Articles Tagged with: senior travel Texas

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Galveston, Texas-A Senior Weekend Escape

Welcome-to-Galveston-Island

USA Today recommends Galveston as a great place for senior citizens to plant your feet for an excellent summer weekend escape. More than 30 miles of beaches plus a wealth of cultural and historic institutions make this island a Gulf of Mexico vacation hot spot.

Galveston, located on Galveston Island, with a population that runs right at 60,000, is 2 1/2 miles wide and has several old Victorian buildings. In the late 1700s the bay, and later the city, was named for Bernardo de Gálvez, governor of Louisiana, later viceroy of Mexico. I found it of interest that modern Galveston dates from a settlement established on site in 1817 by the famed pirate Jean Laffite.

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The town is linked with the mainland by causeways and a bridge. As a major seaport, Galveston Bay is the state’s chief cotton port; sulfur, grain, and petroleum are also shipped. The city is a commercial fishing center and a popular vacation spot, with many Victorian buildings and long stretches of beach nearby.

Many senior tourists enjoy nature at the Galveston Island State Park, a 2,000-acre site that features fishing, hiking, mountain bike riding and swimming. Former senior servicemen enjoy the Lone Star Flight Museum that preserves Texas aviation history and includes many historic aircraft.

When you come for a visit, don’t forget your walking shoes. With 14 museums and 20 art galleries, plus several historic homes and mansions, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Don’t care to walk? Bicycles are available for rent for those who want to leisurely tour the area. The four wheel bikes are highly popular for getting around and get some exercise at the same time.

Senior Birders Attracted to Galveston

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Attention senior birders: The FeatherFest is big in Galveston. An attendance record-setting 651 birders and photographers of all ages attended Galveston’s FeatherFest Birding and Nature Photography Festival held April 10-13, 2014. As many as 224 species of resident, seasonal and migrating birds were spotted over the four-day festival.

Summer shows abound at The Grand 1894 Opera House that features top notch entertainment. Programs range from William Shatner one-man show to the Hank Williams story to Three Texas Tenors.

The Historic Pleasure Pier is a $60 million dollar attraction offering 16 rides, a 100-foot-tall Ferris wheel and a 200-foot-tall swing tower offering panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Galveston is famed as well for the hurricane that struck the city in 1900 and an estimated 10,000 people lost their lives. Ike also did lots of damage in September of 2008.

It’s all fixed now, so come on down… enjoy Glen Campbell and enjoy the entire area. jeb

SENIORS WELCOMED IN TEXAS


USA Today likes Granbury

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 Seniors will find this small town of 8,000 welcoming to all visitors. Granbury lies thirty-five miles southwest of Fort Worth on the shore of Lake Granbury on U.S. Highway 377. USA Today recently selected Granbury as a Great Summer Weekend Escape choice.

The city namesake comes from Brigadier General Hiram B. Granbury who led Confederate troops from this area into battle during the Civil War.

Founded in 1887, Granbury started as a square and log cabin courthouse. Many of the buildings on the city square are registered historic landmarks, including the Granbury Opera House, which still hosts Broadway productions.

Granbury’s most fascinating wild west folk legend says that Jesse James, the notorious outlaw, is buried here and not in Missouri. The local cemetery even has a nice grey tombstone with his name on it. Crockett Street in Granbury is named in honor of the Davy Crockett family and their contributions to Hood County History.  And add this to the local lore, John Wilkes Booth once slept here. Impressed?

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 Seniors Enjoy Granbury’s History

The Granbury Historic DistrictWhere Texas History Lives,” is home to over 50 shops that specialize in art galleries, wineries, antiques, gifts, collectibles, specialty merchandise and clothing.  Many of the older buildings have been restored and proudly display Historical Markers.

Senior visitors can enjoy a Ghost and Legends Tour around the square, Drive-In movie theater (wow!), 7 golf courses, some great fishing and varied water sports. And ladies, if you are “into dolls”, Over 800 dolls from all over the world are in the Granbury Dollhouse Museum.

Seniors will find plenty to do. Check out the Visitor’s Guide on this site to fill you in on all the amenities. I just love those guides that let you flip through the pages to get to know the town better.  This one is glitzy, well done and in full-color.

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The Downtown Square is the first town square in Texas to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Granbury Opera  House dates back to 1886 and has been well restored.

