Seniors Enjoy Danville, The River City

I was watching TV this morning and when the weather came up, there was Danville, Virginia. The name just sounded like a nice place for seniors to visit. Must have been a good reason that it stood out to me, so I had to go exploring and find out why Danville has a ring to its name. I found that there were 15 towns in the US called Danville.

I learned that Danville, VA is called “The River City, Where Innovation Flows.” It sits right near the border of North Carolina. At first glance, Danville may appear to be an unassuming town today, but the ornate and elaborate facades of 47 stately mansions hint at its wealthy historic past.

Today the town is seeing unprecedented downtown revitalization in its business district and residential areas, such as the landmark Millionaires’ Row area on Main Street. The town was, in an earlier age, a manufacturing hub, particularly cotton and important tobacco auction center. Many of the mansions built by the tobacco and textile barons of the late 19th century still stand as testimony to the wealth and power of those industries.

Danville, the Heart of Southern Virginia, has all the qualities of small-town charm (pop. 43,000+) as well as the many assets of a city ready to burst with excitement. Sitting on the banks of the Dan River, it hosts a wide variety of activities ranging from outdoor festivals and events to concerts featuring nationally-acclaimed artists in a newly-renovated amphitheater.

Senior History Buffs Like Danville

A good place for senior travelers to start a visit is a walk along a  prestigious section of Main Street, stopping to explore area history and art at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, housed in one of the glorious mansions mentioned above.

The Virginia International Raceway packs in many visitors with huge crowds and the Danville Historical Society delights senior visitors, highlighting the preservation of historic buildings, artifacts and souvenirs of the past.

Located at the historic Crossing at the Dan, the Danville Science Center delights visitors of all ages with its hands-on exhibits and special programs that make science fun. A walk through the Averett University campus, founded in 1859, will take senior visitors back in history.

The Danville Riverwalk Trail is another major draw for visitors. With the ability to lure walkers, bikers and moms with strollers through parks, historic sites and businesses, this trail along the Dan River links the town’s past to its future.

The Riverwalk and mountain bike trail systems host a myriad of trail events to include bike races, trail runs, charity walks, marathons, canine events and environmental education activities as well as park special events. Senior bikers, bring along your bike as Danville is home to one of the longest single track mountain bike trails in the region.

Enjoy your visit to Danville, VA. jeb


Seniors Visit Glacier Bay

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Glacier Bay is called Alaska’s Greatest Treasure and awaits senior citizens’ visits. 1000 years in the making, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve – a World Heritage Site in the United States – is a 3.3 million acre treasure of natural wonders and wildlife near Juneau, Alaska: magnificent glaciers, towering snow-capped mountains, abundant birds and wildlife and mile after mile of pristine coastline.

There are an estimated 100,000 glaciers in the state, covering three percent of the landscape, creating most of its rivers and home to 16 active tidewater glaciers. Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is located in the southernmost spur of the towering St. Elias Mountain Range, the site of the largest permanent snow fields in the world outside of the polar ice caps.

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Commonly-sighted wildlife include whales, black bears, mountain goats, Steller sea lions, tufted puffins and hundreds of bald eagles. Glacier Bay National Park is a terrestrial and marine sanctuary. This huge World Heritage Site is one of the world’s largest international protected areas.

If you’ve ever dreamed of the ice age and wondered how our planet might have looked as it emerged from the grip of massive glaciers, pondered how a river of ice could carve mountains into flour, or wanted to watch the birth of an iceberg, then Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is the place for you.

Glacier-Crowned Maritime Wilderness Intices Seniors

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Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve commands a glacier-crowned, maritime wilderness that stretches northward from Alaska’s inside passage to the Alsek River, encircling a magnificent saltwater bay.

The Park derives its name and much of its biological and cultural significance from this great bay, which harbors spectacular tidewater glaciers and a unique assemblage of marine and terrestrial life.

