Vernal, Utah- One of the Best Small Towns


I asked Google for the Best Small Towns in America…up came Vernal, the fastest growing micro city in the U.S. Enjoy the pictures on the link above. Senior travelers will find Vernal, the county seat, in northeastern Utah, about 175 miles east of Salt Lake City and 20 miles west of the Colorado border. The population runs just over 9,000.

Vernal is located in the Uintah Basin, bordered on the north by the Uintah Mountains, one of the relatively few mountain ranges which lie in an east-west rather than the usual north to south direction.


The area was first settled on June 6, 1878 by David Johnston and his family. At that time, it was known as the Bench. The other early settlers include Alva Hatch, his father Jeremiah Hatch, and their families.

 Seniors Find Great Arts And Rodeo

The local Chamber of Commerce wants senior visitors to know that the area offers spectacular beauty, impressive vistas, Fremont Indian Art, Jurassic Era Fossils and views of some of the earth’s oldest rock formations.


Vernal is also rich in the arts, with the Uintah Arts Council providing year-round cultural events including the Community Concert Series and the popular Outlaw Trial Theater.

Vernal also hosts one of the largest PRCA rodeo’s in the United States. Held each July, the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo has been voted one of the best outdoor rodeo’s for several years. Today kayaking and mountain biking rule in and around Vernal.

Seniors Enjoy Outdoor Adventures


Vernal, unlike many Utah towns, was not settled by Mormons. Brigham Young sent a scouting party to Uintah Basin in 1861 and received word back the area was good for nothing but nomad purposes, hunting grounds for Indians and “to hold the world together.”

So what attracts senior visitors to Vernal, Utah? Well there is the Dinosaur National Monument, Western Heritage Museum, Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum, and Thorne Museum and Studio. And for parks, the Red Fleet State Park, Steinaker State Park, and Utah Field House of Natural History State Park are nearby.


TripAdvisor suggests a visit to Utah Field House of Natural History State Park with, perhaps, for the more adventurous of you to consider the Don Hatch River Day Excursions on the Colorado River. Sounds wet to me!

 Senior hikers, toss in your hiking boots and consider the McConkie Ranch Petroglyph Trail, a 4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail rated moderate. Dinosaur Gardens contain 14 life-size prehistoric creatures in a natural setting.

 Seniors, enjoy all the scenic wonder and many amenities that one of the Best Small Cities in America offers. -jeb


Seniors Spend Time In Lake Wales


Lake Wales  was surveyed in 1879 by Sidney Irving Wailes, who changed the name of a lake, then known as Watts Lake, to Lake Wailes. Seniors learn that Lake Wales was founded near this lake in 1911-12.

A railroad was built by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1925. It joined the cities of Haines and Everglades, and a depot was established at Lake Wales. Today Lake Wales, Florida offers virtually endless opportunities for seniors to enjoy the natural beauty of the great outdoors.

Lake Wales has a long history. Its first inhabitants were attracted to the area for its bounty of fish, game and natural vegetation used for food and medicine. Native Americans found the area ideally suited to farming, hunting and fishing, and later for trading with their new neighbors from the north and west.


 Great Trail For Senior Hikers And Bikers

Senior travelers will find Lake Wales 53 miles east of Tampa. Lake Wales is located in the rolling hills of Polk County. It has numerous antique shops and art galleries. Seniors who like hiking and biking would enjoy an excellent 2.25 mile long trail that runs along the shores of Lake Wales.

The city also has a large area dedicated to athletic fields and public parks. The popular activities for the locals and visitors alike include boating, fishing, camping, picnicking and bird watching. Grassy Lake Preserve is a 185 acre preserve primarily made up of Lake Wales Ridge scrub land.


Lake Wales is known as  the “Crown Jewel of the Ridge.” Voted “the friendliest small town in Florida,” senior visitors can enjoy its unique history and architecture, environmental, cultural and recreational attractions, charming shops and restaurants.

