Articles Tagged with: senior travel Florida


Seniors Enjoy Colorful Punta Gorda

ShowImage Senior travelers will find Punta Gorda, a city in Charlotte County, Florida with a population of around 17,000, 26 miles north of Cape Coral and 74 miles south of Tampa.

Punta Gorda, a small historic town nestled on the shores of pristine Charlotte Harbor, a large estuary off the Gulf of Mexico, is one of the oldest incorporated cities in Florida. The name “Punta Gorda” ( Fat Tip ) has been on maps at least since 1851, referring to a point of land that juts into Charlotte Harbor.


Punta Gorda is a prime harbor front location with over 60 miles of canals that provide access to both casual day boating and fishing to serious deep sea fishing, sailing and cruising to the Gulf of Mexico. Seventy percent of Punta Gorda’s residents live on waterfronts.

Seniors Like Historic Punta Gorda

It was in the late 1800s that early settlers began to arrive in what is the present-day Punta Gorda area. Gilchrist Park sits alongside Charlotte Harbor and features many historic homes in the historic downtown Punta Gorda.


The Howard brothers were the first settlers in Punta Gorda. They landed at Charlotte Harbor in the late 19th century. The initial settlers comprised 34 men, including 4 African-Americans. The town had its first railroads within ten years, which opened the way for land developers and tourists.

The town was incorporated in 1900, 18 years after the first settlement. This Coastal Paradise was named “One of the best places to live in the South” by Money Magazine and “One of the best places to retire” by CNN Money.

Seniors Enjoy This Tourist Destination


Punta Gorda offers many opportunities for watersports, fishing and sightseeing that make it an excellent tourist destination. Senior visitors are drawn by the beautiful views of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor.

There are guided walks through nature trails and tours through the Telegraph Cypress Swamp called the Swamp Buggy Eco-tour.

The beautifully restored historic district is always popular with senior visitors. Fodor’s notes that the fine dining is excellent and they note for you seafood gourmets, the Laishley Crab House.


Nearby attractions include a Wildlife Management Area, Peace River Wildlife Center & Ponce De Leon Park, International Sailing School, Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary And Rehabilitation Center, and Babcock Ranch. Fisherman’s Village is a unique waterfront destination.

TripAdvisor highlights the Peace River Wildlife Center and the Muscle Car City Museum. Seniors, set your GPS for Florida and enjoy the host of amenities that Punta Gorda offers. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel , United States


Seniors Enjoy Nicest Little City In The South

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

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

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


Seniors Enjoy The Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival

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

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


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

Seniors Relax at Bayou State Park

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


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

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

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

Filed under : Family Travel , United States


Seniors Visit Palmetto


Palmetto, Florida with a population just over 14,000, is a waterfront community located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, midway between Tampa / St. Petersburg to the north and Sarasota to the south. When I saw this clip of a giant monster alligator filmed crossing a golf course, I had to discover what else Palmetto has to offer senior visitors other than large alligators.

Palmetto Florida abounds in history as a post office called Palmetto has been in operation since 1868. Samuel Sparks Lamb is considered the “Father of Palmetto,” having surveyed and plotted the city at its outset and donated several plots of land. He owned a general merchandise store in town. The city received its name from the palmetto trees near the original town site.


Historically, water brought the first settlers in the middle 1800s and soon, yachtsmen and shippers discovered the beauty and allure of the mile-wide Manatee River. Fertile ground and a suitable climate attracted hearty young couples willing to accept the challenge of the future and the building of a community.

Seniors Enjoy Green Spaces and Festivals

In 1897, Florida’s governor signed the charter declaring Palmetto a City in the Sunshine State. Today the city has 12 city owned parks, a host of annual festivals and over 60 acres of green space.


Senior visitors can enjoy the many events that are held in the City of Palmetto: the Kid’s Fishing Tournament, the Desoto Children’s Parade, Heritage Day and the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade.

Also, Farm City Week, a Vintage Wheels Car Show, a Multi-Cultural Festival and the Great American Cleanup in April sponsored by the City and Keep Manatee Beautiful. The Taste of Manatee and the De Soto Seafood Festival are two of the newest events.

Spend Nine Minutes in Palmetto with this video and seniors will see why it is such a popular site to visit. TripAdvisor suggests that you start your visit at Emerson Point Preserve followed up with a stroll in Palmetto Historical Park and  maybe a boat tour after that.

