Articles Tagged with: senior travel Florida


Seniors Enjoy A City Of Many Lakes

us-fllklAs a guide at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ, this senior learned that Frank Lloyd Wright designed a campus for Florida Southern College. It is said to be the largest collection of buildings that he ever designed.

Lakeland is a city in Polk County, Florida located between Orlando and Tampa along Interstate 4 with population of just over 100,000. So why the name Lakeland? Easy. The dominant feature in Lakeland is the city’s many lakes. Thirty-eight lakes are named, with a number of other bodies of water unnamed. Lake Parker is the largest.

Much of the culture of Lakeland revolves around its many lakes which are used as reference points in much the same way that streets are used as reference points, such as “I live near Lake Beulah.” Beautiful white swans remain one of the most visible features of the lakes.


 Senior History Buffs Enjoy Lakeland

Lakeland was first settled in the 1870s and began to develop as the rail lines reached the area in 1884. The town was founded by Abraham Munn from Louisville, Kentucky. He purchased 80 acres of land in what is now downtown Lakeland in 1882 and  platted the land for the town in 1884. Among the names considered (and rejected) for the town by its residents were Munnville, Red Bug, and Rome City. I liked the “Red Bug” option, whatever a red bug is.

Large industries in the Lakeland area are citrus, cattle, and phosphate mining.The city remains an important transportation hub. The county nickname, Imperial Polk County, was coined because a large bond issue in 1914 enabled wide roads between the cities of Polk County.


Among the many sites suggested as must see attractions, senior visitors will enjoy Hollis Gardens, Florida Southern College and Common Ground Park. Senior history buffs and art lovers will enjoy the Polk Museum of Art, and flight enthusiasts can’t miss the annual SUN ‘n FUN Fly-in.

Seniors Stroll Through Gardens, Promenades and Historic District

In the heart of downtown, Lake Mirror Park features an historic promenade, amphitheater and pedestrian walkways. Hollis Garden, found around the walkway, is an awesome formal garden that is highlighted with more than 10,000 flowers and plants all indigenous to the state. And history comes alive in Lakeland’s legendary downtown Historic and Antiques district.


The local Chamber of Commerce notes that… “Everything you look for in a Central Florida vacation is right at your fingertips in Lakeland. The mild weather and warm sunny days attract visitors to the events and attractions that make Lakeland one of Florida’s most colorful and exciting vacation destinations.”

Events are ongoing all year long in Downtown Lakeland. including some great shopping, dining and nightlife. Senior travelers will enjoy a few days in sunny Lakeland.  Bring your golf clubs along as well as a healthy appetite.  It will be a memorable visit.  -jeb


Seniors Like “River City by the Sea”


Jacksonville, situated on the Atlantic coast of northeast Florida is the largest city in area in the continental United States with 840 square miles. The metropolitan area has a population of more than 1.25 million people and, as senior visitors learn, is home to the country’s largest urban park system with 111,669 acres of parks.

Jacksonville is known for its beautiful beaches, including Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach. This is home to the Jacksonville Jaguar NFL football team as well as the PGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame.

The arts and cultural community stand tall with their museums, boutique galleries, and performing arts. Jacksonville is a traditionally hard-working, blue-collar city. Jacksonville offers a great blend of outdoor appeal. It has an attractive downtown area spanning the St. Johns River and two river walks.

Seniors Smile At Former Movie Town


I discovered that back in 1916, over 30 movie companies called Jacksonville home with stars such as Oliver Hardy and Fatty Arbuckle making movies in town. Citizens became fed up with the noise and the industry moved to California.

 Most senior visitors don’t know where to start enjoying all the activities that Jacksonville offers. They may start with the #1 attraction, the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary.  Then maybe take in the Jacksonville Symphony or a stroll through Little Talbot Island State Park.

A throng of colleges and universities add to the demeanor of the city. There is a pretty cool bridge in town, the Dames Point Bridge, the second longest concrete cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

 Senior Visitors Enjoy Jacksonville’s Parks

jacksonville-s-beaches notes that “Jacksonville, perfectly positioned along the Atlantic Ocean in northeast Florida, is a natural paradise for visitors looking for an affordable yet luxurious destination.”

The “River City by the Sea” boasts more than 20 miles of wide and uncrowded beaches, close to 40 miles of the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway canal, and the longest stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River.

Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the nation, with 10 state and national parks. Senior travelers enjoy Jacksonville’s authentic cuisine, their thriving craft-beer scene and the fun and cosmopolitan nightlife.  The Jacksonville Landing is a popular destination.


Seniors are more than likely to see dolphins rolling just outside the surf line.

Jacksonville overflows with history, both ancient and colonial. Archeological evidence indicates 6,000 years of human habitation in the area. Pottery pieces have been excavated dating to 2500 BC, nearly the oldest in the United States.

And for the books, Jacksonville was named for General Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of Florida who, incidentally, never visited Jacksonville.  jeb


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.


 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


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 Discover Pompano Beach

ar130954892981693Pompano Beach, Florida, along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, lies just to the north of Fort Lauderdale. The City of Pompano Beach was settled back in 1880 and today welcomes senior visitors to some of the warmest and clearest waters, beautiful sand beaches, and calming breezes.

It’s the perfect place for a beach vacation, with great dining, exciting water sports from deep sea fishing to paddle boarding or just relaxing on the beach. Senior travelers, you can visit one of the many fabulous parks, take in a game of golf or tennis, and enjoy some fun shopping. Pompano Beach with its population of 100,000 is often called “the Heart of the Gold Coast.”


 Seniors Learn About QQuest

The city got its name from a fish called pomano that is found just off the Atlantic Coast. Pompano Beach is within minutes of Las Olas Riverfront, Palm Aire Golf Course, Isle Casino Racing at Pompano Park and Galleria Mall.

A major attraction is the Pompano Municipal Pier. Along with the Pier, visitors enjoy QQuest that is South Florida’s first ever thrilling live escape game. QQuest is a great place to have fun with friends, work on team building and to enjoy amazing live action puzzles in a rooms filled with puzzles, riddles, clues and brain teasers, for you to solve within 1 hour.

 Seafood Festival Attracts Senior Visitors


Senior tourists flock to the Annual Pomano Beach Seafood Festival, and I would too. For you foodies, the Fine Food and Wine Festival features over 30 restaurants offering delicious food, auctions, unique entertainment and adult libations, this year’s event is sure to amuse your palate.

Bring your clubs along because there are dozens of championship golf courses within a 30-minute drive and they  challenge every skill level.

If you find yourself in hiking boots, you have come to the right place. Your visit to the Fern Forest Nature Park, a 254-acre Urban Wilderness Site that features the Cypress Boardwalk, an arboretum and the Prairie Overlook Trail, will lead you to lots of wildlife.


And parks…Pompano Beach also maintains more than 50 local parks for sports enthusiasts or senior visitors who have a penchant for outdoor relaxation. If golf or hiking is not your bag, then try out your fish pole or take a fishing excursion.

The Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo—the largest saltwater sport fishing tournament in South Florida—is a popular annual event that draws in thousands of tourists. So swing by Pompano Beach on your next trip to Florida and enjoy all that the city has to offer. jeb


Seniors Visit World’s Sponge Capital


So how did I come across Tarpon Springs, Florida?  Well actually Mike Rowe did it with his TV show, ‘Dirty Jobs’.  He was on a boat marked Tarpon Springs and they were gathering sponges. It did not look like all that dirty a job to me, but then again, this senior was not on the boat.

Just 45 minutes north of St. Petersburg and found along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, Tarpon Springs was named for the fish found in abundance in nearby waters. But it also is known as the “sponge capital of the world,” and for its 51 miles of waterfront allure.


“At one time, the sponge industry was the largest industry in Florida,” said George Billiris, an international sponge distributor who has been a part of the Tarpon scene for most of his 72 years. “It was larger than citrus.” The sponge industry is at its lowest ebb since 1946, a condition caused by a lack of divers.

Today it’s impossible to picture Tarpon Springs without its Greek heritage. From St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to the baklava-laden bakeries that line the docks, this is a true Greek community. Dedicated in 1942, after the sponge boom had largely ended, the Orthodox Church has presented a lasting edifice of Greek influence in this town for the past 70 years.

Senior Visitors Meet Greek Americans


Tarpon Springs, a city in Pinellas County, Florida with a population of 25,000, has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US.

One visitor writes…”I spent a Saturday afternoon browsing shops full of Greek souvenirs, Greek bakeries, Greek Lace shop, and of course Greek restaurants. Had a great meal at Hella’s of a Gyro and Greek Sangria! Finished off with cheesecake Bakalava which was to die for! Hellas has a bakery attached to the restaurant so get some to take home. When I was there about noon, the sponge divers who had just come in and their catches were an awesome site. Fun place to spend a few hours.”