 Seniors Check Out Spook Hill

Although the early city planners of Lake Wales could not have foreseen the tremendous growth Florida would see in the area’s first 60 years, the forefathers had the vision to create a community design that still works well today.


TripAdvisor likes Bok Tower Gardens, a National Historic Landmark complete with a  contemplative garden and bird sanctuary. It consists of a 250-acre garden, the 205-foot tall Singing Tower with its carillon bells, Pine Ridge Trail, Pinewood Estate, and a visitor center.

Seniors can enjoy strolling  or biking around beautiful Lake Wailes or contemplating the mystery of popular Spook Hill, a gravity hill, and an optical illusion where cars appear to roll up the spooky hill.

Take in a rodeo on Saturday evening at Westgate River Ranch. Enjoy a play at the Lake Wales Little Theatre, a concert or art show at the Lake Wales Arts Center. Tour the shops and historic architecture in downtown Lake Wales.

Senior travelers, enjoy Lake Wales  -jeb


Seniors Drop By Endwell

images The 2016 Little League World Series has a winner… from Endwell, New York.  Senior travelers, let’s pay a visit to Endwell and see what we can find.

With a population just over 11,000, Endwell is a hamlet situated between the villages of Endicott and Johnson City,  52 miles north of Scranton, Pennsylvania and 135 miles northwest of Newark, New Jersey.

A few big names in sports have lived, or were born in Endwell, including Mike Dunham, longtime NHL goalie, now goalie coach for the New York Islanders, and Isaiah Kacyvenski, starter for the Seattle Seahawks for 5 years, and  Special Teams captain for Seattle during their most recent Super Bowl appearance.


The high school girls field hockey team was ranked as high as 19th in the nation in 2007.  Today, the Little League World Series has put Endwell on the map once more.

 Seniors Enjoy Interesting ‘Name Story’

Endwell used to be known as “Hooper,” but the name had to be changed in 1921 because of post office regulations. There were simply too many locations in the state with the name Hooper.

The most likely story, shared by an elderly man who attended the meeting to change the name: Endicott Johnson Corporation was producing a line of shoes called the “Endwell”, thus the name. An advertisement for the shoes read, “Wear the Endwell shoes and your day will End Well.”


During the 1890s, significant commercial and residential development began along the East Main Street corridor (State Route 17C), including a horse-drawn streetcar line, which connected the growing villages of Johnson City and Endicott.

These villages grew very rapidly between 1890 and 1920 because of the success of the Endicott Johnson Corporation, that shoe manufacturer. Wealthy residents of Binghamton in this horse-and-buggy era also maintained numerous weekend/summer homes in what is now Endwell.

 Seniors Find A Classic Carousel


A popular spot in Endwell is Highland Park, well known for its classic carousel, the Highland Park 1925 Carousel. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

Senior golfers can enjoy a round at Endwell Greens, Ely Park Golf Course or at the Binghamton Country Club. Opportunities for higher education are offered by SUNY at Binghamton, Ithaca College and Broome Community College.

The Sons of Italy Duca Degli Abruzzi lodge in Endicott hosts activities which include an Annual Clambake, Deer and Rabbit Parties, Wine Party, Scholarship Dinner Dance and a Children’s Christmas Party to name a few.

Anyway you slice it, Endwell is a great little town. Seniors, stop by when you are traveling through New York. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Visit Lakewood, Ohio

Lakewood_CA_Yellow_City_signI have a friend who is a caretaker for a senior citizen who was born in 1913 and lived in Lakewood, Ohio until the early ’40′s.  My friend, Patty, asked if we could do a travel blog for Gloria and her former home town. So get your coffee senior friends, let’s celebrate Lakewood, Ohio with Gloria!

Gloria attended Baldwin Wallace College in Berea as a young woman.

Lakewood is part of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area, located 6 miles west of Cleveland’s Public Square. The population runs around 53,000, making it the third largest city in the county.


