Seniors Discover the Pearl of the Atlantic

Madeira, known as Pearl of the Atlantic, is a Portuguese archipelago that lies north of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The island of Madeira, relatively unknown to many senior travelers, boasts nice people, a great climate, great prices and a wonderful atmosphere. All this combines to make a great senior destination, actually a pleasant secret hidden out in the Atlantic.

Funchal, the capital of this stunning island is a lovely city surrounded by spectacular settings. Funchal has a population of just over 110,000 inhabitants. The name Funchal was given by the first settlers that landed on its shores because of  the abundance of wild fennel.  Funchal is full of life and super scenery.

A Most Beautiful Island

I have to admit that as a travel blog writer, I was not aware of the island of Madeira. I’ve missed all that deep azure water and lush green mountains. It is said to be one of the most beautiful islands of the world, a garden island.

The “Official Tourist Information” yields lots of information for first-time visitors. There are many tourist attractions on Madeira. You won’t want to miss the Monte Toboggan Sled Ride. You’ll love it just as Hemingway did. He found it to be the “most exhilarating experience” of his life…and he’d been around the block. The Cable Car ride is another must.

Seniors Get to Madeira

There are several airports that can fly you into Madeira including Gatwick and Heathrow. Wikitravel notes that Funchal has an international airport that can handle all sizes of aircraft. Upon landing, get ready to enjoy some great wine, fishing, beautiful walks and more.

While Portuguese is the official language, most inhabitants speak English and Spanish. Royal Caribbean cruises into Madeira, too, so talk with your travel agent and maybe just cruise on in. Let’s depart today by climbing aboard a noisy helicopter for an air tour of Funchal Bay, Madeira.

You’ll find that it’s one beautiful place.  Enjoy your visit to Madeira. jeb


Seniors Say “Hola” to La Rioja and Its Spanish Wines

Senior oenophiles will enjoy touring this region in northern Spain and sampling the many fine wines of the area. This area of Spain has over 500 wineries and is internationally famous for the quality of its wines.

La Rioja is located in the Basque Region of Spain. Senior visitors will want to take in the Ebro Valley as well as the famous route of St. James. La Rioja is quite a sight on a sunny day. And there are plenty of sunny days: summer temperatures rise sky-high in this quiet, out-of-the-way provincial capital. World Atlas will “pin point” if for you.

Plenty for Seniors To See and Do

La Rioja is both a province and an autonomous region located in the North of Spain. The capital of La Rioja is Logroño. And history… the entire area is historic, however today it’s most famous for its many wineries. I enjoy reading wine labels. Take a closer look at a few of these. The NY Times likes it too. TripAdvisor takes a closer look at La Rioja and lists top rated hotels, restaurants and destinations.

Don’t let its size fool you; Spain‘s smallest province makes a big name for itself with spectacular scenery as well as its wine. Healing thermal baths and rugged mountain trails, provide the perfect getaway for the senior traveler.

Active seniors can find adventures skiing, biking or white-water rafting, while the more sedate will find a peaceful respite sipping wine in the lush vineyards, or walking the famous pilgrims’ trail to Santiago.  La Rioja rates high with senior visitors and I understand why after seeing these multitude of images.

Logroño Attracts Senior History Buffs

Logroño is a city rich in history and traditions which have been preserved since the Middle Ages. The Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela made this one of the most important towns on the route, leaving an interesting monumental legacy closely linked to the traditional passing of the pilgrims.

What a neat photo of San Milan de la Cogolia called the birthplace Spanish language.  If you do not know what a “parador” is, learn about them prior to a visit to Spain.   They are all over Spain and those folks who have stayed in a parador find them especially memorable. The Parador de Calahorra in Calahorra in La Rioja awaits your visit.

Let me set you up with a wine tour. There are various types and experiences and you’ll surely find one to your liking. Fodors will fill in a lot of blanks as well as Lonely Planet. They will get senior travelers right into the heart of the province via rail

Are you a dyed in the wool explorer?  Good.  Then explore here and check out these multiple videos.

Seen enough of La Rioja?  It’s on my “bucket list”. My bucket list is long as you will see on my travel websites. jeb


Seniors Bed Down in Omni Bedford Springs

President James Buchanan’s favorite haunt has regained its allure. The stately sprawling resort, “one of America’s first official places to relax,” was just named by Travel & Leisure as one of the top 100 hotels in the world. Wow! Hey seniors, I think that you will love it there.