Tomatoes, Fruits and Vegetables


Palmetto and the region has earned a hospitable reputation, noted for its abundant fruit and vegetable production and some of the nation’s most familiar consumer brands. Huge fields of tomatoes can be found in the area.

The City maintains the “Old Florida” charm that residents and visitors have come to love. T he Manatee County Fair takes place during the last ten days in January. I counted four award-winning golf courses in or near Palmetto, so toss in your clubs and plan a round or two.

Senior travelers, plan to spend quality time in Palmetto and enjoy its many amenities. Don’t forget to also dine in some quality restaurants and enjoy some great southern chow. - jeb

Seniors Visit Florida’s Sea Islands

Seniors Flock Over To Amelia Island

images Amelia Island is part of the Sea Islands chain of barrier islands, on Florida’s Atlantic coast. If seniors are looking for a tranquil getaway, give a good look at Amelia Island, along Florida’s northeast coast.

Just 30 miles from Jacksonville, it is a world apart. Golden-hued sands and guided horseback rides along the shore. Dolphin and osprey and maybe even a glimpse of the endangered right whale. Today it’s a popular holiday destination known for its luxury resorts, golf courses and numerous sandy beaches.

Named for Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of Great Britain, the island has changed hands between colonial powers a number of times. It is claimed that eight flags have flown over Amelia Island: French, Spanish, British, Patriot, Green Cross, Mexican, Confederate, and United States.

Seniors Find ‘A Pearl In The Necklace’


Travel & Leisure notes that Amelia Island is A Pearl in the Necklace of barrier islands that hug the Atlantic Coast from South Carolina to Florida. Now part of Nassau County, Florida, Amelia Island has been claimed by many colonial powers and native people-from Indian tribes to pirates-all of whom have left their mark on the small island.

Thankfully, travel to Amelia Island these days is short on piracy and long on golfing featuring 117 holes of championship-caliber golf.

A timeless destination known for pristine nature and uncrowded beaches, it offers world-class golf, spas and restaurants, plus a rich history. It is 30 minutes from JAX International Airport and 90 from St. Augustine. Senior visitors learn that the Fort Clinch State Park, the Amelia Island Historic District and the Fernandina Beach are not to be missed.


Rich in history and natural beauty, senior visitors will enjoy 13 miles of pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and clear, calm waters. Amelia Island and its quaint charm has been a beloved destination for generations.

Seniors Enjoy Golf, Events and Historic Pirate Town

Amelia Island is host to the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, a Jazz Festival, Chamber Music Festival, Film Festival, the automotive charitable event Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and a Blues Festival.

There are seven golf courses on Amelia Island. One of the most popular resorts is Amelia Island Plantation, a 1350 acre AAA Four Diamond resort that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west.


Senior visitors learn that the northern third of Amelia Island is dominated by the historic pirate town of Fernandina Beach, birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Much of the red brick architecture along Centre Street reflects the 1800s and early 1900s.

While Fernandina is normally a sleepy little town, each May thousands of visitors from around the Southeast crowd Centre Street for the annual Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival.

Perhaps Amelia Island is best known for its huge bluff-height dunes and white sandy, wide beaches. Spend a few days on Amelia Island and you will return home with many fond memories. -jeb


Seniors Visit the Butterfly Capital of the World


Yes, it is in Florida and the city is called Coconut Creek . This senior has visited some fine butterfly houses like the one in Vienna, Austria, (The Vienna Schmetterlinghaus ) the Botanical Garden in Phoenix and a couple of others, but the one in Coconut Creek matches any and all in the world.

It is nicknamed Butterfly Capital of the World , because it is home to the world’s largest butterfly aviary, with over 80 species and 5,000 individual butterflies. It all began when Ronald Boender started raising butterflies and their food plants in their Florida home and it went sky high from there.

The city took its name from the many coconut trees that were planted in the area by early developers. Robert E. Bateman, one of the developers, named Coconut Creek after combining the names of Miami-Dade County’s village of Indian Creek and the Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove.

Outdoor malls

Today the city has a population of around 56,000 and is part of the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is home to over five and a half million inhabitants.

Seniors Find Another Best City In America

Hi-lighted as one of the “Best Cities to Live in America” by Money Magazine, and a Top Ten Place to Live in Florida by Movoto and NerdWallet, annually Coconut Creek draws a host of folks of all ages to Broward County.