Lakewood was incorporated as a village in 1889, and is named for its lakefront location on the shores of Lake Erie. I might suggest Lakewood be surnamed…“City of Awards”…there have been many over the past years.

Seniors Enjoy Beautiful Parks and Neighborhoods


The local Chamber of Commerce notes that Lakewood has become the region’s #1 destination for those seeking to live, shop, dine and do business in a community with beautiful neighborhoods and parks, award-winning restaurants, a vibrant arts and culture scene, bustling business districts, historic homes, outstanding schools and family-friendly events.

Lakewood Park is one of the largest lakefront parks in Ohio and features a live concert stage. The Park is a popular location for outdoor activities and includes an extensive trail for senior visitors to enjoy bicycle riding and walking.

The Park features a boardwalk with  excellent views of the Cleveland skyline. Lakewood has more than 150 acres of green space citywide. Two museums, Divine Statues and Lakewood Historical Society both rate high and are popular choices for seniors to explore.


The Lakewood Summer Meltdown is the best backyard summer party that happens in the middle of downtown with almost 10,000 Lakewood neighbors, family and friends.

The city is said to have the best fireworks show in Northeast Ohio.  Cleveland’s west side suburb is never shy about showing its American pride and the city and its residents never fail to create a day that resembles something out of a movie.

Seniors Enjoy Lakewood’s Historic Look

Lakewood features a large number of historic homes. In order to keep the historic look of the city’s houses, the popular “Make Lakewood Beautiful” program has residents competing for awards which are given to the homes which best resemble the original design of the house.


The city implemented a special building code which requires development in Lakewood to resemble the city’s historic brick and mortar structures. The residential district known as “Birdtown” is a National Register Historic District.

Senior visitors can enjoy the nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a scenic destination featuring the Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad.

And nearby Lake Erie features popular beaches for summer fun. Want to know more? How about ten things many folks don’t know about Lakewood?-jeb


Seniors Enjoy Nicest Little City In The South

imagesSeniors, this sentence is a mouthful: Niceville is a city in Okaloosa County, Florida located near Eglin Air Force Base on Boggy Bayou that opens into Choctawhatchee Bay. The population runs just over 12,500 inhabitants.

The city is called “The NICEST Little City in the South,”… Where folks are friendly and the fish is fresh. Senior travelers will discover the Friendly City in the western Florida panhandle, between Pensacola and Panama City.

Niceville is the most centrally located city in Okaloosa County and a city motto reads…“The City Where You Are Important.” The name Niceville was selected by the postmaster’s daughter.


 Seniors Enjoy The Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival

The history of Niceville traces back  10,000 years when the Native Americans inhabited this region. Niceville was a small fishing village called Boggy located along the shores of the Boggy Bayou bay. In 1842 cattleman Jessie Rogers from Louisiana settled in this area. However, permanent settlement began only after the Civil War.

During the third weekend of October, the city of Niceville organizes the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival. The Mullet Festival is recognized as one of the South’s top fall festivals, featuring three days of exciting fun, delicious food, fine arts and crafts, local and commercial vendors, and live entertainment showcasing both local Niceville talent and some of the nation’s best known and loved performers.


TripAdvisor wants senior hikers to know about Turkey Creek Park where you will find The Boardwalk with its places to stop and enjoy viewing wildlife.

Seniors Relax at Bayou State Park

Senior visitors can enjoy the Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park that was named after U.S. Air Force Colonel Fred Gannon who was instrumental in preserving this site with beautiful old-growth longleaf pine trees, several more than 300 years old.


Rocky Bayou, the main feature of the park, is the trailing arm of Choctawhatchee Bay and is popular for boating and fishing.

I know that my wife and I would enjoy the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, a modern performing-arts complex at Northwest Florida State College with Broadway shows, opera, dance events and more.

