Ready to get away from routine life and enjoy your next vacation?! There are about one zillion reasons why someone would want to go on a trip, but it’s actually proven that simply being positive and getting some rest and relaxation can help you live longer. So, if you needed one more reason to escape the doldrum of your everyday life, do it for your health!
There are plenty of places where older adults can see something new and exciting while also respecting any health or mobility restrictions. Here are eight of the best vacation ideas for seniors traveling alone, as a couple, or as part of a multigenerational family trip.
Don’t think of Alaska only for its cold weather. “The Last Frontier,” as it’s called, also has supersized wilderness and pristine views. You can take a cruise to Alaska, or hop aboard a train to catch a glimpse of glaciers and grizzly bears. Alaska is often an item on once-in-a-lifetime trip lists. It also offers adventure without having to go at a frenetic pace. If you’re active and want to do hiking, you can. If you want to see Alaska at a leisurely pace, that’s available as well. Alaska really runs the gamut and easily makes it to this list of the best vacation ideas for seniors and beyond!
Some must-dos in Alaska:
- “Flightseeing” over an Alaskan mountain range
- A bear-viewing tour
- Whale watching
- Viewing the Northern Lights
2. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico, holds a special charm among the artsy set, but there are some additional benefits for older adults. The climate is warm and dry, and the downtown area is historical and compact. The town is filled with adobe buildings and views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.Then there’s the tasty (and sometimes fiery) Southwestern cuisine as well as lots of Native American history and culture. Some highlights of your visit to Santa Fe:
- The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
- Santa Fe Plaza
- Canyon Road
3. Sarasota, Florida
It’s no secret that Florida attracts older adults for its sunny weather and retiree-focused culture, from a multitude of golf courses to beautiful beaches. Older adults rule the roost, so to speak, in many Florida towns. Sarasota, Florida, on the Southwest coast of the state, is a fast-growing area where about 50% of the population living there is age 50 and over, which is what recently makes it one of the best vacation ideas for seniors.
Older adults visiting Sarasota enjoy a vibrant restaurant scene, a multitude of museums, and beaches that rank nationally. Some must-see places in Sarasota:
- The Ringling Estate and art/circus museum
- Anna Maria Island
- Sarasota Farmers Market
- Myakka River State Park
4. San Antonio, Texas
Filled with history and Texas charm, San Antonio’s River Walk along the San Antonio River is scenic and easy to navigate. It even is hailed by Scootaround.com as a destination for those with limited mobility. San Antonio has some great Mexican food, so arrive with an appetite. Here are a few highlights of your San Antonio visit:
- The Alamo (“The stars at night….are big and bright….”)
- The River Walk
- Natural Bridge Caverns
5. Charleston, South Carolina
Southern charm seems to just spill from the pores of everything in Charleston, South Carolina (and there happens to be a Bravo TV show set in Charleston with that same name). The city is rich with American Revolution and Civil War history and has great restaurants as well as many ghosts–or so we hear. Like many Southern cities, Charleston has a laid back feel to it, so it’s no problem if you need to go slow with your activities. Whatever you’re into, Charleston is definitely one of the best vacation ideas for seniors.
A few must-dos if you’re visiting Charleston:
- A historical tour
- A ghost tour
- Fort Sumter
6. Yellowstone National Park
With more than 500 active geysers, Yellowstone National Park ranks number 5 as one of the most-visited national parks in the U.S., and should be on your list as one of the best vacation ideas for seniors. There’s so much nature to take in, from bears to bison, elk to wolves, mountain lions to moose, and much more. The park spans a mind-boggling 2.2 million acres, most of it in Wyoming and smaller parts in Montana and Wyoming. The park is a big hit for older adults either on their own or traveling with family because despite its size, its attractions are easy to access.
If you plan to visit Yellowstone, here are a few can’t-miss activities:
- Watch hot springs and geysers like Old Faithful
- Go fishing
- Take some amazing pictures
7. San Diego, California
Known for its year-round temperate weather, San Diego offers its ideal weather for outdoorsy types and plenty of cultural attractions. Spend your days at the beach, visit the ritzy suburb of La Jolla, take a guided tour, or get to know the museums in this popular Southern California locale. Here are a few to-do suggestions:
- Visit the popular Balboa Park
- Stop by Hotel Del Coronado, where the Marilyn Monroe movie “Some Like It Hot” was filmed
- Take a trolley tour
- Check out their world renown zoo
- Visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum
8. South Dakota
South Dakota may not be top of mind when you plan your vacations, but there are some good arguments in favor of visiting this Midwestern state. It’s full of history, including Mount Rushmore Memorial and the home of “Little House on the Prairie” author Laura Ingalls Wilder. The state is full of scenic vistas in places like Custer State Park, Needles Highway; and Black Elk Peak, which has a height of 7,242 feet. You won’t feel rushed during a visit to South Dakota, and you’ll leave with lots of new knowledge about the U.S.
A few things to see in South Dakota:
- Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills
- Black Elk Peak
- Badlands National Park