Senior visitors eventually head off to The Promenade at Coconut Creek, an outdoor lifestyle shopping destination with a wide array of upscale stores. Seminole Casino also is another major draw of visitors with over 2,400 Vegas-style and bingo-style machines.

1024px-Morpho_peleides_at_Butterfly_World TripAdvisor has sixteen attractions that you will not want to miss on your visit to Coconut Creek. Broward County notes that Coconut Creek is widely recognized as a well-planned community with a unique environmental consciousness. The city touts an abundance of trees, waterways, attractive landscaped roads, beautiful parks, and butterfly gardens throughout the neighborhoods.

Seniors Also Find A Community Wildlife Habitat

Coconut Creek is the first in the State of Florida and eleventh in the country to be certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat. Anyway you view Coconut Creek, it is the plethora of colorful butterflies in Butterfly World that would bring these seniors, me and my wife, to the city. In one word…they are awesome!

Toss your clubs in your vehicle and play a round or two at either the Adios or Wynmoor Golf Courses. Senior golfers will find several more courses in nearby Pompano Beach. So plan to visit Coconut Creek and discover the many amenities available and why the locals enjoy living in this community. - jeb


Seniors Discover Cocoa


Senior friends, have you heard of Cocoa, Florida? If you are a high school foot ball sports fan, you will. Their football team is ranked nationally and #14 out of the Top Preseason Super 25 teams. The Tigers won three consecutive state titles from 2008-2010 and have some great talent once again this year.

Cocoa with just over 17,000 people, is straight east of Orlando. It is part of the Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The origin of the city’s name is uncertain.

Cocoa was founded by fishermen with the first families arriving, they say, around 1860. A post office  was established at Magnolia Point, and the city’s first commercial building was erected later in 1881.

Seniors Seek Out Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse


Both Eastern Florida State College and the University of Central Florida have a Cocoa campus. Cocoa has four radio stations and its own TV station (WUCF). A couple of major points of interest include the Florida Solar Energy Center and the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science.

Me, I’d talk my wife into an evening at the historic Aladdin Theater, also known as The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse . It has a really cool facade and is loaded with history.

In 1924 the Aladdin Theater first started showing silent movies and live acts. It was built for $80,000. The Sparks Theater chain purchased the Aladdin in 1939 and changed its name to the “State Theater.” Later, the city of Cocoa bought the building and renamed it the Cocoa Village Playhouse.

Seniors Also Enjoy Historic Cocoa Village


Senior visitors enjoy the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science. Tucked away on the east end of 22 acres of a nature preserve, this museum teaches visitors about the unique history and nature of Brevard County, from Pleistocene fossils to 19th century living.

TripAdvisor agrees that the Theater is the #1 attraction for visitors along with Historic Cocoa Village . The Village is one of Cocoa Beaches most popular destinations. Take a hike and walk along old historic, tree-lined streets and enjoy some super shopping in a relaxing atmosphere.

A dinner cruise on the Indian River Queen is always a popular activity and senior visitors can board at the Cocoa Village Marina. Fishing, horseback riding, dining, spas, waterskiing and jet skiing, antiquing and more… it’s all available in Cocoa. So set your GPS and enjoy the plethora of amenities that the city has to offer. -jeb

Filed under : United States


Seniors Bypass Mars for Jupiter


Jupiter, Florida that is. Jupiter , with a population of nearly 60,000, is one of the northernmost suburbs of the Miami metropolitan area. It might even earn the name “Eventville,” as there is something going on all year long for senior visitors to enjoy.

Jupiter was rated as the 9th Happiest Seaside Town in America by Coastal Living in 2012. I was planning on providing our readers with the derivation of the name Jupiter , but it got a little complicated, so I invite you to read it for yourselves.

Jupiter_Florida_Loxahatchee_River_photo_D_Ramey_Logan-1 I’d head for Harbourside Place, the premier downtown location for shopping, dining, luxury hotel accommodations, entertainment and boating.

Nestled along Jupiter’s Intracoastal Waterway, Harbourside Place conveys a classic, coastal vibe. Bring along your senior appetite and savor the flavors in one of the classic restaurants and then shop in more than 15 national and specialty stores.

Me, being a former baseball coach, I’d enjoy watching spring training at Roger Dean Stadium. It’s home to the Marlins and Cardinals baseball training camp.

