Seniors Plan A Visit To Elmira


Senior travelers, welcome to Elmira, a city in Chemung County, New York, with a population of 30,000. Among the notable people who called Elmira home is Tommy Hilfiger and Ernie Davis, first African-American Heisman Trophy winner.


Elmira was long an area inhabited by indigenous people. It was occupied by the Cayuga nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. They had some relations with Europeans and English over fur trading, but were relatively isolated from the encroaching settlements.

The New York legislature established the Township of Chemung, now Chemung County, in 1788. The settlement of Newtown was soon established and in 1808, the village officially changed its name to the Town of Elmira, at a town meeting held at Teal’s Tavern.

Seniors Find Mark Twain’s Summer Home


It is said the town was named after tavern owner Nathan Teal’s young daughter, but that story has never been confirmed. In any case, the City of Elmira, also called “The Queen City”, was incorporated in 1864 from part of the town of Elmira and the village of Elmira. Take in some of the sites in Elmira and be sure to see the neat photos of downtown.

TripAdvisor has been to Elmira and notes 18 things not to be missed, including the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum. This senior would want to visit Elmira College as well, located right in the heart of the city and one of the top private colleges in the Northeast.


Mark Twain, renowned author and world-traveler, summered in Elmira for more than twenty years and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. Perched high above the Chemung River Valley in his octagonal study, Twain penned his literary classics.

Seniors Enjoy Finger Lakes Region

Located at the gateway of New York’s scenic Finger Lakes Region, senior tourists enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hunting, skiing and sight-seeing, including the spectacular fall foliage.


A famed civil war prison camp was in Elmira for 369 days,  from July 6, 1864 to July 11, 1865. There were 12,000+  prisoners at Elmira.

Many today however are completely unaware of the camp and the Confederate prisoners that were held there 145 years ago. The camp is gone now, except for a flagpole that stands as a lone reminder to the most important time in our nation’s history, the American Civil War.

Senior visitors to Elmira will find the city a beautiful one and with a plethora of family-minded activities. jeb


Seniors Enjoy Beautiful Giethoorn, Holland

o-GETTY-900Giethoorn (pop. 2,620), known as the “Venice of the North” is a village in the Dutch province of Overijssel. Senior visitors will find the pace very slow and Giethoorn remains an old traditional town.

Most of the present inhabitants live on private islands. The village, still only fully accessible by boat, is one of several places commonly known as the Venice of the North or Venice of the Netherlands. Giethoorn has over 180 bridges and is often called a “village without roads.”


Country Living notes that there are places in this world that are so surreal and beautiful that when you first see photos of them you naturally assume they must be from a movie set. This enchanted neighborhood that’s built upon a network of narrow canals is actually completely real. You will be taken by the sheer beauty and pleasant setting.

Seniors Visit On Bikes Or By Boats


Four miles of canals and farmhouses run through the village, with thatched roofs dating back to the 18th century. Giethoorn became known as a tourist attraction only after 1958, when Dutch director Bert Haanstra captured his famous comedy “Fanfare” in this village.

The village was founded around 1230 after fugitives coming from the Mediterranean settled there. They discovered horns of wild goats that may have died during the flood of St Elisabeth back in 1170.  After that they called the settlement Geytenhorn (horn of goats). Later it changed to Geythorn and today it’s known as Giethoorn.


Scroll down the Daily Mail take on the village, hop in a boat and enjoy a canal tour. Giethoorn is highly popular among Chinese tourists. The village of only 2,620 inhabitants has nearly 200,000 Chinese visitors each year.

Destination For Ice Skaters

Giethoorn’s history goes back to around 1200 when Franciscan monks settled in the area. In the marsh lands peat was formed and when the settlers started to use the peat, canals were dug for transport. Big areas became lakes, many of them not deeper than three, four feet. Senior visitors will find that Giethoorn is located at the edge of a national park (Weerribben-Wieden), a beautiful area.


The 180 bridges are the only means to reach many of the houses. In winter months, Giethoorn is a highly popular destination for ice skaters.

In Giethoorn there are various museums where seniors can learn about the life and work of the last 100 years, visit pottery works, as well as old cars, bikes and sleds. There are also numerous art exhibitions.


Maybe a “punter” would be something senior visitors would enjoy. A fellow with a long stick takes you on a journey through the canals propelling the boat along. I did that once in France in a swampy area and it was quite memorable.

VirtualTourist has many good suggestions on what to see and do including restaurants and places to stay. NO CARS, no stop signs, no busy intersections, except for on the water and very quiet.  -jeb


Seniors Stop At Scenic Falmouth

falmouth-maineSenior travelers learn that Falmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine with a population of around 12,000. This rapidly growing northern suburban community of Portland borders Casco Bay and offers one of the largest anchorages in Maine.

