The 10 Best U.S. Cities to Visit if You're Over 60
Traveling when you're older can still be filled with adventure.
As people get older, they may start to focus more of their time on travel. This could be because they are empty nesters, recently retired, or simply want to spend their golden years exploring new places. But for travelers over 60, choosing a destination requires extra thought and planning. For example, you may not be able to walk long distances or on hilly terrain. Or perhaps you're still looking for adventure, while your partner just wants to relax. Whatever the case, certain locales are better than others. Keep reading for the 10 best U.S. cities to visit if you're over 60.
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The 10 Best U.S. Cities to Visit if You're Over 60
1. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia is the oldest city in the state, complete with cobblestone streets, numerous parks with large oak trees dripping in Spanish moss, and tons of period architecture.
But what makes this a lovely destination for those over 60 is that it can all be explored via one of several trolley tours. Old Town Trolley Tours is a hop-on, hop-off tour, so you have the option to get off and explore sites like the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist and the 30-acre Forsyth Park. Once you're ready to resume the tour, you can catch the next trolley to continue.
Another option is to take a charming horse-drawn carriage ride. You can stay in a low-key bed and breakfast, check out the shops and restaurants along River Street, or take a haunted walking tour if you're feeling extra adventurous.
2. San Antonio, Texas
Even in the winter, San Antonio's temperature stays in the mid-60s, so it's a great idea when you're looking to escape the cold. But perhaps what makes it best for seniors is its main tourist attraction—the River Walk.
You can stroll the 15-mile path at your own pace, stopping at shops and restaurants along the way. You can even stay at one of several hotels along the water, so you don't have far to go. And if your feet get tired, you can take a boat shuttle or narrated boat tour.
According to Penny Sadler of Adventures of a Carry-on, San Antonio also offers outdoor recreation, museums, history, good food, and a variety of accommodations. A popular starting point is the Alamo, one of the many missions in Texas that are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites, where you can learn about the historic stand between Texan defenders and Mexican troops.
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3. Washington, D.C.
Our nation's capital provides a variety of experiences in a condensed area, making it easy for travelers to get around. Plus, since so many of the Smithsonian museums are free, it's perfect for those on a budget.
Some of the top stops include the National Air and Space Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and the newest addition, the National Museum of African American History & Culture. For some no-cost outdoor culture, visit the National Zoo or the U.S. Botanic Garden.
Of course, Washington, D.C. is also home to many memorials, as well as historic sites like the Library of Congress and the Washington Monument. While many hotels are located just a block or two off the National Mall, putting many attractions within walking distance, the city also has great public transportation.
4. Monterey, California
Located along California's Central Coast, Monterey offers plenty to fill an itinerary, even if you and your travel companion have different interests or activity levels.
Golf enthusiasts will find more than 20 public and private golf courses in the area, including the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links. A stroll down Cannery Row offers numerous opportunities for shopping, dining, and outdoor recreation (local outfitters provide bike and kayak rentals).
At the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, visitors can observe more than 35,000 marine animals in numerous habitats, plus take part in daily feedings, tours, and shows. For those who love wine, the area features 225 vineyards, 82 wineries, and 65 tasting rooms that showcase more than 30 varieties. And, of course, relaxing on the beach is always an option.
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5. Greenville, South Carolina
When visiting Greenville, South Carolina, travelers will love the city's walkability. You can stay downtown without a car at a variety of hotels, which are just steps away from countless restaurants, art galleries, shops, and the accessible Swamp Rabbit Trail which is great for walking or biking.
In addition, Greenville is packed with art and cultural attractions. For instance, at the Greenville County Museum of Art, visitors can peruse a world-renowned collection of Jasper Johns' watercolor paintings, while the Bob Jones Museum & Gallery is home to the largest collection of religious art in the Western hemisphere. There also are more than 50 other museums and galleries, a homegrown symphony, two ballet companies, and six performance theaters.
6. Traverse City, Michigan
If you're looking for laid-back outdoor activities, head to Traverse City, Michigan for a full slate.
"There are beaches, calm water for kayaking, and a terrific network of bike trails throughout the region," travel writer Kim Schneider says. "There are outfitters that let you bike to wineries or go fat tire biking in winter." In addition, many wineries offer dinners and food pairings.
You'll find many other ways to refuel after all that exertion, such as dining outside at one of the waterfront restaurants or lounging on one of the Lake Michigan beaches. If you time your visit for early July, you can experience the National Cherry Festival.
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7. San Diego, California
For great weather any time of year, San Diego rises to the occasion. There are plenty of beautiful beaches, whether you're looking to sit in the sun or hit the surf. Plus, you'll find power beach wheelchairs on loan if walking on the beach is difficult, says Candy Harrington of Emerging Horizons.
Another accessible way to see the sites is to hop on the San Diego Trolley, which takes riders to points around the city and even out to the historic Old Town. Notable attractions include the famous San Diego Zoo, the beautiful Balboa Park, Seaport Village for shopping and dining, and the USS Midway Museum located on a former aircraft carrier.
8. Niagara Falls, New York
For many travelers, Niagara Falls is a bucket-list spot. The majestic falls can be seen from Niagara Falls State Park or via boat tours like Maid of the Mist. On their website, the latter notes that their boats "are designed to reduce wave-induced motion," so visitors of all ages can take part in an adventurous excursion.
Those over 60 should also note that there's more to do in this northern city than just the falls. For example, at Old Fort Niagara, you can see how the people of the region made their mark on American history during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812. Another historical outing is the Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruise, which takes passengers by five of the original 1800s locks and the country's widest bridge, the Big Bridge.
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9. New Orleans, Louisiana
You may immediately think of raucous Bourbon Street when you think of New Orleans, but the historic Louisiana city has much to offer visitors aged 60 and older.
First, New Orleans has a robust system of streetcars that allows you to take in the sites without walking miles and miles. Or, you can take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour.
When it comes to the culinary scene, sample local favorites such as muffulettas at Central Grocery & Deli, oysters Rockefeller at Antoine's Restaurant, and beignets at Café du Monde. For fine dining, you can't miss the iconic Commander's Palace.
History buffs will love the cemetery tours, strolling around Jackson Square, and the National WWII Museum. And, of course, you can pop into any number of piano bars, jazz clubs, and other musical hot spots as you stroll the streets of the French Quarter.
10. New York City
For Malerie Yolen-Cohen of Getaway Mavens, there's no place better than the Big Apple. "For me, it would be New York City," she says. "For the excitement, walkability, and great Broadway shows to binge in a week. Not to mention the romance of walking over the Brooklyn Bridge."
Older visitors can see the city in a variety of ways, including walking through the historic neighborhoods, taking a double-decker bus tour, or taking a Circle Line boat cruise for an iconic view of the city skyline from the water. If ever the walking becomes too much, New York has one of the world's best subway and bus systems, and rideshares and taxis are plentiful.
And, of course, there is no shortage of outstanding restaurants, world-famous museums, and plenty of hotels to put you close to whichever neighborhood you're most interested in.