So set your GPS for Niceville and experience for yourself just how nice this city really is. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Spend Time In Red Bluff

images Red Bluff, California, known as the Victorian City On The River, is on the northern edge of the Sacramento Valley.  Senior travelers will find Red Bluff in the Shasta Cascade region 40 miles south of Mt Shasta. 

At one time it was called Covertsburg, before finally being given the name Red Bluff. It was incorporated as a city in 1876. Read about John Brown’s Family: A Living Legend in Red Bluff, that made the city famous years back.

Red Bluff, California is notable as being the location where Ishi, “the last wild Indian in North America,” came out of the wilderness (just to the west of Red Bluff) in 1911. Ishi was the last remaining member of the Yahi tribe.


Seniors Enjoy Festive Downtown At Christmastime

Indian mounds that were excavated in Red Bluff (the Tehama-Red Bluff Mounds) in 1907, and there are more than 250 recorded ancient settlement sites along the Sacramento River in Tehama County.

Victorian architecture, tree-lined streets and old Downtown at Christmastime set downtown Red Bluff apart, making it the perfect place for seniors to enjoy a day – or even a weekend – “out on the town.”


Currently there are over 150 businesses, all located just blocks away from the Sacramento River, in the Historic District of Downtown Red Bluff. Seniors will note the 75 ft. Cone & Kimball Plaza Clock tower that stands tall in the heart of the city. The original 100 ft. tower stood from 1886 to 1984 over a general store when it was destroyed by a fire.

 Seniors Drive A Most Scenic Road

The red brick Saint Mary’s Parish Church is on the National Register of Historic Places.  I’d want to visit the Kelly-Griggs House Museum and the Kraft Library with its beautiful gardens.


From the lush riparian areas surrounding the Sacramento River and its tributaries to the expanse of the rolling hills of blue oak savannah, the Sacramento River Bend ONA (Outstanding Natural Area) offers diverse habitat for bald eagles, osprey, migratory and song birds, deer, and salmon, so bring along your field glasses.

California Route 36, said to be one of the most scenic drives in the USA, is considered by some to be among the best roads in California, with 140 miles of twists and turns that are seemingly tailor made for motorcycles.

Senior oenophiles, the Tuscan Ridge Estate Winery was voted 2016 Best Winery in Tehama County. The 96th Annual Red Bluff Round-Up, first held in 1921, has become one of the west’s largest rodeos.

Red Bluff serves as the gateway to Lassen Volcanic National Park. With its spectacular calendar of major events and outdoor recreation, Red Bluff and “Tehama Country” promises a great visit. -jeb


Seniors Visit Santa Rosa

UnknownJust 55 miles north of San Francisco, senior travelers will find Santa Rosa overflowing with what folks love about California: wine country and farm country, redwood forests and rivers, lakes and ocean. And in the center, a charming, thriving downtown, lined with intriguing shops and restaurants that delight casual diners and epicureans alike.

The population is around 175,000 inhabitants making it the largest city in California’s North Coast, Wine Country and the North Bay; the fifth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Adding to its scenic beauty, Santa Rosa Creek marks its course through Santa Rosa’s downtown.


Santa Rosa, is located in the heart of the famed Sonoma County wine country, approximately one hour north of San Francisco, and Oakland. Santa Rosa enjoys warm summers and cool wet winters making it ideal for vineyards. Santa Rosa is the largest city, main hub and seat of Sonoma County.

 Seniors Enjoy Wine Tasting

In addition to the many superb Santa Rosa Wineries senior visitors will find several quality Santa Rosa Restaurants in the area. Santa Rosa wineries are spread out over a large area and are located in 3 different wine regions; Russian River Valley, Bennett Valley and the Sonoma Valley.


Wineries range from large corporate holdings to small mom and pop operations. Senior eonophiles, can enjoy visiting a variety of enjoyable tasting rooms.

 Seniors discover microbrews, fun fairs, cycling on road and off, a foodie paradise as well as a birding paradise: great blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets and black-crowned herons. 