The town was named for Falmouth, England and is home to three private golf clubs and the Portland Yacht Club. Seniors, toss in your clubs and perhaps pull your yacht along. Falmouth was named the “Top City to Live and Learn” by Forbes in 2011.


All along the eastern coast of the US history abounds and Falmouth is part of it. One of the earliest and most historically significant structures in the town of Falmouth was a palisaded fort and trading post named New Casco, built in 1698 after the conclusion of King William’s War.

Seniors Visit Historic Town


The town was first settled by Europeans in the early 1630s and was recognized as a town later in 1658. Falmouth was incorporated in 1718 as an area now known as “ancient Falmouth.”

Senior visitors might find the Falmouth Historical Society & Museum of interest. TripAdvisor suggests you to be sure to take in Mackworth Island, River Point Conservation Area and the Gisland Farm Audubon Centre.

The Center is headquarters for the Maine Audubon Society, a modern environmental center and a 65-acre sanctuary. It offers two miles of trails along the Presumpscot River estuary through the hills, forests and salt marsh of Falmouth.

Seniors Enjoy Maine’s Coastline


Senior visitors can venture north along Route 88 to see the coastline and the stately homes in Falmouth Foreside. I just had to toss in the the Presumpscot River (I love that name), as it is a 25 mile scenic river located in Cumberland County and is the main outlet of Sebago Lake. The river provided an early transportation corridor with reliable water.

Downtown Falmouth is a journey in itself, loaded with historic buildings, beautiful flowers, great restaurants and shops. I have found Facebook to be a good reliable source complete with places to eat, stay and landmarks to enjoy.


The Family Ice Center is Southern Maine’s premier year round ice skating and community center for folks of all ages. The Center offers programs that include public skating indoors and outdoors, on Maine’s only refrigerated outdoor skating surface, the Lee Twombly Pond Skating Center at the FIC, as it is called.

For you oenophiles, drop by Maine Coast Vineyards that has been growing wine grapes  in the old agricultural region of Falmouth called Hurricane Valley. Seniors, set your GPS for Falmouth Maine and enjoy all that this scenic community has to offer. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Beautiful River Town

12Senior travelers will find that Madison, Indiana, along the Ohio River, is a small, bustling community which is home to 12,000+ (est.) people. The city is known for an abundance of festivals and events throughout the year. It is also known for its historic downtown area.


Madison’s historic district is made of 133 city blocks, one of the largest national historic landmark districts in the United States. I know for a fact that this is where my wife and I would start out our visit in Madison.

Located on the Ohio River Scenic Byway in Southern Indiana, Madison is truly a quaint “river town” even offering a marina for those visitors traveling by boat. As Charles Kuralt wrote after a visit to Madison, “For me the princess of the rivers is unquestionably Madison. It is the most beautiful river town in America.”


 Seniors Meander Through Historic Madison

Incorporated in 1809, Madison quickly established itself as a significant cultural and industrial town in the Old Northwest Territory.

Sitting prominently on the Ohio River between the hubs of Cincinnati and Louisville, the town became a lifeline for transportation and industry in the middle territories of the country.

Hendricks-Beale very best

Historic Madison, Inc. operates the Sullivan House, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Saddletree Factory Museum.  Main street is where I would want to start some meandering, shopping and have a good lunch.

Senior travelers will find Madison located in the middle of a “golden triangle” between Louisville, KY, Cincinnati, OH, & Indianapolis, IN.

 Seniors Discover Superb Historic District

The National Historic Landmark Madison Historic District is tucked away in limestone bluffs on the banks of the Ohio River in southern Indiana. The more than 130 block historic district is the home of a superb and very large collection of historic buildings.


Together they reflect nearly every period of the town’s development between 1817 and 1939, ranging from Federal style and Greek Revival mansions to vernacular shotgun houses to institutional and industrial buildings and a vibrant Main Street commercial area lined with two and three story historic buildings. Visitors will enter a place that is still a compelling and lively embodiment of pre-World War II small town America.

Cover from Website

Today, citizens of Madison and senior visitors find much to experience and enjoy in the Madison Historic District with its fine collection of historic commercial, institutional, and residential buildings and its quaint streets, public parks, and gardens.


Senior visitors will enjoy a variety of restaurants and cafes, antique and other specialty stores, and bed and breakfasts. It also serves as a backdrop for annual festivals such as the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art and the RiverRoots Music and Folk Art Festival.