A painstaking $120 million renovation will do that for a 200-year-old institution. Four years after its revival, the resort still is most distinguished by its ancient mineral springs. Choose the “Bedford Bath” and senior citizens will have memories galore.  

The city of Bedford Springs has lots to offer senior visitors including their alluring apple orchards and wineriesSo where is Bedford Springs? Let Mapquest lead you there. You’ll find lots of attractions in Bedford County that include Old Bedford Village.

Historic Resort Lures Senior Travelers

The Omni Bedford Springs Resort presents 216 beautiful guest rooms and four luxury suites which embrace the richness of the resort’s past. The décor includes authentic patterns and textures and incredible balconies with rocking chairs where you can enjoy the lush natural views.

Whether you choose one of their luxurious accommodations in the historic building, or the all-new spa wing, breathtaking vistas, exquisite furnishings and a host of exclusive amenities await senior visitors at this world-class resort. The Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania, is proud to be the home of one of the country’s first golf courses.

The restored, historic course offers an experience of the highest caliber to rival the most private of clubs. Springs Eternal Spa a 30,000-square-foot destination spa, is one of the few spas in the country utilizing natural spring water in all of its treatments. The spa’s treatments are inspired by the resort’s eight mineral springs, first used by the local Native Americans for their healing properties.

Bedford Springs is overflows with history dating back to the late 1700s. George Washington marched his army to Bedford in 1794 to subdue the Whiskey Rebellion. One historian later stated, “It was at Bedford that the new federal government was finally to establish itself as sovereign in its own time and place.” The Bedford Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The Omni Bedford Springs Resort is Longtime Favorite

Omni has been the retreat of choice for guests desiring a relaxing environment enhanced by the beauty of nature. The resort boasts endless pleasures, including over 25 miles of hiking trails, indoor and outdoor pools, and fishing in the Gold Medal trout stream.

One thing is for sure at Bedford Springs, PA…you will be treated as a first class visitor.  jeb


Seniors Discover the Warmth of Fairbanks

Called the “Golden Heart of Alaska” Fairbanks seems to have it all, attracting over 500,000 tourists each year. It is right in the heart of the action with the Alaska Highway, leading seniors and a host of other tourists to the area. Today the city is the regional service and supply center for Interior Alaska and if you want the ‘real flavor’ of our largest state, you’ll find it in Fairbanks.

The Last Frontier

Some call Fairbanks the Last Frontier, where a gold rush years ago (1902) brought in prospectors from all over the country. It’s Alaska’s second largest city with over 80,000 residents in the greater Fairbanks area. Located in the central part of the state, north of Denali National Park, Fairbanks is surrounded with wilderness making it perfect for hiking, biking, canoeing, camping and fishing.

Seniors Discover Tours and Things to See and Do

One of the most popular things for seniors to see and do in Fairbanks is a river boat tour on the Chena River. Want more info on tours?  Here is it. A very popular means of seeing Alaska and the Fairbanks area in particular is by rail. Senior travelers will find many different rail trips in and out of the city.

Denali and the Northern Lights, Oh Yes!

Almost everyone I know who has traveled to Alaska has made Denali National Park a Must See. Denali means “Great One” in the Athabascan Native language. The Northern Lights, also high on every senior list, display these energetic curtains of color that brighten the night skies on a regular basis. Pinterest was a fun discovery on Fairbanks.

Top-rated restaurants and attractions, events, hotels and a Free Fairbanks Guide are all available online. There are plenty of things to do in Fairbanks and you might even want to try your hand panning for gold at the old Gold Dredge No. 8. Yahoo invites you to go Dog Sledding or to please your palate at the Alaskaland Salmon Bake or check out their master list.

For sure Fairbanks is a “great place in a big space“and senior visitors will find it to be  a vibrant community, alive with activity, beauty, and a rich history. Wikitravel fill in a lot of blanks and will help complete your itinerary. For me personally, I’d choose both a train trip and a flightseeing tour although that paddle wheeler on the Chena looks great too.

Well folks, Fairbanks is there just waiting for your arrival. Here’s the “official guide”that will prove enlightening up there in the Land of the  Midnight Sun. So what are you waiting for? Alaska Airlines will take you right into the center of town.

Sounds like great fun to me. Enjoy Alaska.  jeb


Seniors Who Stay Serious About Learning and Travel

I’ve always had a serious and curious nature, especially about exploring the globe.  That’s why I liked the title of this program I discovered that caters to senior citizens who love to continue learning and travel. Senior citizens are invited to “Stay Curious” and to investigate one of the many programs that go all over the world and explore a wide variety of topics.

