Articles Tagged with: senior travel California


Seniors Head For “The Happiest CIty In California”

SCruzFlagcolor Santa Cruz is said to be the third happiest city in the nation. Well seniors, let’s head west and check out happy Santa Cruz. Hosting one of the last remaining seaside amusement parks on the West Coast or hiking seven miles inland to admire the redwood forest along with a top-notch farm-to-table cuisine, Santa Cruzans love their life and senior visitors do as well.

Situated on the northern part of Monterey Bay, the California city of Santa Cruz lies about 30 miles southwest of San Jose and 74 miles south of San Francisco.

Incorporated in 1866, the city is the seat for the County of Santa Cruz. The principal industries of Santa Cruz are tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and education. The University of California at Santa Cruz is located in this city.


Seniors Are You Into Paddle Boarding

Santa Cruz was founded in 1769 by Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola, who named the area after the Spanish name for “Holy Cross.” In the late 1800s, agriculture, logging, lime processing and commercial fishing were the thriving industries.

Local lore has it that Santa Cruz is the birthplace of mainland surfing. There is a plethora of other things to see and do without getting on a surfboard, for instance a paddle-board.  Have you ever done that?

Kayak Connection offers tours and hourly rentals. I saw photos of people paddling around with a dog riding on the board. In Santa Cruz, they say that  early morning solo paddle is surprisingly serene. On some days you might even see whales floating by.


Santa Cruz is famous for its beaches and for the sport of surfing. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, housed in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, traces more than a century’s worth of surfing history associated with Santa Cruz. Museum visitors enjoy a spectacular view of the city and the Monterey Bay while overlooking the famed surfing site known as Steamer Lane.

Seniors Go From Beaches To Mountains

Santa Cruz seniors go from beach life to mountain life in only 20 minutes time. Roaring Camp Railroads is a narrow-gauge steam engine that invites tourists to chug through huge redwood trees that have been in place for hundreds of  years.


The Farmer’s Market has been in place for 27 years and is loaded with certified-organic growers. My wife and daughter would be drawn here with all the organic products . TripAdvisor suggests that senior visitors not miss the West Cliff Drive and then the Natural Bridges State Beach.

And for those with a demanding palate, we start off with SOIF…which means thirst in French. Chef Patrice Boyle is the former owner of a winery in California. This is a wine bar and restaurant with a shop that features fine wines from around the world.


How about some scratch-made organic ice cream from Penny Ice Creamery? Gayle Ortiz invites visitors to taste her gluten-free chocolate cookies. It is a great stop for the makings of a great picnic. I was impressed with her offering of silly-good deviled eggs.

I just might run into you in Santa Cruz, a great place for fun, food and taking in the crisp air along the Pacific Ocean. -jeb


Seniors Visit The Old Community of Newhall

newhallwalking240x160 Senior travelers will find Newhall, California , the southernmost and oldest community of Santa Clarita, just outside of Los Angeles. Established in the 1850′s as a stagecoach stop, today, it is notable for its antique car shows, mountain surroundings, and ranch houses.

Named after businessman Henry Newhall, Newhall is home to the William S. Hart County Park, featuring tours of the famous silent movie maker’s mansion.

The Old West still lives in Newhall’s Western Walk of Fame and the William S. Hart Regional Park with its exhibition of Western life and an example of an old-time ranch house and the original Saugus train station.


Seniors Find Interesting History

Newhall is also home to the Pioneer Oil Refinery, the oldest surviving oil refinery in the world and the first commercially successful refinery in California. Senior visitors can enjoy the William S. Hart Museum and Ranch along with the Placerita Canyon Nature Center and Old-Town main street shops. Then there are car shows and a meal at the legendary Way Station.

Decades before the city of Santa Clarita, there were two small towns in the Valley: Newhall and Saugus. The Santa Clarita Valley was simply an area of ranches and farms in northern Los Angeles County.


