Articles Tagged with: historic city

SENIORS ENJOY VIRGINIA


Seniors Stroll Into Historic Manassas

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Manassas, population 38,000, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia that senior travelers will find 26 miles outside of Washington, DC. The Manassas Historic District, Cannon Branch Fort, Liberia, and Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Manassas began life as Manassas Junction, so named for the railroad junction between the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and the Manassas Gap Railroad. The O&A owned the railway from Alexandria through Manassas to points south, ending in Orange, Virginia.

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On July 21, 1861, two armies clashed for the first time on the fields overlooking Bull Run. Heavy fighting swept away any notion of a quick war. In August 1862, Union and Confederate armies converged for a second time on the plains of Manassas. The Confederates won a solid victory bringing them to the height of their power. Today the site is a National Park.

Seniors Visit the Hylton Performing Arts Center and Manassas Museum

TripAdvisor notes that the Park is the #1 attraction and right behind is the Hylton Performing Arts Center and the Manassas Museum. Sites senior visitors will not want to miss.

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The 1,123-seat Hylton Performing Arts Center went from a dream to a reality. The museum has an extensive exhibit of the Civil War era and the City’s railroad history and features changing exhibits, tours, programs and is a highlight with many visitors.

The Old Courthouse is a Romanesque revival courthouse, designed by James C. Teague and Philip T. Marye was completed in 1893 and served the country until 1984 when a new courthouse was built nearby. The old Manassas Courthouse was the site of 1911 Peace Jubilee where President Taft once stood.

 Seniors Also Visit Old Town Manassas

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The Harris Pavilion is a fun place and the home for public ice-skating during the winter months. From April to November, the pavilion has a variety of entertainment and events. The arts are highly popular with the locals.

With three galleries full of local and international artistic talent, one can experience the arts in Old Town Manassas. Old Town Manassas encompasses 206 contributing buildings.

Senior visitors can browse through the large selection of pottery created on location by approximately 30 potters at Manassas Clay. Seniors can also observe oil paintings in progress and see “behind the scenes” of an art studio at Creative Brush Studio. The Luck Stone Quarry is a draw for many visitors, so unusual with its layers of dark colored stone.

Senior travelers, enjoy your stop in Manassas. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH SOUTH CAROLINA


Seniors Spend Time In Historic Sumter

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Known as the Gamecock City, Sumter lies near the geographic center of the state of South Carolina with a population of 42,000. Senior travelers find Sumter only a 90 minute drive to the state’s beautiful beaches and a short three-hour drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sumter, the seat of Sumter County, is the 8th largest city in South Carolina and truly is in the middle of everything.

Incorporated as Sumterville in 1845, the city’s name was shortened to Sumter in 1855. It has grown and prospered from its early beginnings as a plantation settlement. The city and county of Sumter bear the name of Revolutionary War General Thomas Sumter  (1734-1832), a resident of the area, and the “Fighting Gamecock” of the American Revolutionary War.

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This county has changed its name and boundaries several times. His place in U.S. history is secure as a patriot and military genius. General Sumter was one of the models for Mel Gibson’s character in the 2000 movie, “The Patriot.”

Seniors Enjoy Sumter’s Colorful History

During the Civil War the town was an important supply and railroad repair center for the Confederacy. After the war, Sumter grew and prospered, using its large railroad network to supply cotton, timber, and by the start of the 20th century, tobacco to the region.

Sumter has a colorful history stretching back more than three hundred years. In the 1740s, the first English-speaking settlers arrived to establish roots along the banks of the Wateree River. The “Carolina Backcountry,” as it was then known, became a predominantly agricultural area called Craven County, later Claremont County.

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I counted 16 properties in Sumter that are on the National Register of Historic Places. The O’Donnell House and Scarborough House are prime examples. Sumter is an active community and home to several collegiate institutions.

