Seniors Say ‘Yes’ To Guanacaste

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Another Travel Photo of the Day is Guanacaste, a province of Costa Rica located in the northwestern part of the country, along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It borders Nicaragua to the north. It is one more super site in Costa Rica with sun-splashed beaches and great Pacific surf. Costa Rica’s northwestern province of Guanacaste teems with senior visitors from around the globe.

The region’s dry tropical climate encompasses a varied landscape. Popular white-sand beaches line the coast. With a total of 5,921 sq. miles and more than 400 miles of coastline, the Guanacaste tourism area comprises the Pacific Coast area from the border of Nicaragua to the Bongo River estuary in the Nicoya Peninsula. This tourism area is home to a very important section of Costa Rica’s cultural and natural heritage.

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The capital city of the Province of Guanacaste is Liberia, where senior visitors will find souvenir shops, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and an International Airport.

Located 30 minutes northwest from the airport you will find the Gulf of Papagayo where beautiful resorts and tourist facilities lay among some of the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica.

A Senior Paradise For Bird Watchers and Nature Lovers

For senior birders, Guanacaste is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. Calm waters with great swimming, fine sand beaches with magnificent views, generous shading palm trees, spectacular sunsets and national parks with lush vegetation invite senior citizens.

Before the arrival of the Spaniards, Guanacaste was Chorotega Indian territory. On July 25, 1824 the Guanacaste people decided to be annexed to Costa Rica. This was a decision of free will and was made in its then principal cities, Nicoya and Santa Cruz.

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 A tropical paradise, as is much of Costa Rica, Gaunacaste is one of the most popular provinces. Guanacaste Province has gained a name for itself as a tropical paradise with a pristine shoreline, beautiful mountain ranges and a number of smoking volcanoes.

Senior visitors are drawn to the long summer days, active culture and unparalleled wildlife. Guanacaste’s geographical features are diverse and exotic, with endless options for recreation.

Active Volcanos, Dense Forests and White-Sand Beaches

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Rincon de la Vieja National Park is must-see Costa Rican paradise. From its active volcanos and deep black soils to its dream-like waterfalls, this park is perfect for any outdoor or wildlife enthusiast. As one of Costa Rica’s first national parks, Santa Rosa National Park was a milestone in the country’s commitment to preservation.

Containing dense forests and white-sand beaches, this park is a unique place in the region where visitors can go camping to enjoy the sights and sounds all night. The park is also home to one of the country’s most famous monuments, the Hacienda Santa Rosa.

From small fishing towns, to endless expanses of beachside resorts, to long strips of volcanoes, Guanacaste is one of the most intense and memorable destinations in Costa Rica. It’s on my bucket list.  jeb


Seniors Discover Riviera Nayarit

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It’s alway nice to write a blog about a place that I have visited. This senior was in Tepic that is in the State of Nayarit on a medical group mission with friends years back. So welcome to sunny Sayulita in Nayarit. Stunning natural beauty, eco tourism and jungle retreats are just the beginning.

Home to beautiful beaches, Mexican culture and world-class activities, senior visitors fall in love with this seaside surfer town. I’m not a surfer and chances are neither are you, however it is a fascinating activity to watch. So grab your coffee and imagine yourself in a comfortable beach chair, under a sun umbrella watching the big waves and those riding them.

I want to share this delightful cultural blend of beaches, shops, restaurants and smiling people that makes the village the perfect destination for an “off-the-beaten-path” Mexico vacation. It’s a small community of only 4,000 and you will find that many Americans and Canadians have second homes in the nearby hills. Beachfront vacation rentals are a favorite with travelers to the area.

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Sayulita is home to the annual Punta Sayulita Surf classic completion and widely known to surfers around the world. With a number of surf schools, novice surfers share the beach with tourists, beach bums and world-class surfers alike.

Sayulita’s three main streets, none more than a five-minute walk to the beach, are lined with shops selling surfing gear, local souvenirs, silver jewelry and hand-tooled leather purses.