Newhall was the place where ranchers bought groceries and other needs — and, at Saugus, shipped out what they produced via the railroad.  Eventually, Newhall and Saugus were absorbed into what is now Santa Clarita.

Beale’s Cut was the first man made passage from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Clarita and Northern California. Beale’s Cut was completed in 1864 by a crew headed by General Edward F. Beale and was 90 feet deep.

Seniors Have Fun At the Cowboy Festival

Santa Clarita has hosted countless location shoots in its scrubby hills for Hollywood’s cowboy pictures. The Walk of Western Stars is an extensive sidewalk tribute to the movie, TV and radio legends.

The small shops in downtown Newhall mostly close by dinner time. Not a bad time for a stroll —  It’s just you and the memories of Clayton Moore, the original Lone Ranger; Tex Ritter the singing cowboy; Hoot Gibson, rodeo champ actor and director. Remember all those folks? Maybe not if you are not as old as this senior, but I loved them all and watched many black and white TV shows featuring those cowboys.

Hart Park Newall picnic and grass area (800x450)

You don’t have to be a cowboy to enjoy the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in Old Town Newhall. Suspending inside a larger than life horse shoe, festival goers will step back in time to the 1860’s.

This is Newhall, seniors. Set your GPS for this exciting old western setting and enjoy the flavor. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel , United States


Seniors Enjoy Time In Idyllwild

idyllwild-17 Idyllwild, Pine Cove, and Fern Valley (neat names huh?) are three adjacent unincorporated communities, of which Idyllwild is the largest. Seniors can find Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains. Small as the town be, it overflows with things to see and do and scenic beauty in all directions.

Idyllwild has earned the designation as one of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in America. Idyllwild was also voted L.A.’s Best Mountain Getaway. The arts thrive in Idyllwild in the form of art, music, and theatre and they all draw in visitors from across the country and across the ages. Idyllwild is loaded with amenities and scenic beauty.


Senior visitors can enjoy the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness and the Idyllwild Nature Center . Trails and picnic areas surround this museum focusing on local ecology and Cahuilla Native culture. The Cahuilla are a California tribe, located in the center of Southern California. Most Cahuilla people still live in this area today.

Seniors Find Palms to Pines Scenic Byway

The summer concert series and the annual 5K and 10K race are highly popular. The International Festival of Cinema is another big draw. “Mile-high Idyllwild” is a popular southern California mountain resort about one mile (1.6 km) in altitude.

Idyllwild is flanked by two large rocks, Tahquitz Peak (with nearby Lily Rock) and Suicide Rock, which are famous in Southern California rock climbing circles.


One of Idyllwild’s attractions is that it offers all four seasons, yet in winter is only an hour’s drive down to the desert on the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway. This 67-mile route will take you from Palm Desert past snow-peaked mountains to Banning Pass.

Palms to Pines Scenic Byway offers a full variety of ecosystems in the Lower Sonoran region. From clusters of desert palms to high country conifer forests and snow-capped mountains, senior travelers can experience a contrast of ecosystems within a short distance. The hill” has been minimally developed over the years and remains a center for hiking, mountain and rock climbing, and horseback riding.

Seniors Find A Hiking Trail


There are numerous hiking trails seniors can enjoy, with the Devils Slide Trail being one of the most popular. The trail has previously been called “the backdoor to Idyllwild.”

Devil’s Slide Coast contains miles of trail varying from breezy boardwalk strolls and paved pathways to steep and challenging hikes. Hook up your bike and roll along dramatic cliffside trails catching great views. There are opportunities for all levels of cycling.

Idyllwid mtn

Idyllwild sits amid tall trees, welcomes artists of all genres and motorcyclists of all ages. The town monument is a wood carving of animals native to the area. Sounds neat doesn’t it! Yes, seniors, set your GPS for Idyllwild, California’s Natural Treasure. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Inland City


Senior travelers find their way to Fresno, California. Seat of Fresno County and the fifth-largest city in California, Fresno is the largest inland city in the state.