Seniors Enjoy Beautiful Swan Lake Iris Gardens

TripAdvisor suggests seniors visit the Swan Lake/Iris Gardens, the only public park in the United States containing all eight known species of swan. The beautiful black waters of Swan Lake form the setting for the spectacular Iris Gardens.

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The lake is dotted with colorful islands, and wildlife is abundant. The Iris Festival, held every May is a multiple winner of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” Award and is South Carolina’s oldest continuing festival.

The Sumter Opera House is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility and a beautiful historic site with a rich and intriguing past. The Sumter Gallery of Art and the Sumter County Museum are highly popular with senior visitors as well.

There are many interesting facts associated with Sumter. I liked the fact that the local Palmetto Pigeon Farm is the source for squab served at Buckingham Palace and Sumter High School graduate Shawn Weatherly was Miss Universe back in 1980. I remember her.

Seniors, experience for yourself an outstanding city -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH ONTARIO, CANADA


Seniors Head North To Enjoy Unionville

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Unionville is a suburban village in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Senior travelers will find it 33 km northeast of downtown Toronto. History comes to life in and around the streets of Unionville.

Settled in 1794, the village became a milling center through the middle and late 1800s. It’s been a hub of social and cultural importance ever since. Unionville’s name was derived from Ira White’s Union Mills built in 1839.

The merchants of Main Street Unionville offer an amazing array of wares in their shops, from couture fashion and accessories to fine home decor, a variety of sweets and so much more. The historic Main Street Unionville attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Seniors Take In Historic Main Street Unionville

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Main Street also has a number of “century homes” dating to the 19th century. All along historic Main Street Unionville, senior visitors will find structures that are virtually unchanged from its founding back in 1794.

Renowned for its pubs, parks, restaurants, and its historical European view, the road hosts the annual Unionville Festival, which draws several thousand visitors the first weekend in June. Those visitors come for live music, fun and games like treasure hunts, pet contests, karaoke sing-offs and the spectacular colorful parade of the Governor Generals Horse Guards.

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Unionville has a number of regular events ongoing throughout the year including a Jazz Festival in August, the Unionville Heritage Festival held on Labor Day, Canada Day and Thursday Nights at the Bandstand that go on all summer long.

Pubs, Century Homes And Walking Paths Draw Seniors

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Developed in the early 1840s when Ira White built Union Mills, historic Main Street Unionville attracts senior visitors who come to enjoy dining in some great restaurants and pubs, shopping in interesting gift shops and “century homes” dating back to the 1800s.

Tourism is a major part of the economy of Unionville and the historic village or downtown section is typical of a small town that developed over a century or so starting in the early 1840s. Senior visitors will find many historic buildings that draw their attention.

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For hikers, walking paths through the local conservation lands connect directly to the village roads, one of the most used being the path around Toogood Pond, named after the Toogood family. The pond was originally the mill pond that powered the grist mill in the 1840s.

CNN Travel Photo of the Day noted Unionville as a great place to visit. It will be a memorable stop. jeb

 

SENIORS FIND OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI


Seniors Enjoy Another Best Coastal Small Town

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USA TODAY and 10best.com selected Ocean Springs one of the best. Senior visitors will find this city, whose population is a little over 17,000, about 2 miles east of Biloxi. The name Ocean Springs was coined by Dr. William Glover Austin in 1854. He believed the local springs had healing qualities.

Ocean Springs became a prosperous resort town and after several years reinvented itself as a historically-oriented residential community. The history of the town is celebrated annually in reenactments depicting Pierre LeMoyne d’Iberville’s landing, over 300 years ago, near a replica of Fort Maurepas (1699).

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The splendor and allure of Ocean Springs and her awesome oaks remain to this day as one of the utmost experiences for its locals and out of town visitors.”

It’s known as the City of Discovery  in recognition of the French establishment of a settlement.

Seniors Drawn By The Arts and Festivals

Wikipedia notes that the town has a reputation as an arts community. Its historic and secluded downtown streets are lined by live oak trees. Ocean Springs is home to several art galleries and shops, and to a number of ethnic restaurants.