Senior Fare: Iguanas, Fine Dining and Healthy Living

Sayulita is 25 miles north of Puerta Vallarta, another beautiful beach town. And for senior hikers, Mexitrex is one you will want to check out. Check out what National Geographic has to say about Sayulita. The vacation rentals in Sayulita Mexico represent some of the greatest values for accommodations anywhere in the world.

Image 5Given its earthy feel and it’s appeal among younger crowds, it might be easy to dismiss Sayulita as a party town. But with the vast majority of its residents committed to healthy living, through surfing, yoga, organic products and such, it’s not unusual for its nightlife to dwindle shortly after midnight.

In Sayulita you can enjoy eating a fine dinner at a local restaurant, catching a late-night set performed by one of the local bands, or enjoying a photo exhibit at a local shop. Senior visitors will discover that most of the action in town takes place in and around the town’s main plaza, which is located only two short  blocks from the main beach.

For fun, check out the unusually high number of big green iguanas that have set up residence on what is commonly known as the “Iguana Tree” a block away from the main plaza. Then stroll through Sayulita,  watch all the surfers and enjoy some fine dining.

Sayulita is awaiting your visit and  promises an abundance of Vitamin D. jeb



Seniors Stop in Greencastle

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Greencastle was founded back in 1821 by Scotch-Irish American Ephraim Dukes on a land grant. For more than 150 years, people have been calling Greencastle home.

Located within an hour of Indianapolis, Lafayette, Bloomington and Terre Haute, over 10,000 residents share this zip code.

One would think that a name like Greencastle would be somewhat unique and only in Indiana, but yours truly discovered several others, and three more in, of all places, Ireland.

Greencastle is surrounded by rich farm land and boasts a mix of industrial and commercial businesses.  With a unique blend of recreational opportunities, including parks and pathways, the locals have found Greencastle to be a great place to live, work and play. It’s also home to DePauw University with a student population of 2,300.

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As you enter the historic downtown business district of Greencastle, you will step back in time with many historic buildings and an atmosphere of friendly hospitality. Main Street Greencastle, Inc. is charged with the mission of preserving, promoting, and enhancing the downtown business district.

This not for profit organization prides itself in diversity with volunteers from every generation and backgrounds from student to retired professional. The city has much to offer first time senior visitors and and it is loaded with interesting history.

Historic Greencastle Attracts Senior Visitors

The Greencastle Historic District is a national historic district and includes 346 contributing buildings and two contributing sites in the central business district and immediate surrounding residential area of Greencastle. The buildings date from the late-18th to early-20th century.

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Notable buildings include the First National Bank (1874), Brendle Building (1914), Antrim House (1904), Hostetter Building (c. 1910), former Pennsylvania Railroad Station (c. 1909), and the L.R. Walck Hatchery (1908). The two sites are the German Reformed cemetery and Lutheran cemetery. You will find many other sites in Putnam County well worth a visit.

Senior travelers are invited to take a look at the hotels and stop to dine in the restaurants around Courthouse Square Historic District in town. Whether you are a first time traveler or a frequent visitor on a business trip or looking for a weekend getaway, it will be a memorable vacation in the Historic District.

You will find a couple of great B&Bs in town plus hotels that will suit your needs. So go green with Greencastle enjoy the town and a pay a visit to DePauw University.  jeb


Virgin Gorda Is A Magnet For Seniors

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Virgin Gorda is part of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Tourism may be Virgin Gorda’s main industry, but with a population of just over 3,000, seniors find the way of life is still old-time Caribbean.

This breathtakingly beautiful island is home to a unique formation of rocks and caves.  It means “Fat Virgin” in Spanish due to the islands profile that appears to look like a huge lady lying on her side.

Many yachts line up along her side. Travelers are inticed with its yacht clubs, quiet coves, safe anchorages and luxury resorts and villas. Sail on in if you happen to have a yacht. Virgin Gorda was revealed in Travel & Leisure as the “Best Island” in the Caribbean.

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 Beach-blessed Virgin Gorda is, in many eyes, the jewel in the crown of the Virgin Islands. Since being “discovered” as a tourist destination in the early 1960′s, Virgin Gorda is still not over-commercialized.

