14 Holiday Ideas for Seniors
Early retirement poses the perfect opportunity to go on trips you’ve always dreamed of taking. You have the time to travel, the financial means to do so and still retain your health, which may preclude travel in the future. Yet Carnival in Rio may not be a good idea since you’ve long since past the point of being proud of your beach body, and other venues cater to a much younger demographic. Instead, here are 14 great getaway ideas for seniors.
London is a great getaway for seniors. There is even a trope that London is all of England, since it contains neighborhoods and attractions that mirror sites found throughout the rest of England from river walks to castles to modern architectural wonders. Despite multiple recent terrorist attacks, London is a relatively safe European city. It contains thousands of archeological and historical sites, whether you want to admire Roman baths, medieval architecture or prehistoric sites like Stonehenge.
The city’s strong public transportation system is one option, while tour buses catering to those who don’t want to walk and taxis are abundant. You can even take clipper boats on the Thames River and trips on the smaller canals for a look at a side of the city relatively few locals see. Don’t forget the West End theater scene that New York only hopes to rival. And if you want to try golf in its historic home, you’re a short flight from Scotland’s famed golf courses.
European River Cruises
Europe is graced with a number of wide, slow-moving rivers that acted as highways over the past few centuries, enabling its development. River cruises are a great way to visit a number of historic cities, some major metropolises, and others catering to tourists while seeking to recapture their former glory. Cruises typically last from days to weeks, and it is easy to stay a couple days at the start and end of the cruise in the city of your choice. Depending on the cruise you pick, you could see Soviet-era buildings in Moscow or Dracula’s castle in Romania.
Key West may be a famous spring break spot for college students, but its warm weather year round makes it popular for retirees. This weather is, in fact, why retirees have been moving to Florida for a century. Key West, in particular, is home to excellent sailing, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, and golf. The scuba diving in Biscayne National Park is among the best in the world. If you’re tired of the salt spray, it is a short trip to see the Everglades.
Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley is equally famous for its wine and its scenery. If you’re a fan of both, there are many bed and breakfasts dotting the area, perfect for staying among the rural vineyards. It is a low-cost alternative to a tour of the Italian wineries. If you’re tired of wining and dining, you can enjoy the aptly named Napa Golf Course, Eagle Vines Golf Course or Chardonnay Golf Course. The Silverado Golf Course is famous in and of itself. The Vinters Golf Club and Aetna Springs Golf Course are less crowded, but not quite five stars.
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is not just for the kids, though taking your children and grandchildren there for a family reunion will create memories that will last a lifetime. However, it is also a good trip for seniors by themselves. You can go during the off season and enjoy rides like Epcot and the animal park with a fraction of the wait. Add in the spas, world class dining, and golf courses, and you’ll have a great time. The resort truly plans for all ages, which is why you can get around on scooters if you don’t feel like hiking through the park. And this is on top of the air-conditioned monorail. If you’re sensitive to heat, there are many air-conditioned indoor shows and rides you can enjoy. Or you could enjoy the various gelato, ice cream and snow cone places in the park to cool down.
Hawaii is a haven for retirees due to its subtropical climate. It also contains a number of tourist attractions suitable for all ages. You could visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, its many art museums, or the Sea Life aquarium. Leave Oahu to hit some of the best golf courses in the world, go deep sea fishing, try your hand at snorkeling or watch the whales if you’re there at the right time of year. Then you’re left deciding between choosing the best golf balls for seniors and taking a chartered fishing boat. Or you could take a trip up to the top of Maua Loa to visit the observatory, while a few take the longest continuous downhill ride on a bike from the top of the mountain to the sea shore for one of the best views of all Mauna Loa has to offer. Maui is famous for its high-end resorts catering to newlyweds, but it has many excellent golf courses, too. The Big Island has many golf resorts as well as opportunities to tour working farms that harken back to Hawaii’s plantation past.
Branson has been called the G-rated version of Vegas. There are more than fifty theaters here, world-class dining, famous singers, and comedians, and it lacks the booze, noise and rough edge of Vegas. Then there are the dozen world-class golf courses in the area to play on during the day. Woodcrafts, arts and crafts, shopping and historic sites are just icing on the cake. Or you could go hiking and camping in the Dogwood Canyon Nature Park and surrounding wilderness areas.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina contains historic neighborhoods that radiate Southern charm. You can visit historic sites and museums associated with the Revolutionary War, Civil War and other eras. There are many relaxed bed and breakfasts in the city as well as world class hotels. Or you could stay on Kiawah Island and play a round or two on its top-notch golf courses. The horse and buggy rides are also tons of fun.
While Chicago regularly makes the news for its high murder rate, the city itself is a gem. Walk through the massive 319 acre Grant Park or go boating on one of the Great Lakes, a cool alternative to sailing on the ocean in the summer. Enjoy a restaurant scene as vibrant as New York, but not as crowded. There are first class museums in Chicago, and you have the option of watching the Red Sox or Bulls play if you’re there on the right day. Or try one of the golf courses right along the shore.
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis’ most famous attraction is, of course, the arch. Lesser known but to locals are the multiple museums dedicated to Native American themes and sites like the Cahokia mounds. Another benefit of the city is the ability to ride on some of the best maintained sections of Route 66. If you’ve never taken a road trip before, there is no better place to start.
Tulsa, Oklahoma contains several Native American and Old West museums. It lacks the long Riverwalk of Oklahoma City, but it has many smaller parks and quality restaurants. And you’re still within commuting distance of Oklahoma City, if you want to visit the bombing memorial there. There’s lots of things to do and see in the city, and it caters well to seniors.
Whether you want to see the Cowgirl Museum, museums dedicated to the oil and gas industry, cowboy art museums or working ranches available for a stay, Amarillo is a gem many overlook. One local restaurant off the original Route 66 offers prizes if you can eat a 72 ounce steak. And you can visit Palo Duro State Park, open to hiking for those with the stamina.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque may have been a punchline in Bugs Bunny cartoons, but its Southwestern architecture is amazing. Historic Old Town is a step back in time, and it has as many silversmiths and jewelry shops as the more touristy (and expensive) Taos. Plus, the restaurants here are to die for – you really have to experience them at least once!
Flagstaff, Arizona offers fantastic views of the San Francisco Peaks. It is surrounded by the Painted Desert and one of the world’s largest stands of Ponderosa Pines. It is within commuting distance of the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater. Hiking and biking are major activities in the area. Flagstaff has a number of golf courses. And Flagstaff is cheaper than Scottsdale, which is better known for its golf courses.
Your retirement years are some of the best to enjoy traveling and see all that the world has to offer. Whether you enjoy history, golf, beaches, or adventure, one or more of the above destinations is bound to be perfect.