Articles Tagged with: senior hiking


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 Visit Taylors Falls


This senior looked up “The most beautiful small towns in Minnesota”, and up came Taylors Falls , with a population of just under 1,000. Taylors Falls, A Village On The River , was platted in 1851, and incorporated in 1858. (Don’t let the population fool you; it swells in the summer months to thousands.)


Surrounded by bluffs and high cliffs, the area is a geologist’s dream. There’s evidence of ancient lava flows and traces of old river beds The city was named for Jesse Taylor, a territorial politician.

A popular day trip destination for those looking to escape the Twin Cities, there are a whole host of hikes, cycle routes and rock climbing opportunities for all abilities. Senior visitors can cross over into Wisconsin for some stunning vantage points across the town and St Croix river.

Seniors Awed By Dramatic Views


Taylors Falls, with its dramatic forested bluffs and high cliffs, offers seniors amazing vantage points. Whether you are looking by boat, canoe, bike or hike, it is definitely worth taking the time to make the most of the unique views. In the winter, Taylors Falls is a popular ski area that attracts skiers to nearby Wild Mountain.

There are a number of quirky and historic buildings, most notably the oldest public school in Minnesota, first built in 1852. Then there is the former jailhouse which now serves as a bed and breakfast. The local post office has been in operation in Taylors Falls since 1851.


Taylors Falls was the location where the main characters of the Swedish novel The Emigrants settled. The Dalles of the St. Croix River, on the Wisconsin bank, near Taylors Falls is a favorite haunt of visitors from all across the state.

Another favorite for picture takers is the The Folsom House, a two-story historic house museum built New-England style. It is the restored former home of lumber magnate W.H.C. Folsom, who moved his family to the area in 1850 in the Angel Hill District.

Senior Geologists Take Note…


TripAdvisor suggests you pay particular attention to favored attractions like the Interstate State Park and Wild Mountain Winery. The Park contains some of the most outstanding and unique geological features to be found anywhere in the world.

Me, I’d want to talk my wife into a scenic boat tour on the St. Croix. Then the Historic Walking Tour. Toss in your clubs and play a round or two at the St. Croix National Golf and Event Center just up the road from the town.

Senior hikers, Glacial Potholes Trail is a 1.7 mile out and back trail located near St Croix Falls. The trail is used for hiking and rock climbing and is accessible from April to October. Set your GPS for Taylors Falls and spend a day enjoying the amenities this small community has to offer. -jeb


Seniors Find A Treasure In Cloghane

Cappagh, Cloghane Cloghane. I was “flummoxed” (love my new word) on this village in County Kerry, Ireland. It came up on this senior’s travel link on CNN as a great place to visit. I, like you, have heard of many famous places in Ireland like Dublin, Galway, Killarney, Blarney and Cork, but not Cloghane.

It is time to go there and check the place out. Actually there is a little accent on that name, Cloch á n (anglicized as Cloghane) which changes the pronunciation. Cloghane, which means stone hut, is a small village on the Dingle Peninsula of County Kerry, Ireland, at the foot of Mount Brandon. In 1974 the village was added to the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht.

So there you have it.  Are you still with me?

road to Cloghane

Cloghane village is nestled in a semi-circle of mountain peaks and overlooks the stunning Brandon Bay. This region offers many rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. This is a Gaeltacht region, where the Irish language is spoken.

It has an abundance of sandy beaches, washed clean by the surf of Brandon Bay. Nearby is Brandon, a small fishing village with a quay still used by local fishermen.

Senior Visitors Discover One Of Ireland’s Beautiful Regions

There is a lot of beauty in the area.The village of 2,000 is set at the foot of Mount Brandon, on the north of the Dingle Peninsula and overlooking Brandon Bay. The Cloghane-Brandon area, or Clochán-Breannainn in Gaelic, is certainly among Ireland’s most beautiful regions.


