Winter can become bleak and drab, especially once the joy of the holidays fade and the cold really settle in. This is actually the perfect time to travel though for seniors, as they are not encumbered with school or work. Travelling is often cited as one of the most anticipated things seniors look forward to in retirement, so why waste it? There are plenty of great places throughout our beloved country that can offer a change of pace. Below you can find Senior Directory’s top three destinations for this upcoming winter.
Canadian Train Tour
So, I cheated and picked a destination that is not in the USA. Growing up in Colorado and later Wyoming, snow and mountains were taken for granted. I am always amazed seeing people’s first reaction to snowy mountain peaks, and have to remind myself that the mountains are not the norm for most of the country. Many seniors would probably love to visit the mountains, especially in the winter, but the cold, dangerous perils of driving and simply slipping, make accomplishing a trip like this trickier. That is why this Canadian train tour could be the perfect solution for seniors that desire to see the Great White North in a comfortable and guided fashion.
This trip is more expensive than some of our other options, but I think you will understand why. Besides being able to travel from Vancouver to Toronto by train, you also to get visit remote places in the Canadian Wilderness that are often hard to get to, with the help from guides, personalized chefs, and great hotels. There are side excursions and tours available, but they are not mandatory, and if all you want to do is curl up by the fire, read a book, and watch the snow fall, go right ahead. The only things we would take heed about are the obvious effects of altitude. Once the trip starts, depending on the package, everything else will be taken care of. The shortest tours are 8 days and the longest are up to 23 days, so it has something for everyone. They have trips that have access to grizzlies, polar bears, and other marine wildlife. This is a trip that you will never forget, we guarantee you that! If you ever dreamt of the call of the wild when you were young, but never got the chance to visit the remote and stunning land in the mountains, this is a great opportunity.
These train tours begin in either Vancouver or Toronto, and can cross Canada, or perform a loop. There are 13 different packages to choose from in the Winter so you can create a flight itinerary based around your desired package. Both Toronto and Vancouver have international airports. We would suggest flying into or out of the Vancouver International Airport or the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Like we stated above, depending on the package you choose, it may be better to fly into one or the other, and the same applies to departing. You can also take a roundtrip as to limit the flying necessary. Once you meet up with the tour, all other accommodations will be provided.
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is more of your typical winter vacation destination for seniors. It is located in the Sonoran Desert in Southern California and is best known for its hot springs, architecture, spas, golf resorts, and shopping districts. It has trails for hiking close by, and is close enough to the ocean that a day trip, or an extended stay at the beach can easily be worked in. Palm Springs has a little bit of everything that any senior could enjoy. If golfing is your passion, try Escena Golf Club, Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, or Indian Canyons Golf Resort. If you would rather get pampered, Palm Springs Spa Massage, Andreas Hotel and Spa, and Palm Mountain Resort and Spa are sure to offer some comfort and relaxation. Take a good hot soak at Lido Palms, Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel, or Miracle Springs Resort and Spa.
The town is known for its modern architecture, and guided tours are available, or one could simply meander and take in some of the great works by Richard Nuetra, John Lautner, Donald Wexler, and other greats of the post-war era. Finally, the town has some great boutiques and restaurants. Trina Turk, Revenge, and Highest Form Boutique are just several that you could peruse through on your leisure time. There are numerous great restaurants to try in the desert, but some of the most popular seem to be Shanghai Red’s Oyster Bar for a good local cheap place you can get beer and fish tacos with live bands. The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge offers great three-course meals, but be sure to make a reservation as they might not be able to seat you otherwise. Copley’s on Palm Canyon is a great spot with a view and a wine list to match. Palm Springs is a great destination to get some warm weather, relaxation, and pampering in at to escape these cold months ahead.
Palm Springs does have an international airport, creatively named, Palm Springs International Airport, and we would suggest flying into here. You can get a cheaper flight into LAX or Ontario International Airport, but would have a two to three-hour drive there. Between LAX and Ontario, we would suggest Ontario, but Palm Springs International Airport will be the most convenient. Upon arrival, transportation will vary depending on your desired activities. They do have a good public transportation system there with buses getting you to most places easily. It is called the SunLine Transit Agency, and seniors pay a fare of less than a dollar. If you desire to go to the beach or see some of the more remote hiking trails and views in the Coachella Valley, than renting a car would be helpful. If you plan on just staying in town, the bus will be sufficient.
Williamsburg is one of the first cities in the United States and is great for any history buff. Williamsburg has relatively pleasant weather in the winter, usually in the 60s, fantastic golf courses, shopping districts, and of course, is in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Williamsburg, along with Jamestown and Yorktown, form what is known as the “Historic Triangle”. As we discussed earlier, the history is rich here and you can feel it when you walk into the town. One of the top attractions is Colonial Williamsburg, where actors and actresses recreate the feel and vibe of the city from the late 1600s. Historic Jamestown and the Jamestown settlements are must sees as well. Some good museums to look into are the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. It also has a long-standing tradition of ghost and vampire tours if that sort of stuff gets your heart racing. It also has great shopping, as well, with the Yankee Candle Company, Merchants Square, Whitley’s Peanut Factory, and the Williamsburg Antique Mall. For some wine, head over to Silver Hand Meadery, and get some candy at Wythe Candy and Gourmet Shop on the way home. The culinary expertise of the city is apparent too with lots of new age restaurants, as well as seafood and home cooking. We would suggest any of A Chef’s Kitchen, Second Street Bistro, The Whaling Company, or Francesco’s Ristorante. Williamsburg will not fail to entertain as well as give you a glimpse into the past of our great country.
We would suggest flying into Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. We would suggest renting a car here in case you want to make a quick stop over in Jamestown, visit the beach, or hit some golf balls at the many courses around the area. We would recommend using the Trolley System, which visits many of the popular tourist destinations near Merchants Square and connects to the College of William of Mary. Besides for where the trolley goes, everywhere else will be better suited with a car or taxi.
Article written by Nick Schaller with Senior Directory, LLC