Articles Tagged with: hiking


Kawela Bay Is An Untouched Gem

My wife and I took the complete bus tour around Oahu for our 50th, but these seniors don’t remember passing by Kawela Bay. It’s probably due to the fact that Kawela Bay is one of the most secluded sandy beaches on the island. It is located near the famed Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of the island.

The Bay made major news recently as part of the movie Hunger Games – Catching Fire and a host of others were filmed there. Jennifer Lawrence might be the celebrity muscle of the “Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire,” but viewers soon find Oahu to be a superstar of the film.

Kawela Bay’s seclusion makes it an enviable spot for beach goers and the perfect place to get away from the crowds to enjoy a day of relaxation. The warm calm turquoise waters are free of currents and remains undisturbed by large winter waves because of a reef at the entrance of the bay. Surfboarding is big and this is a perfect place for senior travelers to swim, snorkel and scuba dive.

 Kawela Bay Draws Seniors

Kawela Bay is a perfect spot to unwind. Years ago, honu (turtles in Hawaiian) were often seen coming ashore to lay their eggs in the sand, hence the name Turtle Bay. The Bay is home to giant sea turtles that swim right along with you.

The unique banyan trees are nearby this beach on the property of the Resort. Senior visitors bathe in the calm water or just enjoy a peaceful stroll along the beach. Narrow and bordered by a tropical forest, the beach is populated with ironwood trees and a few coconut palms. Watch out for falling coconuts!

Here’s a super site that highlights Kawela Bay with a host of great photos. Senior travelers will find the Bay very picturesque and quiet. It is suggested that you park along the highway and walk through the trees to discover the Bay that is protected by a large reef keeping nearshore waters calm year-round and diffuses high waves during winter months.

 An Untouched Gem

Wikipedia has all the specs on the Bay including the 2010 census with a population of 330. Here’s a quickie view of the Bay and you’ll soon see why they call it an untouched gem on Oahu. If you know anything about Oahu’s North Shore, you know that beach goers, snorkelers and surfers all consider it a favorite.

On weekends and weekdays alike senior visitors will be hard pressed to find a parking spot at the most popular beaches. Now imagine a beach on North Shore where, on a Saturday, you can find no more than ten people lying in the sun.

Other recreational activities for seniors include golf, hiking, biking, horseback riding, windsurfing and sailing. Haleiwa Town is just a 15-minute drive from Kawela, and Honolulu is approximately 48 miles away. That’s Kawela Bay. Grab your flippers and check it out for yourself.  jeb


Seniors Say Howdy in Sherman/Denison

AARP has selected Sherman/Denison as one of the Best Places to Live cities in the country. Denison has a population of around 25,000 and Sherman is a little larger with 40,000 happy Texans. Senior travelers will find them 70 miles north of Dallas in Grayson County along the Red River which separates Texas and Oklahoma… home to beautiful Lake Texoma and Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.

Denison has its own city website that will provide a nice overview including the city government, the community and things senior visitors might want to do while in town. Located in the heart of Denison, Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site showcases the home where the 34th U.S. President Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was born in 1890.

Denison has been around since 1872 and was named after Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT) Vice-President George Denison. Today, the MKT, better known as Katy Railroad, has merged with the Union Pacific. From its beginning, the railroad has been an important part of the city.

Seniors Count the Firsts

Throughout Denison’s existence, it has been known as the city of “Firsts” as well as a trend setter. Some of these include the “First Ice Cream Soda”, “First Ice Factory in North Texas”, “First Free Public Graded School in Texas”, “First Women’s Club in Texas”, “First interurban line in Texas”, “First with the tallest building in Texas” and where the Marx Brothers “First got their start at the Denison Opera House”. Plus Downtown Denison is a viable market for affordable fine art. Denison is home to Grayson College. How about that Partner?

Seniors Drive Over to Sherman

Same thing for Sherman with links to its multiple festivals and events as well as its principal attractions that includes the Sherman Museum. The Museum has a wealth of information, exhibits, and photos that chronicle Sherman’s history beginning in the mid-19th century. Senior visitors will discover that the arts and entertainment options are plentiful, especially for Sherman’s size.