The natural beauty surrounding these two villages stands alone as one of West Kerry’s unspoiled paradises for senior anglers, walkers, windsurfers, outdoors enthusiasts and families.

The magnificent valley between the Mount Brandon range and the awe-inspiring Connor Pass, Ireland’s most elevated mountain pass greets your arrival to the Cloghane-Brandon area.

For you senior hikers, the region is world famous for hill-walking and mountain climbing on Mount Brandon which links into the 180km Dingle Way. Golf and pony-trekking are available nearby.

Féile na Lughnasa takes place in the Clochán-Breannainn area every July, offering plenty of local music, song and cultural activities. The Cloghane/Brandon area has a rich heritage of music, language, and dance.


For senior “foodies,” there are several traditional pubs in the area serving fine food, some specializing in locally-caught seafood.

Sessions of music, song, and dance are held nightly in most of the local pubs, where young and old, tourist and local, blend together to create a unique atmosphere.

Be sure to check out O’Connors Guesthouse which is a major draw for tourists in the area. Benagh B&B also rates very high. Pinterest calls the area “a dream vacation”. jeb


Red Lodge: The Gateway To The Park


All senior travelers need to do is follow Beartooth Highway that will lead you right into Yellowstone Park via Red Lodge, Montana (pop. 2,500+). Visitors experience true western hospitality in a quaint, historic, mountain town.

Folks claim that Red Lodge is a place not only of extraordinary beauty, but where real smiles, genuine warmth and a welcoming, Western-style hospitality greet you at every turn. Red Lodge is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities like skiing, mountain biking, and backpacking.

Seniors Travel Scenic Drive


Red Lodge was originally a coal boomtown with as many as 22 mines in Carbon County including Bearcreek’s Smith Mine, site of Montana’s Worst Mining disaster in 1943. The town features historic downtown Red Lodge .

Nearby, the 69-mile Beartooth Scenic Drive has a series of dramatic switchbacks overlooking snow-capped peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes and plateaus. CBS news correspondent Charles Kuralt called the Beartooth Pass the most scenic drive in America.

On September 17, 1851, the United States government signed a treaty with the Crow Nation, ceding the area which now contains Red Lodge to the Crow Indians. Rich coal deposits were found there in 1866, and gold was discovered nearby in 1870. An 1880 treaty between the U.S. government and the Crow allowed the area to be settled starting April 11, 1882

Eleven Million Acres Of Wilderness Draws Seniors

JMACS_RedLodge3 The Pollard is a magnificently restored old town building in the heart of Red Lodge, where senior visitors enjoy traditional mountain hospitality and a number of top-quality hotel luxuries.

Naturalist and author Gary Ferguson was drawn to Red Lodge years ago by the 11 million acres of wilderness that surround it, the Greater Yellowstone territory he calls “the last great temperate, wild ecosystem.” He says he likes living in a place where residents aren’t alarmed if a black bear takes refuge in a neighbor’s apple tree.

For senior hikers, their are numerous trails, both for day hiking and overnight backpacking, beginning at the base of the mountains and along the Beartooth Highway. The Red Lodge area has some great day hikes and extended backpacking trails for all ages allowing senior hikers to enjoy Big Sky Country at its finest.

And wow…for a small town, Red Lodge is loaded with festivities that bring in visitors from all over the world:  The Winter Carnival at the end of February, National Ski-Joring Finals in March; In April, a popular triathlon called the Peaks to Prairie; the Red Lodge Music Festival and the Annual Beartooth Run in June; the Home of Champions Parade and Rodeo, the Beartooth Rally, the Montana State Old-Time Fiddlers Contest, the Fat Tire Frenzy and the Red Lodge Mountain Man Rendezvous  in July; the Festival of Nations in August plus many more concerts and activities.

Seniors, you just can’t go wrong spending some quality time in Red Lodge. 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


Senior Food Lovers Search Out San Sebastián

San Sebastián is the capital of the Gipuzko (seniors, can you say that twice?) province, located in the Basque country of North Spain off the coast of the Bay of Biscay. It is called Donostia in the local language and lies just 12 miles from the French border.

