Articles Tagged with: senior travel Arizona


Seniors Check Out San Tan Valley

UnknownSan Tan Valley is located in northern Pinal County, Arizona. Seniors find this bedroom community located in the Phoenix metropolitan area’s southeastern suburbs.

The population of San Tan Valley runs around 87,000. I learned that it is Pinal County’s newest and largest named area. The area is bound by the San Tan Mountains Regional Park on the west and the Gila River Indian Community on the southwest.

 Senior visitors will find San Tan Valley between the towns of Queen Creek to the north and west, and Florence to the south, both great communities for a visit.

 Seniors Visit The San Tan Mountain Park


San Tan Valley derives its name from the nearby San Tan Mountains. The origin of the name San Tan is disputed, with suggestions ranging from a corruption of the name Santa Ana to the last name of George Santan, prior postmaster in nearby Gila County.

Previously referred to as San Tan Heights, San Tan Foothills, Greater San Tan and simply the San Tan Area, the community lacked any official name and residents used nearby Queen Creek for their mailing addresses.


The community boasts a wonderful park and recreation area, the San Tan Mountain Park.  People of all ages call San Tan Valley home with a variety of golf communities, age-restricted communities and family neighborhoods.

Seniors Find Desert Oasis

San Tan Valley is called by some a desert oasis between Tucson and Phoenix that offers golf, great weather, nature, and family fun. TripAdvisor suggests The Alvea Spa at Encanterra Country Club. Alvea Spa was just named to Best of Our Valley 2016 by Arizona Foothills Magazine, for “Best Clubhouse Spa.”

DSC_0628 If you are into wing and non wing ASCS sprint car racing, Arizona Speedway is nearby in Queen Creek. They say that one can see the whole track from anywhere you sit.

About an hour east of Phoenix, San Tan Valley offers a quaint community with a wonderful park and recreation area, hiking trails, beautiful dark skies, amazing sunsets and sunrises and golf.

“San Tan Valley has a young and affluent population diverse in ethnicity and religion but with a common desire for a safe, healthy, educated, and family-oriented community. Residents are invested in the quality of life that comes with a clean, safe and vibrant community.”


 Seniors will find something to see and do in San Tan Valley. Horseback riding at Central Arizona Riding Academy, golf at Mountain Brook Golf Club, and the Breakers Water Park, a great place to cool off in the Valley of the Sun.

Seniors, when you are in Arizona, set your GPS for San Tan Valley.  You will enjoy your visit. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Discover Mining Communities

page1Globe-Miami, Arizona is an area long lived for mining, ranching and Old West stories that have captivated senior visitors over the years. While silver was discovered in 1870, it did not take long for miners to add copper ore to their inventory.

While Globe was founded as a mining camp, mining, tourism, government and retirees are most important in the present-day Globe economy. In February, two of the best “wildflower drives” in Arizona pass through Globe-Miami.

Thanks to Globe’s relative isolation from the rest of Arizona (88 miles east of Phoenix) and its proximity to the San Carlos Apache reservation, Globe remained a frontier town. Globe’s history abounds in events such as murders, stagecoach robberies, outlaws, lynchings, and various Apache raids.

 Seniors Enjoy ‘Best Small City in Arizona’


Globe annually celebrates festivals like the Apache Jii Day and the Gila County Fair. Senior visitors interested in history of the area will enjoy the Besh-ba-Gowah Archaeological Park.

Occupied by Salado populations between AD 1225 and AD 1400, Besh-Ba-Gowah was one of the largest single site archaeological collections in the southwest.

Some call Globe “The Best Small City in Arizona.” TripAdvisor suggests that senior travelers not miss the Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive. I would not want to miss the famed Historic District that lies in Globe.

 Seniors Like Classic Western townglobe-historic-district

Let’s head 6.3 miles on Hwy 60 over to neighboring Miami, a classic Western copper boom-town, near the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Miami, Globe, and the unincorporated areas nearby, including Inspiration, Claypool and Central Heights-Midland City, are commonly called Globe-Miami.

