by D.J Wilson –
The conclusion of a career marks the start of retirement, a time to create great beginnings with newfound freedom of time. While recently perusing ads for retirement, I was befuddled by the quantity of photographs showing retirees rocking in rockers and sleeping in hammocks. While everyone deserves a little rest and relaxation, those snapshots give a false impression of retirement. The truth is today’s seniors are living longer and healthier lifestyles than ever before. Most lead active social lives, perform community service, and enjoy a plethora of sports and hobbies. Travel is a pleasure-filled way for energetic seniors to revel in the fullness of life. Choose from a list of activities from A to Z, to watch or perform, matched with a perfect destination, to make your lively vacation dreams come true! Enjoy the first half of the alphabet now. Please stay tuned for part II coming soon.
Auto racing– West Salem, Wisconsin – The sport has come a long way since the world’s first motoring contest from Paris to Rouen that was once promoted as Competition for Horseless Carriages. Check out La Crosse Speedway, where you’ll enjoy watching the action on Wisconsin’s only NASCAR sanctioned weekly racing asphalt track. Enjoy a variety of racing styles including street car drag racing, Figure-8 Racing, Motorcycle Stuntmen, Smash-O-Rama, Roll-over contests and much more. Be sure to try the bratwurst there, we hear it’s delicious!
Boating – Baltimore, Maryland –Sail aboard Pride of Baltimore II for hands-on sailing in a traditional ship as guest crew passenger. Passages range from 2 to 46 nights and ship sails with a professional crew of 12. The Ship has 3 passenger cabins which allow 6 passengers to share co-ed accommodations. Voyages in 2013 are offered in the Chesapeake Bay, along the Atlantic Coast, in the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and throughout all five of the Great Lakes. You’ll enjoy a true adventure on this Topsail Schooner, where you’ll participate in all aspects of life on board.
Camping– Saranac Lake, NY – Get ready for your Adirondack Mountain camping adventure in this beautiful DEC campground located in the northern Adirondacks of upstate NY. Campsites offer beautiful lakeshore sites as well as those rich in birch trees, firs, maples and pines. Nearby Rollins Pond Campground is accessible from Fish Creek Pond and offers additional lakeside sites. It’s a great campground for families and the atmosphere can’t be beat.
Dancing – Houston, Texas. While it’s possible to see ballet in most major cities, Houston takes pride in productions which feature outstanding choreography and artistic excellence. The Houston Ballet is the fourth largest ballet company, with an ensemble of over 50 dancers. Enjoy watching the talented and classically trained Houston Ballet perform a diverse repertory in their new state of the art facility. You’re bound to be inspired to take dance lessons after seeing this class act.
Eagle Watching – Wabasha, MN – Wabasha and nearby riverfront areas are excellent spots for viewing wintering bald Eagles. Educate yourself on the area and learn where to find the best lookouts. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars for best viewing. Be sure to check out the National Eagle Center, a world-class interpretive center along the banks of the Mississippi River in Wabasha, complete with observation viewing areas.
Fly Fishing – Lincoln, Montana – If the combination of beautiful scenery and fly fishing for trout sound recreationally appealing, you’ll love The Blackfoot River. Canyons and valleys of the river were created by glacial lake outburst floods which occurred during the end of the last ice age, creating the perfect place to fly fish.
Golfing – Naples, Florida – Home to many beautiful golf courses, Naples has its share of both public and private courses. There’s great hype about Eagle Lakes Golf Resort, a challenging 7,150 yard, par 71, championship course with a fairly flat lay-out and exciting water features. Enjoy playing amongst abundant wildlife in this beautiful Everglades location, just minutes from Olde Naples and Marco Island.
Hiking – Portland, Oregon – The Columbia River Gorge is a beautiful area which encompasses large areas of Washington and Oregon States and provides plenty of trails for various hiking skills along the 80 mile long canyon. Angel’s Rest, just outside of Portland, is a wonderful trail. This 4.5 mile round trip hike offers stunning vistas, so be sure to bring your camera. If this trail is not challenging enough for you, there are hundreds of other exciting trails in the area from which to choose.
Ice-skating – Manhattan, New York – If you enjoy skating outdoors during wintry season, try Citi Pond at Bryant Park. Considered a state-of-the-art rink, it’s free to skate here but advanced reservations are suggested. Skate rentals and skating lessons are available for additional fees. If you’re not much of a skater, it’s a great place to people watch while sipping hot cocoa instead.
Jogging – Austin, Texas – Whether you prefer to jog or simply stroll at a leisurely place, Lady Bird Lake Hike is for you. Offering 10 miles of trails bordering Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin; you’ll enjoy the pleasant trails around Auditorium Shores. This public area is a favorite place for runners, walkers and cyclists. Check out the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan and enjoy great views of the Austin skyline.
Kite Flying – Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina – Head to the site of the first flight, where the Wright Brothers knew the right way to fly. Check out Jockey Ridge State Park for consistent winds which are ideal for the sport. With some local kite businesses offering lessons, the Outer Banks is a great place for beginners to learn the basics and embrace the sport.
Lighthouses – Coastal Shores of Maine – Lighthouse are bright beacons of light with foghorns which sound through spirited weather, warning ships of impending danger and safely guiding them to shore. These amazing structures have weathered the test of time and tell dramatic tales of history. Roughly 70 lighthouses dot Maine’s coastal shores, each with its own mystique. Begin at Whaleback Lighthouse off the coast of Kittery Point and travel along the coast toward the northern-most lighthouse in Maine, the privately owned Whitlocks Mill Lighthouse.
Music – Cleveland, Ohio – If it’s world class music you enjoy, head to Cleveland. Home of the Cleveland Orchestra, music lovers flock historic Severance Hall to hear beautiful symphony compositions. Opened in 1931, the building underwent a $36 million restoration and expansion project which was completed in January 2000. Considered by many to be the most beautiful concert hall in the USA, it features a Georgian exterior and a grand entrance foyer with soaring columns. Not only were original details restored, legendary acoustics were enhanced, creating a state of the art facility for the world-renowned Orchestra.
Stay tuned for letters N-Z next!