Caters to Senior Travel

“Stay Curious” caters to adult travel, senior travel. Senior citizen travel has become more exciting today than ever before. These senior travel programs offer some of the most unique and interesting programs where traveling and learning abroad give singles and couples a new perspective of the world and culture. How? For instance, by learning a language in the country where you are traveling.

I was especially drawn to that program, being a former teacher of French for 38 years. “Stay Curious” tours allow seniors to enjoy the country you are visiting as a native. If you’’re a senior citizen, couple, or a single traveling abroad, here’ are some examples of things you can do. Looks to me like, “you name what you want to see and do” and Stay Curious can help you find it.

Learner and Traveler

Study Spanish in the Galapagos, French while learning about wine in Bordeaux or Italian while learning about art history in Italy. Their Language Liaison looked very interesting and well done. “Stay Curious” is found in over 35 countries offering 22 languages and dozens of activities.  Perhaps you would enjoy a stay with a host family as I did in Cuernavaca.  Perhaps you would prefer a hotel, an apartment or  a residence for a week stay or for a month. I liked that too.

Navigate through the links on this page via a Site Map to find out more about cultural education, language learning concept, adult traveling, and language schools. Also, senior learners will find more information about history, cuisines, customs, business news and other activities in different countries.

If you have grandchildren, Global Teen just might be a program that you would suggest to them as the world is just waiting to be explored.

I think that you will find this site so full of excitement and possibilities that you will want to spend time “surfing,” especially in the Activities portion. I know that I did. The countries portion was pretty cool too.  So go exploring this Sunday and by all means, “Stay Curious”.   jeb


Back to Hamburg

TripAdvisor suggests that senior visitors spend at least three days on your visit to Hamburg.  That usually is minimum for truly becoming aquainted with any major city. Perhaps About.Com will fill your day with a very nice itinerary. This sightseeing tour of Hamburg will provide you with a nice overview of the city…a little like that bus tour I like to take in large cities I’m visiting.

The cruise on the Elbe is a “biggie” allowing you can take in the beautiful harbor and see the shipping activity that still exists in Hamburg. My brother-in-law would not want to miss the Miniatur Wunderland. It’s the world’s largest model train exhibit, and still growing. See trains running through re-creations of Hamburg and the coast, Austria, the Grand Canyon and Scandinavia.

Senior visitors will find that Hamburg has beautiful historic buildings and several large parks and gardens where you can walk, enjoy the beauty and history and not spend any money.

The Familiar TOP TEN for Senior Visitors

Find out here what to do in Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city. You’ll want to try to focus your stay on Hamburg’s top ten attractions and sights that no senior visitor should miss. Reeperbahn the most famous street in the city is both interesting and fascinating and includes the Red Light District of the city. No visit of Hamburg is complete without a visit to Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s legendary nightlife mile.

Due to its northern location and westerly winds, which blow in moist air from the North Sea, Hamburg senior visitors should always be prepared for rain. Hamburg International Airport, which opened in 1911, is Germany’s oldest airport still in operation; in the recent years, it has undergone major modernization and offers now a new airport hotel, shopping malls, and modern architecture.

Seems like there are so many MUST SEE sites and TripAdvisor is no exception. US News continues with additional advice for senior visitors. How about 734 MUSTS?  Virtual Tourist really covered their bases here.

Looks like you just can’t go wrong in Hamburg folks. So, “wie sie sagen in deutscher Sprache auf Wiedersehen und gute Reise”. All that just to say “Have a Nice Trip!”  jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe


Gateway to the World

Hamburg, Germany  has a well-deserved reputation as Germany’s Gateway to the World. For about five million European immigrants from 1850 to 1939 Hamburg was their Gateway to the world. Which means that many of us senior citizens have ancesters who came to our country through this port.  BallinStadt is dedicated to those emigrants.

Hamburg is known to be one of the richest metropolitan area in the European Union, in the company of Brussels and London. With a harbor, interconnecting waterways, and hundreds of canals, Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined, all adding up a to a great city with lots of maritime charm. It is also Germany‘s second largest city (after Berlin) with a population of over 1.8 million and the Greater Hamburg Metropolitan Region has a population of over four million.

