Seniors Explore Biddeford

1280px-Bidd-Provtown_MarkerSenior travelers find that Biddeford, the principal commercial center of York County, whose population runs just over 20,000, is located 15 miles southwest of Portland.

Twin city of Saco, Biddeford includes the resort community of Biddeford Pool, Fortunes Rocks and Granite Point.

Seniors can enjoy the annual La Kermesse Franco-Americaine Festival that celebrates the town’s heritage. A Kermesse is a local, annual outdoor fair or festival. First visited by Europeans in 1616, this is the site of one of the earliest European settlements in the United States.

Historically, Abenaki Indians, whose main village was upriver at Pequawket (now Fryeburg), hunted and fished in the area. The first European to settle at Biddeford was physician Richard Vines in the winter of 1616-17 at Winter Harbor, as he called Biddeford Pool. The town came to be known as Biddeford in 1718 and was incorporated as a city in 1855.

Senior Visitors Enjoy Biddeford


 The locals as well senior visitors can enjoy The Five Points Shopping Center and the Biddeford Shopping Center. Parks like the Clifford Park and the Saint Louis Field come with various recreational facilities. One can also plan a day trip to the Saco Museum.

Freddy Beach, Fortunes Rocks Beach and the Hills Beach are popular destinations.  The University of New England-University Campus is located in Biddeford. Other institutes offering higher educational facilities include Northern Essex Community College, the University of Southern Maine, the University of New Hampshire-Main Campus and Saint Joseph’s College.

Seniors will enjoy a visit to the Biddeford City Theater, a historic, restored Victorian opera house that is a non-profit community theater. In 1996 the theater celebrated its 100th year anniversary and was awarded a gift of new seats from the city of Biddeford.


 Seniors Visit Biddeford Mills Museum

TripAdvisor wants you not to miss Fortunes Rocks Beach, Mulligans Restaurant and Marden’s Surplus and Salvage. I’d head there first myself since I enjoy looking over old salvage. Ask my wife…I have collected a ton of salvage over my lifetime. A stop at a some of the local town breweries would come in a short second.

Another worthwhile stop would be at the Biddeford Mills Museum. At one time, the textile mills in Biddeford were considered the heart of the York County region. Situated on the banks of the Saco River, the extensive mill district hummed with activity.

The Saco River became the focus of industry from the earliest European settlements along its Biddeford banks. The earlier industries were lumber harvesting, grist mills and ship-building, with Biddeford emerging as a culturally vibrant textile hub.


So set your GPS toward the beautiful state of Maine and and enjoy Biddeford. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Visit Scenic Walterboro

hqdefaultSeniors learn that Walterboro “The Front Porch of the Low Country,” was founded in 1783 as a summer retreat for local planters looking to escape their malaria-ridden, Lowcountry plantations. This seat of Colleton County has a population around 5,300.

The original settlement was located on a hilly area, covered with pine and hickory trees and named “Hickory Valley”. Two of the earliest settlers were Paul and Jacob Walter, thus the name of the town.


Do we grow rice here in the US? The Collation County Rice Festival celebrates the county’s history with the rice crop, the staple crop until the Civil War. After that it still impacted the county.

Seniors, if you enjoy dogs, the Festival Dog Show is a major draw. Bring your bike along and tour the Low Country on a 32 mile ride.

 Seniors Discover The Great Swamp Sanctuary

The Great Swamp Sanctuary comprises 800 acres of braided-creek hardwood flats and bottomland swamp. It has boardwalks, walking trails, bicycle paths, a canoe/kayak trail, observation areas, and a 10,000-square-foot Discovery Center is planned.


When it is completely finished the sanctuary will be the most significant nature-based facility in the lower part of South Carolina. The sanctuary is great for viewing natural lowcountry wildlife and birds. Spanish moss drips from Cypress trees and wildflowers abound as you pass a beaver pond, duck pond and butterfly garden.