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A couple of the major festivals that senior visitors enjoy in Ocean Springs are the Peter Anderson Festival and The Herb Festival.

Each year, on the first weekend of November, thousands of folks come from all over the country for The Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival.

The Ocean Springs Artwalk gives senior visitors an opportunity to watch artists in action.  This festival takes place in August and features  potters, painters, sculptors, mixed media artists.  Senior visitors enjoy the Art Walk and shop for local art, dine at more than 30 restaurants, and mingle with locals and tourists alike in attractive small boutiques, shops and galleries.

 Seniors Love The Seafood

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And bring your food loving palate to Ocean Springs as from colonial times to present day, seafood has been celebrated. The abundance of seafood allowed French and French-Canadian explorers and settlers to thrive within the Fort Maurepas/Old Biloxi area.

In the late nineteenth century, the development of ice plant industries along the coast increased seafood sales. Locals and visitors alike can still purchase freshly harvested shrimp, fish, crabs, and oysters because of this thriving industry.

Senior visitors will enjoy the Walter Anderson Museum of Art and the Gulf Islands National Seashore. A pair of other major draws include the Ocean Springs Museum of History and Fontainebleau Nature Trail, that is loaded with beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees.

The local Chamber of Commerce invites you to consider staying for a few days in Ocean Springs. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL IN NORTH CAROLINA


Seniors Find Harmony In Concord

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Concord, North Carolina is an historical city and Historic Downtown Concord is like no other attraction or shopping venue in the region. Within a radius of two city blocks, senior visitors can enjoy two live theaters, a museum, two art galleries, a library, a gourmet French chocolate shop, a pottery studio, an up-and coming university, a botanical garden, and a pedestrian greenway system.

The name “Concord” means “with harmony“. By United States standards, Concord is considered an old town, incorporated in 1806. Look for markers identifying the original town limits as you walk along the downtown area. Concord is an “All American City.”  I am always impressed with cities that carry this high honor that is awarded for good reason.

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Cabarrus County’s largest city, was established in 1796 near the center of the county to serve as the seat of local government. It began as a small hamlet and became the major cotton market for an area that included parts of several surrounding counties.

 Senior NASCAR Enthusiasts, Take Note

I first became acquainted with Concord watching a NASCAR race on TV. I noted that it was coming from NASCAR Speedpark that is Home to NASCAR Races, Driving Schools, and Speedway Tours. It is a major draw for tourists of all ages and a centerpiece of the city.

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Only a half-hour drive north of Charlotte, Concord is home to two of North Carolina’s most popular tourist attractions, the legendary Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Concord Mills. Lowe’s Motor Speedway is a 167,000 seat facility with a 1.5 mile track that is host to numerous events and activities including three of the country’s largest car shows, driving schools and of course NASCAR racing events.

Displaying over fifty classic, antique, 50s and 60s automobiles, Backing Up Classics Auto Museum is located next to Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Concord Mills is the shopping entertainment destination of the Carolinas and is the most popular visitor attraction in North Carolina, featuring over 200 stores.

Historical Homes And A Gold Mine Interest Seniors

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The Cabarrus County Courthouse was completed in 1876 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can’t help but notice the sixteen foot marble Civil War monument, dedicated in 1892, located on the front lawn. For senior architectural fans, Concord boasts a comprehensive collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century historic homes.

Senior visitors will enjoy a visit to the Reed Gold Mine, the site of the nation’s first gold discovery back in 1799. It was John Reed’s son who found a 17-pound yellow rock in the meadow, which was later identified as a gold nugget.

Concord is host to several quality museums, galleries, theaters and historical attractions. Frank Liske Park offers a variety of outdoor opportunities like fishing, golfing and hiking.