Seniors Meet Charlie Brown


For visitors who enjoy sports, the Bay Area to the south of Santa Rosa is home to numerous professional sports franchises, including: Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, San Francisco Dragons (Lacrosse), Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Seals (soccer).

Then there’s the Charles M. Schultz Museum and Charlie Brown in person and a visit to the Railroad Square Historic District. The Santa Rosa Wine Tour would be fun for my wife and me and perhaps after that, a memorable balloon ride.

In 2007, the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce adopted a new slogan, “California’s Cornucopia”.  Enjoy your visit and the host of amenities of this scenic community. -jeb


Seniors Stop By Colorful Saunderstown


Senior travelers happen upon Saunderstown, a small village and historic district in the towns of Narragansett and North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

The population runs just over 6,000. The waterfront community was later named for the boat-building Saunders family, who moved into the area in the 1800s.

Saunderstown, Rhode Island is known as the birthplace of artist Gilbert Stuart, who is best known for painting the portrait of George Washington that is portrayed on the one-dollar bill. The Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum consists of the house in which Stuart was born, a nature trail, and a functional gristmill.

Saunderstown is also the location of Casey Farm, an 18th-century plantation that is now a family farm. The farm, operated by Historic New England, grows organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers in a Community Agriculture Program.


 Seniors Enjoy Former Summer Resort  Area

The Saunderstown Historic District encompasses a section of Saunderstown which developed as a boatbuilding center and summer resort area in the late 19th century.

In addition to being home to a number of shipyards, several owned by members of the Saunders family, the area also became noted as a summer resort, hosting Benoni Lockwood and Frances Willing Wharton (a cousin to writer Edith Wharton), as well as the architect and artist Christopher Grant LaFarge, son of the famous artist John La Farge.


This area is mainly residential, with wood frame houses. Non-residential buildings include a country store, recreation center (which was formerly a fire barn), and the Saunderstown Post Office, which was built in 1902 as a Baptist church.

 Seniors Visit Casey Farm

Senior visitors make it a point not to miss Casey Farm. This mid-eighteenth century homestead overlooking Narragansett Bay was the center of a plantation that produced food for local and foreign markets. Located near Newport, Casey Farm had access to material goods imported from England, enabling its early owners to live in a fashionable manner.


Prosperity ended with the burning of Newport during the Revolution, and the farm settled into a pattern of absentee ownership. Today, farm managers raise organically grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers for subscribing households in a Community Supported Agriculture program.

Facebook suggests The Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and The Plum Pt. Bistro and Liliana’s Italian Restaurant would both be high on my list. The Coastal Growers Market with around twenty vendors would be a great place to stock up supplies for that picnic in the park.

Seniors could easily make it a vacation just visiting the wide variety of National Register of Historic Places in Washington County. There are 130 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county, including 4 National Historic Landmarks. Seniors, enjoy a stop in Saunderstown. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Stop In West Bend

west_bendSenior travelers will find West Bend 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee. The population runs right at 32,000. Before the arrival of European settlers in southeastern Wisconsin, the Potawatomi and Menominee Indians inhabited the land now occupied by the city of West Bend.

In 1845 early settler Barton Salisbury, while on a surveying trip up the Milwaukee River, found a rapids that he believed would be a good source of power for a sawmill. He built a log hut on the west side of the river and the village of Barton was born. On November 1, 1961, the city of West Bend annexed the Village of Barton.


The Milwaukee River played a pivotal role in the history of the city. It was named West Bend because of the western bend in the river. In 1873, the first railroad tracks were laid through West Bend, paving the way for population growth and industrialization.

Seniors Find City Of Parks And Green Space

TripAdvisor suggests senior visitors check out  Shalom Wildlife and the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

The local Chamber of Commerce notes that “West Bend is situated in one of Wisconsin’s most scenic areas, is conveniently near Milwaukee, and combines the best of small town and big city living…”


West Bend has a paved river walk that snakes through the city along the banks of the Milwaukee River. The Eisenbahn State Trail, a Rails to Trails project, has added another trail for walking, running, biking, and roller skating.