 One of the most important harbors in Europe and the world, 800 years old, Hamburg takes great pride in its mercantile background, which built the city’s wealth in the past centuries. From 1241 on, it was member of the Hanseatic League, a medieval trade monopoly across Northern Europe.

And Culture…

Hamburg boasts 31 theaters, 6 music halls, 10 cabarets and 50 state and private museums. Of the 4,000 restaurants in Hamburg, 2,400 offer foreign cuisine. The banks of the Elbe and the Alster rivers are perfect for a stroll.

Today, Hamburg is the mecca of the German media, and its lion share of publishing houses makes the city one of the wealthiest in Germany. There is always something going on in Hamburg. Those seniors who have been to Hamburg have remarked that it is “The Most Beautiful City in the World” and here’s why.

Don’t Miss the Fischmarkt, Seniors

The Fischmarkt is a popular spot where senior visitors congregate in Hamburg.  Fresh seafood, exotic fruits, nuts, flowers, and teas from all over the world – the fish market in Hamburg is a must for every senior foodie. The open-air market is located right next to the historic fish auction hall at the Hamburg harbor. The fish market is open every Sunday between 5 and 9 a.m. and despite these early hours, it is always packed with a mix of locals, tourists, and night owls after partying on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn.

Here’s a touch of daily life in the city complete with car horns, pedestrians and rain. A typical “must” in Germany is the “Rathaus.”  I like that word but it means simply city hall. This “Rathaus” is exceptional from the interior as well as the exterior. Check it out along with a nice tour of the city.

Here’s a fascinating trick that I also saw in Prague and Budapest that totally confuses folks, me included.

More on Hamburg soon.  Just too much to cram into one blog. jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe


What To Do Wherever You Are…Ask Zerve

I liked that motto and discovered that it was all true. With Zerve senior travelers will find a slice of the extraordinary for vacations all over the country. On the home page, first select from a list called What Do You Want to Do Today? You’ll find a multitude of choices. For instance if you chose NYC, Zerve provides 3,255 options on 217 pages. Sound like overkill? Well, maybe but take a look and you’ll find that it is very well done. One fellow wrote…”So good, I want to keep it a secret.”

Today the word is out about Zerve. What makes Zerve different? Their goal is to work with everyone and show senior travelers all the experiences that are available. They are ranked by the community based on real purchases and real reviews with a little bit of the ZerveQuotient thrown in. See for yourself.

A Relatively New Thing

Zerve’s been around since 2003 and is getting rave reviews. Millions of tickets have been sold online and more activities are being added daily. It’s not only senior citizens in the US but from all over the world who benefit from Zerve. Kind of like Google for a search, but there’s much more. Zerve caters to travelers only and it includes reviews and an attractive photo gallery. You can obtain information and tickets right online. How about that? You’ll see real customer reviews for many activities. Only people who have bought tickets for an activity can review it, so you know the reviews are reliable.

Senior Travelers Seek Quality

On their website they write ‘Our passion is to help people discover the highest quality and most unique things to do – on vacation and just around town. We work closely with the businesses that provide these phenomenal activities to bring them directly to you. We believe that everyone should spend their time doing what they truly love, and we do all we can to ensure that everyone who comes into contact with Zerve will receive phenomenal service and be treated with respect, professionalism and good humor.’

Start With 26 Favorite Cities

Taliesin West

On the homepage you’ll find a listing of favorite tourist cities. I picked Napa as I’ve been there. I wanted to see what they focused upon and discovered 706 things for senior travelers to see and do. Most of course deal with the famous vineyards but in addition you’ll discover bike tours, cooking classes, walking tours and so much more for senior visitors.

When I chose Phoenix, low and behold, there was Taliesin West where I work as a guide. Lots of choices for tours and you can make your reservation online. Phoenix is filled with many wonderful sites like the Botanical Garden, Phoenix Zoo, a new Musical Instrument Museum, the Heard Museum and so many other attractions.

Zerve is one great place for seniors just to roam around and plan out your next vacation or two. What I really like about Zerve is how well it’s put together and how easy it is to navigate.

Happy Surfing Seniors.  jeb


Ventura County Attracts Seniors

I recently received travel guides on the three major cities in Ventura County, CA (Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo).  It was my intent to incorporate all three into one blog, but one city and guide caught my eye more than the other two… Oxnard. It looks like a great city,  with history, great attractions and plenty to keep senior visitors busy for a short or a long stay.