I was impressed that there were six historic sites on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Arcade Hotel, Old Tarpon Springs City Hall, Old Tarpon Springs High School, Safford House, Tarpon Springs Historic District and the Tarpon Springs Greektown District. Wow. That is impressive!

Spongedock District and Greektown…


The first place I would want to check out is Greektown and the entire Sponge Dock District. Senior visitors will want to stroll through Greek Village at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks loaded with over 100 businesses. It is said that in Tarpon Springs, you will find some of the finest Greek Restaurants, markets, and bakeries in the entire country.

The Tarpon Springs Aquarium features a spectacular living reef, once the domain of divers only. Live coral, sponges, sharks and a variety of fish come together to form this truly unique undersea oasis that is one of Florida’s most exciting marine attractions. jeb


Seniors Discover “Cowboy Town” Davie


This senior editor admits upfront that he knows very little about Florida.  My wife, however, spent time with her sister in the Tampa area. Her comment, being from Iowa, was…“we hung out the towels and they never dried.”

Anyway, back to Davie, a city of 92,000+ in Broward County known as “Cowboy Town” thanks to all the ranches and horses in the area.

Davie is the home of the Miami Dolphins who practice daily at Nova Southeastern University. Ideally located among major thoroughfares like the Ronald Reagan Turnpike, I-595, I-75, Davie is within a few minutes travel to the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and Florida’s deepest port, Port Everglades.

An interesting fact I discovered is that Davie is the most populous municipality labelled  a “town” in Florida, and the third most populous such community in the United States. Davie trails our neighbor to the south, Gilbert, Arizona and Cary in North Carolina.

 Seniors Can Enjoy Rodeos Monthly


Davie was originally named Zona. In 1909 R.P. Davie assisted then Governor Broward by draining the swamplands. Davie bought 27,000 acres in the area. He had a school built in Zona and in 1916, the people of the town were so grateful they renamed the town after him.

Davie has always carried a reputation as a “Western” town. It boasts a significant horse-owning population and once was home to many herds of cattle. Today, Davie still maintains a “Western” touch.

For more than 40 years, the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds, located in the historical western theme downtown district, has served as a major tourist attraction and hosts Five Star Rodeos once a month. This indoor/outdoor facility has been building and establishing itself as one of the up and coming multi-cultural locales in South Florida.

Everglades, Wildlife and Golf Draw Seniors

So what brings in tourists to Davie beside the local rodeo? For starters, Flamingo Gardens rates #1. The Gardens is 60 acres of Tropical Paradise. The Wray Botanical Collection features over 3000 rare and exotic, tropical, subtropical, and native plants and trees.


Nearby, the Everglades Sanctuary is home to the largest collection of Florida native wildlife including alligators, bobcats, eagles, otters, panthers, peacock, and of course, flamingos. Senior gardeners and birders, come and see for yourself.

Senior golfers, the Davie Golf and Country Club, the former Arrowhead Golf Club, is a new public golf course located in Davie. Since opening in 2011, visitors have discovered that the completely re-designed course has what the locals say is South Florida’s Most Fun Greens.

A host of other attractions include the Bar-B-Ranch for riding horses and the Young at Art Museum. The Buehler Planetarium & Observatory on Broward College campus in Davie is a modern, state-of-the-art facility that brings in tourists from all over the country.

Seniors, as you travel along the eastern coast of Florida, plan to stop by Davie and enjoy the fun.  jeb


Seniors Enjoy Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach


The City of Fernandina Beach whose population is 12,000+ is located on beautiful Amelia Island off the Atlantic coast of Florida. Senior visitors can play a round of golf on one of the champion golf courses, or take a tour of the many historical sites on the island.

Senior visitors can enjoy Fort Clinch State Park, take in a production at the Amelia Community Theater and visit the Amelia Island Museum of History. Amelia and Fernandina Beach are located on the northernmost barrier island of Florida. Over 13 miles of pristine beach and a quaint Victorian town make up this charming getaway only 45 minutes north of Jacksonville.


 Where Oh Where Did Its Name Come From?

There are at least two different stories behind the naming of Fernandina Beach. According to one, it was named for one of the earliest land owners, Domingo Fernandez. The other legend suggests that the name was based upon the earlier name of Cuba.

It is said that the Tories took refuge on this island when Britain had lost control of its colonies. It also functioned as a smuggler’s port when bringing slaves into the country had become illegal.

