Wilmington Inviting to Senior Visitors

Whether you visit world-renowned museums and cultural attractions, stroll in sumptuous public gardens, enjoy the cultures and delicious foods of the many festivals or explore one of the historic districts, seniors can have it all – from dinosaurs and seashells to tall ships in Wilmington, Delaware.  

If it’s music you enjoy, it goes from cool to classical to hot jazz to blues plus Gospel, folk and rock. Perhaps an ethnic festival strikes your fancy. Seniors will find Greek, Italian, Hispanic, African American, Chinese, Polish, and German to name a few. It’s all in Greater Wilmington, Delaware.

The state is small but abundant with things to see and do for visitors of all ages. For such a small state, Delaware packs a pretty big punch. The attractions could be sufficient enough for a state three or more times its size.

The Port of Wilmington is a full-service deepwater port and marine terminal, handling about 400 vessels annually.  Today, Delaware’s port is the busiest terminal on the entire Delaware River.

Wilmington History Intrigues Seniors

Wilmington was first settled by the Swedish in 1638. Over time, the area has also been home to the Dutch, the British and the Quakers, a long diverse history that has left its mark on the surrounding area. Visit Fort Christina and experience what it was like to be one of the first colonists in Wilmington.

The Delaware Art Museum, with an extensive collection of American art, celebrates the Brandywine School, a style of painting named for the nearby Brandywine Creek. And look at all these things for senior visitors to see and do in and around the city.

Wilmington is by no means huge, but with a population of 79,000+  it is the largest city in Delaware. The valley in which the city is found is where senior travelers will also find some of the most impressive American castles.

The Wilmington Riverfront is coming along nicely, and senior visitors should not want for museums, restaurants and nice hotels. Whether your interest lies in nature, shopping, history or the arts, you’ll find no shortage of places and activities to add to your itinerary.

The city of Wilmington has several notable historical attractions, including the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Arden Craft Shop Museum, Business History & Technology Museum, and the Historical Society of Delaware.

Apart from the many things to do in Wilmington, the city is also a great base for day trips to New York City, Washington DC and Maryland. You will find the city inviting and friendly.  jeb


Senior Food Lovers Search Out San Sebastián

San Sebastián is the capital of the Gipuzko (seniors, can you say that twice?) province, located in the Basque country of North Spain off the coast of the Bay of Biscay. It is called Donostia in the local language and lies just 12 miles from the French border.

Many call the city La Joya del Norte (Jewel of the North) and tourists flock to San Sebastián by the thousands year round. Senior visitors have found this city to be a great discovery for a host of reasons.  

It’s a Food Mecca destination with 150,000 residents. This colorful seaside city is well-loved for its excellent beaches and outstanding culinary tradition. Although it is divided into several districts, San Sebastián is a small, cozy city crammed with restaurants, pintxos bars, designer shops and an enclosed mall.

The Old Town features many historic buildings reconstructed in the 19th century after the city was nearly destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars.

San Sebastián boasts some of the best beaches in Europe with the most popular of these being Playa de la Concha, which offers sunbathing and water activities like swimming, kayaking and water skiing.

Seniors Smile At Tapas

Overlooking the city are two lofty hills, Monte Urgell and Mount Igueldo, which offer hiking, funicular rides, amusement parks, remarkable statues and fantastic views. San Sebastián is widely appreciated in Spain for its pintxos…appetizers (tapas) prepared with a wide variety of fresh vegetables, meats and seafood.

Many of the bars in the city feature buffets displaying a range of these pintxos. The local tradition is to go from one bar to the next, sampling one or two pintxos with a bit of wine or beer.

The Old Quarter’s narrow, winding streets are full of bars and restaurants, and in the modern city, sidewalk cafes are everywhere.

La Concha is one of the best beaches in Europe. Senior visitors can surf, walk along the promenade to find a good restaurant and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The beach is surrounded by steep cliffs and islands. La Playa de la Concha, situated in a huge bay,  is a principal attraction in all of Spain.

