. This Venice is located in Sarasota County and has a population of just over 20,000.

Ever see someone with a shark’s tooth necklace around their neck? Perhaps, just perhaps it came from Venice, the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”. It hosts the Shark’s Tooth Festival in April each year to celebrate the abundance of fossilized shark’s teeth that can be found on its coastal shores, especially on Venice Municipal Beach.

Hunting for shark teeth sounds fun to me. The teeth may be black, brown, or gray, depending on the minerals in the soil in which they have been buried. They range in size from one eighth inch to three inches, and on rare occasions even larger. And get this, an average Tiger shark can produce as many as 24,000 teeth in something like ten years.

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Seniors Enjoy White Sand Gulf Coast

Just south of Sarasota along Florida’s white-sanded Gulf Coast, Venice offers 14 miles of beaches from Casey Key to Manasota Key and plenty of recreational activities that includes swimming, sunbathing, fishing and boating. Venice is home to Stephen King and several other notables.

Venice has lots to offer senior visitors. The 700-foot long Fishing Pier at Brohard Park is a major attraction. There is a 10-mile long, 10-foot wide linear trail for walkers, joggers and bikers. TripAdvisor’s #1 attraction is the Venice Theatre. Make plans early to take in a show because they are constantly sold out of performances.

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Caspersen Beach runs a close second for visitor popularity. It is a prime seashell-collecting spot with nature trails, canoeing and kayaking through coastal mangroves. Flanked by the Gulf of Mexico and northern Lemon Bay, Caspersen is 177 acres of cabbage palms, sea grapes and sea oats.

Senior visitors will discover free parking, picnic areas with two pavilions, a canopied playground, a paved and shelled walking/hiking/biking paths, restrooms, canoe/kayak launch and fitness park. 

 Seniors Flock To Warm Community

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The local Chamber notes that Venice is a warm, friendly community. Whether seniors like shopping in the unique stores of the downtown Venice Main Street district or prefer golfing, boating, fishing, or just laying on the beach, the five community area of Osprey, Laurel, Nokomis, Venice and South Venice has it all.

They further note that you can experience the charm and splendor of Venice that has enchanted visitors for over a hundred years. “Just a short drive away from Florida’s themed attractions and cultural hot spots, Venice showcases the small town ambiance of Old Florida where shop owners know you by name and Friday nights mean hometown football games.”

Check out their Top 10 List of Things to Do in Venice and enjoy your visit -jeb

SENIORS JOURNEY TO WASHOUGAL, WASHINGTON


Washougal Invites Seniors

xlogo2.png.pagespeed.ic.90QObXX_H1Washougal, Washington with a population of just under 15,000, is a distant suburb of Portland, senior travelers discover. Washougal was officially incorporated on December 4, 1908. Its Mount Pleasant Grange Hall is the oldest continually used grange hall in the state.

It is said that Washougal is the “crossroads to discovery” in the Pacific Northwest.  It is named after a tributary river that flows into the Columbia and the name means “rushing water” in the Chinook dialect.

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The Washougal area has one of the oldest histories in the region, dating back to the time when all of the surrounding land was occupied by the Chinook tribe.

Washougal is in the Columbia River Gorge along the Washougal River, which runs right through the town. The Washougal River is one of the premiere Salmon and Steelhead rivers in the state. Seniors, bring along your favorite pole.

Washougal is considered one of the gateways to the Columbia Gorge. Senior outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, rafting the gorge and wind-sailing on the Columbia River.

 Senior Motocross Buffs Take Note

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Washougal is world famous as the location of the Washougal MX Park. America’s most scenic raceway was established in 1971 in the rolling hills and green forests of southwest Washington. Only one of three natural terrain raceways in America, Washougal MX Park is used as the backdrop for national races.

Washougal annually hosts a motorcycling event that started in 1971 with a few motorcycle enthusiasts. It now brings over 20,000 participants and fans from around the world. In July, throngs gather to watch daring feats on two wheels, while the roar of engines is heard echoing through the foothills for miles.

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Columbia River, 10 miles east of Vancouver. The 1,049-acre Wildlife Refuge has been designated as the location for a “Gateway to the Gorge” visitor center.

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 Senior History Buffs and Lewis and Clark

Historically, the Washougal area was a major part of the Lewis and Clark’s Corp of Discovery journey. They camped at Cottonwood Beach, just a short walk from the River Heritage Museum, for six days back in 1806.

The Museum is strategically located in downtown Washougal only two minutes from the Columbia River. One mile to the east is the famous Lewis and Clark campsite.

Washougal is a cool small town, with Mount Hood rising up to the east, the Columbia River to the south, the Cascade mountain foothills gently sloping up to the north, and the gorgeous – and noted for its white water rafting – Washougal River running through it.

The amenities run deep as does the fishing in and around Washougal. Plan to spend a few days in Washington State and if your timing is right, you will hear the roar of motorcycles.  Enjoy. -jeb

SENIORS LOVE VERMONT


Seniors Discover Quechee Gorge

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When I first saw this name as a site selected by CNN as a great place to visit, this senior just had to check it out. I learned that Quechee Gorge (pronunciation: kwee chee)  is known as Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon and is located in Hartford, Vermont.