The 1,000-mile National Ice Age Trail crosses through West Bend, a city that has over 1,200 acres of parks and green space.

In addition to numerous parks and bike/pedestrian trails, Lac Lawrann Conservancy, offers a 137-acre nature preserve and 5 miles of trails, so toss in your hiking boots.

Seniors Enjoy Cache Ba$h

cachebashSeniors can have a sample of Lithia Beer that is brewed at the West Bend Brewing Co. Entertainment on Thursday nights in the summer is provided by Music on Main. The street in downtown West Bend is closed to traffic and a different band takes the stage at Old Settler’s Park each week.

Maxwell Street Days features more than 700 spaces filled with antiques and collectibles and German Fest are two summer events held in the downtown area. Riverfest (formerly Seafood Fest) is West Bend’s Premier Food and Music Festival and a more recent annual event in Riverside Park is JazzFest.


West Bend, Wisconsin has been branded the “Geocaching Capital of the Midwest,” boasting over 1,200 caches within a 10-mile radius of the city. An annual “Cache Ba$h” has been sponsored by the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce since 2008.

Geocaching is a recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website. Sound like fun? It is. Seniors are invited to enjoy the many amenities of West Bend. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Stop In Colorful Kalispell


 Senior travelers find Kalispell in the heart of the magnificent Rocky Mountains, poised in the northwest corner of Montana, about an hour south of the Canadian border.

 At more than 5,000 square miles, Flathead County’s 90,000 residents have plenty of elbow room and Kalispell, whose population is just over 22,000, is the seat of Flathead County, Montana.


Kalispell is a progressive, thriving community, the very essence of Big Sky Country – with the best backyard in the country. To the east: the soaring peaks of Glacier National Park.

To the south: Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, a glacial jewel and one of the purest anywhere. To the north: Whitefish Mountain, renowned for its epic powder and short lift-lines in winter, plus summertime mountain biking, zip lining and other fun  activities.

 Seniors Surrounded By Natural Beauty


The original inhabitants were the Salish, Kalispell, Blackfoot and Kutenai Indian tribes. They hunted for the region’s buffalo, deer and elk. In 1855 the Indians were forced to move to the Flathead Reservation.

Kalispell was established in the early 1890′s after the arrival of the railroad. Tourism and businesses began to thrive thanks to the trains. Farming, sawmills and flour mills were important factors for the economy. The city’s name is a Salish Indian word which translates to flat land above the lake.


Kalispell serves as a base for recreational activities in the region. Everywhere around senior visitors will find historic charm, affordable adventure and soul-stirring beauty.

 Flathead National Forest Draws Seniors

Encompassing the valley is the Flathead National Forest – 2.3 million acres of federally protected public land, home to abundant wildlife, including grizzly and black bears, moose, deer, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and wolves.

The Thompson Chain of Lakes is dedicated to fishing. The region is popular for hunting. Senior visitors enjoy the walking trails at Woodland City Park. Then there’s golfing at the Big Mountain Golf Club, mountain bike racing and triathlons  during the summer along with an active nightlife and numerous art galleries and boutiques.

20060924T1709LKalispell enjoys a relatively mild climate: glorious summers with warm days and cool nights and little humidity; golden autumn days turning crisp by late October; winters made for skiing, snowboarding, snowcatting and ice fishing; and springs with daffodils dusting the valley while fresh snow dusts the surrounding peaks – an extraordinary season when you can ski and golf – in the same day!

TripAdvisor suggests that seniors check out The Conrad Mansion, the 1895 family home of Charles E. Conrad, a founding father of Kalispell and pioneer businessman. Guides in period dress offer tours of this sprawling home that has been fully restored. Enjoy Kalispell! -jeb


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