On the North Sound and accessible only by water, the exclusive Bitter End Yacht Club offers a premier resort and barefoot elegance.

Gorda is 12 miles from the main BVI of Tortala and west of Anguilla. Virgin Gorda is approximately ten square miles in a long narrow shape featuring uninhabited beaches and a mountainous interior. It is generally considered to be the most scenic of the British Virgin Islands and less developed than Tortola.

Senior visitors will discover several indigenous plant-lined trails, nature sanctuaries and natural protected national parks. Yes, folks…the atmosphere is “Laid Back” and the laid-back pace of the island is the perfect excuse to take your time, whether you’re wading along the granite grottoes of The Baths, doing some casual snorkeling in Devil’s Bay or Nail Bay, or exploring the stone ruins of a 19th century Copper Mine.

 The Baths, Rugged Trails and Beaches Delight Seniors

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Explore Virgin Gorda on the rugged trails that run throughout the island. At the nature sanctuary at Little Fort National Park, marvel at the exotic birds as they swoop over the hills and ocean.

For you adventurous senior visitors, hike a trail at Peak National Park and you will find yourself at the highest point, the “belly” of the island at 1,359 feet.

Some 20 sandy beaches line the island, but the stretch of shore at the southern end, including The Baths, is in a class of its own. The “Baths” are a collection of giant boulders which form spectacular pools and grottos which flood with sea water at high tide.

The name “baths” comes from the warm sheltered pools of water in and around the rocks. The Baths of Virgin Gorda are such a spectacular natural feature that they warrant their own section.

I discovered that there are three speeds available on this relaxed island – slow, slower and dead stop. So come, visit Virgin Gorda, where you can have nothing to do and all day to do it in. jeb


Mill Valley Attracts Seniors

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Mill Valley, a small, charming town, located a few miles north of San Francisco, is perfect for senior visitors who enjoy history, museums and the arts. 

Fodor’s calls the town “chic and woodsy.” Two financial magazines, MONEY and CNN/Money, named Mill Valley “One of the 10 top cities in America in which to live.”

For the more active senior citizen, Mill Valley has 8 beautifully designed hiking paths. There are attractions going on every month of the year. The Fall Arts Festival is one of the major cultural events each September. It is the longest running festival in Marin County having celebrated its 57th year in 2013.

When John Muir learned that William and Elizabeth Kent were naming a redwood forest near San Francisco in his honor, he declared… “This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.”  

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Mount Tamalpais State Park,  just off Panoramic Highway, comes in a close second for senior visitors.

Towering Redwoods, Scenic Railroad Lure Senior Travelers

Historically, Mill Valley started out as a large lumber mill founded by John Reed. He built his sawmill in 1836 on Cascade Creek to provide wood for the construction of his house. The mill, which gave Mill Valley its name, is now restored and stands among the towering redwoods in Old Mill Park, a few blocks from downtown.

The mill became very important when it was used to cut wood to build the Presidio in San Francisco. Reed also raised cattle and horses, had a brickyard and stone quarry. The town grew rather fast as word spread of the beautiful Mt. Tamalpais and a great ocean view on the other side.

In 1896 Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railroad, called “the crookedest railroad in the world” because of its curvy tracks, began transporting visitors from Mill Valley to the top of Mt. Tam and down to Muir Woods. The town soon became a vacation retreat for city slickers.

Popular Artwalks

Today Mill Valley is no lumber camp. Smart restaurants and chichi boutiques line the streets, and more rock stars than one might suspect live there.

Millionaires and well-known names in the film and music industries, like Bonnie Raitt, Bob Weir and Sammy Hagar, make their homes in this quaint community.

 Enjoy the classic “Mill Valley” song by Rita Abrams, who put Mill Valley on the map. First Tuesday Artwalk is highly popular and held between 6-8 p.m. in venues throughout Mill Valley, including City Hall, the Library, the Community Center.