The Bay proper opens to the north off Icy Strait and branches for over 60 miles through increasingly deforested mountains to terminate in bare rock and glacial ice. The heart of the present Park, Glacier Bay was hidden under a vast ice sheet when the earliest Europeans paused briefly to chart the adjacent waters in the late 18th century.

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Glacier Bay is the most active glacial calving area in coastal Alaska, and senior visitors are almost guaranteed to be in for a great show on your visit.

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, calving is the process by which huge chunks of ice break off from the face of glaciers, plunging into the waters below, and no place in Alaska has better spots to view active calving than does Glacier Bay.

While the park has no roads, it is not difficult to get to and over 430,000 people visit it each year. The Park is open all year, but services during the winter are extremely limited. July and August are the most popular months for a visit as the whales have arrived, are breaching, playing and feeding and the flowers are in full bloom.

Enjoy your adventure. jeb


Seniors Surprised By Tunica

Tunica, Mississippi has been overlooked far too long according to recent travel magazines. With a total population of around 1,100 and located in Tunica County, senior visitors discover that it is a place where quality businesses thrive and family life flourishes.

Incorporated back in 1836, the county grew from untamed hardwood forests to one of the richest cotton-producing areas in the world. Tunica County was named after The Tunicas – a tribe of Native Indians who were settled close to the winding Mississippi. The tribe was well known for being peaceful and hardworking agricultural focused people who also made pottery and baskets.

Visitors find that in Tunica you can experience all the heritage and wonder of the Mississippi Delta. The Mississippi Blues Trail draws blues lovers from all over the country. Local museums provide hands-on fun for naturalists, historians and explorers of all ages.

An authentic riverboat called the Tunica Queen Paddlewheel Riverboat offers relaxing cruises, sightseeing and dining that depart from River Park right on the Mighty Mississippi River. The Tunica Arena & Exposition Center has emerged as one of the leading spots for agricultural and equestrian events.

Tunica River Park is a big draw, for senior golfers, the Hale Irwin designed Cottonwoods Golf Course is nearby and several tours are available so that you can enjoy the entire area.

 Senior Travelers Stop At the Visitors Center

Make your first stop at the all-new Gateway to the Blues Visitors Center, located at the entrance of the Tunica Resort area along U.S. Highway 61. This new center, housed in an original 1895 train depot, is senior visitor’s exclusive source for up-to-the-minute information about Tunica.

Tunica is the self-proclaimed “South’s Casino Capital” after Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  I sure did not know that, did you? “Stay and Play” Tunica vacation packages are offered from every casino hotel in town. Harrahs Casino Tunica is the largest one between Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

All those casinos are outside of the city limits, but provide lots of income for the small community. The city is the third largest gaming center in America and is most known for its nine casinos with non-stop gaming action 24 hours a day.

Mississippi has a rich collection of historical places in Tunica and beyond. From the ancient remains of native settlements, to houses of founding fathers, the civil war, and beyond, Mississippi has plenty of history. Well, I’ve driven through Mississippi from Shreveport to Charleston, but have not yet visited Tunica.  Must put it on my travel bucket list… that is getting full. jeb


Been to Guadalajara? If Not, Say “NOT YET”

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I’ve been all over Mexico but not to Guadalajara, the City of Roses. For me, Not Yet! The second city of the Mexican Republic, Guadalajara has a reputation as a slower, more conservative and traditional place than Mexico City, somewhere seniors can stop and catch your breath.

Guadalajara is located 335 miles northwest of Mexico City.  The word Guadalajara comes from the Arab word “Wadi-al-Hajara”, which means “Valley of Stones”. The city is named after the Spanish city of the same name.

Many claim that it is the most “Mexican” of the country’s big cities, having evolved as a regional center of trade and commerce, without the imbalances of Monterrey’s industrial giants or Mexico City’s chaotic scale. This city is a great place to appreciate traditional Mexican culture, and senior visitors will soon note that it is also one of Mexico’s most important industrial and business centers.

