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Top 5 Travel Destinations For U.S. Retirees

Top 5 U.S. Travel Destinations for Retirees 

Caught up in the commotion of life, we sometimes find ourselves looking for a change of scenery – even if it’s just for a short stay away or a long weekend somewhere we’ve never been. 

The good news is that the land of the free is home to such a diverse assortment of cities, landscapes, and must-see destinations that you don’t need to go far to find an adventure. Even still, it’s a lot of ground to cover, so we pared it down to five favorites for retirees across the country that will make you want to start planning and packing. 

#1: Florida 

It’s no surprise why Florida is #1 on our list of top travel destinations – the Sunshine State has some of the warmest weather in the country year-round, including temperatures that can climb as high as 70-80 degrees during the winter. And with more than 550 sandy beaches available, you can design the experience that matches what you’re looking for.  

Looking for white sand and gentle water? Try Clearwater, Naples, or Pensacola Beach. 

A lively atmosphere filled with dining, shopping, and nighttime fun? Check out South Beach or Siesta Key. 

Excited to do some of the best snorkeling America has to offer? You’ll want to visit Biscayne National Park or John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Beyond its beaches though, Florida has a ton to offer – take in the sights and sounds of Miami, visit Disney World or Universal Studios with the grandkids, or hop in an airboat for a tour of the Florida Everglades. 

#2: Alaska 

Well-known for having some of the most breathtaking views in the country, Alaska is the best state to visit for anyone craving a trip to a winter wonderland. Home to extraordinary, unique wildlife and 17 of the 20 highest mountain peaks in America, this state was made for those who seek adventure and lifelong memories. 

Take advantage of the Alaska Railroad Corporation and their half-fare tickets for seniors during off-seasons and see Alaska by rail, offering some of the best sights one can get while sitting in a comfortable reclining seat. 

If you prefer to drive, you and your vehicle can board at one of the many ferry destinations along the coast through the Alaska Marine Highway System and journey across the southern chain of islands from Ketchikan to Unalaska. 

Alternatively, you can visit Fairbanks and wait for one of the more sought-after experiences around the world: seeing the Northern Lights. Just make sure you do some research before your trip, as this phenomenon is only visible from September to early April. 

#3: California 

If there’s anything California is missing, it’s a dull moment. From top to bottom, the Golden State quite literally has something for everyone – mountains, beaches, cities, open fields, national parks, fantastic food, diverse entertainment – you name it. 

In general, the more “adventurous” side of state can be found in Northern California. Stand next to the Redwoods and Sequoias at one of the many national parks found here, including Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia national parks 

And while you’re in the state that produces 85% of all wine in the U.S., you can visit Napa Valley, home to some of the finest vineyards in the world. With charming towns sprinkled across the region, finding an Airbnb nearby won’t be the hard part; it’ll be choosing which of the top-notch restaurants in the area are going be your destination for dinner.  

If you’re more interested in some inner-city excursions, you’ll want to visit Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego. Each has a different culture worth experiencing. While San Diego is known for its world-famous zoo and crystal-clear beaches, LA boasts some of the top restaurants in the world and more entertainment than you’d be able to cover during a normal week-long vacation. 

#4: Washington, D.C. 

The District of Columbia is a must-visit for retired history buffs. Luckily, it’s also been scored a 98 out of 100 for walkability by WalkScore.com, meaning it’s basically a foot –traveler’s paradise. And that’s important because there’s just so much to see while you’re there. 

Start at any one of the seventeen Smithsonian Museums in the area, each with its own concentration in the arts and sciences. And with 11 of them located on the National Mall strip, you’ll be able to make a smooth transition to landmark highlights like the Lincoln Memorial, White House, Washington Monument, and more. 

Once it’s time for food, head to any one of D.C.’s top dining neighborhoods – Penn Quarter, Chinatown, or Shaw are all great options, as each of them boasts high-end eateries and fast-food options alike. If you’re a sports fan, this city also has teams in all four major sports leagues; the Capitals, Nationals, Commanders, and Wizards, meaning there’s sure to be a game of some kind while you visit that’s worth checking out!  

#5: New York  

Although New York State is home to one of the most famous cities in the world – one we could write an entire piece about on its own, if we wanted – the city isn’t all the Empire State has to offer. So instead, we’ll cover some of the less-known aspects of this diverse state that make it a worthy vacation spot. 

Niagara Falls is commonly referred to as one of the seven wonders of the world – and for good reason. No other waterfall in the world is as powerful, helping power the state itself as well as Ontario, Canada, by dropping more than one-and-a-half million gallons of water every second of every day. It’s a spectacle you won’t want to miss out on, especially if you’re already traveling to the Buffalo area. 

Meanwhile, the rest of Upstate New York is home to wonders of its own, including the Finger Lakes, Catskills, and Lake Placid, the latter of which is located next to the Adirondack Mountains and Olympic Museum. Head up this way and enjoy some of the best kayaking in the country or stop by one of the area’s towns like Ithaca, Ellicottville, or Jamestown for a relaxing stay complemented by incredible food, entertainment, and more. 

Never Stop Experiencing Life 

Regardless of where or when you decide to vacation, it’s important to continue experiencing new things. If  you’re dealing with a handicap or disability of any kind, just make sure that you plan ahead before taking off for your trip. We recommend digging around on the U.S. Department of State website to find helpful travel information, tips, helplines, and more.  

We’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg with these travel destinations – there’s even more to do within each of these states, not to mention the other 45 that we haven’t covered here. Either way, staying safe is just as important as having a good time, so take time to research the location you’re looking to visit before you consider booking hotels or flights.  

If you’re looking for a lock-and-leave, carefree retirement lifestyle that prioritizes your ability to travel the country, consider Searstone Retirement Community today. As one of the top Life Plan Communities in North Carolina, we’re here to help make sure your retirement is everything you want it to be. Click around the rest of our website or give us a call at 919-234-0339.