Miami is located on the northeastern slope of the Pinal Mountains, and is surrounded, except to the east, by the Tonto National Forest. Seniors can visit Miami’s old downtown which has been partly renovated. The Bullion Plaza Museum, featuring the cultural, mining and ranching history of the Miami area, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


One of Arizona’s largest copper operations, Miami is the site of one of only three copper smelters in the entire country. On your route to Globe-Miami, pay a visit to The Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, the largest and oldest botanical garden in Arizona, with 323-acres that includes a wide range of habitats and a 1.5-mile walking trail.

 Seniors, when you are traveling through Arizona, don’t miss these fascinating, historic old towns. You will find scenery and old buildings round every turn. Check out both communities on Google for various festivals that seem to be ongoing all year long. Your visit will be memorable. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Visit Paradise Valley


Doesn’t that sound like an ideal place to visit and to live? Paradise Valley is a small, affluent town in Maricopa County, Arizona with a population of 14,000. Surrounded by the iconic Camelback Mountain to the south, Phoenix Mountain Preserve to the west, and McDowell Mountains to the east, the Town of Paradise Valley is a quiet desert oasis in the heart of Scottsdale-Phoenix.  With an average of 294 days of sunshine a year, there is no limit to the number of exciting activities senior visitors can pack into each day.

Paradise Valley is the wealthiest suburb of Phoenix. It is known primarily for its many resorts and expensive real estate. However, its history dates back to a more agrarian society. After the initial European settlement, Paradise Valley was first used for cattle grazing.


In the 1880s, when the land was being surveyed so it could be developed into agricultural lots, the name “Paradise Valley” first came into use, being given by surveyors from the Rio Verde Canal Company and its manager at the time, Frank Conkey. According to the official town website, this name may have been chosen due to the abundance of spring wildflowers and Palo Verde trees.

Seniors Discover Home Of Barry Goldwater


Senior travelers, whether your interests lie with arts and culture, professional sporting events, desert hiking adventures, world-class golf courses, shopping, or luxury spa treatments, the Paradise Valley area offers truly special activities. One must-see attraction in town is the Goldwater Memorial.

The Town of Paradise Valley is pleased to have commissioned the first major work of art to celebrate the life of Senator Barry Goldwater. A long time resident of the town, he retired to Be-Nun-I-Kin, Navajo for ”house on top of a hill,’’ the name he gave to his home in Paradise Valley, after serving in the U.S. Senate for three decades.

Living in the Valley of the Sun myself, I have been in Paradise Valley on many occasions. This senior is always impressed with the plethora of beautiful homes that are pinned up against the mountain sides.


Also Home Of Architect Paolo Soleri

TripAdvisor has seven things not to be missed in Paradise Valley, starting with a couple of spas. I have driven by The Franciscan Renewal Center – or “Casa de Paz y Bien” on E. Lincoln Drive on numerous occasions. Existing since 1951, it is a place for spiritual retreats, wellness, worship and healing.

Cosanti, the gallery and studio of Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri,  was his residence until his death in 2013; it was located in Paradise Valley.  Soleri has developed the world renowned line of bronze and ceramic Soleri Windbells and Planters that are collected by folks all over the world.

 Seniors, when you are in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix area), drive on up to Paradise Valley and take the sites in yourself. Perhaps plan a stay at one of the top-notch resorts and enjoy a soothing spa. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Head For Tempe

Welcome-to-Tempe-Arizona-e1336453459931This senior has lived in the Valley as it is called (Phoenix area) over the past eight years.  My wife felt that it was time to do a blog on Tempe, our next door neighbor. Around here one says Tempee.

Tempe, also known as Hayden’s Ferry during the territorial time, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona with around 160,000+ inhabitants.

I discovered in writing this blog that Tempe is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece.

Downtown Tempe is where the culture and entertainment action is. Senior visitors will not run out of things to see and do in Tempe.


Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east.