Seniors, when you are in North Carolina, drop by Concord and enjoy this exciting city.  jeb

SENIORS STOP IN BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA


Seniors Find Another ‘Best’

blacksburg_vaBlacksburg, Virginia, with a population of 43,000, is nestled between the picturesque Blue Ridge Highlands and Allegheny Mountains. The natural beauty surrounding Blacksburg offers a vista for residents and senior visitors to enjoy.

Consistently ranked among the country’s best places to live, Blacksburg is known for award winning services, a reasonable cost of living, safety, moderate climate, and abundant leisure activities.

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Businessweek named Blacksburg the “Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids” and Southern Living named Blacksburg the “Best College Town in the South.” Money Magazine kicked in with Blacksburg being among the 100 Best Places to Live. So it is very well received.

 Seniors Enjoy Home of Virginia Tech

Blacksburg is proud to be the home of the Virginia Tech Hokies and major technology companies located in the Corporate Research Center and the Blacksburg Industrial Park. Virginia Tech has 60 bachelor’s degree programs, 140 master’s and doctoral degree programs, and over 25,000 full-time students on a 2,600 acre campus.

Part of what makes Blacksburg a special place is its strong relationship with Virginia Tech. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech, is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution.

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The dynamic Blacksburg community is thriving with artisans and craftspeople. There are numerous options available for music, theatre, and galleries of varying media.  There are also many cultural sites within and around the town that reveal the rich history of this area.

Senior Visitors Enjoy Historic Blacksburg

An original settler Samuel Black died in 1792 then the land was evenly divided into two sections by his sons. The road now known as Draper Road is the dividing line between the sections. Established in 1798, John Black’s property covered the majority of today’s central campus and William Black’s property became most of central downtown area of present-day Blacksburg.

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Senior visitors can check out the Lyric Theater and the Hagn Horticultural Garden at Virginia Tech. Visitors are invited to tour the Smithfield Plantation, built in 1773, that was the home of Revolutionary War patriot William Preston and a National Historic Landmark. The Historic 16 Squares of Blacksburg provides an overview of the development of the city.

Senior visitors are invited to experience “America’s Favorite Drive” down the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.  A leisurely drive along this scenic route offers views of the area’s unparalleled natural beauty and unique community culture.

When you are driving into Virginia, drop by Blacksburg and spend some quality time. Senior travelers will enjoy all that the city has to offer.  -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO HEART OF TEXAS


Seniors Swing Into Frontier Abilene

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When I decided to write on Abilene, this senior was reminded of the song “Abilene.” Here’s George Hamilton IV who made it famous back in 1966. Enjoy. Abilene, in west central Texas, has a population of 120,000.

Senior travelers will find Abilene approximately 180 miles due west of the Dallas/Fort Worth near the center of the state. It is the center of a 22-county area commonly referred to as the Texas Midwest or the Big Country. Abilene is home to Abilene Christian University, founded in 1906, with an enrollment of 4,500 students.

Abilene was established in March 1881 upon the completion of the Texas & Pacific Railroad. It was the railroad that promoted Abilene as the “Future Great City of West Texas.”

Abilene is the home to Texas Tech with over 30,000 students. “A new era of excellence is dawning at Texas Tech University as it stands on the cusp of being one of the nation’s premier research institutions.”

Seniors Enjoy Pedestrian-Friendly Downtown

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Abilene is rated one of the Top 20 places to visit in Texas. About Abilene, a travel magazine,  wrote: “Abilene won readers’ praise for its small-town feel, state park, zoo, shopping, history, and restaurants, which range from classic barbecue joints to newcomers like Abi-Hau.”

Senior visitors could easily spend a full day just exploring the pedestrian-friendly downtown, which dates to the late 1800s. The high-tech museum Frontier Texas illustrates regional history and the Grace Museum covers the art scene.

The Center for Contemporary Arts is another hit that was founded in 1989, when a former department store in the heart of downtown Abilene was converted into three beautiful galleries, classrooms and artists’ studios.