So whip the old Ford north across the Golden Gate Bridge on Hwy 101 and you will find Mill Valley. Have fun and plan to spend a day or two visiting.  jeb


Seniors Discover Kerala

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The Week, March 28, 2014 p. 30 noted that Kerala is a highly recommended place for senior tourists to visit. Hindus, Muslims, Christians and even some Jains peacefully co-exist. It’s “a busy juxtaposition of towers, minarets, and spires that sit cheek by jowl in every city, town and village.”

Nature at its best, Kerala India is known as a tropical paradise of waving palms and wide sandy beaches. Kerala Tourism offers beaches, palm fringed backwaters, murky hills, lush green forests, beautiful houseboats and inimitable wildlife and perfect climate.

Kettuvallams or houseboats are the boats of Kerala which were originally used for the purpose of transporting food grains from one part of the state to another, chiefly rice and they are everywhere.

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Keralas is a narrow strip of coastal territory that slopes down the Western Ghats in a cascade of lush green vegetation, and reaches to the Arabian sea. The name Kerala is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “the land added on” (with reference to its mythological origin). The natives are called Keralites and the economy is mainly dominated by agriculture.

Kerala Tourism can fill you in on many of the specifics that make this area special. It is networked by 44 rivers and Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. Senior visitors find that it is clean, very clean.

Kerala is India’s most advanced society, with hundred percent literacy. And with world-class health care systems, Kerala has India’s lowest infant mortality and highest life expectancy rates.

Seniors Find Food-Lover’s Paradise

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For the gourmets among you, Kerala is every food-lover’s paradise. Kerala cuisine offers a multitude of dishes, ranging from the traditional sadya to seafood delicacies. It also a “tea heaven” and the Tea Garden is the #1 site to take in.

Both vegetarians and non-vegetarians have a wide variety of dishes to choose from. Lonely Planet notes that “this is where India slips down into second gear, stops to smell the roses” and folks talk to strangers.

Rejuvenation programs through Ayurveda (alternative, natural medicine) are popular in Kerala; the cool June and mid-October monsoon seasons are considered ideal for healing therapies.

Consider visiting Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple,  one of the oldest temples in and around Cochin that rates #2 for visitor favorite sites. Pilgrims across south India are frequent visitors to this magnificent temple.

I recently discovered a great new search engine called DuckDuckGo. Input Kerala and wow…you will be amazed at all the many references to the area.

So put Kerala on your travel bucket list and enjoy this part of India.  jeb


Seniors Discover Exotic Exuma

Exuma is a district of the Bahamas consisting of over 360 islands (or cays). The largest of the cays, and the only one with any significant population, is Great Exuma, which is 37 miles (60 km) in length.

Great Exuma and its Cays are the most exotic of the Bahamas Out Islands, a collection of tiny jewel-like islands set in the most beautiful mosaic of blues you’ve ever seen. “Old-school Bahamas” is a tag for this collection of 365 cays stretching 120 miles and anchored by two main islands, Great Exuma and Little Exuma.

Great Exuma is world-renowned for its magnificent coral reefs, colorful sea life, and powdery white-sand beaches. Most of the Exumas’ 3,500 residents live on two main islands, Great Exuma and Little Exuma, arguably the most beautiful yachting venue in the world.

The Exumas are some of the prettiest islands in the Bahamas and there are no high-rises to obstruct ocean views, nothing is higher than two stories, just clapboard cottages painted pink, yellow or blue. The Exumas lie within the chain of the Out Islands, with the Exuma Cays scattered in a long line extending north toward New Providence from Great Exuma.

If culture is what senior visitors are looking for, Great Exuma has it in abundance. Visit the remains of cotton growing and salt farming plantations at Williams Town. Or, take a trip to the fascinating ancient salt ponds.

History comes alive at Elizabeth Harbor which was once a favorite haunt for pirates. The harbor is home to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the first land and sea park in the world to be declared a national park. The laid back capital George Town offers a great selection of casual Bahamian restaurants.