The name Fresno means “ash tree” in Spanish, and an ash leaf is featured on the city’s flag. Fresno was born with the establishment of the then Central Pacific Railroad Depot in 1872.

In 1889 Southern Pacific Railroad, which had acquired Central Pacific, constructed a new depot on the original depot site. The brick Queen Anne style depot, a jewel for the city, was open for business for 99 years and is currently one of Fresno’s oldest standing buildings.

Seniors Head For The Tower District


Fresno’s history dates back to 1885 when the railroad community attracted immigrants from all walks of life. You can learn a little bit about Fresno’s history at places like Kearney Mansion Museum.

This senior would first head for the Tower District, a popular neighborhood District that is centered around the historic Tower Theatre, which is included on the National List of Historic Places. The theater, built in 1939, is the heart of the Tower District.

The District has become a hub for community events such as Jamaica My Weekend, Mardi Gras in February, Car Shows, A Taste of The Tower, Halloween in the Tower, and the Farmer’s Market on the North-West Corner of Olive and Van Ness.


The neighborhood features restaurants, live theater and nightclubs, as well as several independent shops and bookstores, currently operating on or near Olive Avenue, and all within a few hundred feet of each other. Since renewal, the Tower District has become an attractive area for restaurant and other local businesses.

Seniors Find City Of Many Nationalities

Fresno (“Raisin Capital”) , centrally located, is the financial, industrial, trade, and commercial capital in the Central San Joaquin Valley. This dynamic city is the hub of a region rich in heritage, resources, and people.


Being a former language teacher for over 30 years, I found it of interest that Fresno is a unique mixture of more than 80 different nationalities. “The various cultures that make up the community of Fresno are much like mosaic pieces that together make a beautiful picture.”

California State University calls Fresno home. TripAdvisor suggests that senior visitors check out the Forestiere Underground Gardens, a series of underground catacombs specially designed to house exotic plants, shrubs and vines.

After that, the Shinzen Japanese Garden since I love flowers. Seniors, set your GPS on the Valley and plan to stop by Fresno. You’ll love your stop -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel , United States


Seniors Spend Time In San Bernardino


San Bernardino serves as the county seat of San Bernardino County with a population that runs close to  215,000, and is one of the oldest communities in the state of California. Senior travelers learn that San Bernardino is home to numerous diplomatic missions.

Named for Bernardino of Siena on May 20, 1810, San Bernardino, in its present-day location, was not largely settled until 1851, after California became a state. Saint Bernardino of Siena, also known as Bernardine, 8 September 1380 – 20 May 1444, was an Italian priest, Franciscan missionary, and is a Catholic saint.

The City of San Bernardino is a community rich in history and cultural diversity. Influences of Native Americans, Mexican settlers, Spanish missionaries and Mormon emigrants can still be seen throughout the city today.

Seniors Love The Colorful History


From the day in 1810 when Franciscan missionary Father Dumetz named the area San Bernardino to the present, San Bernardino – nestled south of the San Bernardino mountains and west of the lower desert – has been recognized for its scenic beauty and strategic location.

San Bernardino’s colorful history begins in the early years of the 19th century when Spanish missionaries were the first settlers to the region. Mission “San Bernardino” was established in 1810 and the missionaries, along with the American Indians native to the area, diverted water to the valley from Mill Creek for irrigation purposes. As a result, the area flourished.


The city is unique among southern Californian cities because of its wealth of water, which is mostly contained in underground aquifers. San Bernardino encompasses awesome scenery in all directions and  features a hot-summer Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot, dry summers.

Seniors Find Original McDonald Site

TripAdvisor notes nearly two dozen attractions that senior visitors find of interest starting with the San Bernardino National Forest and the Original McDonald’s Site and Museum.

The city is home to California State University, San Bernardino set at the foothills of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains. The city  is also home to San Bernardino Valley College, a two-year college.


Wikitravel provides a nice overview of the city with lots to see, do, buy, eat, and sleep.