The length of the Gorge is 1.4 miles.  As I live in Arizona, “little” makes more sense, especially if you have visited our “Grand Canyon” that is a mile deep and 277 miles long. Nevertheless, the Quechee Gorge is impressive.

Quechee was settled in the 1760s when homesteaders were deeded acres for the erection of mills along the Ottauquechee River. The mills became the heartbeat of this community, providing everything from lumber to cider for the settlers. To accommodate growing traffic, a bridge was built over the Ottauquechee River at the current site of the Quechee covered bridge.

 Seniors Find A Popular Natural Wonder

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Quechee is the home of the Quechee Lakes planned community, with two eighteen hole golf courses. The town is host to a popular hot air balloon festival, Scottish Games, Quechee Polo Grounds, and the Simon Pearce glass blowing and pottery facility, keeping things hopping all year long. Senior visitors can start off at the modern Quechee Gorge Visitors Center in White River Junction.

Today the Gorge is one of New England’s most popular natural wonders. Over 200,000 yearly visitors enjoy the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, fishing and canoeing the river, hiking trails, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Established in 1985, and located in the heart of the Quechee Gorge, Quechee Gorge Village has evolved into one of the best shopping attractions in the state of Vermont. Seniors can visit the Cabot Quechee Store, Danforth Pewter, Vermont Toy & Train Museum, Vermont Spirits, The Quechee Diner and Snow Farm Gallery.

Covered Bridge, Cool Gorge and Hot Air Balloons

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The town itself with about 700 inhabitants has lots of shops, a waterfall, a covered bridge, and one very cool gorge easily viewed from a bridge that crosses the main road into town. If you drive a little farther out of town, you will see Farmer’s Diner, a throwback to an earlier age with a old red barn and one of those old original dining cars that looks like it fell off a train. The antique mall features more than 450 booths.

Every Father’s Day Weekend, folks come from all over to enjoy the annual Quechee Hot Air Ballon Festival. For those of you who enjoy hiking, an easy trail takes you along Quechee Gorge, up to waterfalls and Dewey’s Mill Pond.

Further exploration along the Ottauquechee River (pronounced AWT-ah-KWEE-chee) leads you through green meadows and colorful Vermont  woods. Now you know all about Quechee, so plan to stop by and see that famous gorge for yourself and maybe dine at Farmer’s Diner.  jeb

SENIORS LIKE MARTHA’S VINEYARD


Seniors Enjoy Oak Bluffs

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President Obama played a round or two of golf on a recent vacation to Oak Bluffs, “a place in the sun.”  This senior will almost bet he played at Farm Neck Golf Club. I figured that there must be something special about Martha’s Vineyard that attracted him there.

Located on the northeast shore of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Oak Bluffs is a resort town with the population right at 4,000 happy Vinardians (that’s what I’m labeling the folks who live there).

Incorporated in 1880 as Cottage City, in 1907 the town’s name was changed to Oak Bluffs. Downtown offers senior visitors a wide selection of unique restaurants, shops and live entertainment. We are never too old to climb on board a carrousel and the country’s oldest operating platform carousel, known as the Flying Horses Carousel (Circa 1876) features wooden horses and real stirrups.

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Oak Bluffs operates the largest marina on Martha’s Vineyard, which not only has the most slips, but is situated in the midst of the historic gingerbread campgrounds, and offers easy access to the rest of the Island. The town is home to several beautiful public beaches, a teaming shore of wildlife, fish and shellfish, fabulous public parks, a golf course for the prexy and even a microbrewery.

Seniors Discover An Unusual Place

Folks who have been there say that the town of Oak Bluffs is an unusual place.  Any place that needs words like gingerbread, ethereal, phantasmagorical and Carpenter Gothic to describe it is extremely unusual.

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It’s at Oak Bluffs that senior visitors can step back in time to an era of excitement and oh yes…elegance. Pristine beaches, festivals, fireworks, super seafood, fishing, free concerts as well as fabulous park-spaces and  you can walk to everything.

Oak Bluffs was the only one of the six towns on the island to be consciously planned, and the only one developed specifically with tourism in mind. Oak Bluffs has a large well to do African American community, particularly in the summer season when many families vacation along the clean sandy shores of Nantucket Sound.

 The Best of Martha’s Vineyard

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Oak Bluffs enjoys its title as…“The Best of Martha’s Vineyard.”  Now I know why President Obama chose Oak Bluffs. September is the perfect time to hop the Steamship Authority ferries in Woods Hole and visit the village on Martha’s Vineyard.

One of the most visited sites is Oaks Bluffs Cottage Campground Historic District dating back to the 1800′s. The Corbin-Norton house on Ocean Avenue is one not to be missed. Totally awesome. A fishing trip is also a great idea… that will depart from Oak Bluffs harbor.