Colleton State Park offers senior visitors choices to enjoy the outdoors that include fishing, boating, hiking, bird watching, geocaching, biking and of course, picnicking.

 Seniors Find Intriguing Small Town In Walterboro


Seniors can visit The Slave Relic Museum that houses many of the relics slaves made and used from 1750-1860s and the South Carolina Artisan Center that represents over 300 of the State’s finest juried artists and craftsmen, demonstrations and exhibits.

The Walterboro Army Airfield served as a training ground for  World War II Army airmen including a group of the Tuskegee Airmen. In May, 1997, a monument honoring their bravery was placed at the site. This was also the site of a POW camp and base hospital. The Tuskegee Airmen Memorial highlights this history.


Ever see dogwoods in full bloom? An awesome sight. The Colleton County Courthouse was constructed in 1822 and is a classic. The self-guided historic walking tour takes you through Walterboro’s intriguing past.

Walterboro has two historic districts: Historic Hickory Valley, a largely residential area with homes dating between 1814 and 1929 and the Walterboro Historic District, which covers the historic businesses. Both districts having listings in the National Register of Historic Places.

Enjoy your visit. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Enjoy Scenic Umbria

umbria_mapUmbria, an Italian region bordering Tuscany, Lazio and Le Marche, is often called the country’s green heart, and senior travelers will know it for its medieval hill towns, dense forests and local cuisine, particularly foraged truffles and wines.

Friends, get your coffee and let’s enjoy a trip to Italy today…Umbria, to be precise!

Hilltop Perugia, the regional capital, is the site of medieval Palazzo dei Priori, housing the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria. Perugia’s wide, pedestrianized Corso Vannucci is the focus of city life. The city is located about 164 kilometers north of Rome, and 148 km southeast of Florence.

Umbria is the only Italian region which is both landlocked and has no common border with other countries. It is crossed by the River Tiber.

 Seniors Adore The Green Heart Of Italy


The phrase, il cuor verde d’Italia, the green heart of Italy, is taken from a poem by Giosuè Carducci and, except for August and September, is famously green.

When senior visitors think of Umbria they think of the Italian word ombra. Shadow. One of Italy’s smallest regions, Umbria lies in the shadow of its more illustrious neighbor, Tuscany.


In Italy, Umbria is second only to Tuscany in terms of historical hills towns and beautiful countryside. Along with Tuscany and Sicily, Umbria has many  cypress forests in addition to pine and chestnut.

The many Umbrian hills and mountains cast long dark shadows over river valleys which are already darkened by lush chestnut groves and elm forests. Senior travelers  will not run out of scenic views in Umbria for they are in every direction as far at the eye can see.

 Seniors Find Historic Hill Towns and Amazing Countryside


To Henry James, Umbria was “the most beautiful garden in all the world.” St. Benedict and St. Francis were born and raised in Umbria, then went on to become two of the most powerful influences on Western spirituality.

Perugino and Raphael started their famous schools in Umbria, and still today the serene landscapes and picturesque hill towns look almost as they do in canvases painted four hundred years ago.


Umbria is easy to reach from the big tourism hubs of central Italy and yet relatively uncrowded even at the height of the tourism season. I think visiting seniors will like that fact.

So, have a visit with your travel agent and plan to spend some quality time in Umbria. It is said that the hospitality is as legendary as the landscape, and indeed it is. Enjoy your vacation in Umbria. -jeb


Seniors Visit Some of West Virginia’s Best Small Towns


My wife told me recently that we have not spent much time in West Virginia and that it was time for a blog. Senior friends, let’s investigate, starting with Google, the Best Small Towns in West Virginia.

There are literally dozens of wonderful little towns in West Virginia. DuckDuckGo  lists several choices of Best Small Towns. West Virginia Living Magazine highlights several that they consider among the best.

