The 21st century may very well prove to be the era of the adventurous senior traveler. No longer relegated to stuffy bus tours, senior citizens have become vacation savvy, demanding relaxation and adventure along with reasonable prices. But aside from the usual tourist traps, what are the best travel destinations for seniors? Sure, seniors can travel to exotic Caribbean islands or European nations, but why not consider one of these great U.S. travel destinations for seniors?
Homewood Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe, California
While the cliché senior traveler vacations to get away from winter weather, many of today’s seniors are embracing colder vacation spots. Offering exquisite views of Lake Tahoe, Homewood Mountain Resort is one of the perfect travel destinations for seniors who want to vacation with their family of ski bunnies. This reasonably priced resort is not too big, yet offers a wide variety of outdoor winter activities for people of all ages and skill levels. Seniors can enjoy skiing, ski lessons, relaxing inside the cozy resort, ice skating, hiking through the High Sierra woods or taking the ferry boat across the lake to gambling resorts in Nevada. Homewood also offers special activities and discounts for seniors. There is no on site accommodations, however, the resort is only five minutes from lodging in North Lake Tahoe, 35 minutes from South Lake Tahoe and 40 minutes from Reno.
Branson, a big music town with small town appeal, is one of the top travel destinations for seniors who want a whole lot of vacation for a great value. Offering 50 live performance theaters, three lakes, 12 championship golf courses, a theme park, water park, museums, a historic downtown, shopping and a myriad of other local attractions, Branson has something for everyone. Although Branson is considered a country music destination, all music lovers can find something to sing about in the “live music show capital of the world.” Seniors looking for a variety of lodging options are sure to find what they are looking for in Branson- from hotels, motels and resorts to RV parks and campgrounds. Not to be missed are Silver Dollar City, the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theater, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand museum, the Hollywood wax museum and the Titanic museum. Branson even boasts its own convenient airport.
Are you an active senior looking for the perfect vacation getaway to play? Then Portland is the place for you. Boasting miles of public bike trails and lanes, breathtaking rose gardens, relaxing walking routes, the Oregon Zoo, the International Rose Test Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden, the meditative Groto and nearby sightseeing, Portland has something to offer everyone. Even the most adventurous senior traveler will be awed by Portland’s outdoor options. Nearby Mount Hood offers spectacular downhill and cross country skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing and hiking. Portland also has two of the top 75 public golf courses in the nation as rated by Golf Digest. Bicycling magazine has awarded the city top honors two years running as the best city for biking in the U.S. The Portland Rose Festival, held at the end of May, is the city’s largest organized event, but owing to its temperate mild climate, Portland is a great travel destination for seniors any time of year.
If you’ve never visited Washington D.C. you are missing out on one of the most educational and budget-friendly travel destinations for seniors. Don’t believe me? Then visit 100 Free (and Almost Free) Things to Do in DC and find out how to make the most of your frugal D.C. vacation. No matter if you are looking for money saving performances, family fun activities, historical sites, outdoor experiences, frugal eateries or cultural activities, Washington D.C. has much to offer the senior traveler. Yes, there is a lot of travel (walking) required to get from one attraction to another but there are convenient and inexpensive hop-on, hop-off trolleys and narrated tour buses that pass by all the major landmarks and points of interest. Not to be missed are the Smithsonian, the U.S. Mint, the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, Holocaust Museum and National Gallery of Art. Plan a spring visit and catch the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Florida is not only an ideal retirement location for seniors; it is also one of the best travel destinations for seniors. Sunny, warm and geared towards the senior community, Florida can’t be beat as a senior travel destination. Key West is an artsy eclectic community that offers top notch eateries, fresh seafood, resorts and sunny beaches. Make sure to try some Cuban inspired eats while there. Looking for a Florida vacation with a Caribbean feel? Then look no further than Sanibel Island. Are you a history buff? Then St. Augustine is the Florida destination for you. St. Augustine is the oldest European established city in the U.S. and offers visitors a unique blend of history and modern Florida ammenities.
For more senior friendly travel tips, see 10 RV Camping Tips for Seniors.