Downtown is considered the arts district, which is home to theaters, Kidd-Key Auditorium and Austin College. Year-round, the beautifully restored Kidd-Key Auditorium is host to the Community Series, a concert series including opera arias.

And Austin College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas. It was founded by the Presbyterian Church in 1849 and continues its relationship with the church and its commitment to a heritage that values personal growth, justice, community, and service.

If you’re an enthusiast of outdoors and recreation, then Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge has plenty for senior visitors to enjoy. Not only is it the perfect backdrop for activities including hiking, birding and boating, they include monthly seminars and auto tours to better educate all the visitors. Enjoy your visit to North Texas.  jeb




Seniors Seek Out Islamorada

Islamorada, a “Village of Islands” is an incorporated village in the Florida Keys. Senior fishermen know it as the sportsfishing capital of the world. Islamorada is situated between the saltwater wilderness of Everglades National Park in one direction and North America’s only coral barrier reef and the deep blue waters of the Florida Straits in the other.

Comprised of six islands, the name Islamorada is translated from Spanish as “purple isles. This might be the only place on Earth where it is possible to catch a sailfish in the morning, and then venture into the backcountry in pursuit of bonefish, tarpon, snook and redfish in just inches of water.

The Village of Islamorada has just over 6,000 inhabitants. Perhaps you may know the name Ted Williams of baseball’s Hall of Fame status.  He spent over 45 years in Islamorada as the island’s most famous resident.

The Chamber hosts the rumor that Islamorada hosts a largest fishing fleet per square mile than anywhere else in the world. That makes for a lot of boats folks. This near perfect senior vacation destination offers something to do in, under, above or near the water 24 hours a day.

You’ll find things to see and do in town that includes feeding wild tarpon by hand. Anne’s beach is a must stop while visiting the Keys. It’s quiet and you can find small coves to nestle in for even more privacy. Four state parks dot these chain of islands and at Long Key State Park are  lush, tropical nature trails for some unique Florida senior hiking.

Head over to Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, where you can view an old quarry dug by Henry Flagler’s railroad workers, or try a side trip to Indian Key Botanical State Park to learn about the state’s island history dating back to the early 1800′s.

Seniors Enjoy Fresh Seafood

Fresh seafood is the hallmark of the Islamorada dining scene. Seniors enjoy a tropical-themed bar to soak in the full Florida Keys experience with a frozen umbrella drink. For a dose of culture, take in fine art and music while strolling through the Morada Way Art and Cultural District. For a dose of history take in the History of Diving Museum and the Theater of the Sea.

Attention Senior Snorkelers

Snorkeling is a lot safer than scuba diving, especially for us older folks. While Islamorada fishing is a top tourist attraction, this tropical marine paradise is also making its name as one of the hottest spots for Florida snorkeling as well.

It’s one thing to see tropical marine life in an aquarium, but nothing compares to diving into the water yourself to swim with them. Swimmers  will relish in the variety of shallow coral reefs, mini walls, and shipwrecks hidden just beneath the surface.

Enjoy the water, the beaches and especially the famed glorious sunsets. jeb




Seniors Head for the Green Cape

Cape Verde, officially the Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atantic Ocean, 570 kilometers off the coast of Western Africa. This senior finds it interesting that there are so many people living clear out there in the Atlantic Ocean.Of course I guess one could say the same thing about the Hawaiian Islands.

The country has an estimated population (most of them creole) of about 500,000, with its capital city of Praia accounting for a quarter of its citizens. Nearly 38% of the population lives in rural areas according to the 2010 Cape Verdean census.

The uninhabited islands of the Cape Verde archipelago were discovered by Italian and Portuguese navigators way back around 1456. The islands of Cape Verde have a pleasant climate during most of the year with 350 days of sunshine, and some of them offer impressive mountain scenery as well.

The United States and Cape Verde have strong historical roots. As early as the 1740s, U.S. whaling ships began recruiting crews from the islands of Brava and Fogo, and other ships from the American colonies routinely anchored in Cape Verdean ports to trade. Some 4,000 American citizens now reside in the country. Must be something there for senior citizens to check out.