Seniors Discover Hinton

Hinton is a remarkable Victorian-era railroad town of 2,615 with stunning buildings and architecture. This historic rail town, nestled among three rivers is legendary for its fishing, kayaking and rafting.


Situated along the New River in southern West Virginia, Hinton features dining, shopping, coal heritage tours, and charming B&B’s and hotels. Senior visitors will have convenient access to the New River Gorge National Park, Winterplace Ski Resort, and hunting and fishing at Bluestone National Park.

Two weekends a year, you can ride a train through the scenic mountains to Hinton’s Railroad Days celebration to explore the museum and train heritage. Much of Hinton’s downtown was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Part of Paramount’s 1994 film Lassie was shot in Hinton.

 Seniors Visit Lewisburg And Buckhannon


Lewisburg’s picture-perfect Main Street could keep senior visitors occupied for days. Lewisburg has come a long way since its beginnings as a small outpost in the mountains of colonial Virginia. This town now has become a renowned haven for artists, and its many antebellum mansions.

In downtown Lewisburg, senior visitors soon realize they are stepping back in time to a simpler age. The National Trust for Historical Preservation named this stretch of boutique shops and small restaurants one of twelve “Distinctive Destinations” in the U.S. Don’t miss Lewisburg.

2347f6e49ace37d13138780c325f8d50Buckhannon may be small, but its arts scene is not. Located along the West Virginia Artist Gallery Trail, their Main Street Gallery houses 30 local artists. Film fans can catch rare showings at the Lascaux Theater that don’t screen in mainstream movie houses.

Buckhannon that was included in Norman Crampton’s book, “The Top 100 Best Small Towns in America.” Buckhannon’s antique mall is sprawling with artifacts from the old days, or you can satisfy all your modern geeky desires at Nerducopia. For a calm evening, seniors can enjoy a show and sky tour at the West Virginia Wesleyan Planetarium.

 Seniors, unplug your GPS and just drive along the myriad of country roads in West Virginia. You will discover one neat small town after another.  -jeb  Photos taken from Google search.

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Find Where Kool-Aid Was Created

HastingsWelcomeSeniors learn of Hastings, Nebraska, known as the city where Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in 1927 and celebrates that event with the Kool-Aid Days every August.

Hastings is also known for Fisher Fountain, a “sign of hope” for local and area citizens during the Depression and dust bowl days of the 1930′s. During World War II, Hastings was the location of the largest Naval Ammunition Depot in the United States.

Hastings, the seat of Adams County, with a population of around 25,000, is 136 miles west of Omaha. The community was founded in 1872 at the intersection of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad and the St. Joseph and Denver City Railroad.   The city was named after Colonel Thomas D. Hastings , who was instrumental in building the railroad through Adams County.


 Seniors Enjoy Hearing Hastings History

The area was previously open plain: the Donner party passed through on its way to California in 1846 and a pioneer cemetery marker in Hastings bears an inscription taken from Tamsen Donner’s journal: “The country between the Blue and the Platte is beautiful beyond compare. Never have I seen so varied a country so suitable to cultivation.”

In the 1870s, railroads lured European immigrants to the new state of Nebraska with advertisements. Hastings’ first settlers were English, from Liverpool, and were quickly joined by other English, Irish, Germans, Danes, and Germans from Russia. Today their descendants are the residents of Hastings.


Senior music lovers will appreciate the Hastings Symphony, greater Nebraska’s premiere symphony orchestra, the Listening Room at the Lark, a nationally-known venue showcasing both local talent and the country’s best musicians and songwriters, and rich, cultural offerings available at Hastings College that was established in 1882 and Central Community College.

 Seniors Find A Great Museum

I’d want to visit the Hastings Museum, the largest municipal museum between Chicago and Denver that chronicles the history of the early inhabitants of the Nebraska plains, from paleo-Indians to euro-Americans.

Senior visitors can experience life up close in the Hastings Museum’s three floors of natural and cultural history as well as full dome astronomy shows in the Planetarium.