By now you have surmised that San Sebastián is a chief town in the Basque province of Guipúzcoa as well as  Spain’s most fashionable bathing resort. So bring along your favorite swimming gear.

This YouTube video features my travel hero Rick Steves who provides us with a nice overview of the city. Hope to see you up there in Basque Country.  jeb


Costa Smeralda Draws Seniors

The Emerald Coast, also known as Costa Smeralda is the most well-known coastal region of Sardinia. One of the undiscovered gems of the Mediterranean, Sardinia has remained very much off the main tourist radar. Senior visitors who do frequent the island, however, are rewarded with a captivating and beautiful destination for their holiday – some say there is nowhere in Italy with beaches as beautiful.

Sardinia is the 2nd largest island on the Mediterranean Sea. Its powder white sand beaches, chic resorts and crystal clear, turquoise water make it one of the top attractions in Sardinia. Costa Smeralda is an awesome site, home to some of the worlds most beautiful beaches.

There seems to be an endless list of places and facets to discover in Sardinia. Porto Cervo is Costa Smeralda’s nerve center, offers large parks, elegant boutiques and exciting nightlife.

A stroll to the marina is where senior visitors can view some the Mediterranean’s most lavish yachts.

Seniors Enjoy a Mediterranean Swim

Costa Smeralda’s breathtaking coves offer some of the best swimming in the Mediterranean. Some, like Liscia Ruja, are well-known, others such as Cala Pietra Bianca or Poltu li Cogghi, are protected from invasion by a total lack of signposting.

Overwhelming beauty surrounds the secret coves and tiny port towns of the Costa Smeralda, popular among princes, master yachtsmen, and movie stars of the world.

“The beaches along this coast are a luxurious vacation haven launched in 1961 by the late Aga Khan, the spiritual leader at the time of 15 million Ismaili Muslims. Khan spearheaded the development that today is filled with luxury villas, deluxe hotels, and marinas.”

Prices are the highest of any other beach resorts in Europe, so be duly warned. The Costa Smeralda is a playground for the rich and famous.

With white sand beaches, a golf club, private jet and helicopter service, and some hotels costing up to $2,000-3,000 per night in the peak season, the area has drawn celebrities, business leaders and other affluent visitors.

 The crystal clear emerald green water, countless gleaming white coves and bays, unique granite rock formations carved out over millennia by the wind, craggy mountains overgrown with primeval vegetation, plus the aromatic and omnipresent maquis: that’s Costa Smeralda, one of the world’s most exciting natural environments.

There are some great walking paths, buzzing local towns to visit, and plenty of spots for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing in a gorgeous Italian sunshine. It is just awaiting your visit.  jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe


Seniors Enjoy Islamorada

Islamorada in the Florida Keys attracts seniors of all ages, and why not? It is a beautiful location, comprised of six islands and is the oldest inhabited place in the Keys. For these Keys it is known as the “Village of Islands.”

Islamorada is 90 minutes south of Miami, an island paradise with a population of just over 6,000. The eighteen mile-long stretch of islands derives its character from a relaxed pace of life, a leisurely lifestyle, and some of the best fishing anywhere in the world.

It was originally inhabited by Cuchiyaga Indians. In the 16th century Spanish explorers where so enthralled by the purple haze sunset that they called it “islas moradas” = purple islands.

TripAdvisor offers a list of things for senior visitors to do that include the #1 attraction, the History Of Diving Museum. In Islamorada you can be under, above or near the water 24 hours a day. For nearly 100 years, seasoned anglers have fished these clear, warm waters teeming with trophy-worthy fish.

Fishing Capital Attracts Seniors

Islamorada’s professional fishing captains can guide you offshore to catch big game or to stalk bonefish in the Florida Bay which is known as “the backcountry”.  There are numerous options for those in search of the big ones, including chartering a boat with its own crew or heading out on a vessel rented from one of the many attractive marinas along a 20-mile stretch of the Overseas Highway.