Cape Verde is sometimes referred to as the Undiscovered Islands. Mt. Fogo is Cape Verde’s highest peak (2829m/9382ft), the conical, cinder-clad Mt Fogo, rises dramatically out of the floor of an ancient crater known as Chã das Caldeiras. A scenic, cobbled road, punctuated by hamlets with lava block houses, encircles the island. Seniors, it’s still an active volcano but the last eruption was in 1995.

Seniors, Let’s Head For Mindelo

Set around a moon-shaped port and ringed by barren mountains, Mindelo is Cape Verde’s answer to the Riviera, complete with cobblestone streets, candy-colored colonial buildings and yachts bobbing in a peaceful harbor. Mindelo produces more than its fair share of the islands’ poets, musicians and stylish bars.

The islands are full of contrasts; flat, barren and parched islands like Sal in the east to mountainous, cloud capped islands such as Santo Antao in the west. Black sand beaches, bleached-white beaches, high cliffs, mountainous peaks and desert plains interrupted by volcanic cones.

Seniors, there is plenty to see and do: diving, hill walking, fishing, windsurfing or just relaxing on the beach with a Mai Tai or a Cuba Libre.  Since tourism is a relatively recent arrival, senior visitors can still sample the real culture of the islands from the more European (Sao Vicente) to the more African (Santiago).

Enjoy your every moment on Cape Verde. jeb




Seniors Discover Morro Bay

Morro Bay, California is a great place for seniors to spend some time. It’s a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County with a population that runs just over 10,000. The town of Morro Baywas founded by Franklin Riley in 1870 as a port for the export of dairy and ranch products. He was instrumental in the building of a wharf which has now become the Embarcadero.

This seaside village is get a getaway for senior travelers seeking outdoor adventures in a gorgeous natural setting. Located along scenic Highway 1 midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Morro Bay is easy to reach and hard to leave. And the famed Avocado – Margherita Festival, in September, packs in tourists from around the country. Do you enjoy eating avocados? Just imagine winning a Year’s Supply. Wow!

Morro Bay in 60 seconds? Yes, you can visit Morro Bay here in 60 seconds, but in person, you will need quite a bit longer. The Bay is located near Hearst Castle and the Big Sur Coast.

Its famous landmark, Morro Rock, was named by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo when he first charted this coast during his 16th century voyage of discovery.

Morro Rock is a 581-foot volcanic plug located just offshore from Morro Bay at the entrance to Morro Bay Harbor. That’s one big volcanic rock folks.

Senior Birders, Golfers, Hikers Welcome

Senior citizens will find the town to be a pleasant tourist destination with mild weather all year long. The Visitor’s Center invites birders to enjoy the over 200 species that gather in the area. For many years, the town was focused completely on the commercial fishing fleet that harbored in the sheltered waters of the Morro Bay estuary, but today it has much more to see and so.

So bring along those golf clubs if you are a golfer. Senior visitors can enjoy nature hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, bicycling, camping, sport fishing, whale watching & sailboarding. Pick up some picnic supplies at the weekly Farmers’ Market; rent a bike, hike, eat, golf, take a boat trip or just walk around the town. It will all be memorable in Morro Bay.

TripAdvisor has a vacation all planned out for you including some top notch B&Bs, restaurants and a beautiful beach. Wikitravel will fill up your itinerary with lots to do that includes an aquarium, a state park and the Embarcadero, the main tourist area and lines the east side of the bay. It is a great walking experience along a working port and eco-tourist destination.

A variety of marine life is found in Morro Bay, from sea otters to sea lions, and the town is a declared bird sanctuary. Excellent deep sea fishing originates at the north end of the Embarcadero. Morro Bay is not to be missed on your journey up the Californis coast. Enjoy the Bay and all it has to offer.

I’ll meet all you seniors at the Avocado-Margherita Festival in September!   jeb




We’re Off to the “Land of Umpqua”

Seniors, I’ll bet that you have no idea where we’re going today.  I just was sent a neat travel brochure on Roseburg, Oregon.  What does “Umpqua” mean? “Thundering waters” or “across the waters” are two popular translations for this surviving word of the Umpqua language. Another definition is “satisfied” – as in a full stomach, so take your pick.