In addition visitors enjoy the Museum of Nebraska Art, the Windmill State Recreation Area, the Trails and Rails Museum, the Plainsman Agricultural Museum and the Crystal Lake State Recreation Area.


Lake Hastings features four miles of paved and gravel trails that wind through open fields, woodlands of stately trees, and wetlands. The trails are open to bicycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, and in-line skating on the paved trail.

TripAdvisor notes eleven things to see and do that senior visitors will not want to overlook. So point your route to Hastings and enjoy all it has to offer. -jeb


Seniors Find ‘Oak City’

sign-2-1170x500Bainbridge, whose population is 13,000, senior travelers will find in southwest Georgia about 40 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida. Bainbridge is known as ‘Oak City,’  thanks to all the many huge oak trees in town. 

Native Americans occupied the area for centuries, and a settlement called Pucknawhitla stood on the site of present-day Bainbridge in 1765, when Europeans arrived.

The town was named after U.S. Navy Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides”, and was incorporated on December 22, 1829. In 1824, Bainbridge was designated seat of the newly formed Decatur County.

The city is home to Bainbridge College, Lake Seminole and Seminole State Park. While the 37,500-acre lake attracts sport fishing, deer and duck hunting, the park welcomes senior visitors to meet a population of gopher tortoises, the only native tortoise in Georgia.

Seniors Enjoy Bainbridge’s Art And Culture

Bainbridge has its share of art and culture including River Town Days, held each year the second weekend of March. The Swine Time Festival and Decatur County Fall Festival and Fair are two other annual events.

Another popular annual event, The Oak City Cemetery Tour, features Bainbridge’s rich history and the truth, tales, and folklore of some of its most famous former residents.

Seniors won’t want to miss the famed Decatur County Courthouse, constructed in 1902, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an awesome site. The city sits on the banks of the Flint River that flows into Lake Seminole that is well stocked with prize-winning bass.

Seniors Love Bainbridge’s Hospitality

Bainbridge is surrounded by the serenity of nature, filled with the excitement of history and home to genuine southern hospitality. The folks here are proud of their small town and proud that they remain a small town. This one site does it all link features a listing of the on-going events, where to enjoy some great southern cuisine and what to see.

The city is a seaport linked to the Gulf of Mexico via Florida’s Apalachicola River, officially known as Port Bainbridge. Willis Park, the Bainbridge town square, hosts events on a regular basis and senior visitors are invited to take a leisurely stroll in the park or sit under the gazebo and people watch.

I know that my wife and I would enjoy The Heritage Driving Tour of Bainbridge that features over 40 historic homes and churches, many of which have been restored to their original glory. A close second would be a visit to the Decatur County Historical Society on Water Street.

Seniors, plan on a stop at one of the most historic and charming cities in the south, when you are in Georgia. -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice


Seniors Enjoy Colorful Livingston

homesign Senior travelers will find Livingston in southwestern Montana, on the Yellowstone River, north of Yellowstone National Park with a population that runs just over 7,000.

Livingston sits on the doorstep to Yellowstone National Park, the country’s first national park. With fun events happening year round, every season is a good season to be in and around Livingston.

Toss in your fly rod as Livingston sits on the banks of the mighty Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone is the longest free flowing river in the United States and is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world.


 Seniors Find Gateway To Yellowstone

The founding of the small historical railroad and ranching town of Livingston, Montana is a direct result of the Northern Pacific Railroad. This site became a centralized point in the Rockies and the NPR’s location for railroad shops to service NPR steam trains before their ascent over the Bozeman Pass, the highest point on the line.

In time, Livingston became the first gateway town to Yellowstone National Park. Downstream (the Yellowstone River), approximately 3 miles from present day Livingston, was where an old fisherman named Amos Benson built a log cabin in 1872. This is where a ferry, a trading post and a small community called Benson’s Landing was located.


Hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities abound in the area making Livingston the perfect vacation spot. Known as a sportsman’s paradise, many experienced guides and outfitters can help senior visitors have the hunting or fishing experience of a lifetime.

 Seniors Visit The Grand Old Depot

The Northern Pacific Railroad Depot in downtown Livingston has always been the center of the community. Built by the railroad in 1902, it served as a stopping point for tourists heading to Yellowstone National Park.


Now the grand old depot has taken on a new life as a museum and community cultural center, the Gateway Museum, housing one of the most impressive collections of local and state historical artifacts, documents and memorabilia in Montana.

Whether you seek the rugged outdoors or culture within a variety of art galleries and live theatre, comfort cuisine to fine dining, you will find it in Livingston. Art Walks,  part gallery tour and part social gathering, are fun events held every fourth Friday in the summer. An eclectic array of locals, out-of-towners and random art enthusiasts arrive en masse to check out what’s exhibited on the walls.

If jogging along at 5,600 feet doesn’t take your breath away, the views in Mission Creek Canyon will. Watch out for antelope in the middle of the highway as you come over a hill. I had to slam on the brakes to preserve one young pronghorn beauty. That’s Montana!

Seniors, enjoy not only the scenic wonder of this state, but the pleasant folks who live in Livingston. -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice


Today Seniors Visit Huntsville

IMG_6042-e1389149392773Senior visitors will find Huntsville seventy miles north of Houston in what is called the East Texas Piney Woods. 

The city is famed, having served as the residence of Sam Houston, who served as President of the Republic of Texas, Governor of the State of Texas, Governor of Tennessee, U.S. Senator, and Tennessee congressman.

The city had its beginning back in 1836, when Pleasant and Ephraim Gray opened a trading post on the site. Ephraim Gray became first postmaster in 1837, naming it after his former home town.

With a population just over 40,000, Huntsville is the seat of Walker county.

Seniors Enjoy Texas Main Street City


Huntsville has been designated a Texas Main Street City by the Texas Historical Commission and a Texas State Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

So you will not want to miss visiting Main Street where a myriad of events happen annually.

The Cultural District is home to some of the finest historical architecture in Texas.  Enhancing the downtown buildings are murals by world renowned artist Richard Haas.


Huntsville’s largest employers are the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Sam Houston State University, SHSU or simply Sam.

Huntsville has a plethora of cultural events and art that include the SHSU’s College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication, The Wynne Home Arts Center, Old Town Theatre, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, General Sam Houston Folk Festival, and Huntsville Community Theatre.

Seniors Learn More Of Sam Houston


 One of the local stops senior visitors will not want to miss is the Sam Houston Memorial Grave and Monument in Oakwood Cemetery.

Since 1911, an impressive monument inscribed with the promise that the world will take care of Houston’s fame” has marked the grave of the first President of the Republic of Texas.

Senior visitors will find the  cemetery by traveling down the two blocks of Spur 94, the shortest highway in Texas.


And wouldn’t you know it…TripAdvisor has visited Huntsville and starts off with a visit to the Sam Houston campus.

This senior would like to visit the Texas Prison Museum and have a picnic in the Huntsville State Park.

My sister in law and her husband lived in Texas’ Piney Woods.  It’s beautiful country…you will enjoy your stop in East Texas’ Piney Woods.  -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Discover The Wonders Of Baja California


I had the pleasure of visiting the Baja with family to celebrate my father-in-law’s 75th birthday. We traveled all the way to the end to Cabo San Lucas. Senior friends, get your coffee and let’s head south to Baja California.

The peninsula is known colloquially as Baja by American and Canadian tourists, and is renowned for its natural beauty and pristine environment.


Britannica notes that Baja California, also called Baja California Norte, is bounded to the north by the United States (California and Arizona), to the east by the state of Sonora and the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the south by the state of Baja California Sur.