Seniors Find a Beautiful, Bustling City

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Guadalajara is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Mexico. Endowed with an extraordinary climate it is called the Land of Mariachi, Tequila. The birth of the Tequila happened a few kilometers from Guadalajara, precisely in the town of Tequila.

 Senior travelers will find it to be a busy and bustling city but it also has many surrounding towns and villages that you can also explore if you are interested in really getting a feel for all that the State of Jalisco has to offer. There is nearby Chapala with Mexico’s largest lake as well as small and quaint shopping towns such as Tlaquepaque.

Guadalajara is huge, sprawling, and energetic. Still, it remains a great place to see something of traditional and modern Mexico.  The city offers everything from museums, galleries and colonial architecture to magnificent revolutionary murals by José Clemente Orozco to a nightlife scene enlivened by a large student population.

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Guadalajara’s twin-towered cathedral is the city’s most beloved and conspicuous landmark. TripAdvisor has lined up 108 things see and do while you are in town, including the Instituto Cultural Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Seniors Enjoy Strolling in Guadalajara

A stroll through Guadalajara will give you an appreciation for the green spaces and public art in the city’s parks and plazas.  All About Guadalajara is a one great site that will provide first time senior visitors with just about all they will need to know to make this visit a positive and memorable one.

Guadalajara is big, 3 million, some say 4 million. And shoppers, Zapopan has some interesting colonial sites, but is better known as Guadalajara’s Beverly Hills. So why wait? The city is awaiting your arrival. It is a fun and exciting city to visit.  jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Mexico


Seniors Stop In Helsingør

 And for good reason.  Senior travelers want to take in Hamlet’s Home Town of Helsinore (The City by the Sea). Referred to in English as “Helsingoer“, it is a “Place To Go in 2014″ according to New York Times of 52 places to visit around the world this year.

The Times highlights the new Maritime Museum of Denmark, recently opened and designed by famous architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group. The city itself has 35,000+ inhabitants and the Helsingør Municipality boasts 60,000+.

Helsingør is the home of famed Kronborg Castle, a World Heritage Site and the resting place of Holger the Dane. Legend has it, that if Denmark is attacked, Holger the Dane will rise from his resting place and defend Denmark.

Hamlet has been performed in the courtyard at Kronborg Castle many times and each year it welcomes over 200,000 visitors from all over the world. It was built between 1574 and 1585 by Frederick II in Dutch Renaissance style to replace an earlier fortress.

 Where Will Senior Travelers Find Helsingor?

The city lies on the northeast coast of Sjaelland, an hour’s train ride from Copenhagen. Helsingør is now a commercial and administrative centre with port facilities, varied and mostly small-scale manufacturing, and tourism. Across the Oresund is Helsingborg, Sweden, which can be reached by a short ferry ride.

GoNomad will take senior visitors to Helsingor’s front door with visitor information and suggestions of what to see and do.  Helsingør is full of pedestrian oriented historic streets, just made for ambling along. They contain a delightful collection of half-timbered houses, Gothic churches and a medieval cloister, interspersed with interesting shops and good cafés.

 Helsingør is an historical place with richly colored, well preserved architecture and cobblestone streets. It has  small-town charm with big city benefits. While the city is quite expansive, most sights of interest – besides the technical museum – lies within the compact city centre, so walking is really the best way to get around.

Senior Historians Drawn to Helsingor

Senior visitors will fall in love with the castles, museums, churches, woods and golden, clean beaches. A walk through the old town’s ancient cobbled streets with the beautiful bourgeois houses is an unforgettable experience. Senior visitors will see timber-framed houses and restored cobbled by-ways.

There are specialty shops everywhere that sell various and sundry items, but wine and cheese seem to be the most popular. Some of the narrow alleyways are almost like little tunnels passing between the rouge-colored masonry of the side walls.