Roseburg is located on Interstate 5 between Grants Pass and Eugene, approximately 125 miles north of the California border. To pinpoint Roseburg even more, the city is about 80 miles inland from the Pacific coastal communities Reedsport and Coos Bay. Roseburg has a population of approximately 20,000 residents.

The local Visitor’s Center has a listing of those attractions that bring folks in from all over the nation. Senior travelers will  find six covered bridges along with the Applegate Trail, the Douglas County Museum and a fabulous Oakland Historic District. For you “birders” they claim 320 species. Boating, biking, skiing, hiking and Diamond Lake provide choices for senior visitors to the area. Known as “Oregon’s Oldest Fine Wine Region” as well as “America’s Last Undiscovered Wine Region”,  I counted 22 wineries in the area including a Becker Vineyard that I had to plug, as yours truly is a Becker.

Roseburg is Unspoiled

Part of a water wonderland crowned by the world famous Umpqua River, the gentle climate creates limitless recreational opportunities among lush forests and cascading waterfalls. With only 19 people per square mile, Roseburg has many unspoiled areas to explore and you can have a great picnic in 345 acres of parks within the city limits.

The lakes, rivers and reservoirs of Douglas County provide ample boating and fishing settings, especially on the beautiful North Umpqua, a river that’s famous among fishermen. The North Umpqua offers fishing opportunities for trout, salmon, bass, and is one of the world’s only rivers with a native run of summer steelhead.

Roseburg and several surrounding communities provide a glimpse into the past as seniors will enjoy visiting their historic structures and districts. Just five miles north of Roseburg at Winchester Dam you will find a unique fish ladder where visitors can observe salmon and steelhead in their native environment on the North Umpqua River through a viewing window.

National Scenic Byway

There are numerous scenic byways in the US and 172 mile route within the Umpqua and Rogue River and National Forests offers an inspiring drive through southern Oregon’s panorama of rivers, mountains and forests. Two of Oregon’s most beautiful and renowned rivers bookend this breathtaking tour through the thickly forested southern Cascades.

So set your compass for Roseburg, senior citizens…the winters are cool without much freezing and provide most of the rainfall that brings blossom-filled springs. A warming trend begins in April and May, continuing into the summery days of July and August. Fall weather is pleasant and crisp, producing brilliant leaf colors in late October. You’ll enjoy Roseburg.  jeb




Wilkes-Barre Rates High With Senior Visitors

Ever been to north east Pennsylvania?  Not yet? Wilkes-Barre, located 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia, was founded way back in 1770. In Wilkes-Barre, senior travelers will find around 42,000 happy folks enjoying the surrounding Wyoming Valley, framed by the Pocono Mountains to the east and the Susquehanna River that flows through the center of the valley and defines the northwestern border of the city.

The city is strengthened by its quality educational programs. Two of Wilkes-Barre Area’s three high schools are featured on US News and World Report’s Best High Schools list. Over 5,000 college students are within walking distance to the downtown and the city’s administration has made great strides to connect their colleges with the greater community.  The locals have learned to enjoy peanuts as Wilkes-Barre is the birthplace of the Planters Peanuts Company. They say that the name of the city is actually what is called a “King’s Error.” I looked that error up and got all tangled in the story, so I leave it to you senior history buffs who are interested to look it up yourselves.

Senior Travelers Love Scenic Luzerne County

Plan to visit Luzerne County in scenic Northeast Pennsylvania when looking to take a short getaway or just get out and do something. Whether senior citizens plan to visit Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton or points- in-between there is always something going on. Outdoor recreation is bountiful and offers a great variety of scenery and activities.  History abounds in Luzerne County.  In the 1800s, hundreds of thousands of immigrants flocked to the region to work the mines. Wilkes-Barre was located in the heart of the anthracite fields, and thus smack in the middle of development.

The accompanying growth this triggered, coupled with inevitable economic and cultural changes, transformed the rural farming region into a thriving urban center. Wilkes-Barre soon became the region’s financial center, and home to rich and powerful entrepreneurs whose business ventures affected the railroad-and-canal system that stretched 165 miles southward to Bristol.

Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne’s county seat, has revitalized its downtown with restaurants, pubs and a new urban park. The River Common offers 12 miles of trails for senior bikers, joggers, walkers and roller bladers along the Susquehanna River. It is not uncommon to see kayakers paddling by the city. The River Common is host to many local events including Riverfest in June.

The city is home to more than 30 high rise buildings, a host of beautiful old Victorian homes and a unique court house. Visitors are always welcome to Penn State Wilkes-Barre, a “Big Ten University” – located on a scenic estate in northeastern Pennsylvania just thirteen miles from Wilkes-Barre.

TripAdvisor always has a listing of Things to Do, so does Yahoo Local and the local Night Out.  Enjoy all of  beautiful, scenic north east Pennsylvania.  jeb




Elkhart Lake is Another “Cool Town”

Budget Travel continues to find small towns with a population of under 10,000 and to “put them on the map” for senior visitors.  You might say Elkhart Lake runs on two speeds: adrenaline-pumping fast and good-ol’-days calm. Just outside of town, in the Kettle Moraine State Forest, speedsters can find Road America, a four-mile off-road race circuit built in the 1950s where racers have been known to pass the 200 mph mark. Road racing is still a major in Elkhart Lake.

But back around the lake—crystal blue, spring-fed, cedar-lined, and 120-feet deep—the pace is decidedly more relaxed. At the three lakeside Victorian-era resorts, activities such as pontoon boating, wakeboarding, and summer bonfires will call to mind those long-lost memories of summer camp. One beautifully restored vintage resort, Victorian Village Resort, is walking distance from downtown  where senior visitors will find ice cream shops, art galleries, eclectic stores, foodie-worthy dining and a world class spa.

The locals call it a “Legendary Getaway” and with all the amenities in the area, senior visitors will soon find out why it received a “cool” label.  It’s right in the middle of Kettle Moraine State Forest and just one hour north of Milwaukee, so it’s easy to find. Find it on the Wikipedia map and read all about the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive… that was once the road racing circuit.

The area abounds in sightseeing, and a classic spa called Aspira, meaning ‘infused with spirit’,was borne on the banks of this lake, considered sacred by the Native Americans who lived there. Shaped like an elk’s heart, the lake bestows it’s powerful natural energy upon all who encounter it. Seniors who enjoy hiking, biking, camping, cross-country skiing and fishing facilities will find Elkhart Lake a Shangri-La. Maybe even take in a Friday Night Fish Boil that every Wisconsin inhabitant knows all about.

Farmer’s & Artisans Market Attract Senior Visitors

There’s something for everyone at this popular open-air market held every Saturday from 8:30 am-12:30 pm, rain or shine, in downtown Elkhart Lake. Beginning the first Saturday in June and continuing through mid-October, residents and visitors are treated to the appetizing sites and smells of a variety of fresh produce and baked goods. If you are “into food” and a “classic gourmet…or gourmand”, Elkhart Lake has the Ecole de la Maison where you can take first-class cooking lessons.

Enjoy Elkhart Lake.  Enjoy beautiful Wisconsin…    jeb




Seniors Discover Another Top Small Town in Petoskey

Smithsonian Magazine named Petoskey as a Top Small Town in America in its April 2013 issue. It did not hurt that Ernest Hemingway’s family started summering near Petoskey back in 1899.  Today senior visitors look for its famed “Million Dollar Sunsets.”

The city is found in the heart of the Midwest’s most popular four-season resort areas. Covering just over six square miles, with a population of 6,080, the area is located on the shore of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay and gets its name from chief Ignatius Petosega.

Petoskey has a famed downtown area with many cultural offerings that helped Petoskey get selected as a Top Town. Smithsonian Magazine called Petoskey “charm central” with its concerts, historical architecture, art galleries and nighttime festivities.

For your information, the other Top 10 Best Small Towns to visit, according to Smithsonian Magazine, include  Gettysburg, Pa.; Cleveland, Miss.; St. Augustine, Fla.; Baraboo, Wis.; Astoria, Ore.; Petoskey; Fairfield, Iowa; Los Alamos, N.M.; Sitka, Alaska; and Provincetown, Mass. Seniors, have you been to any of those yet?