Seniors Visit The Grady Gammage

Tempe is the home of Arizona State University’s oldest and largest “Tempe” campus, with 91,000 students.  Tempe is also home to a host of local popular cultural events and performances at the Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium.


Seating 3,000+, the Gammage is considered to be the last public commission of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. ASU Gammage is among the largest university-based presenters of performing arts in the world.

Another popular performance favorite is The Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA), one of the finest venues in Arizona and a jewel in the crown of a city known for its support of the arts.

Seniors Mill With Students on Mill Avenue


A favorite haunt for ASU students and yours truly, is the tree lined Mill Avenue District, the epicenter for night life featuring a variety of ethnic restaurants, bars and small shops. American dishes and steakhouses to sushi, Italian and Mediterranean restaurants abound in all directions and are favorites of the ASU student body.

Tempe Town Lake is an engineering marvel that protects the region from flooding, provides recreation, creates jobs and stimulates investment in Tempe. More than 2.7 million people spend time at Town Lake each year. The City of Tempe’s many special events that take place all year long are what make this city fun and unique.


Read about the History of Tempe and note that today, Tempe is well known nationally as the home of the Fiesta Bowl and the Arizona Cardinals.

Head for Tempe in November for the famed IRONMAN Arizona race. Competing in these races are some of the top athletes in the world.

TripAdvisor has over four dozen things for senior visitors to see and do. So when you are in the Valley, make it a point to check out Tempe.  -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Historic Wickenburg

DocumentWelcome to Wickenburg, a town of 6,500 residents primarily located in Maricopa County, Arizona, with a portion in neighboring Yavapai County. Senior travelers will find the town 60 minutes northwest of Phoenix.

The Wickenburg area with much of the Southwest became part of the United States by the 1848 treaty that ended the Mexican-American War. A German named Henry Wickenburg was one of the first prospectors. His efforts were rewarded with the discovery of the Vulture Mine, from which more than $30 million worth of gold has been dug.


Ranchers and farmers soon built homes along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River (a Yavapai term meaning “river that runs upside down”).  Together with miners, they founded the town of Wickenburg in 1863.

This is one loaded site so bring up the links at the top that provide a nice overview of the town. Find the Travel Guide and flip through the pages and then view the Photo Gallery of Wickenburg, a town full of western history. I enjoyed reading the names of the various sites and restaurants in town.

 Seniors Visit The Western Museum


Wickenburg’s Desert Caballeros Western Museum is renowned for “Cowgirl Up,” the country’s most important annual showcase for female artists of the West. Several tours are available that are well worth your time as they provide an insight that you might miss on your own, especially the many older historic homes.

The local Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce promotes the town with  annual events  that pack the town: a Bluegrass Festival, A Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the annual Christmas Parade of Lights and the Gold Rush Days featuring a Senior Pro Rodeo.

The National Senior Pro Rodeo Association circuit is designed for cowhands aged 40 and older. One can expect familiar rodeo events like barrel racing, roping and bull and bronc riding.

Seniors Enjoy The West’s Most Western Town


It is said that Wickenburg, Arizona is arguably The West’s Most Western Town, where the air is clean and the cowboy lifestyle endures. Senior visitors will discover everything from a dude ranch, great golf, horseback riding and art & culture with the annual festivals.

Arizona Leisure notes that like so many Arizona towns, the rich mining history of Wickenburg, Arizona is a testament to the hardy resolve of the gold rush dreamers who flocked to the area in the 1800s, searching for their share of the greatest riches ever known.

What sets Wickenburg apart however from other early Arizona mining camps is its location near the lush and fertile Hassayampa River, giving the region a storied reputation both as a gold mine mecca and agricultural promise land.

My wife and I drive through Wickenburg on our way to Las Vegas and have stopped to enjoy some fine southwest food. It’s a neat town for a visit all year long. -jeb


Seniors Seek Out Historic Safford


My wife and I have traveled around Arizona quite a bit, but not to the eastern border of the state.  That’s where senior travelers will find Safford. Safford, with a population of 10,000, is named after Arizona Territorial Governor Anson P. K. Safford and was incorporated in 1901. It was established by pioneers from Gila Bend, Arizona, way back in 1874.