Often referred to as the “Fishing Capital of the World”, Islamorda lies between the Everglades National Park and the Florida Straits. The Straits is home to the only coral barrier reef in North America. Seniors will find a host of diving and snorkeling charters to keep you busy in the deep blue  waters.

Islamorada is a divers haven and a snorkelers dream land with its many shallow reefs. There are also many deep sea reef and shipwrecks for the beginner and skilled divers to explore. The waters off Islamorada offer choice Florida Keys reef and wreck diving.

 Seniors Relax in the Keys

The area features eco-tours, water sports rentals, tennis facilities, bicycle trails, historic hikes, beautiful vistas of both the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay. Opportunities abound to swim with dolphins and stingrays and a more unusual recreational activity: feeding tarpon off the docks at Robbie’s Marina.

Once senior visitors are well relaxed, the finest in dining awaits to satisfy your tastes and Islamorada is known as having the best restaurants in the Keys.  Each competes annually for recognition in a variety of categories at the Annual ‘Taste of Islamorada’ with fresh seafood the hallmark of the dining scene.

With information on the semi-tropical climate, Wikitravel tells you how to get there, what to see and do and some helpful suggestions for selecting your dining experience.  You will find Islamorada fun, relaxing, and you may even come home with a whopper of a fish and a nice tan. jeb


Seneca Falls Awaits Senior Visitors

Seems like every time I open one of my travel magazines there is something going on in Seneca Falls, NY.  There just has to be something special there for senior citizens to discover.  I wanted to check out the town of 6,700 in Seneca County known as “The Gateway to the Finger Lakes.”

Bordered on the east by the magnificent 40 miles long Cayuga Lake, one of the largest of the Finger Lakes, Seneca Falls is the former realm of the Cayuga tribe. The Village of Seneca Falls was incorporated in 1831. The rapids of the Seneca River were viewed as an important commodity that could be used by settlers for “mill power”, allowing mills of all varieties to spring up.

Maybe it’s all the beautiful lakes that draw in senior visitors by the droves. Then again it just might be the fact that there are more than 70 wineries located in the Finger Lakes Region, making wine tours a popular visitor activity.

I discovered that the town was home to both the Women’s Rights National Historical Park and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Women’s Rights Park consists of four historic properties that are landmarks of the Women’s Rights movement, with a visitor center providing exhibits and films that explain the history of this movement in America.

Vineyards and Birds Draw Senior Travelers

The Cayagua Lake Wine Trail attracts many oenophiles and offers a unique blend of award-winning wines, scenic waterfalls, and local gourmet eateries. The Wine Trail was the first wine trail to be established in New York.

For senior birders, established in 1938 in the scenic Finger Lakes region, is the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge with over 7,000 acres for the resting, feeding and nesting habitat of waterfowl and other migratory birds. Montezuma is situated right in the middle of one of the most active flight lanes in the Atlantic Flyway, so bring along your best birder-glasses.

Seneca Falls is believed by some to have been the inspiration for the fictional town of “Bedford Falls, N.Y.” portrayed in filmmaker Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

An interesting canal walk can take you over a bridge on George Bailey Street that has a plaque honoring Seneca Falls as the inspiration for Frank Capra’s Bedford Falls.

Is this where George Bailey lived his wonderful life? Folks in this quaint upstate New York town like to think so.

Or more precisely, they say Bailey’s make-believe hometown of Bedford Falls, including the main street and the steel truss bridge, was heavily inspired by Seneca Falls.

 So senior travelers, make the Finger Lakes region of New York State your next getaway destination, and you won’t be disappointed. From the pristine lakes, gorgeous waterfalls, and magnificent parks to the charming villages, one-of-a-kind museums, and unique shopping opportunities, the Finger Lakes has something for everyone to enjoy in all four seasons of the year.

It’s a “wonderful town.”  jeb


Attn. Senior Honey Lovers Like Me

Honey and bees have always fascinated this senior citizen… I am one of the world’s greatest fans of honey, I use it every day. I want to introduce you to a very famous store called La Maison du Miel (The Honey House) in Brussels, Belgium.

