Ten Great Cities for Seniors For 2009 Visits Print

It isn't easy to pick the top ten in a world full of great destinations, but I can name some seniors shouldn't visit.... Tehran, Baghdad, Newark, Tijuana, Kabul ... nah, enough of the negatives. Here’s a quick list of my ten positive favorites:


Newly-designed volcano at Mirage, Las Vegas


1. Las Vegas NV: Once in Sin City, the world is yours! You don't need to go anywhere else. For your Broadway experience, check into the New York New York Hotel. For France, visit the Paris Resort. For Italy, go for Bellagio and The Venetian Hotels. For Caribbean surroundings, go surf at Mandalay Bay. For classic Rome, march into Caesars Palace. For ancient Egypt, try the Luxor. For losing all your money, just go into any casino.

Seriously, some of the best entertainment and dining in the world can be found just within a few blocks on the famous Las Vegas Strip. While strolling that famous walkway at night, and all for free, you can see the sky light up by an erupting volcano and a fake pirate battle in real ships. All right, if you insist, now I'll talk about other destinations in the real world.

2. New York NY: If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere. It’s up to you to take full advantage of the Big Apple. The city that never sleeps offers posh Manhattan sleeping quarters, endless world-class Broadway entertainment, exotic dining and scads of upscale shopping on Fifth Avenue.

3. London: This noble old town is a nostalgic haven for those looking for British history, and there’s much of it there to enjoy. Additionally, you’ll find almost as much great stage entertainment on its West Side as on New York’s Broadway. Some senior tourists say the London food ain't as good as it is in Paris or Rome, which is absolutely untrue. However, if you believe it, the wonderful sights, sounds, royal parades and classic theater make up for all the boiled beef pies and soggy scones you’ll encounter.

4. Paris: Ah, everyone knows that’s the traditional destination for romantics of all ages. The French food, wine, historic sites and ambiance are all there. Young and not so young, the women are beautiful, the men handsome and sidewalk cafes are charming. During the day, you’ll love sipping your cafe au lait as the rest of the world strolls by. During the night, it’s nobody else’s business what you do.

5. Helsinki: A mixture of historic past and contemporary pizzazz. The Finnish seafood in restaurants and at the waterside harbor shops is the freshest and best in Europe. The people are friendly, and the prices are still relatively moderate because the town isn’t crowded with tourists. Don't go there in the wintertime unless you enjoy shushing, skating or shivering.

6. Venice: A Renaissance city of infinite charm and history, with romantic gondola rides on the waterways as its traditional enticement for lovers of all ages. If you know the special restaurants where tourists never venture, the dining experience can be the best in the world. Shopping is great, but if you're venturing through Italy, because you may find Venice so touristy and high-priced, you’ll take one of those old roads that all lead to Rome to find better bargains. Ancient Rome is great too, of course, but not as sexy as Venice.

7. Amsterdam: It is a beautiful old city, with wonderful architecture, great museums, excellent restaurants and lovely canals. Great nightclubs for both seniors and younger audiences, where innovation and raunch rule the night. Rumors are that city officials are trying to tone down the famed red light district and the open drug culture, but you can be sure they won’t be able to stamp out all the illicit and licit fun Amsterdam offers its visitors.

8. Los Angeles: All right, we must admit it is mostly a huge spread of bedroom communities connected only by impassably crowded freeways. But Hollywood and Beverly Hills are there, with all their shopping and dining glamor and glitz. The Southern California climate and Malibu beaches attract surfers, kids and retirees. Los Angeles area restaurants, especially the ethnic Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Kosher, Italian, French and others, are varied and plentiful.

9. San Francisco: You won't find Tony Bennett's heart there, unless it is served sauteed in some exotic Far Eastern restaurant. This is perhaps the most beautiful city in the U.S., but seniors shouldn’t expect to be able to stroll up and down its steep hills too easily. Instead, ride the clanging and colorful cable cars for an inexpensive and most enjoyable day or night excursion. Dining at Fisherman's Wharf can be fun, followed by strolling the waterfront. The city’s Chinese neighborhood is one of the biggest outside of China itself, and features great restaurants for tourists. But look for the ones local families frequent. They’re the very best.

10. Shanghai: If you’ll be going to the Orient, you can be sure Hong Kong and Singapore are wonderful cities to visit. However, Shanghai is a sparkling, busy newly-modernized city, with its skyscrapers, exotic restaurants, shops and busy streets and waterways.

Of course, there are many, many more interesting cities for seniors to visit, but hey, we had only enough energy today to list our favorites.