Recently, Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold opened two mining facilities just north of the city that make up the largest new mining operation in North America.  Agriculture is considered to be a main economic product with cotton fields and a gin located in the city.

A billboard along US Highway 70 announces “Safford …. Copper, Cattle & Cotton”. The motto for Arizona reads “Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus and Climate.” So they are close.

Observatory, Springs and Conservation Area Draw Seniors

Senior visitors stop in Safford to take in the Black Hills Rockhound Area, Discovery Park and the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area. The Mt. Graham Golf Course is nearby as well, so pack your clubs and play a round or two. The area celebrates the Harvest Festival and the Graham County Fair every October.


Safford offers plenty for senior visitors to see and do.  My wife and I would head for the famed Kachina Mineral Springs Spa to soak for awhile. The Mount Graham International Observatory also looks like a “must see”. Access to Mt Graham is off AZ Hwy 366, 7 miles south of Safford.

Roper Lake State Park is a popular camping destination with RV hookups and cabins plus a lake with a beach and hiking trails. So bring a swimming suit and hiking boots along. The Gila River runs just outside of Safford and adds to its scenic beauty and Bonita Creek is to the north.

 Seniors Discover Discovery Park


Affiliated with Eastern Arizona College, Discovery Park offers senior visitors the opportunity to explore 200 acres of scientific, cultural and historical exhibits. The park houses the Governor Aker Observatory and offers a narrow-gauge train ride to the Circle D Ranch, which features an 1880′s era ranch house. It is located in the southwestern corner of Safford.

As you are cruising along west on I-10 heading for Tucson, turn north on Hwy 191 and it will take you to Safford.  The city is not all that far from the New Mexico border. So set your GPS for Stafford and experience why the locals says that “it is a great place, to work, live and visit.”  Enjoy your stay. -jeb


These Two Seniors Visit La Posada

flowersYours truly and his wife spent a marvelous weekend in Winslow, Arizona enjoying the “grandest estate” called La Posada. Built around four historic buildings, La Posada, the last great railroad hotel has recently completed a $17 million renovation.

We spent the night in a room called Emilio Estevez. The 53 rooms are all named after famous people, mainly hollywood movies stars and historically famed personalities like John Wayne, Shirley Temple, Jackie Gleason, Will Rogers, Gary Cooper, Amelia Earhart, etc.


Travelers from around the world come to this tiny Arizona town to stay in this Mary Colter-designed, historic, architectural gem.  La Posada is a hotel that must be experienced first-hand… it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Seniors Meet Affeldt, Colter and Fred Harvey

La Posada embodies the visions of both Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the hotel’s renowned architect, and Allan Affeldt, its current owner. But the story really begins with Fred Harvey, who “civilized the west” by introducing linen, silverware, china, crystal, and impeccable service to railroad travel. The Harvey Girls served train riders for many years.


We walked near the tracks of the BNSF railroad and had fun watching trains go zooming by the old original depot that is being restored. Restoration efforts at La Posada are ongoing. My wife enjoyed winding around among a maze of straw bales that is on the 20 acre site.

We had dinner and breakfast in The Turquoise Room, an original restaurant incorporating authentic Arizona food. Considered by many to be the finest restaurant in the Four Corners region, the Turquoise Room opened in 2000 under the direction of renowned Chef John Sharpe, who oversees every detail of the preparation and service.


Senior Visitors Enjoy Artist Tina Mion’s Work

Senior visitors will enjoy wandering through the entire site. Artist Tina Mion (Allen Affeldt’s wife) has a display of her paintings on the walls of her gallery on the second floor. A number of rooms feature original 1930 mosaic tile bathrooms complete with 6-foot cast-iron tubs where my wife soaked for a good half-hour.


Many famous folks have spent a night or two at La Posada: James Cagney, Clark Gable, Charles Lindbergh, Gene Autry, Howard Hughes, Jane Russell,  Dorothy Lamour, several presidents and foreign dignitaries.