It has been around since 1887 and in 1950 set up shop at 121 Rue du Midi. Senior visitors will discover that even the floor tiles pay homage to the incredible bee. Visitors find that the shopkeepers are very friendly and that it’s possible to sample various types of honey before you buy.

What is really special at this “Maison” is that you will find Belgian and foreign honey. Honey with lavender, with orange, eucalyptus, thyme, buckwheat or acacia, royal jelly, honey certified Manuka (this is a great variety) and propolis (a resin with powerful antibiotic properties) to restore your health. And many products made from honey, as couques Dinant, chocolate spreads, gingerbread or flans .


Seniors Meet Man’s Friend, The Bee

A. Einstein said…”If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have only four years to live, no more bees, no more pollination, no grass, no more animals, no more man.”  That’s all true.  With what is called Total Colony Collapse Disorder there is great danger of this. Just ask the almond producers in California.

Without pollinators, life on earth would look nothing like we know it. Bees are our most prolific pollinators, followed by butterflies and other insects. 70% of all the plants on Earth depend on pollinators to reproduce. Human food crops, a narrower group within all of Earth’s plants, depend on pollinators to an even greater extent.

So love a bee. I did not know that honeybees are not native to the Americas. Colonists brought the first bees to Virginia in the early 1600s.

The House of Honey

La Maison du Miel, 24 Rue Vignon, Paris,  is where you will find another shop that specializes only in honey products. The store dates back to 1898 founded by Charles Galland. There is a choice of more than 50 honeys. Know that each honey has its properties. For example, linden honey acts on the digestion, clover honey improves sleep, lavender honey treats sore throat, sunflower honey acts on blood circulation.

 La Maison du Miel, known as “The House of Honey,” and has been specializing in everything honey since before World War I. This specialty store, obviously devoted to honey makes anything and everything one could imagine related to the all natural sticky, sweet syrup.

Other products include honey oil, honey soap, and one even made from heather. In France, honey is a big deal and there are many small boutiques like Maison du Miel all over France, and vendors at the outdoor markets.

So be on the lookout for a Maison du Miel on you next trip abroad.  These stores are very unique and are well worth a visit.  jeb 

Filed under : Editors Choice


Seniors Check Out Alton, The “River City”

Alton, located on the Mississippi River in Madison County just above the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and just below the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers is truly a “river city”, rich in history. Senior birders, each year from Christmas to the end of February Alton boasts the largest gathering of American bald eagles outside Alaska.

Located along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, the Greater Alton area has five wineries, fifty antique shops, fifteen bed and breakfasts and guest houses, nine golf courses, historic sites and fine dining.

Founded in 1818 by Col. Rufus Easton, Alton is named after his son. Easton was the first postmaster of St. Louis, a judge, and a land speculator who laid out the town and selected choice lots for his family and friends. The town quickly became a transfer point where deep draft steamboats of the lower Mississippi and the shallow draft steamboats of the upper Mississippi exchanged their cargo.

During the summer months there’s great hiking and boating. In Autumn, the drive along the Great River Road can’t be beat for taking in the beautiful fall colors. Many historical buildings dating back to the early 19th century still remain in Alton.

Just ask any citizen and senior visitors will learn about a fearsome monster known as the Piasa Bird (pie-a-saw) that once terrorized the Illini Indians near Alton.

 Seniors Meet World’s Tallest Person

Seniors will want to shoot a photo or two of the statue of Robert Wadlow who was was a pituitary giant. He was born in 1918, a completely normal baby, 8 ½ pounds.

At the time of his death in 1940 he was 8′, 11.1″ tall and weighed 439 pounds making him the world’s tallest person in history. The McPike and Beall Mansion (now a B&B) are great sites for a visit in Alton along with a host of other Free Attractions.

 Don’t just see the sites, hit the open road of the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway all around Alton and experience it all firsthand. Escape in time to be a part of history as you embark on the journey westward with Lewis & Clark.