Its capital city, Mexicali, lies on the U.S.-Mexico border, opposite Calexico, California. Visitors will discover a miraculous sea, teeming with life, ringed by desert islands alive with awesome wilderness. Giant cactus, a rich array of flora and fauna, and huge wind-scaled sand dunes dot the environment. Fodor’s will give seniors 5 good reasons to consider Baja California for your next vacation.

Seniors Watch Whales


Baja draws ecotourists who go whale watching for migrating California Gray Whales as well as senior tourists that arrive to the Baja California Gold Coast and resorts on the southern tip of the Peninsula.

Its location between the North Pacific and Gulf of California give it a reputation for good sports fishing, that we tried without much success. Hooked into a nice Black Marlin, but he managed to get free. Senior visitors can enjoy a cruise with National Geographic twin ships: Sea Bird and Sea Lion, to explore the Sea of Cortez.


The landscape off Baja California spans mountains and beaches on the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California. Towns near the U.S. border include Tijuana, famous as a nightlife and shopping destination, and Tecate, known for the large Tecate beer brewery and a renowned spa, Rancho La Puerta.

 Senior Visitors Enjoy A Sparsely Populated Place

The province of The Californias was united until 1804, in the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain, when it was divided into Alta (upper) and Baja (lower) California. So that’s how it got its name. LonelyPlanet notes that Baja is famed for its sun-washed beaches.


“Baja California was somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit,” filmmaker Joshua Cowan says. He hung out in hot springs, surfed on deserted, world-class beaches, went fishing in the bright blue waters off the coast, and trekked the peninsula’s jungles.

 According to TripAdvisor, senior visitors will also find plenty to see and do, 427 to be precise. The Baja California is wild and sparsely populated and the two coasts vary a great deal. They are separated by rugged mountain ranges and desert vistas.  Senior friends, let’s put our coffee down and go visit with our travel agents! -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice, Mexico


Seniors Head Northeast to Williston, Vermont


Williston, senior travelers learn, was originally rural and laid out with many farms. However in recent decades, it has developed into a thriving suburb of Burlington, the largest city in the state. The estimated population in 2015 was 9,409.

Williston is one of the fastest-growing towns in Vermont, and while becoming more populated, has also developed as a major retail center for the Burlington area as well as much of central and northern Vermont.


The Abenakis Native Americans inhabited this area before European settlers arrived in the 1770s. The first railroad entered the community in 1850 when Williston was an agricultural town. Governor Chittenden Road was named in honor of Thomas Chittenden, who was the first governor of Vermont and a resident of Williston.

Senior historians, The Williston Historical Society is housed in the Vermont Room of the library that contains over 1,100 books as well as displays of historical interest.

Seniors Enjoy the Red Barn Gardens


The town is a short drive to the Burlington International Airport and Interstate 89 goes through the  community and where you will find one of the state’s largest shopping areas just off exit 12.

Red Barn Gardens is highly popular for weddings and receptions. Originally built in the 1790s, this historic home has been restored to its original glory, sitting on 16 acres of wide open space. Multiple gardens are found throughout the farm, gardens that offer pumpkins, perennials, vegetables and annuals.

Toss in the clubs and play a round or two at the Williston, Catamount or Rocky Ridge Golf Clubs.

 Seniors Love Vermont’s Fall Colors


Lake Iroquois is a picturesque small lake also known as a eutrophic kettle pond located in Williston.  I Googled ‘eutrophic kettle pond in Williston’.  Then I looked up ‘eutrophic’, then ‘kettle pond’.

Very interesting…having to do with receding ice,  ground nutrients and runoff.  An entire blog could be written on entropic kettle ponds!

Seniors can check out the Burlington Beer Company and The Brick Church Music Series held between October and April.

Then there are several state parks you can enjoy along with several museums. Middlebury College, Dartmouth College and Adirondack Community College are the nearby institutions of higher education.

Seniors, a visit to historic Williston will be especially nice in the fall when the trees are in full color. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

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