2016 Best Spring Trips for Seniors

Spring has an uncanny effect upon all of us.   We see the world renewing, the birds chirping, the sun shining, and suddenly we get the itch to go somewhere new and exciting.  Travelling can be difficult, especially the older you get, and with so many potential places to visit, how does one choose?  Whether your goal is to go on a trip with your family and grandchildren, visit a city filled with history or even a natural wonder, find a hidden secluded gem, or even a romantic getaway with your loved one, there are endless spring vacation destinations for boomers and seniors in the USA.  In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring officially begins on March 20th, so it’s time to start planning your wonderful, fun-filled vacation.  Below are some suggestions to get the wheels churning, and hopefully you can find an idea or the inspiration for a great trip below. 

Hidden Gems

Finding a destination off the beaten path can be challenging, especially with the rush of spring-breakers inundating the most popular spots.  Below are several “hidden gems” that are perfect for boomers and seniors who are looking for a casual getaway away from the noise and chaos of the spring-breakers. 

Orange Beach, Alabama - Orange Beach is located on the Gulf of Mexico and contains miles of beautiful white sand.  You won’t find the spring-breakers here because there aren’t many hotels, mostly just condos, which aren’t usually rented to young partiers.  In addition to the gorgeous beaches, it has everything else to offer including deep-sea fishing, water activities, hiking on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, an ocean zoo, and great restaurants serving, of course, fresh seafood.  For boomers and seniors looking for a romantic getaway, Orange Beach is a perfect and affordable escape.

Branson, Missouri- With three lakes nearby, over a dozen great golf courses, museums, spa and resorts, and great food, Branson truly is a hidden gem.  But the greatest attraction to Branson seems to be the unbelievable number of theatres and musical shows that are performed here.  If you are planning a trip to Branson, it is a must that you look in advance at the shows that will be playing.  The weather usually is predictably pleasant during Spring, ranging from low 50’s to mid 70’s.   Boomers and seniors should be warned that Branson is a spring-break destination for families, so if you are looking for a quiet, romantic getaway then don’t book in March and April, rather May when the kiddos are back in school.  Chances are, you will be surprised and delighted at what you find in Branson!

Taos, New Mexico - If you have never been to or heard of Taos, I would highly suggest travelling to this dazzling city in the spring.  It is located in the mountains but still contains the desert traits that you can only find in the South West.  Taos is a small, quaint town with mostly adobe buildings.  It also has a blooming art community that showcases the traditional mixing of cultures in this area that created what we know of as South West Art.  There is no better way to enjoy the crisp New Mexican air then to soak your body in the natural outdoor hot-springs.  Taos truly reminds one of living in the past.

Resorts and Theme Parks for Grandchildren

Spending time with your grandchildren is one of the most rewarding aspects of life for many seniors, but travelling with them and keeping them entertained can be difficult at times.  That is why a family resort or theme park may be the perfect way to interact and have a great time with the whole family.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee -Set in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg has a little bit of something for everyone.  From beautiful scenic walks and gondola rides, zip-lines and white water rafting, mini-golf and laser tag, even museums and an aquarium.  This fabulous family orientated vacation may even outdo the great Walt Disney!  For seniors who want to spoil the grandchildren without spoiling their pocketbook, Gatlinburg is the way to go!

Disney World/Land - Many children dream of visiting the Magical Kingdom, and springtime is the perfect time to visit either California or Florida.  It can be a great trip for the whole family, and will be a memory your grandchildren will cherish for the rest of their lives.  Disney World/Land is usually busy, but the spring is no busier than summer months.  Although this trip can be pricey, it will have your grandchildren talking about how much fun grandma and grandpa are for many years following.

National Parks

If you are anything like me, my family grew up taking trips to national parks, and my parents are still doing it to this very day.  Going to a national park does not mean you have to camp or stay in a trailer, many sites have hotel or cabin accommodations that are more suitable for seniors. 

The Redwood Forest - If you have never been to the Redwood Forest, it is a breathtaking experience!  Nothing can prepare you for how small you feel, how huge the trees are, and how green the landscape is.  Spring is actually the perfect time to visit, as it rains hardest in the winter, and the fog and crowds come in the summer.  There are hotels so camping is not necessary, but feel free to if you want.  Also, another hidden gem are the beautiful beaches of Humboldt County that lye right off the coast of the Redwood Forest, and if you are up for a mile hike, the beach at low tide is astonishing.  They also have ranger lead trips, so if you make it out there, be sure to check it out.  The nice thing is you can see San Francisco too, which is a bonus to end your trip with some of the best food in the world. 

Niagara Falls - I don’t think much of an introduction is necessary for this landmark, but I will give you one anyway, just for fun.  Niagara Falls is the oldest national park in the USA, even older than Yellowstone, and was established in 1885.  It is a breathtaking waterfall, actually three, and is located right on the border of Canada and the USA.  If you are going to travel here, it is encouraged you have and bring a passport so you can enjoy the Falls from the Canadian side, as well.  It also helps that millions of wild flowers bloom on the Canadian side at the beginning of April.  Spring also happens to be the best the time to visit Niagara Falls, its why it made it the list, but it is strongly suggested to wait until the first or second week of April as the wildflowers are not something you will want to miss. 

Historic Sites

Memphis, Tennessee -  Memphis played a large role during the Civil War, it was instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement, it was the birthplace of blues and rock, as well as Elvis’ resting place…do I need to say more about the plethora of history here?  The Mississippi river runs through the western edge of Memphis and a riverboat tour is a great way to experience the largest river in North America.  The National Civil Rights Museum is definitely something everything one should see.  Graceland, the second most visited home in the U.S. is a must for any Elvis fan.  If you are a senior who has never been to Memphis then book your ticket now and get a taste of American history by visiting The Bluff City.

Cahokia Mounds, St. Louis, Missouri - The mounds are the remains of the biggest native population indigenous to the United States.  At one time, historians estimate more than 10,000 Native Americans lived in these societies, enough to rival their counterparts in Central and South America.  Though they were the largest civilization in this area, few people know about them.  In fact, there are historic sites littered all around St. Louis and guided tours are also available.  If you come after mid-April, you can eat a hotdog at one of the greatest baseball stadiums in the world, Busch Stadium - home of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Don't leave without trying St. Louis BBQ!

Article created by Nick Schaller and Alex Milzer with Senior Directory, LLC

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