Pere Marquette is the largest state park in Illinois and it offers year-round activities for everyone. There are more than 8,000 acres for camping, fishing, hiking and horseback riding for senior visitors to enjoy.

If you want to stay for a weekend, book a room or a cabin at the Pere Marquette Lodge or one of the several fine B&Bs in town.

Alton is one fun town, so plan to spend a day or two. You might just end up staying a full week. Located right on the Mississippi, so there is plenty of adventure awaiting your visit. jeb


Seniors Discover And Enjoy “Drowned Land”

Anegada is the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands which form part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands. Named Anegada or the “Drowned Land” by the Spanish, senior travelers learn it is the only coral island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain.

The primary business on Anegada is tourism. Not large, Anegada Island is only 10 miles long and 2 1/2 miles wide with extensive salt ponds. Distinct from all other islands in the archipelago, which are mainly volcanic and very hilly in origin, Anegada is all but flat.

Sparsely Populated

Anegada is the second largest of the British Virgin Islands, but it is also the most sparsely populated of the main islands (population roughly 200). Most of the population on Anegada live in the main town, The Settlement.

Commercial fishing is also a substantial business on Anegada, with local fishermen providing the majority of the fresh fish and lobster catch for the rest of the British Virgin Islands.

Birders will not want to miss the Anegada Flamingos at the salt pond, which, after a couple of failed attempts, were successfully reintroduced to their natural habitat in 1992. In the 1830s, thousands of Caribbean Flamingos lived in these ponds, but they were hunted for food and feathers throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries and disappeared by 1950.

Other rare or endangered animals include the Anegada rock iguana and several species of turtles. The island is the protected home of several varieties of heron, ospreys, and terns. The animal population runs close to 2,000 wild goats, donkeys, and cattle.

Seniors Find That Anegada Is “A World Apart”

Striking coral reefs surround the island, including the Eastern Caribbean’s third largest continuous reef, Horseshoe Reef. Secluded sandy beaches are protected by the sheltering reef.

A popular attraction is Cow Wreck Beach where senior visitors will find  powdery white soft sand, turquoise blue water and the beach uncrowded.

Loblolly was one of many beaches in the British Virgin Islands recently voted ‘world-class’ by Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine. The Bay is one of the most visited spots on Anegada because of its great snorkeling and diving just off-shore.

The mystique of Anegada is legendary and “Anegada Reef” surrounding this tiny island oasis has been the demise of over 300 unsuspecting ship captains and pleasure boats sailing the British Virgin Islands. Another 500 wrecks lie off notorious “Horseshoe Reef.” No wonder Lonely Planet calls it a “killer island.”

But as treacherous as the reef has been, it is also one of the world’s most prolific ecosystems. Teaming with coral and abundant fish, the reef is in pristine condition and is still virtually untouched by man, save local fishermen and a few divers.

Anegada is the ultimate destination for many events in the British Virgin Islands. Kiteboarding, sailing, windsurfing and fishing. Slowly, ever so slowly, the modern world is coming to Anegada and that is undoubtedly why visitors label it “a splendid paradise.”  jeb


Seniors Find Virginia Beach A Great City

NBC News says that “Virginia Beach is the best-run city in the U.S and is one of the most prosperous in the country.” At the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay, along the Atlantic Ocean in southern Virginia, seniors discover the lovely seaside resort community.

Popular with golfers, families, and college students on spring break, the resort is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the “longest pleasure beach in the world.”Virginia Beach is home to approximately 400,000 permanent residents, but that number rises exponentially during the summer as vacationers flock to enjoy the area.

Beaches span almost 40 miles, fringing the Resort Area, Chesapeake Bay, and Sandbridge, each with an individual feel and character… lively beaches, quiet beaches, beaches with incredible views, and access to scores of things to do.

Town Center is a popular stop when visiting Virginia Beach. From entertainment to shopping to dining to Town Center hotels, there is little left to want for when exploring the new, affluent destination.