Many call the city La Joya del Norte (Jewel of the North) and tourists flock to San Sebastián by the thousands year round. Senior visitors have found this city to be a great discovery for a host of reasons.

It’s a Food Mecca destination with 150,000 residents. This colorful seaside city is well-loved for its excellent beaches and outstanding culinary tradition. Although it is divided into several districts, San Sebastián is a small, cozy city crammed with restaurants, pintxos bars, designer shops and an enclosed mall.

The Old Town features many historic buildings reconstructed in the 19th century after the city was nearly destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars.

San Sebastián boasts some of the best beaches in Europe with the most popular of these being Playa de la Concha, which offers sunbathing and water activities like swimming, kayaking and water skiing.

Seniors Smile At Tapas

Overlooking the city are two lofty hills, Monte Urgell and Mount Igueldo, which offer hiking, funicular rides, amusement parks, remarkable statues and fantastic views. San Sebastián is widely appreciated in Spain for its pintxos…appetizers (tapas) prepared with a wide variety of fresh vegetables, meats and seafood.

Many of the bars in the city feature buffets displaying a range of these pintxos. The local tradition is to go from one bar to the next, sampling one or two pintxos with a bit of wine or beer.

The Old Quarter’s narrow, winding streets are full of bars and restaurants, and in the modern city, sidewalk cafes are everywhere.

La Concha is one of the best beaches in Europe. Senior visitors can surf, walk along the promenade to find a good restaurant and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The beach is surrounded by steep cliffs and islands. La Playa de la Concha, situated in a huge bay,  is a principal attraction in all of Spain.

By now you have surmised that San Sebastián is a chief town in the Basque province of Guipúzcoa as well as  Spain’s most fashionable bathing resort. So bring along your favorite swimming gear.

This YouTube video features my travel hero Rick Steves who provides us with a nice overview of the city . Hope to see you up there in Basque Country. jeb


Seniors Enjoy Tiny Hallstatt

CNN Travel selects what they call “Photos of the Day” and tiny Hallstatt caught this senior’s eye. I’ve been to Austria but had never heard of Hallstatt. Upon investigating further, I find a scenic beauty unmatched in all of the country.

The village has been occupied since the iron age; 7000 years ago people founded the salt mines, which gave them an opportunity to settle an area which they would make into a trade center. This rich cultural history is the basis for Hallstatt’s inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its heritage.

An old cemetery was found that dated back to the Iron Age (between 700-450 BC). The city has several museums that includes the principal archaeological museum in Hallstatt center.  The salt mines, “Salzwelten” or “Salt Worlds”, are the top attractions in Hallstatt.

Archaeological tours are offered of the renown salt mine and senior visitors will learn how salt is mined, see ancient tools and the “Man in Salt”. Archeological evidence shows that this isolated village gained its wealth through the salt trade.

With pastel-colored houses casting shimmering reflections onto the glassy waters of the lake, and towering mountains on all sides, the beauty of the village alone would be enough to guarantee it fame. The old houses are clustered together so tightly that many are accessible only from the lakeside, while the old street runs above the rooftops.

A small town of less than 1000, with a rich culture, Hallstatt is called the World’s Most Lovely Lakeside Town, a Small Paradise on Earth and it’s on the list of World Beautiful Places.

How Do Senior Travelers Get To Hallstatt?

Hallstatt is located in the Salzkammergut Region of Upper Austria, southeast of Salzburg and directly on the shores of Hallstätter See (Lake Hallstatt). Rick Steves, my travel hero notes the Salzkammergut’s pride and joy is the town of Hallstatt. He calls it A Toy Town.

The village Hallstatt is such a spectacular setting that the Chinese have created a copy of the ancient salt mine village. But only in the original will you discover this truly unique culture with such a history all in a breath-taking mountain setting. Known as Austria’s oldest and possibly most photographed village, it looked to me something like a mirage.