For you hikers and bikers, The Moments in Time Hike/Bike Trail was newly built in 2006. It is an 8 foot wide concrete trail traversing 2.17 miles from the Granbury Regional Airport to Shanley Park just north of the Historic Downtown Square.

The Granbury Courthouse is impressive and worth a visit. For its size, Granbury seems to have something going on all year long. From King County “Agape Fest” featuring Christian Country Music, to musicals, theatre productions, Cemetery Tours and to top it all off, D’Vine Wine on the Square presents “Music, Massage and Merlot”.

While “Everything is BIG in Texas”, Granbury is evidence that even in a small town, “Everything is FUN.” jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO TEXAS


Seniors Round Up In Round Rock

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This senior loves that name: Round Rock, Texas. I have driven by the city several times on Interstate Hwy 35, a very busy corridor. Named after a large boulder in the middle of Brushy Creek, Round Rock is located 15 miles north of downtown Austin, the state capital.

And the name… the famed ROUND ROCK is where cattlemen would pass the word that this location was a good place to move your cattle across Brushy Creek. They say that there are cattle and horse prints marking the rock yet today.

One Of The Best, Seniors Discover

Money Magazine likes Round Rock and named it one of the top ten American best small cities. Round Rock is the one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and said to be one of the best-managed cities in Texas.

Despite being a growing city with major employers like Dell and Ikea, features like minor league baseball, seven golf courses, a 40,000 sq foot water park, an outlet mall, and historic growth of medical facilities, Round Rock retains a “small town” atmosphere.

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A number of historic buildings form a kind of downtown square in Round Rock. Most have been given new life these days as restaurants, coffee shops, sports bar and retail stores. The city is a sports haven and home to the Houston Astros AA affiliate team, the Round Rock Express.

On Main Street, you’ll see a stately brick residence known as the Nelson-Crier House (1895-1900) in a beautiful setting, surrounded by mature trees and a white picket fence, where three generation of Nelsons lived.

Old Town Round Rock is an historic area dating to 1854, when the first settlers set up camp along the banks of Brushy Creek. The streets are lined with notable historic sites, including the Palm House and Old Broom Factory.

Historic Town: Gunfights, Bank And Train Robberies

It was also once the site of many a riotous gunfight, including the spectacular capture of the notorious outlaw train robber Sam Bass who was the perpetrator of the largest train robbery in U.S. history. He was ambushed by lawmen in 1878, as he tried to rob a local bank and he died two days later.

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I learned that Round Rock and Williamson County have been the site of human habitation since at least 9,200 BC. Wow! One of the most important discoveries in recent times is that of the ancient skeletal remains dubbed “The Leanderthal Lady”.

Round Rock is perhaps best known as the international headquarters of Dell, a privately owned multinational computer technology firm. The Palm House Museum, the Williamson Museum, the Neill-Cochran House Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art and some great Texas local wineries are often on the itinerary of senior visitors from across the country.

Nearby Lake Travis provides a variety of opportunities for water sports, from sailboats and windsurfing regattas to competition ski boats, as well as cruisers and mansion-like houseboats. Enjoy your stay in Round Rock.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THROUGH PINEY WOODS OF TEXAS


Seniors Stop In Palestine

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This senior had never known that there was a Palestine, Texas in East Texas until I visited relatives who lived in rural Anderson County. Palestine is tucked deep in the Piney Woods, 100 miles southeast of Dallas and 150 miles north of Houston.

The population runs right at 20,000 happy Palestinians in this county seat and was named after Palestine, Illinois, by Daniel Parker, a settler who was originally from Illinois. Palestine is a designated Texas Main Street City and exhibits historic architecture from the early 1800′s through the 1950′s. Main Street District covers 44 blocks and is filled with eclectic boutiques, antique stores, cafes, bakeries, and diverse restaurants.

Davey Dogwood Park: A Senior Favorite

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On my first visit to Palestine, I became acquainted with Davey Dogwood Park. As a master gardener, I had never seen so many beautiful dogwood trees in one spot. Texas Monthly added Davey Dogwood Park to their travel bucket list. In the article, “The Bucket List: 63 Things All Texans Should Do Before They Die,” Davey Dogwood came in at #56.

The annual Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration began in 1938. Davey Dogwood Park became the main location of the annual event in 1944, when Mr. M. A. Davey, a local oil man, bought the land and donated it to the county to be used as a park. The festival occurs each spring over the last two weekends of March and the first weekend in April.