Seniors Love Florida’s ‘National Wild And Scenic River’


Carlin Park is a favored spot to play volleyball, tennis, softball and bocce ball. Senior visitors can run or walk the exercise course that features 20 unique training stations, have a snack at the café or light up one of the grills.

The Seabreeze Amphitheater features live music, special events and the annual Shakespeare by the Sea Festival. Stop by Dubois Park, with more than 1,200 feet of tropical palm-lined beach.

I would try to talk my wife into a canoe trip on Florida’s only “National Wild and Scenic River,” the Loxahatchee .  Named “lowchow” (turtle) and “hatchee” (river) by the Seminole Indians, the beautiful Loxahatchee River is an 8.5 mile waterway located near the cities of Jupiter and Hobe Sound.


The Loxahatchee is famous for its large stands of Bald Cypress, countless birds and diverse wildlife and where self-guided and guided trips are offered. We could paddle our canoe or kayak down a cypress lined waterway, noting heron, egrets, turtles, deer and a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife.

Senior Racecar Enthusiasts Take Note

The Gulf Stream is so close, you can dive with turtles, Goliath Groupers and colorful tropical fish. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum offers climbing tours of the landmark 1860 Lighthouse. The lighthouse is often used as the symbol for Jupiter.


Senior theater goers, The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is a 550-seat, community- based regional theatre. For senior race car enthusiasts, the Palm Beach International Raceway is an acclaimed motor sports facility featuring a challenging 2.034-mile Road Course and an exciting 1/4-mile Drag Strip.

TripAdvisor notes that Celebrities like PGA Tour golfers Ernie Els and Camilo Villegas, singer Celine Dion and actor Burt Reynolds own homes in the Jupiter area. So set your GPS for Jupiter and enjoy your stay. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy a Long Weekend In Ocala

800px-Ocalaunionstation_sign1 Senior travelers will find Ocala, in the middle of Florida just off I-75 south of Gainesville. The name Ocala comes from the extinct Timucuan Indians who called their village Ocali, commonly thought to mean “Big Hammock”.

Senior visitors will discover that many of Ocala’s streets have historical Indian names, while others have Spanish names from old land grants. Ocala was developed as a result of the Indian Wars in which Fort King played a strategic role.

Back in 1858 Ocala was one of the leading social and business centers in Florida. History is personified in Downtown Ocala with buildings that continue to relay their original historic setting, character, and use. Take a ride through Historic Downtown .


Senior Visitors Enjoy Historic City

On the National Register of Historic Places with 220 historic structures, the  boundaries extend from N. First Street to S. Second Street and Pine Avenue to West Second Avenue. So plan to spend some time just strolling through Downtown Ocala where historic architecture abounds.

Whether it’s a nostalgic movie-going experience at the Marion Theatre, an enchanting evening at The Wine Experience, or something in between, Downtown Ocala is where senior visitors want to be. The city is located in Mid-Florida just off I-75 south of Gainesville.


Nearby Silver Springs has several artesian springs on the Silver River that in the 19th century brought in throngs of tourists making it a leading Florida destination.

The spring formations are among the largest in the world. The Silver Springs Amusement Park features 350 acre nature theme park with crystal clear springs and glass bottom boat cruises that sounds like something my wife and I would enjoy.

Senior Car Buffs, Take Note…

For senior car enthusiasts, The Ocala Pumpkin Run Classic Car Show and Fall Festival takes place each year on the 400 acre Castro Farm. It has become a premier destination car show hosting more than 1,000 classics and customs each year and spectators from all over the southeast.


Marion County proclaimed October as ‘Ocala Pumpkin Run Month’ due to the impact the event has had on the community each year.

TripAdvisor suggests the Gypsy Gold Ranch, home to America’s first Vanner Horses, and several farm tours of Ocala.

The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing is another favorite visit for car lovers. So its all there just awaiting your visit, folks. -jeb


Seniors Discover Jax

JacksonvilleFL The locals choose to call Jacksonville, just plain JAX. This senior was curious about the largest cities in Florida, and was I ever surprised. I always figured Miami was #1. I was wrong. It’s JAX with a population of 821,784 followed by Miami with  224,669.

Jacksonville’s historic Riverside-Avondale district ia one of the most well-preserved historic neighborhoods in the nation, with over 5,000 historic buildings. It’s been labeled the Greenwich Village in Florida. Originally called Cow Ford ,  the name changed to Jacksonville in 1832 named after our 7th president, Andrew Jackson, who never visited the city.