The People Make the Town

The locals are graced by concerts, vintage architecture, art galleries and Friday night festivities that attract senior travelers to the petunia basket-draped downtown district. The Smithsonian reported that Jesperson’s Restaurant has been serving local sour cherry pie since 1903 and the doors are still open at bay-front Stafford’s Perry Hotel, which catered to summer people in the Victorian heyday. The local chamber of commerce lists several things for seniors to see and do in town as well as community information. Seniors who travel by motor coach will want to know about Hearthside Grove.

Seniors Discover a Resort Destination in Petoskey

You will note on Wikipedia’s site this quaint, small resort community with unmatched beauty and charm overlooks the shores of Lake Michigan‘s Little Traverse Bay. Seniors return yearly to soak in the rich views, breathe the clean air, eat at world-class restaurants and shop in the specialty shops and boutiques of its historic downtown. Ever heard of a Petoskey Stone? It’s made of fossilized coral and is the state stone of Michigan.

The Michigan Daily likes it too and notes several places not to be missed like Roast and Toast, Glen’s Grocery Store, The Perry Hotel, The Noggin Room and City Park Grill. The Gaslight District in downtown Petoskey, the Odawa Casino Resort and The Waterfront are also a big draws as is the Mackinaw Trail Winery.

The 303 acre Petoskey State Park features visitor activities such as swimming, hiking, sunbathing and biking in the summer and a host of winter fun. Sure it’s small, but Virtual Tourist has beat us there with a Petoskey Overview. I’ve located an historic B&B built back in 1875 called the Bayfield View Terrace Inn.

So when you get up close to northern Michigan, plan on spending time in Petoskey and you’ll learn why it was selected as a Top Town.  jeb




Senior Interest in Norway and It’s Fjords

Norway has a long been a favorite country for seniors to visit. Perhaps the many Norwegians who settled in the US are simply seeking out their roots.

While Copenhagen and Oslo are major sites for visits, I’ve chosen three others that also rate high with those who have been there. Norway abounds with great destinations.

Seniors Visit Bergen, Lofthus and Geiranger Fjord

Senior travelers will love Bergen, a World Heritage City and the Gateway to the Fjords of Norway. Geckogo is a loaded travel site with a helpful map of the city. Here are a few tour suggestions for you to consider .  Consider purchasing a Bergen Card with savings that include free bus and light rail in town.

Thumb through the Bergen Guide page by page to shop for what you would like to see and do. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with plenty for senior citizens to take in. Take this ten minute YouTube journey in town and you’ll fall in love with Bergen.

Off to Lofthus

If you enjoy orchards, Lofthus has one of the largest collections in Norway. Just image this: a spectacular sight in late spring and early summer when its 450,000 fruit trees are in bloom. Enjoy a little serenade with a super view around Lofthus.

Lofthus is an idyllic hamlet of narrow lanes and mellow stone walls, where a scattering of old grass-roofed houses sits among the orchard’s pinky-white blossoms in the springtime. Expedia can help you uncover the true heart of Lofthus and this “friendly guide” will help seniors pick the highlights of the city.

National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s sixth annual “Places Rated” survey gave top honors to the fjord Norway region. Hiking is big in this part of the world so bring those boots along. You may want to consider a self-drive to the Norwegian Fjords.  It’s all planned out for you with Fjordtravel.

Seniors Seek Out World Famous Fjord, Geiranger

The Geiranger Fjord is world famous and one senior visitors will not want to miss.  It is totally awesome. Accurately acclaimed as “the most beautiful fjord in the world,” Geirangerfjord invites exploration. And it’s a World Heritage Site. The best and least expensive way to see the majesty of the fjord is to take a regular ferry service between the port of Hellesylt and Geiranger, which sails daily from May to September. Hop on board this chopper and see Geiranger from the air.

As you travel up the western side of Norway I’ve found 555 things for senior travelers to See and Do. I’ll depart today with a Frommer’s URL with just about everything you will need or want on your journey up north. Incidently, Norway was selected the #1 place in the world as the best place for retirement.

Check it out for yourself and enjoy!   jeb


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