 Seniors Meet Friendly Folk

It is said that the Exumas are among the friendliest islands in The Bahamas; the people are warmhearted and not  spoiled by tourism, seeming genuinely delighted to receive and welcome visitors of all ages. The locals grow a lot of their own food, including cassava, onions, cabbages, and pigeon peas, on the acres their ancestors worked as slaves.  Drop anchor, cast a line, or dance away the days.

 Footprint-free beaches and ultra-exclusive resorts and islands fit for celebrities make this tropical paradise an absolute gem for senior visitors. Snorkeling and scuba-diving opportunities draw from around the world.

The serenity and beauty of Exuma can be experienced by fishing, bonefishing, scuba diving or snorkeling, power or sail boating, bicycling, hiking, or exploring the island and beaches by rental car or taxi tour. Fishing is superb, and the “flats” on Great Exuma’s west side are famous for its excellent bonefishing.

The island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas guarantees lasting memories and days and nights of sun, fun and romance. So prepare to hold your breath and dive into a thousand shades of blue on your exploration of the Exuma Cays.  jeb


Tips and Ideas for Senior Travelers

Seems like we can never have enough good tips for saving time, effort and for being safe on any trip that we take.  The more I read, the more I find out that seniors all over the country take heed when traveling to insure their own safety and security.

I continue to find ideas that can help to avoid hassles in your travels. This blog deals with communication in a situation where you have no idea how to speak the language.

“POINT IT”: Simple But Effective

I had one of these ‘flip up the pages’ booklet years back, but never used it abroad. Instead I used it in my language classes to build vocabulary and proper language expressions. I am referring to a small flip booklet that has only pictures in it like a toothbrush, a bathroom, a cup of coffee, etc.

In China, Vietnam, Egypt…name the country, they work well. They are simply a traveler’s picture dictionary that focuses on those items that you are most likely to want to obtain or a service that you will be needing. Sold in many travel stores, these small laminated booklets may resemble children’s primers rather than travel tools for senior travelers, but they prove themselves to be invaluable.

They provide a means to communicate without speaking or learning to read another language, say Arabic or Chinese.  You may be fluent in four languages yet find yourself “off the beaten track” where you can’t communicate. “Point it”, with 1300 items to which you can indicate, is the answer.

All you need is a good finger for pointing and a smile. Oh yes, thank you in their language works very well too. I discovered that Amazon carries “POINT IT”.  Amazon also carries these picture books and are quite inexpensive.

Cell Phone Apps Aid Senior Travelers

I have also discovered an app for my iPhone that comes in very handy. It is simply called TRANSLATOR.  You select English and one other language, type in what you want translated and Bingo..there it is spelled out on the screen and best yet, you hear it as well.

Senior travelers can simply put the cell phone to the cabbie’s ear to get to the hotel, the airport, the train station or a good restaurant.  Another very impressive app is from TripAdvisor. Input the city and you have a list of hotels, restaurants, Things to do, and flights to that city.

GuidePal is an app that takes you to a city with a Welcome, Know the City, See & Do, Eat & Drink, Nightlife and Shopping.  Forget that little guide book, just don’t forget your charger for your cell phone. Everything you might need is there, including maps.

That little charger… My daughter bought a charger that works everywhere in the world  and has seven different plugs on it. Just be sure that it has the adapter that fits your phone or appliance. jeb


Filed under : Editors Choice


Seniors Get High On Lower Saxony

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Lower Saxony is a German state situated in northwestern Germany and has a lot to offer senior visitors. Not only does Germany’s second-largest state have cultural, scenic and traditional appeal, it has proven itself as a successful location for industry and commerce.

Lower Saxony borders the North Sea in the north and The Netherlands in the west. The state capital is Hanover with a population of around 500,000. The country’s second largest state in size, Lower Saxony occupies an important band of territory across the northwestern part of the country.

 Agriculture, the traditional mainstay of the local economy, remains more important in Lower Saxony than in most other German states. In common with other German states, Lower Saxony has a lively and well-subsidized cultural life.

Discover the diversity of Lower Saxony as the state stretches from the East Frisian Isles and the unique National Park of the Lower Saxony Tide Lands to the Harz Mountains, the most northern chain of the German low mountains. There are several natural resources such as lignite, natural gas, crude oil, marine products and peat.