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The “official” city site has a train on it and for good reason. The arrival of the International-Great Northern Railroad in 1872 led to the demise of local river shipping, as the railroad opened year-round travel to the east, to Houston, and to Laredo.

The railroad also changed the face of the town and senior visitors will note several tracks that run right through its center. The Union Pacific Railroad maintains a strong presence today. The historic Texas State Railroad offers both steam and diesel excursions that travel between Palestine and the nearby town of Rusk.  Special events throughout the year include The Polar Express, The Lone Ranger, and the Dinosaur Train rides.

Seniors Take In East Texas Culture

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If you wish to really take in the culture of East Texas, visit The Museum for East Texas Culture, a major attraction for many senior tourists. More culture is exhibited at the Howard House Museum that showcases elegant Greek Revival architecture of the late-19th-century.

The Museum is an official Texas Historical Landmark. Senior visitors will find period furnishings, artworks, and other memorabilia evocative of a familial residence in the 1880s. It lies right in the heart of town.

A wide variety of attractions welcome visitors of all ages to Palestine, including the Anderson County Courthouse, the Texas State Railroad, the Palestine Community Forest, and Elmwood Gardens. Today Palestine relies heavily on tourism, with history and nature being the biggest draws.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO NORTHWEST TEXAS


“Hub City” Attracts Senior Visitors

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Lubbock (pop 230,000) is the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas. The city is about half way between Amarillo and Midland in West Texas. Historically, Lubbock began as two smaller towns until 1890 when “Old Lubbock” and “Monterey” joined together, on a new site, to establish a town consisting of 50 people. Lubbock was founded as a part of the movement westward onto the High Plains of Texas by ranchers and farmers.

 Senior visitors will find three famed universities: Texas Tech, Lubbock Christian and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.  Lubbock’s nickname is theHub City, which derives from it being the economic, education, and health care hub of a multi-county region commonly called the South Plains.

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Some locals prefer to call Lubbock simply LUBB. The area is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world.  Irrigation is crucial, taken from the famed Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest aquifers. A host of local wineries feature tours and tastings and the area is the second largest recognized grape growing region in Texas.

 Seniors Remember Buddy Holly

Archeology and natural history coexist here in preservation. For almost 12,000 years, this area was occupied by ancient peoples and they have left traces that scientists still actively excavate.

A trip to Lubbock would not be complete without a stop at the Buddy Holly Center. The center features a permanent exhibit dedicated to the life and music of Buddy Holly, a pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll. Unique memorabilia ranging from his famous glasses to his guitar are on display.

Holly was one of the most memorable voices of the 1950s and his death sent ripples throughout the nation. Buddy Holly Plaza commemorates the man who is arguably Lubbock’s most famous citizen with a larger-than-life monument of the performer rocking out on his guitar in a dapper suit.

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Nearby, the Walk of Fame displays the names of other notable Lubbock-area residents of the past and present, including Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Dean and Roy Orbison.

Senior travelers can visit the National Ranching Heritage Center. One hundred and fifty years of ranching from 1780 to 1930 are preserved and celebrated in this 30-acre historical park. Forty-eight authentic  ranch buildings have been moved to this site, all fully explorable and all re-furnished.

Be sure to visit Mackenzie Park and view some of Lubbock’s most beloved critters at Prairie Dog Town, a living, active prairie dog community at which senior visitors are invited to watch and learn about these little critters.

Enjoy good West Texas hospitality in Lubbock.  jeb

SENIORS VISIT SOUTHEAST TEXAS


Seniors Head To Beaumont

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Beaumont, in Jefferson County Texas, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan has a population of 120,000 plus. The town was named Beaumont, after Jefferson Beaumont. The Port of Beaumont is a deep water international public seaport located on the Neches River 40 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Naturally inviting, Beaumont is the gateway to the Big Thicket National Preserve where senior visitors can glide through the waters of Village Creek, hike the trails through the Piney Woods, or enjoy the sights and sounds of countless bird species.

They say that Beaumont is “Texas with a little something extra.” This senior likes the sound of that and wanted to see what was so “extra” about Beaumont. Lamar University is one reason, with its 15,000 student body.

Crockett Street is home to five historic buildings that have been restored to host Beaumont’s best nightclubs, restaurants and a formal banquet facility.