Centrally located are The Church of St. Mary and the Carmelite Monastery,  a great example of late medieval architecture. It has cathedral ceilings and an organ that is a replica of the one played there from 1660 to 1668 by the resident organist and composer Dietrich Buxtehude, who greatly influenced the younger composers of his time.

Make your plans for a visit to Helsingør when you are in Denmark.   jeb

Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe


Seniors, How About A Weight Loss Vacation?

Always something new in vacations. Vacation. Weight loss. Senior Travel. How often is it that those words go together? Pretty much never. Now it’s about taking a vacation and losing weight along the way.

This Spa Index will help you find the weight loss destination just right for you both in the US and around the world. And women, take a look at Green Mountain At Fox Run, a for-women only health retreat. Many of us talk about dropping some weight and one recent study showed that almost half of all Americans would like to trim down.

Today there are more reasons than ever to get fit and healthy. Your mind and your body respond through increased energy levels, better function and improved stamina, allowing you to achieve more in life as you grow older. Myself, I  try to exercise three times a week at a local fitness center.

I have some friends who choose to work out at least five times a week for an hour or more. Work Out? I like to call it “muscle training.” That has more of a “ring” to it over a Work Out, doesn’t it? Work Out sounds like Work!

Fox News Provides Some Choices

If you’ve ever had a diet fail because it wasn’t practical long-term, you may want to try a weight loss resort.  From no-nonsense health clinics to luxurious spa-like experiences, these resorts are a far cry from the fat camps image that has been around for decades.

Most weight loss resorts encourage healthy living and eschew unrealistic and impractical diets.  So whether you’re looking to lose weight or gain knowledge about nutrition and health, Fox News lists 10 award-winning resorts for your perusal.

Mel says…

According to Mel Zuckerman, founder and chairman of Canyon Ranch, “Losing weight and becoming active changed my life profoundly … There is no way to exaggerate the difference that sustainable weight loss can make in an individual’s health, in how a person feels and what a person can accomplish.”

I discovered many terms like “rejuvenate,” “regenerate,” and “recharge” that are all part of enjoying weight loss interspersed with a great vacation. How does “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” sound to you? It can be done with an aggressive weight loss program coupled with some structured detox and individualized fitness activities.

Dietary and lifestyle changes are most often coupled with weight loss vacations. Here’s another twist to consider called “Fat Packing.” It provides participants a supportive outdoor environment in which slower hikers with backpacks can feel comfortable and enjoy themselves all while dropping pounds. If you love the outdoors, but are a little overweight or older and prefer not to be rushed, Fat Packing may be an option for you to consider.

Well, that about does it today.  I hope that you found this blog of interest and if nothing else, just fun to read. jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice


Senior Find: Turku

Recently, this senior read in THE WEEK Magazine, a short article on Turku (Abo in Swedish). It was called one of “Finland’s most inviting” cities. Why? It was named by the European Union as one of the 2012′s two Capitals of Culture. It has been for some time one of Nordic Europe’s best-kept secrets.

It was once one of Finland’s “most important cities.” Together with neighboring Naantali, the port of Turku handles a busy import and export trade. Turku is also an important industrial town: shipbuilding, engineering, foodstuffs and textiles.

Known as the “cradle of Finnish culture,” few sights in the city are more impressive and eye-catching than Turku Castle itself, which boasts no less than two dungeons and dates from the latter part of the 13th century.

With one of the best art schools in the country, it is not surprising that many performance artists, sculptors and composers are from, or have lived in Turku.


Artistic Haven Intices Artistic Seniors

Today Turku is called an “artistic haven” with a year-long cultural festival. Turku is situated on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the  Aura River. It is believed that Turku came into existence during the end of the 13th century which makes it the oldest city in Finland.

