One of the benefits of being in your later years is the freedom to travel. You don’t have to worry about when you can take days off of work or what your kids will like. Not only is traveling good for your soul, but the Global Coalition on Aging states that traveling, along with other leisure activities, can lower the risk of dementia.
Now, your decision isn’t whether or not to travel, but perhaps, where to go. Consider these three destinations that offer active seniors the chance for a memorable summer vacation:
Arizona isn’t just a hot, barren desert. While summer temperatures are sizzling in cities like Phoenix and Tucson, Sedona offers a scenic escape from the scorching heat and city life. It is set against a backdrop of fiery red rock canyons, gentle streams and pine forests.
You can find plenty of opportunities to get active as well as to relax. There are more than 100 hiking trails in Sedona, offering everything from easy treks to challenging trails. At Red Rock State Park, the Eagle’s Nest Trail is a 2-mile loop that offers breathtaking panoramic views and the chance to spot birds like great blue herons, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and mourning doves.
After a hike, wine lovers can follow the Verde Valley Wine Trail, which is a self-guided tour of four of the area’s most popular wineries and five tasting cellars. You can tour the grounds and taste locally made wine. If you’re an early riser, begin your day with a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s-eye view of the spectacular red rocks. Or if you want to go into town, you can visit world-class eateries, art galleries, shops and spas to help soothe those sore muscles after a long day of play.
New York City, New York
For culture lovers, there are few better vacation spots than New York City. From the internationally renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art to the iconic landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Broadway, there are plenty of things to see and do.
On a nice day, start your day with a stroll in Central Park. Be sure to stop at sights like Strawberry Fields, which is a living memorial to John Lennon in the Garden of Peace. Or, take a walk down the Museum Mile, which stretches along Central Park. Visit the Met to see collections of European paintings by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Monet and Picasso as well as an Egyptian collection that covers 4,000 years of history.
Then, cap off your day with a Broadway show like “The Audience,” which stars Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II. If you’ve got some energy left afterward, head to the Empire State Building to enjoy the panoramic views of the city lit up after dark.
Corolla, North Carolina
If you’re dreaming of a beach vacation, consider traveling to Corolla, North Carolina. This northernmost city on the Outer Banks is renowned for its wide, unspoiled beaches covered in fine powdery sands as well as its wild horses. Visitors can join a sight-seeing tour to look for the horses or can try to spot them on their own.
Corolla and the Outer Banks area is also considered to be a fishing mecca, with a variety of guides and charters available to help you make the big catch. There are many other types of water sports to enjoy, ranging from kayaking and sailing to jet skiing and surfing. On land, you’ll find miles of hiking trails and golf courses, too.
While it lacks the mega stores found in most big cities, shoppers love Corolla’s locally-owned shops. And, history buffs should visit the Whalehead Club Museum and Historic Corolla Village.