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Known for its festivals, Crockett Street regularly offers outdoor concerts and street parties. Senior travelers will discover a thriving downtown cultural district with beautifully renovated buildings, brick-paved sidewalks, restaurants, museums and exciting riverfront developments. About 5 minutes East of Beaumont in Vidor is Boomtown Lake, a fun spot to cool off.

 Seniors Kick Up Their Heels In The Dance Hall

The interior of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Anthony is well worth a visit. More than just a boot scootin’ good time, Dixie Dance Hall is a Beaumont favorite and a legendary South East Texas dance hall.

And senior foodies… The colorful combination of Texas and Cajun influences found throughout local Beaumont cuisine keep folks just like us coming back for more. Dive into savory Texas barbecue, spicy crawfish dishes, gumbo, and maybe try the barbecued crabs.

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The city is so close to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico that senior visitors will never taste fresher seafood. And if you like savory spices, you must try Beaumont’s own local favorite, TexJoy Steak Seasoning.

 If you search on TripAdvisor, up comes a photo of Crockett Street and you will not want to bypass this fascinating section of town. In addition check out these 22 major attractions that include the McFaddin-Ward House Museum, the Fire House Museum of Texas and the Spindletop Museum. Yes, there are eight great museums in Beaumont.

My wife and I would head off to the Beaumont Botanical Gardens. This 23.5 acre garden of ever-changing beauty is located near the entrance to Tyrrell Park.

With the discovery of oil at Spindletop, Beaumont’s population grew rapidly from 9,000 in January 1901 to 30,000 in March 1901. Oil is, and has always been, a major export of the city, and a major contributor to the national GDP.

Beaumont has much to offer senior visitors.  You’ll be glad you stopped. jeb

SENIORS MEET IN DEL RIO TEXAS


Seniors Nod To “The Best of the Border”

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Del Rio is a city in Texas with a population of 35,000+. The Spanish established a small presidial complex near the site of present Ciudad Acuña, the Mexican sister city of Del Rio, and some Spaniards settled on what became the United States side of the Rio Grande.

Del Rio has more for seniors to do and see than any other city along the Rio Grande River. Del Rio is just a heartbeat from the crystal clear waters of Lake Amistad. Lake Amistad provides year-round, water-based recreation opportunities.

The deep, crystal clear waters of Lake Amistad beckon to fishermen, divers, sailors, swimmers, house boaters, water skiers and virtually every type of water sport enthusiast, as well as other recreational opportunities for picnicking, camping, and hunting.

The Amistad National Recreation Area is just west of Del Rio on U.S. 90.  Amistad, whose name comes from the Spanish word meaning friendship is best known for excellent water-based recreation, camping, hiking, rock art viewing and its rich cultural history.

Seniors Visit Winery, Parks and Cave Paintings

Image 19Del Rio also has an impressive Downtown Shopping District, the Val Verde Winery and several state parks, some of which are home to ancient Indian cave paintings. The area is rich in archeology and rock art, and contains a wide variety of plant and animal life.

Del Rio is home to the George Paul Memorial Bullriding, which is the oldest stand-alone bull riding event in the world. Del Rio offers unique shopping and dining experiences and the first Friday of each month senior visitors can enjoy the Art Walk sponsored by the HeART of Del Rio. There is a wide choice of accommodations so make your plans to Explore Del Rio for a week, a week-end or a day.

San Felipe del Rio was Del Rio’s “birth name” because the founding occurred on St. Phillip’s Day. Today Del Rio offers birders, boaters and fishermen plenty of options. However, Del Rio is also home to a number of top notch museums as well as the Val Verde Winery, the oldest continuously operating winery in Texas.

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This winery was started in 1883 by Italian immigrants. The fourth generation is now running this family operation. The climate in southwest Texas is semiarid in moisture and subtropical in temperature. Humidity is more often high than low, with periodic morning fog due to Gulf of Mexico air masses moving northwest into the area.

The Del Rio area, in addition to cattle ranching, also has sheep, lambs and wool and mohair production from Angora goats. Del Rio is the home to Southwest Texas Junior College and Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College.

The Laughlin Air Force Base is located in Del Rio and is a major reason for its growth and population. Seniors, enjoy the city when you are in southwest Texas.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO TEXAS


Seniors Raise the Pflag in Pflugerville

Pflugerville (yes, seniors, that is really a name of a city) was highlighted by Money Magazine as a great place to live and ranked in the top 50 in the nation. The city, a suburb of Austin, is in both Travis and Williamson counties and the population runs right at 50,000.