The city began life in 1875 when it was decided to establish a railhead to make it easier for ranchers to get their cattle to eastern markets. In just two years, hundreds of thousands of cattle were herded over the Western Trail to Abilene.

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The Old West experience starts at Frontier Texas museum, starting point of a walking tour through downtown Abilene where you can see historic buildings from the city’s rich past. The Paramount Theatre, built in 1930 by H. O. Wooten, is the only structure of its grandeur between El Paso and Fort Worth. The theatre was fully restored and renovated in 1986.

Senior travelers will get a feel of the traditional heritage of the Old West with the advantages of a thriving contemporary city. The Old West lives on in Abilene so make plans to spend some time checking out all the amenities that the city has to offer visitors.  You will experience real Texas hospitality in Abilene.  -jeb

SENIORS JOURNEY TO BASQUE COUNTRY


Seniors Enjoy Bilbao

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Bilbao, in northwest Spain, is the sixth-largest city of Spain, pop. 353,000, and the capital of the province of Biscay. It is the heart of a metropolis where more than a million people live spread along the length of the Nervión, a nearby tidal river.

Bilbao is a port city situated close to the coastline and several nearby beaches. It is the largest city in what is called Basque Country (Pais Vasco).  After years of financial uncertainty, Bilbao has once again become a dynamic city, full of amenities, focused on environmental and urban regeneration, and a city that draws throngs of tourists each year, including senior tourists.

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Bilboa is the center of the economic-social development and the main factor of the modernization of the Bay of Biscay. The great architectural and infrastructure projects have been the driving force of the urban and economic regeneration of the city.

Guggenheim Museum Draws Senior Visitors

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao with its uniqueness has become a cultural and tourism driving force of this Basque city. This spectacular building (Frank O. Gehry, 1997) is covered in titanium panels and has its own important collection.

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Instantly hailed as the most important structure of its time, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has celebrated more than a decade of extraordinary success. With over a hundred exhibitions and more than ten million visitors to its credit, senior travelers won’t want to miss this unique treasure.

The cultural activities in Bilbao are evident, with two of the best art galleries in Spain, six theme museums, contemporary art exhibitions and an ongoing program with shows: opera, symphony orchestras, theater, dance, cinema and light, pop and rock music.

Bilbao is a cultural hub and a gourmet delight. It is known as the “Capital of Cod.” It is also in Bilboa where senior visitors will enjoy the famous pintxos (typical appetizers). The local custom is to call what are known in Spanish as tapas by the Basque name, Pintxos, probably much more elaborated than their Spanish cousins due to the Basque love of gastronomy. Basque cuisine is among the best in Spain, and Bilbao boasts some of the region’s leading restaurants, so welcome senior gourmands.

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Best Restaurants in Old Town

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes) rates #1 with tourists.  It is a small museum now gaining international fame for its surprisingly rich collection of Spanish and Basque paintings and sculpture.

My wife and I would first head out to the old historic section of Bilboa and from what I read, we would not be disappointed. The medieval barrio of Bilbao is a zone of ancient buildings, narrow streets and squares in the center of the city and where you will find the best restaurants.

Bilbao is the new modern face of Basque Country. The city has been able to successfully mix traditional Basque culture with a new vision for the future. It is an absolute must for design and culture lovers.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO NORTH CAROLINA


Seniors Enjoy Colorful Greensboro

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Greensboro is the third-largest city in North Carolina, with over 277,000 folks calling it home. The city was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781.

There is a ton of history in and around Greensboro. Located on the scenic Piedmont plateau that includes the cities of High Point and Winston-Salem, the city has a rich past extending back more than two centuries, with the historic districts, museums, and statues to prove it.

Centrally located in North Carolina’s picturesque heartland, Greensboro is the perfect place for senior visitors to relax, find entertainment and dine with a selection of more than 500 restaurants to choose from.