Seniors,  see for yourself why Madison is such a favorite place for folks to visit and settle down in. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Drop By Lombard


Senior travelers will find that Lombard, a village in DuPage County and a suburb of Chicago, has a population right at 43,000. DuPage County has a population was 916,924, making it Illinois’ second-most populous county.

Originally part of Potawatomi Indian lands, the Lombard area was first settled by Americans of European descent in the 1830s. Lombard shares its early history with Glen Ellyn. Brothers Ralph and Morgan Babcock settled in a grove of trees along the DuPage River, in what was known as Babcock’s Grove.


Lombard developed to the east and Glen Ellyn to the west. Lombard was named after Chicago banker and real estate developer Josia Lewis Lombard.

Lombard purchased 227 acres of land in 1868 and headed a group of capitalists who registered the first plat and spearheaded the incorporation of Lombard in 1869.

Seniors Enjoy Lilac Time In Lombard


Stylish Victorian homes appeared on North Main Street, and the Lombard Historical Museum maintains a house museum in the style of one of these homes circa the 1870s.

The Maple Street Chapel, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1870 to serve a growing population. The Chapel is a landmark the entire region recognizes and treasures.

Since 1930, Lombard has hosted an annual Lilac Festival and parade in May. “Lilac Time in Lombard” is a 16-day festival in Lilacia Park ending in mid-May. Many lilac themed events take place that seniors would enjoy, including concerts, a Mother’s Day Brunch, an arts and crafts fair, and tours of the park. The grand finale is Lombard’s Lilac Festival Parade.


 Lilacs, A Brew And Little Orphan Annie

Let TripAdvisor help senior travelers fill out an itinerary that would first include a visit to Lilacia Park. Lilacia Park, once home to Colonel William R. Plum’s lilac garden, is now a park with poetic appeal. The park was bequeathed on the passing of Colonel Plum in 1927.


The LeRoy house, built in 1881, was home to one of the area’s most prominent doctors, Dr. William LeRoy who specialized in making artificial limbs for civil war veterans. He   lived in this house until 1900.

The house would eventually become the home of Harold Gray’s parents and the studio of Harold Gray, the originator of the Little Orphan Annie cartoon strip. Remember her? The Enchanted Castle of Lombard is one of four Chicago-land family entertainment centers and highly popular with the locals.


Senior visitors, if you feel up to a brew, drop by the Noon Whistle Brewing Company in Lombard. Lombard is easily accessible to downtown Chicago and Chicago O’Hare Airport and near all major expressways in the heart of the western Chicago suburbs.   So set your GPS for Lombard and enjoy all the many amenities of the city. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Discover Bandera

us-txbdr My wife and I both are from small towns in Iowa. Hers (516) and Mine (285). That’s small by most standards for towns all over the country. This senior discovered a neat small town in Texas called Bandera, in the Texas Hill Country. Bandera is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The population runs just under 900 and is often referred to as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” Check out the “Things to Do” on the website above. I’d want to be sure and take in the Frontier Times Museum that is loaded with early Texas history…and get this…over 30,000 items on display. Senior visitors will find several old historic buildings dating back to the mid 1800s.


Bandera was the starting point of the Great Western Cattle Trail, during the second half of the 19th century. Today a bronze monument, honoring the many National Rodeo Champions who call Bandera home, stands on the courthouse lawn.

 Seniors Seek Out A Dude Ranch

The area became popular with folks from San Antonio wanting to escape the city’s summer heat – and in the 20s and 30s – with increased car ownership (Bandera never had a railroad) “Dude Ranches” started appearing. Several of the oldest ones remain in business today.


Read what Byron Browne has written on Bandera and its past. It will take you a while to read but it is chuck full of interesting facts.

I found it of interest that Bandera was known for roofing shingles. The numerous Cypress trees along the region’s creeks provided wood for shingle manufacturing and a mill was set up in 1852. It was the first business in Bandera.

Cowboy Capital of the World


Bandera County beckons senior visitors to share a taste of the Old West set against a backdrop of the spectacular scenery of the Texas Hill Country. Bandera’s title, “Cowboy Capital of the World” originated when it became a staging area for the great cattle drives of yesteryear.

When ranching fell on hard times in the 1930′s, an enterprising rancher decided to take in “dudes” to help him through the depression. An exciting new industry was born. It continues to flourish today with a number of excellent Dude Ranches operating throughout Bandera County.


On Sunday mornings, Bandera is a popular destination for motorcyclists from San Antonio, known as the Bandera Breakfast Run. The local Chamber of Commerce notes that the history of Bandera can be divided into two parts: Polish and non-Polish settlers. Both wrote the rich tapestry of history with hard work, faith and grit and both still claim community-building descendants 150 years later.