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Seniors Drink Tea With Rock Candy

Seniors bring your appetit to Lower Saxony as you will discover a number of traditions when it comes to cuisine that are often widespread, but with local regional variations. Many of the recipes are based on local food and tend to be basic, hearty and flavorsome, rather than haute cuisine.

An exception, perhaps, is Welf Pudding, a layered pudding made from milk, eggs, wine and vanilla, that was created by one of the chefs to the royal household in Hanover.

The Lower Saxons prefer coffee to tea, except in the regions of East Frisia and Friesland where tea is popular and often drunk with Kluntjes (rock candy) and cream. Don’t forget to try the local fresh seafood delicacies, from freshly shelled prawns to the good honest smoked eel.

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 “Niedersachsen” is a mixture of flatlands and mountains. The entire area along the Weser River is spectacular with lakes, waterfalls, mountains, rivers and windmills. Borkum, an island off the North Sea coast is as attractive as the peaks of the Harz Mountains in the south of Lower Saxony.

The area is treasured for its natural beauty with diverse terrain that includes coastline, flatlands, rolling hills and woodlands. Both the wildlife-filled Harz Mountains in the south and the East Frisian Islands off the northern coast are beloved by Germans and senior visitors alike.

Picturesque marsh landscapes, the fairy tale Weserbergland, idyllic river landscapes as well as a multitude of towns remarkable for their cultural history offers diverse possibilities for your vacation plans.

Lower Saxony will provide your vacation dreams come true.  jeb


Seniors Settle Into Windham

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Another one of America’s Best Small Towns, Windham, New Hampshire, because of its unique landscapes and beautiful scenery has been referred to as “The Jewel of Southern New Hampshire.”  Senior travelers will find Windham, with a population of 15,000, in Rockingham County.

Windham is an affluent suburban town with a great variety of local attractions such as municipal parks, golf courses, tennis courts, bowling facilities, youth recreation programs, fishing, hunting, boating, snowmobile transits, bike trails, and waterfront access.

The town was named after Sir Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, a member of Parliament from 1734 to 1750. Settled in 1719 by Scottish immigrants seeking religious freedom, the town of Windham was originally home to the Pawtucket Indians. Located south of Manchester and east of Nashua, Windham is quite close to the border of Massachusetts.

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For senior golfers, Windham Country Club is a beautiful 18-hole public golf course, rated among the Top Ten Public Courses in New Hampshire. Boston is a mere forty minutes to the south, the seacoast lies less than an hour east and recreation at New Hampshire’s largest lake, Winnipesaukee, less than an hour to the north.

Quaint Atmosphere Draws Senior Visitors

Windham attracts professionals who want to live near Boston while enjoying New Hampshire’s tax structure (no sales or income taxes) and quaint atmosphere. Windham’s small town charm has attracted many new residents of late, increasing the town’s population by more than four hundred percent over the past forty years.

Cobbett’s Pond is a 302 acre spring fed lake and has experienced a dramatic transformation over the past twenty years. The summer cottages and seasonal lifestyle have been totally replaced by upscale homes with year round residents.

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Canobie Lake Park is a popular recreational spot among locals. The Children’s Metamorphosis Museum is an interactive museum popular with kids. The town also offers easy access to the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest, the Georgetown Rowley State Forest and Kingston State Park.

Searles Castle, another big draw in town, began construction in 1905 and was completed ten years later. This interesting structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and you will not want to miss it. It is a favorite place for weddings.

The Windham Rail Trail Alliance, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to the development and promotion of this scenic trail. This organization was formed by a group of Windham citizens who have the vision and the help of tremendous supporters dedicated to the rehabilitation and development of the 4.1 mile section of the Rockingham Recreational Trail as a paved rail trail.

Together with the Derry Rail Trail, there are currently 8 miles of a paved passive use rail trail, the longest paved abandoned rail bed in New Hampshire. It is these kinds of developments that contribute to make Windham one of America’s Best Small Towns.

Enjoy your visit to Windham.  jeb

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