Senior visitors can enjoy the sites, great food, great golf, great fishing, and great sea air.  I can’t wait for my wife and me to visit Oak Bluffs. jeb

CALIFORNIA DRAWS SENIORS


Seniors Find Jackson Nearly Ideal

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Jackson, California, ‘The Friendliest Town in the Motherlode’, was selected recently as one great place for seniors to retire. Not large, 5,000+, Jackson is the county seat of Amador County. The area was inhabited by the Northern Sierra Indians, who occupied areas along creeks.

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Accessible by State Route 49 and State Route 88, senior travelers will find Jackson southeast of Sacramento and northeast of Stockton. It is not far from both the Stanislaus and Eldorado National Forests. Called “The Friendliest Town in the Gold Country,” Jackson is a gateway to the Sierra Mountains just off to the east of the town.

What is there to do in Amador County? The answer is easy: just about anything! Popular outdoor activities include whitewater kayaking through the Mokelumne River Canyon, skiing and horseback riding at Kirkwood, lake and stream fishing and spelunking at nationally acclaimed caves like Black Chasm.

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There are some great wineries (Kendall-Jackson) in the region and the area abounds in fertile valleys. Senior visitors can enjoy the flowers at the Flower Farm or Daffodil Hill.

Seniors Head For Daffodil Hill

Jackson was founded in 1848 around a year-round spring, like so many settlements all over the west. Water was #1. Settlement of the region by American pioneers was stimulated by the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills around 1848. The settlement was later named for a local lawyer who was liked by miners named Alden Appola Moore Jackson.

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Being a Master Gardener, I would head for the #1 tourist attraction in town called Daffodil Hill. Each spring Daffodil Hill explodes with thousands of blooms, attracting visitors from around the world.

Also being a wannabe historian, the historic Jackson Pioneer Cemetery would be of interest to this senior as well. While Jackson had quartz mines from the 1850s, none of them – not even the famous Kennedy or Argonaut on its outskirts – were continually profitable until late in the 19th century.

You will want to take the walking tour of Historic Main Street and perhaps some gold mine tours in Jackson. That walk features antiques, art, books, crafts, fine wines and some great gourmet food. In addition, visit the historic hotel and Saloon Restaurants.

There is a host of unique shops in Jackson, in addition the Jackson Ranchera Casino is a major draw. So meander over to Jackson and enjoy. jeb

SENIORS VISIT ARKANSAS


Seniors Find Lake Village Chic

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 Nestled on the banks of beautiful Lake Chicot, Lake Village is a natural for the senior outdoor enthusiast or the amateur historian. Life in Lake Village, population 2500+, for both the young and the “young at heart”, epitomizes the hometown hospitality of southeast Arkansas and the Delta.

Lake Village is named for its location on Lake Chicot.  Apparently the lake formed in 1350 when the Mississippi River changed its route, leaving a thin horseshoe shaped lake that was part of the old river route.

According to a popular legend, the remains of Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto might be buried under Lake Chicot back in the 1500′s. He was given a water burial in Lake Chicot on his way back to the Gulf of Mexico after his discovery of the State of Arkansas. It is said that Charles Lindbergh made his first nighttime flight over Lake Chicot and Lake Village in April 1923.

 Senior Historians Drawn to Lake Village

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Lake Village has nine properties listed on the National Register of  Historic Places. The nearby Lakeport Plantation is also on that listing.

The Lake Village Commercial Historic District, with 38 buildings, reflects the growth of Lake Village as a nucleus of commerce and trade in southeast Arkansas,” the National Register nomination says.

Nationally known for its ability to produce record large mouth bass, Lake Chicot also offers an abundance of crappie, bream and catfish for the avid senior angler. With over 20 miles of waterfront and four public launching ramps, even the novice fisherman can be assured the “Catch of the Day.”

Lake Village is the county seat of Chicot County.  The economy is agricultural based. The crops grown are mainly cotton, soybeans and wheat. There is also a large aquacultural base consisting mainly of catfish farmers. The Mississippi Delta’s captivating beauty and recreational opportunities come together at Lake Chicot.

 Seniors Enjoy Fishing, Boating And Birdwatching

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Cut off centuries ago from the main channel when the Mississippi River changed course, this 20-mile long oxbow lake is a peaceful setting for fishing, boating, and bird watching. Lake Chicot State Park offers cabins, campgrounds, a marina and other recreational opportunities.

The park’s visitor center contains exhibits on area history and natural resources and has free brochures detailing self-guided Mississippi River levee and Civil War tours.

The lake was discovered by the French explorer LaSalle in 1686 and was given the name “Isle de Chicot” which means island of stumps. He gave it this name because of the many cypress knees he mistakenly thought were stumps.

In late summer, small cypresses across from the park sometimes appear as if covered with snow as hundreds of wading birds, including great and snowy egrets, fly in to roost. Warm-season, evening barge tours of a swampy area at the lake’s north end reveal alligators, owls, raccoons and other wildlife. I think that senior travelers will really enjoy a visit to Lake Village.

Come and take it all in for yourself.  jeb

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