Seniors can enjoy hiking, mountaineering, cycling, mountain biking, Nordic walking, swimming and rock climbing. So just how many shots can one take of a village with only a thousand people? The answer is endless as senior visitors will discover with their camera.

The little tourist office will recommend a hike — the 9,000-foot Mount Dachstein looms overhead — or a peaceful cruise in a rented canoe. Most people go to Hallstatt simply to relax, eat, shop, and stroll. It will prove to be a memorable visit and it’s on the Becker’s travel bucket list. jeb


Seniors Enjoy Best Climate in the World

The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago located just off the NW coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. There are seven different and unique islands, ideal for disconnecting from routine, recharging your senior batteries and going back home with a revitalized body and mind.

Visitors will find all kinds of open-air activities together with a wide range of accommodations and leisure activities that make most visitors wanting to return again and again. The Islands are volcanic and they are very Spanish, so that’s the language there.

Senior visitors can enjoy exciting city life in the island, especially in its capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is said that this city has one of the best climates in the world, a cosmopolitan and dynamic center, where you will find everything you can imagine. And senior visitors will enjoy a certain calm and peaceful atmosphere on the archipelago’s beaches.

Seniors Enjoy Natural Attractions

Climate and important natural attractions, especially Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, Teide National Park and Mount Teide (the third tallest volcano in the world measured from its base on the ocean floor), make it a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors each year.

Gran Canaria is large with nearly  850,000 inhabitants. The capital, Las Palmas (375,000+ inhabitants), is the most populous city and shares the status of capital of the Canaries with Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The attractive archipelago offers unique landscape with the green hills, wild cliffs, sandy beaches, desert, and lots of palm and olive trees.

Canines? We know what they are. The name Islas Canarias is likely derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning “Island of the Dogs”, a name applied originally only to Gran Canaria. So it has nothing to do with those little yellow birds. Another speculation is that the so-called dogs were actually a species of Monk Seals (canis marinus or “sea dog” was a Latin term for ‘sea.’ So take your pick. I’m always interested in how sites got their names and there are very interesting stories behind most.

Seniors Enjoy Year-Round Fresh Air

Among the cities, along the beach, or off the beaten path, senior travelers will find many choices for Canary Island lodging. Grand hotels, luxury resorts, international hotels, charming bungalows, spacious villas, apartment rentals, and bed-and-breakfast inns providing overnight accommodations and island hospitality to visitors from around the world.

For generations, seniors  have flocked to enjoy Canary Island for relaxing vacations . Thanks to the mild year-round climate, fresh air, mineral-rich waters, and abundance of sunshine, the islands are an ideal setting to relax your cares away, no matter what the forecast is at home. And senior hikers, bring along a good pair of boots because walking in the Canaries is about discovering super scenery around every corner.

What’s not to enjoy about the Canaries! jeb


Windsor Is A Winner With Seniors

Olde Walkerville Neighborhood

Windsor, the southernmost city in Canada is located in south western Ontario at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City –Windsor Corridor, looking north to the United States. Encompassing 46 square miles, Windsor is home to over 208,000 people. Its residents are predominantly English speaking, but Windsor is a multicultural city, playing host to senior visitors from all over the globe.

Known as “The City of Roses”, Windsor’s residents are known as Windsorites.  Just across the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit, Windsor is one friendly town that offers a plethora of activities , from casino gambling to duty-free shopping, historic sites to manicured parks. What’s more: the U.S. dollars goes further in Canada. U.S. citizens are now required to have a valid passport for travel to Canada.

Seniors Enjoy ‘Garden Community’

The Dieppe Gardens are just one major attraction that draws seniors from all across the country. Olde Walkerville Neighborhood ranks second for visitors. And wow, just look at all those beautiful old mansions. Windsor is a perfect example of a ‘garden community’. The former town was the visionary development of one of Ontario’s prominent 19th century entrepreneurs, Hiram Walker, the founder of the famous “Canadian Club Whiskey.”

