Seniors Stop In Gastonia


This senior blogger enjoys finding villages, towns, cities and countries that are “different.” I pick up those names from magazines, newspapers, TV and a host of travel magazines. I don’t recall now where I heard of Gastonia, but I will probably remember as I develop this blog.

Gastonia’s original population was reflective of the surrounding county and was comprised of English, German, Scotch Highlander, and Scotch-Irish citizens, with a few African American residents also moving into the settlement.


Gastonia was incorporated in 1877, the year reconstruction ended. The early development of  Gastonia, began in 1873 as a small railroad depot. Later the crossing of two railroads and the beginning of the city’s textile industry brought opportunity for employment and social life to the area.

Back then, the population of the town was approximately 200 people and the land area was less than one square mile.

This Senior Heads For the Botanical Garden

Senior travelers will find Gastonia on I-85 west of Charlotte. With a population of 72,000, it is the largest city and the seat of Gaston County, North Carolina. It is also the second largest satellite city of the Charlotte area, behind Concord.


For this senior, a Master Gardener in Iowa, I would head off for the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden located on 450 acres along the banks of Lake Wylie. The Garden offers 110 acres of rolling meadows and woodlands that are being developed as one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Already the perennial garden has been called one of the finest in the Southeast.

The Gastonia Downtown Summer Concert Series packs the house for a series of awesome bands while merchants line the streets. An Art Crawl features many types of artists each displaying their works.

The Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium has exhibits, collections and programs, a Planetarium, outdoor nature trail, Backcountry Farm and Catawba Indian Village…all part of the attraction at this fine Museum.


Senior Visitors Find Tony’s Ice Cream

Another favorite stop for senior visitors is Tony’s Ice Cream. Tony’s is a family-owned and family-run restaurant in downtown Gastonia who claim to make some of the best homemade ice cream you’ll ever taste.

Rankin Lake Park has a 1.64 mi. hiking trail for senior hikers to enjoy. Nearby Rankin Lake, an 80-acre reservoir, was closed off and unavailable for public use for many years. The birdseye images show off its grand new amenities, including fishing piers, and a floating dock where several different types of boats can now be rented.

Senior travelers, when you’re driving through North Carolina, plan a stop in Gastonia. -jeb

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