The San Bernardino National Forest is a federally managed forest encompassing 823,816 acres of which 677,982 acres are federal. The forest includes five wilderness areas: San Gorgonio, Cucamonga, San Jacinto, Santa Rosa and Bighorn Mountain.

Seniors,  park your car in San Bernardino and enjoy!. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel , United States


Seniors Find ‘A Quiet City By The Bay’

logositebanner Vallejo , known as “A Quiet City By The Bay.” , is located on the northeastern shore of San Pablo Bay, in the San Francisco area. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, the Jelly Belly Candy Company, Sonoma Raceway, and the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard are a few of the main attractions senior visitors can enjoy .

Mare Island, former home to the oldest Naval Base west of the Mississippi and decommissioned in 1996, has the newest homes in the city as well as some of the oldest. Touro University California, Solano Community College and California Maritime Academy (part of the CSU system) are located in Vallejo.


Vallejo has twice been the capital of California. Once in 1852 for one week, and again in 1853 for one month. The city is named after a Mexican military officer, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. Vallejo is near Mare Island, and on the Napa River. The city is on the southern tip of the Napa Valley, twenty to thirty minutes south of Napa and Sonoma in California wine country. For senior oenophiles, ideal country.

Seniors Learn About Mare Island


I would want to visit Mare Island, an historic island shipyard with a museum that presents the history of the West’s first Naval Base and Shipyard, and offers tours of officer mansions and an old chapel. Senior visitors can see the beautiful mansions, stroll the gardens and enjoy the fascinating displays at the museum.

And sunset in Vallejo! The City of Vallejo Municipal Marina is at the north end of the Downtown Marina Waterfront, close to the Mare Island Causeway and a perfect spot to enjoy sunsets every evening.


Toss in the clubs and play a round or two at Rock Springs East and West, Hiddenbrooke or Mare Island Golf Courses. One could spend a couple of days just exploring book shops or sailing and boating.

Seniors Discover Historic Districts

Local events are ongoing all year long. The Vallejo Symphony would catch my wife’s eye. The Northern California Pirate Festival looks like something I would enjoy along with the big July 4 Parade.


West Vallejo is the oldest and most historic section of the city. Saint Vincent’s Hill and Vallejo Old City are two primary historic districts.

Seniors, take in The Empress Theatre, a historical landmark located in downtown Vallejo, built in 1911.

It was re-opened in 2008 after nearly 20 years of disuse following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Enjoy the many amenities of the city  that holds on to its historic traditions. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel , United States


Seniors Discover Monrovia


Monrovia is located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County, California with a population of around 36,000. Senior visitors enjoy Monrovia’s Old Town , the heart of the community.

Revitalized from the once dilapidated state it found itself in the 1970s, today it has become a regional attraction and local necessity for those who live, work and play in Monrovia.


Seniors, if you time your visit, every Friday night,  from March to Christmas, thousands of residents and visitors alike mingle at the largest street fair of its kind in California, with craft and food booths, kiddie rides, a farmer’s market, live music and more.

Seniors Find A Beautiful, Historic City

In Monrovia senior visitors will experience all the warmth of Southern California and the advantages of a gorgeous natural environment, a city that is beautiful, historic, cultural, economically diverse and inviting.


Located 20 miles northeast of Los Angeles, Monrovia is only 8 miles east of Pasadena. Monrovia has an ethnically diverse population and its residents gain easy access to the Southern California Freeway system.

The East Huntington Drive technology corridor is one of Monrovia’s prominent high-tech, bio-tech and nanotech research and development centers. Sun Microsystems, Xerox Special Information Systems, Genzyme, Silverlake Research, ITT Deep Space Division, Aeronvironment and Dynametric are a few of the prominent companies located in Monrovia.

Seniors Enjoy Scenic San Gabriel Mountains

As is much of California, Monrovia is loaded with history. The Shoshonean Indians were the first inhabitants. In 1769 Don Gaspar Portola and his party were the first Europeans to arrive and Juan Crespi, a Franciscan Father,  accompanied the expedition.