After exploring the entire site, we walked around historic Winslow on Route 66 and visited the local museum that captures the history of this old town.  I discovered that there are other hotels named La Posada, but this one stands alone for being so unique and memorable.


Put La Posada on your travel bucket-list as you drive across Arizona on I-40. It lies just a mile off this well-traveled highway. Enjoy La Posada (usually referring to an inn or guest house) as the Beckers did. We hope to take family along on our next visit to La Posada. -jeb



Seniors Spend An Evening In Willcox


My wife’s sisters drove from Van Horn, Texas to Willcox, Arizona.  So now we’re checking into Willcox, a town of just under 4,000. Originally known as “Maley”, the town was founded in 1880 as a whistlestop on the Southern Pacific Railroad.

It was renamed in honor of a visit by General Orlando B. Willcox in 1889. In the early 20th century, Willcox had the distinction of being a national leader in cattle raising. Today agriculture remains important to the local economy, and I-10 has replaced the railroad as the major transportation link.


Much of the economy is now tied to the highway, which runs immediately north of the town. Interstate 10 serves the city with three exits into town, so it is an easy exit for senior travelers. Check out Railroad Avenue, the main drag through downtown.

 Seniors Remember ‘The Arizona Cowboy’, Rex Allen

Any chance you remember a cowboy named Rex Allen?  He was born in Willcox and known as “The Arizona Cowboy.”  Rex wrote and recorded many songs, and starred in several western movies during the early 1950s.


The Rex Allen Museum awaits your visit. So does the Chiricahua National Monument that has several balanced rocks that are well known and well worth a visit.

Senior oenophiles (that’s folks who appreciate fine wine), Willcox is home to Arizona’s upcoming wine country with a wide variety of grape varietals (16 to be precise) grown nearby.

Historic Cochise County Attracts Seniors

The local Chamber of Commerce notes that Willcox offers outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, camping, golfing and bird watching as well as beautiful sunsets.

Historic downtown Willcox is home to the oldest continually operating store in Arizona, along with antique shops, museums, unique restaurants, specialty shops, and great people.

For your information a note on Cochise County: it was established on February 1, 1881, during the 11th Territorial Assembly. The County was formed from the southeast corner of Pima County and the original County seat was in Tombstone. After the decline of silver mining in Tombstone, the county seat was moved to Bisbee in 1929, where it remains today.


The three industries that put Cochise County on the map are copper, cattle and cotton. Agriculture continues to be an important industry in the county today, even with new-to-the-County agricultural ventures such as vineyards.

Fort Huachuca has also played a major role in the development of the county and contributes substantially to the local economy.

This part of Arizona is flooded with scenery, history and Arizona regional cuisine. Enjoy your stop in Willcox.  -jeb


Seniors Meet At Greasewood Flat

Unknown Greasewood Flat began life as an old bunkhouse building in the middle of the sprawling DC Ranch which ranged over thousands of acres of Sonoran Desert in the late 1800’s. Over the last century this desert has developed into the affluent area of Scottsdale, AZ. Greasewood Flat doesn’t get any more rustic than Greasewood Flat. Many senior travelers come to get that “Cowboy” experience while they are visiting in Arizona.

This place has it all… dining under the stars, live country music and a virtual museum of western antiquities. Greasewood Flat in Pinnacle Peak is a treasured and famous local institution with a rich history.


Once a bunkhouse for local cowboys, this outdoor venue has always appeared in the “Best of the Valley” polls, has recently been named one of the best bars in the West (Sunset Magazine) and was featured on the Travel Channel a few years back.

Stagecoach Stop, Bunkhouse To Greasewood Flat Awes Seniors

Doc Cavalliere bought 45 acres where Greasewood sits back in 1955 to have a place to get away from “downtown” Scottsdale, 21 miles south. The property came with a little wood and canvas building housing a café known as Pinnacle Peak Patio.

He and his wife Marge changed the name to Reata Pass and ran it until 1975. By then they were in their 60s and decided to slow down a bit, so Doc fixed up the old bunkhouse, built some picnic tables, added a dance floor and opened up Greasewood as a little hideaway for his friends.