Pflugerville was founded in 1860 when William Bohls established a general store and post office in his residence. He named the town in honor of Henry Pfluger who first arrived in the area in 1849, leaving his German homeland to escape the Prussian War, and thus the name Pflugerville.

Some of the principal attractions in town include the Cinemark Movie Theater, Austin’s Park and Lake Pflugerville. While many Pflugerville residents make the 30-minute commute to Austin during the week, on weekends they enjoy relaxing at Lake Pflugerville, a man-made 180-acre reservoir that has a three-mile trail, a beach, and fun water activities like kite surfing.

The Lake is a 180-acre reservoir built to provide the citizens of Pflugerville with drinking water and has become the city’s most popular family playground.

Thanks to sound finances, Pflugerville has been able to make a commitment to sustainability, breaking ground on what will be one of the largest solar farms in the country.

 Seniors Enjoy Historical Destinations

The State of Texas is loaded with historical events and sites and Pflugerville is no exception. Select the About Pflugerville button as well as each of the others. And senior visitors will find even more history at the Historical Association.

Many senior visitors find the historic association to be a destination itself.  From 1980 through 1988, new development in Pflugerville made it the fastest growing community in the state.

After a slight slowdown during the recession of the late 1980’s, the tremendous growth resumed again during the 1990′s, as the population nearly quadrupled in size from 4,444 residents in 1990 to 16,335 in 2000, 49,000 in 2010 and in 2012, 51,894.

It’s on the rise.  So enjoy your visit to Pflugerville, a Best Town in America, and take in some of the attractions.  One special treat in town for my wife and me would be eating at the Taste Of Ethiopia and senior visitors will enjoy foods that chef Woinee’s relatives in Ethiopia would prepare. 

Bon Appétit mes amis.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO TEXAS


Seniors Enjoy “Cowtown” Fort Worth

As you know, everything is BIG IN TEXAS. Fort Worth is only the 5th largest city in Texas but has much to offer senior visitors. It’s the cultural gateway to the American West, covers nearly 350 square miles, with nearly 750,000 inhabitants.  It’s the 18th largest city in the United States, and voted one of “America’s Most Livable Communities.”

Fort Worth gets its name from a Major General who set up a series of forts to mark the western Texas frontier. The fact is that there was never actually a fort built in Fort Worth. It became a stop along the famous Chisholm Trail and earned the name “Cowtown.” Great herds of Longhorns were driven from Texas to the railheads in Kansas via Fort Worth. Today, it’s where the “West Begins” and where you can take in the historic stockyards.

Downtown Fort Worth Welcomes Senior Visitors

Senior visitors will find a number of dazzling Art-Deco style buildings, lots of action and it’s where folks congregate to have fun and to take in the cuisine. Fort Worth is recognized as one of the cleanest, safest and most walkable urban areas in the nation.

Downtown is the very heart of Fort Worth, where throngs of people dine, shop, find entertainment, and mix with the thousands of people who work and live downtown. Fort Worth is one of the destinations for shopping in the Southwest.

Day and night, downtown Fort Worth is bustling with excitement and activity. An evening can be amazingly spent in the City Streets. Nightlife, shops, galleries and performing arts are housed in restored historic buildings along with 49 high-rises.

The Fort Worth Cultural District is a location to explore museums and be entertained with cultural events. There are many historical attractions in the city of Fort Worth, and some great museums to visit.

 Seniors Find Plenty To See and Do In Town

One could say that Fort Worth is full of gas, with its over 1000 natural gas wells in town. It’s home of the Horned Frogs, Texas Christian University. The Texas Motor Speedway is a NASCAR track that brings in senior visitors.

The area is best known as Dallas/Fort Worth due to the proximity of Dallas. The hottest industry in Fort Worth is the life sciences and combined with Dallas, the region boasts nearly 500 biomedical technology businesses. But tourism is also a thriving sector, thanks to the nearly 10 million visitors that pass through the city annually.

Fort Worth is among the premier vacation and business travel destinations in the U.S. The city boasts a unique blend of celebrated Western heritage with thriving commerce and culture, as well as a reputation as one of the safest and most livable cities in the country.

 I think that senior citizens will greatly appreciate and enjoy the “City of Cowboys and Culture” and the “Destination With Everything.”  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO TEXAS


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

 

 

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