Turku quickly became the most important city in Finland and retained that status for hundreds of years until Finland became part of the Russian Empire in 1809. Today Turku remains a regional capital and is an important location for business and culture. The “official homepage” notes that Turku was once the Finnish capital and now ranks fifth in size for cities.

A good size town with approximately 175,000 inhabitants, Turku is well connected domestically, but sparsely connected internationally. A most scenic means for senior visitors to get to Turku is by taking a passenger ferry across the Baltic Sea, from Stockholm, Sweden. And yes, you can use your Euros here.

PlanetWare wants senior visitors to check out their listing and highlights Market Square, Turku Cathedral and the Museum of Art. Turku Cathedral, the mother church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, is one of the major tourist attractions of the city of Turku.

The river Aura passes through the center of the city, and its banks are popular for a nice stroll, allowing for a pleasant walk from, say, the city center to the Turku Castle. The center of the fertile agricultural region of southwest Finland, Turku is also the country’s largest winter port.

Ha trevlig resa  jeb


Seniors Discover “Secret Island of Providencia”

Unspoiled white sand beaches, crystal clear seas, friendly Caribbean locals living on a mountainous and forested island – Providencia, seniors learn,  is perhaps the greatest hidden gem of the Caribbean.

With a population of just 5,000 people, a dozen small hotels, a blissfully undeveloped landscape and surrounded by the crystal blue Caribbean Ocean, this is the Caribbean of yesteryear.

Providencia, only 13 square miles, is a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea, part of the Archipelago de San Andres which encompasses over 96,000 square miles. Attached to it by a floating bridge is Santa Catalina Island which is only one square mile in size. The average temperature on the islands ranges between 77°F and 86°F all year long.

Providencia Island (Isla de Providencia) is a unique destination, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Thanks to its 20-kilometer coral barrier, world’s third largest coral reef, it offers splendid conditions as a diver and snorkeling paradise.

Its beaches are solitary, beautiful, and extremely peaceful. Providencia though not spoiled by tourism, is rapidly becoming a fashionable spot for Colombian tourists.

There are great places to stay in the small towns on the island including spots along the beach and hostels. You will also find some great B&Bs on site and my wife and I would head for one of these right away.

Mixed Traditions Greet Senior Travelers

Many other islands in the Caribbean have sold their souls and are now blighted by over-priced sprawling resorts. This is how the Caribbean was before the dawn of mass tourism – beautiful, peaceful, friendly and unspoiled.

The seas bring the islanders food, scenery and amusement. With their history of colonization by the English, the Dutch and the Spaniards, they have mixed traditions: they drink tea, speak the Caribbean English version of creole and love their music. The most enchanting thing about Providencia is its rich creole culture.

The island was the site of an English Puritan colony established in 1629 by the Providence Island Company, and was taken by Spain in 1641. The infamous pirate Henry Morgan used Providencia as a base for raiding the Spanish empire, and rumors suggest that much treasure remains hidden on the island.

TripAdvisor suggests top-rated restaurants and attractions like Crab Cay, the Peak Forestry Reserve and the McBean Lagoon National Natural Park. Crab Key is a small island located off the east coast of Providencia. You can walk to the top of the island to get a view of what is known as ‘the seven colors of the sea’ which describes the 7 blue hues of the sea brought on by the volcanic rocks.

Sounds to me like one neat place to visit.  Maybe we’ll see you there.  jeb


Parke County Attracts Seniors

Parke County lies in the western part of Indiana along the Wabash River and is the Covered Bridge Capital of America. And why not with 31 wooden bridges. This senior is from Iowa and the Bridges of Madison County was a great movie a few years back.

I visited several of them but there are many more in Indiana. You will find them all around the towns of Bloomingdale, Bunker Hill, Marshall,  Mecca, Montezuma, Rockville and Rosedale. Each one is unique and has a story to tell about its history.