JAX, the county seat of Duval County, is one of the nation’s greatest art lovers destinations, plus a “Top 10″ list for Jacksonville isn’t complete without at least a passing reference to one of the city’s most well-known attractions, the beach.

Seniors Enjoy Jacksonville’s Beaches


Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach provide access to wide sandy beaches on the Atlantic Coast. Jacksonville Beach offers vast stretches of gorgeous beach, a newly redesigned golf course, a famous fishing pier and boatloads of water activities.

Yes, 20 miles of wide and uncrowded beaches, close to 40 miles of the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway canal, and the longest stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River provide a scenic wonderland.

JAX started off with the early native Timucuan Indians and early French and Spanish settlers, to the cultural contributions of African-Americans and Hispanic Americans, all have shaped the city and continue to influence life in the city today.


Seniors who have visited JAX, know about Jacksonville Landing, a 126,000 square ft shopping, tattoo, dining, clubbing, and historic museum complex in downtown Jacksonville. It was built by the Rouse Company at a cost of $37.5 million and opened in 1987.

Wildlife Sanctuary, Museums and Parks Draw Seniors

TripAdvisor invites seniors to visit the local zoo, 13 museums and parks galore. The city is home to the largest urban park system in the nation, with 10 state and national parks and over 80,000 acres.


The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is the #1 attraction in town. Senior visitors find that Jacksonville is a shopping paradise and the Riverside Arts Market is a great place to start.

The local Chamber of Commerce notes that this time of year (spring), the yellow daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding out, and local deer have resumed their neighborhood strolls.

Something is going on all year-long, like the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Springing the Blue in April, Jacksonville Film Festival, World of Nations Celebration in May, and the Jacksonville Agricultural Fair in November.

The first time Europeans and Native Americans met for a meal was in Fort Caroline, Jacksonville in 1564. I didn’t know that, did you? jeb


Seniors Find a Paradise on the Gulf


It’s Florida, not Italy and this Venice is noted for its large snowbird population, kind of like Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun in Arizona. This Venice is located in Sarasota County and has a population of just over 20,000.

Ever see someone with a shark’s tooth necklace around their neck? Perhaps, just perhaps it came from Venice, the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World” . It hosts the Shark’s Tooth Festival in April each year to celebrate the abundance of fossilized shark’s teeth that can be found on its coastal shores, especially on Venice Municipal Beach.

Hunting for shark teeth sounds fun to me. The teeth may be black, brown, or gray, depending on the minerals in the soil in which they have been buried. They range in size from one eighth inch to three inches, and on rare occasions even larger. And get this, an average Tiger shark can produce as many as 24,000 teeth in something like ten years.


Seniors Enjoy White Sand Gulf Coast

Just south of Sarasota along Florida’s white-sanded Gulf Coast, Venice offers 14 miles of beaches from Casey Key to Manasota Key and plenty of recreational activities that includes swimming, sunbathing, fishing and boating. Venice is home to Stephen King and several other notables.

Venice has lots to offer senior visitors. The 700-foot long Fishing Pier at Brohard Park is a major attraction. There is a 10-mile long, 10-foot wide linear trail for walkers, joggers and bikers. TripAdvisor’s #1 attraction is the Venice Theatre. Make plans early to take in a show because they are constantly sold out of performances.


Caspersen Beach runs a close second for visitor popularity. It is a prime seashell-collecting spot with nature trails, canoeing and kayaking through coastal mangroves. Flanked by the Gulf of Mexico and northern Lemon Bay, Caspersen is 177 acres of cabbage palms, sea grapes and sea oats.

Senior visitors will discover free parking, picnic areas with two pavilions, a canopied playground, a paved and shelled walking/hiking/biking paths, restrooms, canoe/kayak launch and fitness park.

Seniors Flock To Warm Community


The local Chamber notes that Venice is a warm, friendly community. Whether seniors like shopping in the unique stores of the downtown Venice Main Street district or prefer golfing, boating, fishing, or just laying on the beach, the five community area of Osprey, Laurel, Nokomis, Venice and South Venice has it all.

They further note that you can experience the charm and splendor of Venice that has enchanted visitors for over a hundred years. “Just a short drive away from Florida’s themed attractions and cultural hot spots, Venice showcases the small town ambiance of Old Florida where shop owners know you by name and Friday nights mean hometown football games.”

Check out their Top 10 List of Things to Do in Venice and enjoy your visit - jeb

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