 At Fernandina Beach senior visitors enjoy what is called the Artrageous Artwalk. Galleries with pottery, stained glass and local crafts are shown alongside fine art, watercolors, and intriguing photography.


Fernandina Beach also hosts the popular ‘Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival’. Fernandina Beach is the birthplace of the modern shrimp industry and the shrimp boats depart the city docks on most days. Fernandina Beach is Florida’s northern most city.

 Seniors Enjoy This Island Destination

August 025

The city has a Historic District  as well as an “old town”. The historic area has structures built in the late 1800′s or early 1900′s. The old town is the site of the original settlement and sits on bluffs above the Amelia River.

The Amelia Island Lighthouse is currently closed to the public. Downtown in the historic area, senior visitors will find a marina with a floating dock, boutique shopping and a range of scrumptious restaurants.

With abundant wildlife and clear, calm waters, Amelia Island with its quaint charm has been a beloved destination for generations. Upscale resorts and world-class spas combine with a charming collection of bed and breakfasts, historic sites and captivating festivals for an experience that’s uniquely Floridian.


Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island have consistently been among Florida’s highest-ranked island destinations. Fernandina Beach is still comparatively undiscovered. The popular activities of this area include fishing, shelling, swimming, sailing, boating and wind surfing. Couples can relax on a sunset cruise, take a walk on a nature trail or enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

Plan a trip to Amelia and and enjoy.  jeb


Seniors Enjoy Gulfport

Historic_Slider-980x400Gulfport is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, bordering St. Petersburg and Boca Ciega Bay and senior visitors will enjoy it for it’s wide variety of dining experiences. Fact is, Gulfport was one of six finalists in the Rand McNally “Best of the Road” out of 600 competing towns for ”Best of Food.

The quaint city of Gulfport was established in 1910 in central west coast of Florida. With a population of 13,000 residents, it is home to 1,500 licensed businesses, services, entrepreneurs, inns, artisans, boutiques, restaurants and shops.

Gulfport is a beach community overflowing with parks, piers, culture, and fine dining. The town is continuously buzzing with activity from Fresh Markets every Tuesday showcasing fresh produce, breads, seafood, and condiments to Art Walks the first Friday and third Saturday of every month featuring musicians, artists, and food vendors.


Gulfport began its life as a quaint fishing village and later became a Mecca for snowbirds in the 1920s and 30s. The Historic Waterfront District features a fine beach, several enticing shops and a host of family owned restaurants.

The dining scene in Gulfport is booming with over 15 independently-owned restaurants within a few blocks of the historic downtown area.

Over the years, Gulfport became a magnet for area artists who have found the quiet city a great place in which to nurture their creative spirit. The city is said to be a little oasis of “Old Florida” comfort and friendliness and the heart of town is filled with quaint cottages.

Seniors Like the Art Walk And GeckoFest


GeckoFest, Gulfport’s celebration of the end of summer, is dedicated to the town’s unofficial mascot and favorite reptile, a Gecko. The festival has grown to become one of the most anticipated events of the year. Regular events include a twice-monthly “Art Walk”.

Senior visitors are always invited to wander through the Clam Bayou Nature Preserve, take in the view from Williams Pier and explore the Historic Waterfront District’s shops and restaurants. 

The Blueberry Patch is a place of art and beauty, music and good times since 7-7-77 and four celebrations are held each month. Every Saturday is volunteer day and everyone is invited to help clean and improve the patch, make art out of anything available, work in the vegetable garden, and make new friends.


Senior travelers will always be welcomed in both Gulfport and South Pasadena.  They share a common border and depend on one another for commerce, healthcare, culture and recreation. With St. Petersburg to the east and glitzy beach communities to the west, these two cities are often overlooked when describing southwest Pinellas County.

Food, art, festivals, the beach, the sun and so much more. What else could one ask for? jeb


Seniors Discover Gold in Hollywood


Hollywood is a city in Broward County, Florida with a population of 140,000+. Founded in 1925, the city grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, and is now the twelfth largest city in Florida. Down the east coast of Florida nestled between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, this classic Florida beach town has attracted senior visitors since the early 1920s.

