As we hit our 50s, many of us find that we have more free time and disposable income, so why not put those resources to good use? Now is a great time to tick some of these destinations off your to-do list. If you don’t have a to-do list, we can help. To get started, consider these must-see places across the country, from cities that will excite all your senses to beautiful scenic spots with breathtaking views and wildlife. If you’ve been there when you were younger, you might want to consider another visit with all your newfound wisdom.
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It’s no surprise that experiencing Alaska’s natural beauty is at the top of many people’s to-do list. From summer to winter, there is no shortage of breathtaking scenery to explore, as well as a wealth of wildlife viewing unmatched by other states. Additionally, if you visit Fairbanks between August 21 and April 21 each year, you are likely to catch the Northern Lights, also known as the Northern Lights. This is a real bucket list item!
Spread over 278 miles in Arizona, the Grand Canyon offers scenic views almost too stunning to believe. In addition, whatever the season, there will be no shortage of activities during your visit. Hiking, rafting, biking, guided tours and more are available to fill your itinerary. Plus, you can book accommodation inside the national park so you don’t have to travel far to start exploring or relax after a day of adventure. There are also several campgrounds and RV parks inside the national park if you prefer to be a little closer to nature.
Crisscrossing southern and central Appalachia between North Carolina and Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect route for your next road trip. Highlights along the way include Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain peak in the eastern United States, Whitewater Falls, the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, and Linville Gorge, the gorge the deepest east of the Grand Canyon. Of course, there is also no shortage of scenic viewpoints and scenic vistas where you can stop and enjoy the view.
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You might like to go to bed a little earlier than in your youth, but the city that never sleeps offers plenty of things to do that aren’t after hours. In fact, there’s so much to see that there’s really no way to do it all in one trip. So even if you’ve been to New York before, your next visit might be completely different. If you’re a beginner, the obvious sights like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, the High Line, and Times Square might be on your list. But you can also just pick a neighborhood and wander around, see where the day takes you. The Big Apple is brimming with energy that offers something new around every corner. If you like museums, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History are some of them. And, of course, a person must eat. Luckily, New York has a fantastic range of eateries and eateries to suit all appetites and budgets.
What’s not to love about Hawaii? Scenic natural beauty, arts and culture, outdoor recreation, health and wellness retreats, incredible cuisine – there’s plenty to choose from for your trip. Think about it: taking a trip to a volcano, viewing islands from above from a helicopter, and hiking through a rainforest are just the beginning of the adventures you’ll find in Hawaii. Or, you can simply relax by the pool at your resort hotel, enjoying the ocean breeze blowing through your hair.
A visit to the nation’s capital is a must for everyone at some point in their life. In Washington, DC, start your tour by visiting the city’s memorials and monuments such as the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Then, visit the museums, from the incredible Smithsonian museums to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to the International Spy Museum. And take the time to stroll along the National Mall taking in the sights, sounds and sights. You’ll also find plenty of upscale restaurants where you can refuel throughout the day and night to keep you going.
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If you’re looking for a destination where history and music are intertwined, Memphis is for you. This city has many stories to tell. As the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and home to American soul, woven from both blues and gospel, Memphis showcases its musical past at notable attractions such as the Stax Museum of American Soul, Memphis Rock ‘n’ ‘ Soul Museum and Atelier Soleil. This musical history is also part of the city’s black history, which is documented in the aforementioned music museums as well as Slave Haven (an Underground Railroad stop) and the National Civil Rights Museum. When it’s time to relax and unwind, start with dinner at Itta Bena before heading down for an evening of live blues at BB King’s Blues Club on Beale Street.
San Francisco beckons visitors to enjoy everything from historic attractions to outdoor recreation to culinary excursions and more. History buffs will find plenty to enjoy with tours of Alcatraz, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and taking a ride on one of the city’s famous cable cars. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of hiking trails, bike rides, kayaking, golf, and more to enjoy the outdoors. And while there’s no shortage of quality restaurants that let you eat your way in San Francisco, you should definitely head to Chinatown for some of the best dim sum in town.
While the Canadian side of Niagara Falls gets a lot of attention, the American side of these majestic falls also has a lot to offer. In fact, Niagara Falls in New York offers a natural experience of the falls and surroundings that’s hard to beat. At Niagara Falls State Park, America’s oldest state park, you can get up close to the falls aboard the Maid of the Mist. You can also walk along the Cave of the Winds to stand beneath the rushing waters of the Bridal Veil Falls. And in the evening, you can admire the view of Niagara Falls as they are illuminated. There are also opportunities for hiking, bird watching, kayaking, fishing, and more. In the winter, dress up and get ready for snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice skating.
Yes, we mentioned the Grand Canyon, but, seriously, there’s no way to pick just one national park. From Yosemite in California to Dry Tortugas in Florida and everything in between, our national parks are a collection like no other. Outdoor recreation, history and wildlife viewing are just the beginning of all you can see and do. For a more urban experience, visit Hot Springs National Park, which is actually downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas. Looking for something more remote? Try Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. You’ll find a national park just around the corner, or you can head to another across the country. The choice is yours!
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