Experts reveal the top places for seniors to visit for some fun. You can find Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and South Africa on the list, all of them locations with Globe Aware volunteer vacation programs.
The Best Warm Weather Travel Destinations for Seniors
EXPERTS REVEAL THE TOP PLACES FOR SENIORS TO VISIT FOR SOME SUN.
By ILANA KAPLAN
FEBRUARY 27, 2022
If you're in your golden years, your tastes have likely changed since your youth. That applies to travel, too. Perhaps palm trees now sound way more appealing than a ski trip (which is totally understandable). If you're looking for a reprieve from freezing temperatures or want to lean into the relaxation of retirement, there's nothing quite like booking a vacation where you can soak up some sun. Whether you're craving a book on the beach, nature, or just the perks of a warmer climate, there are plenty of places where you can get your fill of vitamin D with an itinerary tailored to your current wants and needs. Read on to discover the best warm-weather travel destinations for seniors.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan is the perfect destination for those who are looking for some island time but also want to pair it with a little bit of nature and history, too. The capital touts everything from tropical rain forests and turquoise waters to a 16th-century Spanish colonial historic district. According to Viator, a global platform for booking travel, "the Puerto Rican capital's proximity to El Yunque National Forest makes it easy to escape into the lush wilderness [and has] accessible hiking to waterfalls." If you're in need of some downtime after all that, visit one of San Juan's many lush beaches like Laguna Grande, where you can get a tan.
According to Viator, Hawaii is ideal for seniors because it not only has a "casual and laid-back" vibe but endless activities to do and places to explore. Filled with rich culture, white sandy beaches, volcanic peaks, and gorgeous waterfalls, Hawaii is a stunning getaway where seniors will never be bored and can choose their own adventure. Whether you're looking to indulge in some traditional island food or are looking for an undersea snorkeling trip, each island has something exciting in store.
Costa Rica is the perfect destination for people of all ages, but particularly for multi-generational families. "For grandparents traveling with adult children and grandchildren, there are specialized multi-bedroom units and villas that work wonderfully for large families," says Helen Giontsis, president of private travel tour company Kensington Tours. Even better? It's easy to travel to from the U.S., making Costa Rica's breezy palm trees and crystalline water a popular year-round getaway.
With breathtaking views, an abundance of wildlife, and deep-sea diving, seniors will find an exciting escape in South Africa. "You would start your day out looking for animals early in the morning from the comforts of your 4×4 safari vehicle," says Giontsis. "Then during the heat of the day, you can just relax at the pool at your luxury safari lodge while also enjoying some really good gourmet meals." Need to soak up South Africa's beauty comfortably before turning in? Find a nice vista to watch the sunset.
If you're looking for a stateside destination filled with wildlife viewing, let Wyoming indulge you. Yellowstone, in particular, is perfect for photography enthusiasts. "Naturalist guides typically consider this to be the best wildlife safari experience in North America, with opportunities to photograph bison, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles against a mountain backdrop," says Giontsis. This can be an alluring activity if you have limited mobility and need to be in a vehicle. Looking to explore other parts of the state? Grand Teton National Park "offers activities like fly fishing, relaxed river floats, and stargazing that are popular with adults of all ages," adds Giontsis. Regardless of where you're looking to spend your time in the state, Wyoming is beautiful year-round (although the warmest temperatures are from May to September).
If you're looking for a location that offers the best of both worlds—beach and city—Barcelona has you covered. According to Viator, "Barcelona attracts older travelers with its whimsical architecture, Mediterranean beaches, and round-the-clock dining and drinking scene." It's easy to be captivated by Antoni Gaudi's work around the city, from Parc Güell to the Sagrada Familia. Need a break from the historic part? Pick up some local goods and artifacts from La Boqueria Market, or get a tan at Bogatelli Beach.
Key West, Florida
Florida is a favorite retirement spot for many seniors. But for those who don't end up living there year-round, it can be a solid destination for a break. "Key West, Florida is versatile with slow- or fast-paced activities," says AutoInsurance.org travel expert Dorothea Hudson. "From water sports to sunset cruises, seniors will find activities to meet their needs and pacing." If you're looking to take in the sunset, be sure to visit the dock at Mallory Square. Then, grab some Cuban food before getting some shut-eye.