Hollywood Beach features a one-of-a-kind oceanfront promenade called the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk that stretches nearly two and a half miles along the Atlantic. Named one of America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel & Leisure Magazine, this brick-paved thoroughfare is a haven for joggers, bicyclists, roller-bladers and senior visitors who would prefer to take in the action from the comfort of one of the countless eateries and cafés along the way.Boardwalk

Hollywood highlights include this 2.5 mile paved walking, jogging and biking path with eco-friendly lighting, 7 miles of beach and 10 consecutive years as a Blue Wave Certified Clean Beach by the Clean Beaches Council. That award means a lot of those of us who enjoy spending quality time on a sandy and clean beach.

Seniors Take In Hollywood’s Downtown District

And senior foodies: Hollywood is a gourmet delight with dining and entertainment spots from city to shore. Waterfront views from seaside cafes and restaurants in Hollywood’s Beach District make dining special and it’s in this area that you will discover a veritable cultural feast in what is known as Hollywood’s Downtown District.

Downtown Hollywood Classic Car Show

Art Walks, Dream Car Classic Shows, Artspark Movie Nights, Exhibitions and Glassblowers take place all year long in Hollywood. Senior travelers, make it a point to drive down the Atlantic Coast for a visit to what is called the “Diamond of the Gold Coast.” You will find Hollywood to be a true gem.

Hollywood is also home to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and Anne Kolb Nature Center, which provide the perfect recipe for eco-adventures and nature lovers. Visitors will always find something to see and do in Hollywood, where the pace can be as energetic or as leisurely as the occasion inspires.

Take the Hollywood Trolley to discover fun places from the beach Broadwalk to the quaint and vibrant Downtown. Located close to the airport and between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, senior travelers will love what you find in Hollywood. jeb


Seniors Bask in West Palm Beach Sun

Image 16

West Palm Beach is the county seat of Palm Beach County with a population of just over 100,000. Senior visitors soak up Florida sunshine on pristine beaches and golf on world-class courses.

Located along Florida’s famed “Gold Coast,” West Palm Beach offers visitors year-round excitement within easy reach of smooth-sand beaches and some of the nation’s most enticing waterways.

CityPlace, about 4 blocks West of the Intracoastal Waterfront has dozens of restaurants, high-end shops and live bands. Along the Gold Coast are over 40 miles of beautiful sandy beaches and the proximity of the Gulf Stream keeps the waters warm year-round.

Image 27

West Palm Beach is home to sunny palm-lined streets, breathtaking waterfront views, quaint shopping districts, historic and scenic neighborhoods, and exciting year-round outdoor festivals. With the development of the West Palm Beach Waterfront, downtown has become very boat-friendly.

Gulf Stream Waters Attract Senior Visitors

Enjoy the fascinating array of cultural venues, sample the culinary masterworks of celebrity chef-owned restaurants, and take in one of dozens of internationally renowned destination events. Fish or dive in the Gulf Stream-warmed waters and take pleasure in the breathtaking beauty of the unique Florida ecosystem.

Image 29

McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary is a favorite stop for many senior visitors. The Sanctuary has treated hundreds of native animals that were sick or injured. Everything from foxes to bobcats, Sandhill Cranes to pelicans, hawks, owls, and many others have received veterinarian care by the staff and then were released back into the wild. It is a fun stop for folks of all ages where you can view up close 170 permanent resident animals.

One of the most recognizable landmarks is the Kravis Center for Performing arts that has recently added a 31-million dollar extension which includes new rehearsal space, instrument practice rooms, classrooms and a dance studio.

The Norton Museum of Art is worth a visit, featuring a collection of over 7,000 works. Maybe enhance your afternoon visit to the Norton with a 50-minute docent-led tour of the Museum Collection and selected special exhibitions.  In addition, the Palm Beach Zoo and Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are a couple more highlights for any visit.

Mansions, Yachts And Centennial Square

Image 17

I know that I would enjoy taking a self-guided tour on a motor scooter available from iScootPalmBeach.  Then scoot along the Atlantic Ocean past huge mansions and costly yachts. TripAdvisor has it all set for you including suggestions for hotels, B&Bs and over 100 attractions.

The $30-million Centennial Square waterfront complex at the eastern end of Clematis Street, with piers, a pavilion, and an amphitheater, has transformed West Palm into an attractive, easy-to-walk downtown area.

A major event is called SunFest – Florida’s largest waterfront music festival, generally held in late April and early May. Note that Amtrak has a stop in downtown West Palm Beach. So when you plan your visit to Florida, remember to include West Palm Beach.  jeb

Find Your Destination

Travel DestinationsTypes of Vacation/Travel
  • Polls

    Where would you most like to travel in 2013?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...