The region was filled with orange groves but over time became a residential community. The arrival of the Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific railroad significantly increased the population and Monrovia was officially founded in 1887.

Monrovia’s Canyon Park includes a nature center and scenic hiking trails and is a popular location for outdoor enthusiasts. This video, Driving Around  Monrovia , provides a nice overview of this exciting city. Monrovia lies in an awesome setting.

The well known Santa Anita Race Track, Disneyland and Irwindale Speedway are nearby. The Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden Arboretum Trail located in nearby Arcadia is a great place to visit for nature enthusiasts.


The scenic San Gabriel Mountains offer a variety of recreational opportunities. Cal Tech, Mt. Sierra College and the Claremont Colleges are nearby, providing educational opportunities for local students.

In 2008 Monrovia was a finalist for “Most Business Friendly City.” Seniors, set your GPS for the foothills of San Gabriel Mountains and enjoy Monrovia. -jeb


Seniors Visit Alhambra

unknown Senior travelers will locate Alhambra in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, approximately eight miles from the Downtown Los Angeles civic center. It was incorporated on July 11, 1903. The population runs right at 84,000.

Alhambra’s roots begin with the San Gabriel Mission, founded on September 8, 1771, and the native people, Tongva , who inhabited the area before the arrival of the Spanish. The land that would later become Alhambra was part of a 300,000 acre land grant given to Manuel Nieto by the Spanish.

The city was named after “The Tales of the Alhambra” by Washington Irving. Although its early history reflects a heavy Spanish influence, today’s Alhambra is comprised of a wide range of ethnic groups and its businesses have strong ties to international commerce.


Seniors Help Celebrate Chinese New Year

Since the 1970s and 1980s, the city’s proximity to the heavily Asian-American Monterey Park has attracted many East Asian immigrants, and present-day Alhambra includes a very active Chinese business district. The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America has its headquarters in Alhambra.

Some of the local attractions that senior visitors can enjoy are the Burke Heritage Park, Alhambra Historical Museum, and Shorb Garden. Alhambra also hosts jointly with the city of San Gabriel, the annual San Gabriel Valley Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, which celebrates the Chinese New Year.

Today, the city has some of the best educational institutions in the nation like California Institute of Technology, California State University and nearby Pasadena City College.


Planet Den Travel Tidbits wants senior visitors to experience “The Majesty of Alhambra City.” Read about the inviting warm climate and note that they say  that the best time of the year to pay a visit is during the spring season.

Seniors Can Choose Between Beach and Mountain Resorts

The Rose Bowl Stadium is in the adjacent city of Pasadena (about 4 miles from Alhambra). Best-known for its hosting of the annual Rose Bowl, the oldest and most famous of all the post-season college football bowl games, the stadium has also hosted the NFL Super Bowl five times, as well as the FIFA (soccer) World Cup finals for both men and women.


Alhambra’s location affords easy access to numerous beach and mountain resorts, as well as major Southern California attractions. And, senior travelers, after your visit to Alhambra, California, next plan a visit to The Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex of the Moorish monarchs, located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain.

It is said to be Europe’s most impressive and awe-inspiring heritage destination. I loved it. The name Alhambra, signifying in Arabic “the red,” is probably derived from the color of the sun-dried tapia, bricks made of fine gravel and clay, of which the outer walls are built. Seniors, you will heartily enjoy both Alhambras. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel , United States


Seniors Drop By Riverside

2642-riverside-california I worked out this AM and the fellow next to me said he was originally from Riverside, California, a city seniors will find in the Inland Empire metropolitan area.

O ften referred to as the city of “Arts and Innovation” as well as “A New SIDE of Classic California,” senior visitors start off their visit to Downtown Riversid e,  finding it to be busy and teeming with attractive businesses.