Covering almost twenty city blocks, the center is one of the best places to stay aside from the oceanfront, and is conveniently located only fifteen minutes from the Boardwalk, the heart and soul of the city.

Boardwalk Draws Senior Visitors

Virginia Beach is known as a site for Bringing The Whole World to the Beach. Many believe it is at its best in the off-season, when the town is less crowded but the weather is still mild.

Opt for a quiet peaceful setting or plop yourself in the middle of the action. Spanning the Atlantic beaches to the tranquil bay shore, seniors will soon discover there is something for everyone.

With 35 miles of shoreline, Virginia Beach is a “Beach Lovers’ Beach,” including its popular 3-mile Boardwalk. The Boardwalk has a 28-feet wide boardwalk that stretches three miles and features a separate bike path for rollerblading, biking or surrey rentals. Sidewalk entertainers, amusements, free concerts, gift shops and restaurants are all found on the Boardwalk.

 And more things to do:  classic hiking trails, state parks, resorts and great restaurants, great golfing and the State Aquarium. Virginia Beach hosts a wide variety of exciting events and festivals throughout the year. There are  fun activities for folks of all ages.

Cirquesa Dreamquest is a Theatrical Cirque Experience presented under a climate-controlled structure with theatre style and a #1 draw in Virginia Beach.At the Sandler Center for Performing Arts, senior visitors can check out a music concert or performance on any given night. 

Winter’s Better at the Beach

Virginia Beach has the ultimate cure for senior winter blues-the beach life.  A daily dose of sand, sun, surf, and coastal charm are all you need to transform this winter into your favorite beach season.

You will find Virginia Beach an enjoyable place anytime of the year so make plans for a visit soon.  jeb


Seniors Eye The Jewel Of The High Sierra

Lake Tahoe, a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada, is located along the border between California and Nevada just west of Carson City. Seniors discover that it is the largest alpine lake in North America.

Blessed with sparkling natural beauty, it has been selected as the #1 most popular destination in the US; it is considered the jewel of the High Sierra.

A couple years back USA Today called North Lake Tahoe “America’s Best Lake.”  What do you get when you combine California sunshine, Nevada night life and snow… heaps of snow?

North Lake Tahoe is a great ski vacation destination with three world-class ski resorts — Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Northstar. Tahoe City is full of adventure, culture, fine dining and great entertainment all along the lake shore.

Historic Lakeside Lodges Attract Seniors

TripAdvisor is always great place to check out travel plans and with 88 things to see and do, you will have a plethora of choices when you arrive.

The area is busiest in summer, even more than during winter ski season, but it’s the only time many of the area attractions are open, especially if you want to visit some of the historic, lakeside lodges.

A major draw for folks of all ages is the Tahoe Treetop Adventure. Started in Europe, Aerial Adventure Parks are comprised of a series of courses linking tree platform to tree platform with a variety of bridges and/or zip lines.

Included among the top sights is Emerald Bay State Park designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier carved granite.

The natural beauty, geology and history of this unique island make it one of the highlights of any visit to the Lake Tahoe area.So take your pick. North Lake Tahoe or South Lake Tahoe.

Both are awesome. South Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful sites in the US. When you drive along the highway and through the rock tunnel, the pristine blue water is breathtaking.

Beautiful Mountains Awe Seniors

Surrounded by majestic mountains, Lake Tahoe is not just any lake. It is a lake with world-class ski resorts, thrill-inducing cliffs, spectacular views, fluffy white powder, and run after run of epic skiing. Choose from Olympic-caliber downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and more.

From exciting black diamond to gentle green circle runs, resorts in Lake Tahoe offer something for everyone. Mountains with jaw-dropping cliffs, serene glades and spectacular views of the lake.

And snow, 400 inches of snow a year that pile up into epic powder, tight corduroy groomers, raucous terrain parks and endless moguls.

I love interactive maps and this one will fill you in on all the amenities and activities of the region in and around the lake. So fire up folks.  Don’t miss joining in all the fun at Lake Tahoe, California.  You’ll be glad you made it a must on your travel bucket list.  jeb

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