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There is a thriving business community in Greensboro. Entrepreneur magazine rated Greensboro as one of the top ten best places in the nation for business opportunities. The University of North Carolina, plays a major role in the lifestyle of Greensboro, serving as an anchor for Greensboro’s fantastic arts and culture scene.

Seniors Find Another Historic Place

A classy international airport makes travel to Greensboro easy. From the charming downtown historic district and art galleries to city opera and yearly festivals, senior visitors can enjoy the best of metropolitan culture. They say that “the best part is in the middle” and so it’s true with Greensboro. Old Greensboro is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The city also has a diverse population, giving it an ethnic flair that can be seen in its highly popular restaurants and nearby communities. Greensboro loves nightlife, shopping, and horses with 8,000 buyers each year going to the Sharpe Family Horse Farm.

The city lives up to its name, Green, in the host of gardens, science centers, and arboretums. The Bog Garden features a living wetland ecosystem. History is also at home in Greensboro with museums dedicated to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement drawing thousands of visitors each year. Ten local golf courses keep senior golfers busy with top-notch courses.

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The Greensboro Historical Museum is a top attraction along with the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The Greensboro Cultural Center offers numerous art galleries, studios, classrooms and theaters as well as an annually changing sculpture garden and outdoor amphitheater.

Senior visitors are invited to explore works by local, regional and national artists, attend concerts in the amphitheater, relax in surrounding Festival Park or dine in a charming on site cafe. Along with the Center is the Community Theatre of Greensboro presenting everything from original pieces to full-scale Broadway plays and musicals and has been delighting local audiences for more than 50 years.

Enjoy Greensboro and plan to spend a few days there. jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO YORK PENNSYLVANIA


Seniors Enjoy The White Rose City

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York, known as the White Rose City, is located in the South Central region of the state. We can easily guess where the name York comes from. Like so many cities, New York, New Jersey, New Albany, New…anything in England.

That White Rose comes from the House of York whose symbol was a white rose.  Around 45,000 folks call York home in the Factory Tour Capital of the World where thirteen different factories are open to the general public.

For over 250 years, York has been at the crossroads of American history. In 1741, the area that was to become York was laid out in grid formation, patterned after Philadelphia. The location was chosen because it was a crossroads: the intersection of the scenic Codorus Creek with the Monocacy Trail, an old Indian trail which connected Penn’s Woods with the Shenandoah Valley.

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 If you enjoy motorcycles, the Harley Davidson factory invites senior visitors to come and watch the assembly-line churn out “hogs.” Me, I’d like to visit The York Barbell Factory where I could see the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame. Senior visitors can see such sights as a license plate torn in half using only bare hands.  If theater is your bag, the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center is big in York.

 Seniors Find a Great Mainstreet City

York, also known as Yorktown in the mid 18th to early 19th century, was named one of the Greatest Mainstreet cities in the entire country by Travel & Leisure. To just stroll along the alluring streets of downtown York is to walk through an open-air museum of architectural history.

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From the half-timber architecture of the Golden Plough Tavern (don’t miss it) to the post-modern construction of newer office buildings, the architecture in and around Continental Square is a microcosm of American architecture.

You will soon see why York has been surnamed “an architectural museum.” It is loaded with well-preserved historic buildings like the 1741 Golden Plough Tavern, the Gates House, the 1766 York Meetinghouse and on and on.

City of Historic Districts

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As if that is not enough history, their are four distinct historic districts. Springdale Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places is a national historic district located in the Springdale neighborhood. It transports senior visitors into history. The Geographic Channel is your virtual walking tour of York, grouped by street.  Click on a link and start your tour!

If you enjoy theater, York is home to the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, which brings many nationally acclaimed acts to the area. Today, much of York’s culture represents the city’s evolving role as an agricultural and industrial center.

The historic York Fair, which claims to be the country’s oldest, traces its roots back to 1765. So come and spend some time in York and enjoy its roots, good food and its pleasant citizenry.  jeb

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