The original stagecoach stop between Fort McDowell and Phoenix, this 120-year-old bunkhouse, Greasewood Flat, has been in business for 30 years. The elevation is 2000 feet above the valley floor making the night air 10 degrees cooler.

Everything about Greasewood Flat is casual and unassuming, including the welcome sign that reads “Sorry, we’re open!” Dining or partying at Greasewood Flat even requires driving on a dirt road, though the restaurant itself isn’t as rugged as its signs would indicate.

Seniors Enjoy Green Pepper Burger


Enjoy a green pepper burger while watching weekend cowboys and cowgirls get down to country music. Greasewood has been voted Best Burger for several years in a row. All outdoors, dancing, cowboys & cowgirls plus a mule, peacock and tons of fun.

In typical old west fashion, Doc Cavalliere didn’t consternate too heavily on what to name the place. The area is flat and there are a lot of greasewood bushes – thus Greasewood Flat. Since then Greasewood has grown into one of the last bastions of Old West Scottsdale.

Greasewood Flat will be relocated and reopened in the near future. One visitor remarked…”This place is the best… bring your motorcycle, car or horse.”  Another visitors notes…”Love this place so much! It’s such a fun country-style outdoor (and indoor) bar/hangout/food spot. I always get the chili, coleslaw, or beans-which is dirt cheap and still delicious! “


Enjoy Greasewood Flat. jeb


Seniors Hone In On Florence

1FlorenceFlorence, Arizona was highlighted in Sunset Magazine as one of the West’s Best Places to Live. Senior travelers will find that Florence, sixty-one miles southeast of Phoenix, remains an “Old West Town”, having preserved its past, with a “relaxed” way of life today.

Florence is  the county seat of Pinal County, Arizona and is one of the oldest towns in the county with a population of 26,500+.  My wife and I missed Florence when we visited the nearby Casa Grande several months ago.  But yesterday, we drove to Florence for lunch and a visit. Just to the north of the ruins, we also discovered another gem, a Greek Monastery…in the middle of the desert. Another blog:)

Seniors Enjoy Another Mainstreet City


Florence is an Arizona Mainstreet City. Walking through downtown Florence, with its sprawling historic district, is like strolling in an open-air museum. These seniors strolled the historic walk and enjoyed looking at all the buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The town boomed in the 1870s  with the discovery of  silver in the nearby Silver King Mine. Business prospered as the town became the commercial hub for area mines while ranching developed and farming continued.

In 1878, Florence, Arizona was known as “the garden city.” Located in the middle of the desert, its lush grass would spread outward from tall stands of cottonwood trees that lined the hard-packed streets. Farmers, ranchers and miners would join townspeople at the Pinal County Courthouse, the center of activity, to socialize and transact business.


The Crown Jewel of Florence is the Pinal County Courthouse, the second court house.  It dates to 1891 and today after a $6 million make-over, the two-story red brick structure looks nearly new.  The first picture, above, is the impressive courthouse.  The time on the clock is the same as it was in 1891:)

 3 State Prisons And National Historic District

Three state prisons are located in Florence. The state’s first prison is thick with legend and history and today officials with the Arizona Department of Corrections celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the historic Pinal County building. Actually we were told there are 9 correctional facilities in Florence.

Senior citizens might wonder about safety with three prisons in town, but Florence was chosen as one of the safest cities to live in Arizona. Its historic downtown is designated a National Historic District. Florence’s Main Street Program is another way the city embraces its past while developing a vibrant economic future.

The Gila River Runs Through It


One of the major rivers of Arizona, the Gila, runs through historic Florence. There are plenty of things to see and do in Florence. The Pinal County Historical Museum highlights the history of Florence. A major draw to the community is the annual Country Thunder Music Festival that brings in folks from all over the southwest.

We enjoyed our drive to Florence, senior friend. We thoroughly enjoy historical destination and would call Florence one of those.  jeb

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