Seniors, make Bandera a stopping point when you are in the San Antonio area and enjoy a Holiday in the Cowboy Capital of the World. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Explore Canton

imagesThis senior who enjoys looking up the Best Small Towns found Canton, Georgia. One of the fastest growing cities, this seat of Cherokee County, with a population of 25,000 lies in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of what used to be the Cherokee nation.

The Historical Downtown District is home to a number of attractions that senior visitors will not want to miss, most notably the Cherokee County Historical Society and the Cherokee Arts Center.

Originally the heart of the Cherokee Indian society, Canton saw major change during the summer of 1838, when the federal government, with the full authority of President Andrew Jackson, forcefully removed the region’s Cherokee people and sent the tribe west on the infamous Trail of Tears.


Seniors Find City of Cotton, Denim And Marble

Canton was once a top cotton-producing area. Canton Cotton Mills was one of the largest mills in the South, and “Canton Denim” was renowned for its high quality.

Marble was also a flourishing industry in the area, where Georgia Marble Finishing Works was the largest marble company.


TripAdvisor suggests a visit to Georgia’s National Cemetery. Canton boasts many beautiful residential neighborhoods, including the historic downtown residential area. The Crescent Farm Rock Barn, a cherished landmark of Cherokee County, is the only rock barn in Georgia.

It was built specifically as a stable for racehorses in 1906 by Augustus Lee Coggins and is now the headquarters of the Cherokee County Historical Society. Another “must” to put on your itinerary is Cagle’s Dairy on Stringer Road.


 Seniors Check Out The Canton Theatre

Canton embodies small-town charm while moving at a big-city pace, being only about 40 miles north of Atlanta. Senior visitors can see historic buildings and a 10-acre Wild West Town with more than 100 inhabitants – all of them miniature farm animals from Tanglewood Farm.


I just know that these seniors would enjoy an evening at the Canton Theatre in Downtown Canton. For over 90 years, the Historic Canton Theatre has been a shining star for entertainment. The Theatre is an elegant grand facility bringing Broadway productions to downtown Canton and where Al Jolson once performed.

Recently voted as the top city in Georgia, Canton is ready to welcome you. Seniors, stop by Canton and enjoy all that the town has to offer along with some great southern cuisine. -jeb  

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Coast Into Anacortes


Anacortes is homeport to the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest. Senior travelers will find Anacortes on Fidalgo Island, conveniently situated halfway between Seattle and Vancouver BC and is the destination point for the San Juans and International ferry runs for Washington State.


The name “Anacortes” is a consolidation of the name Anna Curtis, who was the wife of early Fidalgo Island settler Amos Bowman. The population runs just over 16,000. Senior travelers are invited to hang out in this vibrant Old Town.

All within walking distance, senior visitors will discover casual cafes or elegant dining. They will enjoy quirky to sophisticated shopping, art galleries and antique shops. Seniors are invited to experience this island getaway any time of the year. 


Seniors Take a Whale Watching Adventure

Have you ever gone on a whale watching adventure? My family and I did that off the coast of Massachusetts. A fun time it is.  Anacortes serves as home port to one of the world’s largest whale watching fleets, with two daily sailings in prime-time.

Each sailing typically lasts a half-day, during which riders are treated to a wonderful introduction to the beauty of the San Juan Islands. Educators provide a running commentary about geography, island history, and Puget Sound’s rich biology.


Oh, and you’ll also see local orca pods, along with dolphins, seals, and other resident wildlife. Deposited back to the dock after lunch on board, get your land legs back with a stroll. Sound like fun? It is.

 Seniors Enjoy a Marina, A Hike And A Ferry Ride

Cap Sante Marina: One of the most beautiful, accessible and active marinas in the state, Cap Sante Boat Haven is named for the promontory across the harbor. Unlike all other major marinas in the state, this one is open to the public, with no locked gates.

Senior visitors are free to wander the docks, explore the fishing fleet, and have a visit with boat owners, some of whom live on board their own vessels.


Senior hikers, you will find more than 50 miles of trails throughout Anacortes and Fidalgo Island encompassing Mount Erie, four fresh-water lakes, old growth forest and a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles.

I took a ferry up through the San Juan Islands to Vancouver Island. What a memory that remains in my mind’s eye.

You will not want to miss Washington Park, Mt. Erie Park and Cap Sante Park, each with awesome scenery. There’s much to see and do in Historic Anacortes. A great choice for a coastal destination. -jeb


Seniors Discover Treasures in Lecce

maxresdefault The most recent Condé Nast magazine (May 2016) featured some of the finest luxury hotels and resorts in the world. I was quite impressed with the new La Fiermontina that is in a “hide away” and a super dreamy vacation spot. Senior travelers will find La Fiermontina features a 16-room Five-Star hotel conversion of a 17th century house in Lecce’s historic old town.