The population is over 300,000. Experience one of the top Southern California destinations with an incredible sports scene, high-quality dining, a unique assortment of activities and one of the state’s best convention centers.

Seniors Catch The Riverside Airshow


TripAdvisor suggests seniors visit the March Field Air Museum followed up with the Mission Inn Museum. The Riverside Airshow is a one-day show that yearly attracts over 90,000 spectators to see the most exciting aerial performers in the air show business.

The University of California, Riverside hosts the Riverside Sports Complex. Other attractions in Riverside include the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, the California Museum of Photography, the California Citrus State Historic Park, and the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, the last of the two original navel orange trees in California.


There is a lot of history in and around Riverside and in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the area was inhabited by Cahuilla and the Serrano people. The Joshua Tree National Park is Riverside’s largest national park.

Seniors Discover The Inland Empire

The metropolitan area comprising Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario and the  area is known as “The Inland Empire” because it was once separated from Los Angeles by a large rural expanse. Riverside lies 60 miles east of Los Angeles and the Pacific is about 35 miles to the southwest.


The Intelligent Community Forum named Riverside the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year 2012. The Forum, an independent think-tank, recognizes the intelligent community as the most compelling model of best practice in economic and community development worldwide.

Riverside is the regional center for arts, culture and entertainment in the Inland Empire. The Riverside Fox Theater, also known as the Fox Performing Arts Centre was built in 1929, and is a Spanish Colonial Revival style building in the heart of downtown Riverside.


Mount Rubidoux , a city park and landmark, was named after Louis Rubidoux, an early settler to the area.

In 1906 the cross at the top of Mount Rubidoux was dedicated to Father Junipero Serra, a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California.

Seniors, The Mount, overlooking Downtown Riverside, presents an awesome view. -jeb


Seniors Arrive in Silicon Valley

images Much of Menlo Park’s economy revolves around the companies on Sand Hill Road. Senior travelers learn those consist of venture capital, private equity, financial services, law firms, and other professional service companies and investment vehicles focusing on  technology in what is called Silicon Valley.

Facebook with its 6,600 workers, is a major employer who moved its headquarters to the former campus of Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park in December 2011.


Menlo Park is one of the most highly educated cities in California and the United States, with nearly 70% of its residents having earned a degree . It is the home of global business leaders and innovative startups.

Senior travelers will find Menlo Park between the major metropolitan areas of San Francisco and San Jose. Menlo Park is home to a little over 32,000 residents in its 19 square miles.

Seniors Enjoy Tree City USA


The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns with which it shares the San Francisco metropolitan area. The word “Menlo” is derived from the former home of two Irish immigrants, Menlo in County Galway, Ireland.

One of the first things senior visitors notice about Menlo Park is all its gorgeous trees, especially the California Live Oaks – the city tree. This is a city that is justly proud of its “Tree City USA” nickname with over 20,000 publicly maintained beautiful trees.

Bayfront Park – the largest in the city at 160+ acres – offers gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay and the Federal Wildlife Preserve on Greco Island. Burgess Park caters to the sports-oriented visitor.

800px-downtown_menlo_park_california Seniors Also Enjoy Rich Historical Heritage

The stunning natural surroundings of the city afford views of the San Francisco Bay to the east and the Pacific Coastal Range to the west. Menlo Park’s climate is moderate to warm, with an average of 265 sunny days a year.

Menlo Park area ‘s rich historical heritage is reflected in Ardenwood Historic Farm and the Dunsmuir Historic Estate. Senior oenophiles can choose from Chouinard Vineyards, the Kathryn Kennedy Winery, the Elliston Vineyards, and the Westover Vineyards .


Don’t miss the Menlo Park Station that was originally built in 1867 by the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad. During the 1890s Southern Pacific added Victorian Ornamentation to the depot in order to make it appear more attractive to students and visitors to Stanford University. The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and became a California Historical Landmark in 1983.

Enjoy your stop in Menlo Park when you are in the San Francisco area. -jeb

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