One of many California’s welcome centers is located in Oxnard, supplying senior visitors with a myriad of resources to assist in planning their Oxnard and California adventures. The California Welcome Center in Oxnard is one of 20 official state visitor centers throughout California where you can stop for visitor assistance, free brochures, clean restrooms and other services.

Gateway To The Central Coast

The “Gateway to the Central Coast”…  senior travelers, you can enjoy whale watching, only 11 miles from Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor and explore restored farm homes at Oxnard’s Heritage Square.  Seniors will discover the Channel Islands Harbor and National Park and The Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary.  Senior citizens can visit the memorable Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, with Air Force One in Simi Valley, see Ventura’s historic San Buenaventura Mission built in 1782 and discover the Ventura County Wine Trail.

Senior visitors will enjoy Oxnard’s Museums, the Channel Islands National Park Excursions, the Tall Ship Sailing Adventures, the wine, Chocolate and Cheese Tour, and especially the Historic District.  In this district you can stroll through Heritage Square and the Henry T. Oxnard  National Historic District.  Henry put the city on the map when he raised sugar beets.

Downtown Oxnard is a favorite spot among seniors with its vibrant city center, a growing cultural arts district, state-of-the-art cinemas, and over 40 International dining options. And here’s a new one for me called UPTAKE that helps to fill your itinerary.

Senior Sports and Auto Enthusiasts…

Senior sports fans, Oxnard is the summer training camp for the Cowboys. Check out TripAdvisor’s listing of Top-Rated things to do as well as their rated hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and events. If you are into older cars the Mullin Automotive Museum is one you will not want to miss. The 2011 Butatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is currently on display and you will see the 1183 horses that can be bought for $630,000. Now that’s an automobile! Murphy Auto Museum is another must for auto enthusiasts.

From its breathtaking sunny shores to its diverse cultural activities, I feel you will find Oxnard is a welcome retreat. Whether kicking off your shoes and running barefoot along the shore or swinging your hips during the annual Oxnard Salsa Festival, the city is alive with activities and events .

So drive on up Hwy 101 and enjoy Ventura County. I’ll leave you today with a short list from that has a very nice presentation with some super photos.  Enjoy Oxnard. jeb


Senior Travelers…Do You Agree?

Seniors who have traveled the world have their favorite choices for cities. I have a mine too, but I’m a bit biased because I’ve  lived in Paris for a year and have been back over three dozen times. I have always found Chicago to be a favorite as well but let’s see what the experts have to say.

Condé Nast has released its Readers’ Choice Awards and Charleston, South Carolina takes the top spot on the “Top Cities in the World” list. The Holy City as it’s called was previously recognized as Condé Nast’s “Top City in the United States” in 2011.

Charleston, A Top Choice…Even For Seniors

Charleston received a Reader’s Choice Rating of 86.7, beating out second place Cape Town, South Africa (84.8) and third place Florence, Italy (83.8) to take the top spot. The magazine announced its readers have now again voted Charleston the top tourist destination in the world.  The designation is based on a poll of about 47,000 readers of the magazine who judge cities on a five-point scale. The categories include ambiance, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, culture/sites, and shopping. If you have been to Charleston, then you know why is it a favorite spot.

I wrote a blog some time ago on Charleston and I agree that it is one great city for a visit.  Senior visitors need to spend a weekend in town to “capture the flavor” of the city. It is overflowing with beautiful buildings, especially beautiful mansions and is in a great location.  Five million visitors flood to Charleston each year and that includes lots of seniors just like us.

There are great hotels, great restaurants, super-friendly people and history all over the place. Gov. Nikki Haley says that South Carolina tourism is reaching new levels. The state’s $15 billion tourism industry is reaching new levels and garnering worldwide attention despite the troubled economy.

Frank Says…

Frank Fredericks, Chairman of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said, “Condé Nast is one of the most highly regarded travel magazines in the world. The readers of the magazine are aspiring to go to great places and we hope this recognition means they will visit soon.” Fredericks says this honor would not have been possible without all the people who call Charleston their home.

So, if you have not yet been to Charleston, it’s time, seniors.  You too will find it to be a “must see” destination.  Me, I have lots of “bucket list cities” to visit yet, and as one Condé Nast reader responded, Charleston is definitely, “a bucket list city!”

My wife and I enjoyed the city very much and I’m certain you will too.  jeb

Find Your Destination

Travel DestinationsTypes of Vacation/Travel

  • Polls

    Where would you most like to travel in 2013?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...