Agriculture is important to this region… grapes for wines grow easily in the benign climate. In addition to wineries depending on the land, local beer breweries rely on the high-quality hops and barley from nearby fields. I have only seen one hops field, in Alsace-Lorraine.  Amazing to me how they grow up those high supports.

For decades a section of Windsor was simply known as Ford City. The climate in the Windsor area lends itself to a picturesque environment. Just imagine, seniors, the natural beauty of having water on three sides of your city. Such is the case in Windsor, surrounded by Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River.

Senior hikers – be sure you pack your walking shoes. Windsor is proud of their three miles of walking paths along the Detroit River featuring unique sculptures, beautiful gardens and streets lined with stores, clubs and restaurants. Another one-stop URL as I label them, is this complete vacation, recreation and tourism information link.

Windsor’s Long History

Windsor,founded in the 1830′s, and Detroit lie in an area first settled by the French at the turn of the 18th century. A trading post established by Antoine de Lamothe de Cadillac in 1701 on the north side of the Detroit River quickly became the regional center for the French fur trade before being captured by the British in 1760 and later handed over to the Americans after the War of Independence.

Interested in a little more history? Try this. In 1854, a Village; in 1858, a Town; in 1892, a City. That’s quite a transformation folks. Enjoy your vacation in Windsor. jeb


Seniors Explore the Gila Wilderness

The Best Top 10 Lists is a place where I could spend hours. The Top10Zen is a great example that features sites for the best top 10 foodies, hikers, top hotels and a host of other topics for senior travelers to consider. That’s where I first read about the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

The 3.3 million acre National Forest is located in southwestern New Mexico just north of Mexico and east of Arizona. It is dominated by the Gila River and the mountain ranges, ridges and canyons that make up the surrounding terrain. The Wilderness is a vast tract of 438,000 acres, set within the much larger Gila National Forest.

The Gila Wilderness was designated the world’s first wilderness area back in 1924, so it has some history to go with the site. Occupied by the Mogollan people around AD 1000, the Gila Wilderness still contains cliff dwellings and some ancient and cultural ruins.  The surroundings at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument are much as they were when the Mogollon people inhabited the rock houses in the late 13th century.

The region is home to the Mogollan Mountain Range, canyons, grasslands, forests and some hot springs, which just might be why the Indians settled there.

Some of the more dangerous wildlife found in the Gila include bear, mountain lion, and the Mexican gray wolf. The Gila Wilderness offers plenty of hiking trails, some covering extensive distances in complete isolation of all civilization.

They say that the Mogollon Indians lived there for only ten years, nearly 700 years ago. I want to know who figured that out. That’s pretty short span of time. The Mogollon used the cliff dwellings, built with stone, mud and timbers, as a base for farming, hunting and fishing and the remnants remain.

Studious seniors will find a great deal of history and interesting facts on the Gila Wilderness National Park on the Wikipedia site . The ancient Puebloans of the Mogollon area used native plants for food, medicines, clothing and tools. The yucca plant was very useful as the fibers were made into twine, nets, baskets, even paint brushes. Sandals, made from yucca, can be seen in the Visitor Center Museum.

Senior Hikers

The essence of a wilderness area is that the dedicated senior nature lover must expend his or her own energy to get there, by hiking. There is a recently completed 48 mile loop in this great wilderness and as per the usual, trails are scant, pretty much no maintenance, and it doesn’t matter if you have a map or GPS, you’ll be dusting off your trail finding skills.

And senior birders… bird, animal and insect life is abundant and varied  and presents a constantly changing cast of characters and activities depending on the time of year. The Gila area provides sanctuary for Golden Eagles, Rufous Hummingbirds, Great Blue Herons, Greater Roadrunners, Summer Tanagers and Cardinals to name but a few. It’s a birders paradise.

So bring along a good pair of field glasses and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Wilderness. jeb

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