 Seniors Learn the ‘Whys’ of Covered Bridges

The name Parke was selected in honor of Benjamin Parke, who had come to Indiana in 1801, was a member of the First Territorial Legislature, and first Representative in Congress of this territory. In the 1800′s covered bridges were practical due to the abundance of virgin timber and were covered to protect the floorboards.

Another reason the bridges were covered is that the horses did not like to cross the open bridges where they could see and hear the rushing water. The bridges were covered to make the entrances look like that of a barn. The horses would enter willingly since it looked like home to them.

Covered bridges were known as “kissing bridges” as courting couples were prone to stop and steal a kiss before leaving the bridge. Great idea huh? Parke County has plenty of other sites for senior visitors to check out. In 2005 someone set the Bridgeton Bridge on fire and the locals decided to get together and rebuild it.

   Explore Parke County with its scenic back roads, 31 covered bridges, and expansive Amish country. Senior visitors can relive America’s past through the county’s many restored historic buildings and communities. Events are available year-round.

 Seniors Invited to the Covered Bridge Festival

The Mansfield Village celebration of the Covered Bridge Festival is unlike anywhere else in the country. Hundreds of thousands of visitors gather in October every year in Parke County and the Mansfield Covered Bridge always stands out as one of the most frequented.

Built in 1867, the bridge is 247 feet long and was built by J. J. Daniels to cross Big Raccoon Creek. It is an icon that continues to remind visitors of a simpler time.

Beginning the second Friday of October for 10 days, senior visitors can take part in the  celebration of the 31 bridges with the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. Several surrounding communities invite you to eat, shop, tour and, admire the bridges. In Mansfield Village, an 1820s roller mill and an 1867 covered bridge make it a must see visit.

The County has a plethora of activities to offer all senior visitors and all ages.  Step back in time to experience life at a turn of the century village, hike in one of Indiana’s finest state parks or canoe down a creek. There is plenty to choose from for a great visit. jeb


 Seniors Enjoy Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is a fascinating world of active volcanism, biological diversity, and Hawaiian culture, past and present. Seniors can easily visit Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park by car in just a few hours or may be explored in more depth over several days.

Just about everything you might want to know about the Park is here. The Park extends over 333,000 acres in the south central part of the Big Island and is the island’s most popular attraction, drawing more than 2.5 million people a year. Located 30 miles from Hilo and 96 miles from Kona, it’s a place where volcanoes erupt, lava flows, and ancient myths meet together.

 At this park, senior visitors can watch the landscape change before your very eyes. Located 30 miles southwest of Hilo is the home of Kilauea Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. The chance to witness the primal process of creation and destruction make this park one of the most popular of visitor attractions in Hawaii and a sacred place for Native Hawaiians.

 Seniors Find Not Just One But Two

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.  Lava-lit gases pour from Kilauea’s unstable Pu’u ‘O’o vent. This is a highly popular site on the Big Island.

In a few hours senior visitors can see an active volcano, dozens of active steam vents, old lava flows, old lava tubes, sulfur pits — very cool.

 The Park comprises a land of great contrasts and contradictions ranging from dry as dust desert to teeming tropical jungle; from frigid sub-arctic wasteland to steaming black sand beaches and rivers of flowing lava. Most people don’t  schedule enough time to explore this amazing place and wind-up hurrying through. Established in 1916, the Park is almost half a million acres in area, about the size of O’ahu, but lots more interesting.

 Seniors Intrigued With Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa is the most massive mountain on earth, occupying an area of 10,000 cubic miles. Measured from its base on the seafloor, it rises 30,000 feet, more than a thousand feet higher than Mount Everest.

In contrast to the explosive continental volcanoes, the more fluid and less gaseous eruptions of Kilauea and Mauna Loa produce fiery fountains and rivers of molten lava.

A flight over the massive volcano will prove to be a highlight of your visit to Hawai’i. My wife and I took a flight over Maui for our 50th and it proved to be a most memorable one. Enjoy your visit to the Park and be sure to bring along lots of memory on your camera.   jeb

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