Get your coffee and you can read all about the hotel above with the villa that lies within the ancient walls of Lecce, but I discovered that the city has much to offer besides La Fiermontina for a memorable stay.


Senior travelers will find Lecce, a historic city of 95,000 inhabitants, in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Lecce, and one of the most important cities of Apulia. Because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments found in the city, Lecce is commonly nicknamed “La Firenze del Sud” or “The Florence of the South”.

 Senior Holiday Destination

Lecce is one of the famous holiday destinations in the south of Italy. As a baroque city, it has a historic center full of extravagant architecture. A journey through the Province of Lecce will take you from prehistoric civilizations, through Medieval architecture and to the masterpieces of the Baroque architecture, via ancient traditions and the skills of master craftsmen.


In terms of industry the “Lecce stone” is the city’s main export, because it is very soft and workable, thus suitable for sculptures. Lecce stone is a kind of limestone.

Lecce is also an important agricultural center, chiefly for its olive oil and wine production, as well as an industrial center specializing in ceramic production. The soft local stone is known as baroccoLeccese (‘Lecce Baroque’), thus the name of the city.

 Seniors Find City With Greek Affinity

The city has a long traditional affinity with Greek culture going back to its foundation; the Messapii who founded the city are said to have been Cretans in Greek records.

To this day, in the Grecìa Salentina, a group of towns not far from Lecce, the griko language is still spoken.


Lonely Planet notes that…“If Puglia were a movie, Lecce would be cast in the starring role. Bequeathed with a generous stash of baroque buildings by its 17th-century architects, the city has a completeness and homogeneity that other southern Italian metropolises lack.“

TripAdvisor has been to Lecce and mentions 70 things for seniors to see and do. Better plan on a week or two in Lecce to take this all in.

Enjoy your travels to the boot of Italy and all the amenities that Lecce has to offer senior travelers. -jeb


Seniors Settle Into Carthage


I am enjoying honoring some of the Best Small Towns in the USA. In Missouri I discovered seventeen of them. I liked many photos accompanying historic Carthage and wish to share this neat small town of 15,000 located on Old Route 66 with senior travelers.

The city was named after ancient Carthage. Remember Marlin Perkins (1905–1986), zoologist, naturalist and host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom? This was his hometown. Used to be one of my favorite shows on TV. And Carl Hubbell (1903–1988), Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher for the New York Giants was from Carthage as well.


This seat of Jasper County is known as “America’s Maple Leaf City”. The town was established in 1842, burned to the ground during the civil war, and was later reconstructed.

Seniors Find Historic Civil War Town

Senior visitors can enjoy The Precious Moments Chapel & Gardens, a Civil War Ranch, The White Rose Winery, great restaurants, Bed and Breakfasts, an Art Gallery, a Civil War Museum and Whistler’s Drive up. Many folks enjoy simply driving around Carthage taking a historic homes tour.

Carthage was the site of the Battle of Carthage, the first official engagement of the American Civil War, on July 5, 1861. Local groups stage reenactments of that battle near the grounds of the State Historic Site which commemorates the event. The Civil War Museum recalls the history of the city during those difficult times.


In the late 1880s rich deposits of limestone, lead and zinc were discovered beneath the town and in the surrounding area. Through these gifts from the earth, Carthage soon became one of the most prosperous towns in the state and was called Queen City of the Southwest by the 1890s.

 Seniors Enjoy A Route 66 Town

Senior visitors can celebrate Independence Day, Marian Days, Maple Leaf Festival, Christmas and Route 66 in Carthage. I’d swing by the Phelps Family Mansion on Grand Avenue that recalls a day of opulence, representing a unique chapter in the history of Carthage.

Then a visit to the Powers Museum and possibly a show at Stone’s Throw Dinner Theater. Located inside the Emporium on the Historic Carthage Square, The Woodshed hosts live entertainment every Friday night.

66 Drive-In in Carthage, MO

Seniors will find Carthage to be a legacy of architectural marvels comprising of over 600 buildings listed on the National Registry, including one of the largest residential districts in Missouri.

Each building at one time housed people or businesses with impressive tales that continue to intrigue today. Civil War guerrillas, wild west outlaws, and powerful business men and women have left their marks on Carthage history.

And oh yes, toss in your clubs and play a round at the Carthage Municipal Golf. A course that some players say is  “The Best in Missouri.” Enjoy your stay. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

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