As your children have grown and embarked on their own adventures, you find yourself at a stage in life where time has become your ally. You've earned a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of work, and the world is beckoning you with open arms. Now, in the golden years of 50 and beyond, the world is your oyster, and there's no limit to the places you can explore and the experiences you can savor. Perhaps you're drawn to the allure of azure oceans, the warmth of tropical climates, the richness of historical sites, or the culinary delights of world-class restaurants. This is your time to immerse yourself in diverse cultures, bask in the splendor of natural beauty, and be inspired by different lifestyles. This is your time to live, enjoy, and to discover. So, pack your bags and let your spirit of adventure guide you as we journey through some of the best vacation destinations for those over 50, where every moment promises to be a cherished memory.
The small island of Santorini, Greece, is not just a destination; it's a dream. Offering breathtaking views of the sea in a romantic setting, it's the perfect place to rekindle love or find peace. Plan a catamaran cruise at sunset and let the golden hues of the setting sun wash over you. See the ancient structures in the traditional village of Megalochori, where history whispers in every corner. Take must-do tours, including the Castle of St. Nicholas, the Three Bells of Fira, and the lighthouse. And don't forget to shop along Main Street for local artisan items, a perfect way to remember your journey.
Kyoto, a city that effortlessly blends the old with the new, is popular for its classical Buddhist temples and imperial palaces. It offers exciting opportunities to explore this Asian culture, a culture that has stood the test of time. Enjoy kaiseki dining with carefully curated meals and tour the Shinto shrines. The Nijo Castle is an impressive architectural treasure, a testament to the city's rich past. You may wish to take a walking or a cooking tour while visiting or rent a bike for a mountain excursion, immersing yourself in the city's vibrant energy.
Located in the northern Lombardy region, Lake Como, Italy, is a haven for those seeking luxury and adventure. It sits against the Alps, making this destination ideal for hiking and skiing opportunities with a picturesque view. Dine and enjoy the spas in Bellagio, a town that exudes charm and elegance. Take a hike around the mountainous village of Brunate and feel the thrill of reaching new heights. Tour the botanical gardens at Villa Monastero, a place where nature and architecture meet. Many people come to Lake Como to rent a boat for some of the most serene sailing in the region, a truly unforgettable experience.
Sedona, a place where the earth's beauty is on full display, encourages relaxation, therapeutic healing, and adventure. Hike to the Ridge Trail to see the Red Rock Crossing, a massive collection of red-hued rocks carved thousands of years ago by glaciers. Enjoy a picnic in the Jordan Historical Park and, if you're lucky, watch the sunset, a spectacle that will leave you in awe. Take a bike ride along the Gridner Trail to Dry Creek, with all its twists and turns—fish and wade in the waters of Oak Creek. There's no limit to the outdoor wonders here, each promising a unique experience.
Find something special in Algarve, Portugal, in its stunning ocean, perfect for surfing or the clean, golden-sand beaches. The coastline beckons those seeking relaxation in the warm sun, whether that's by sailing, jet skiing, or fishing. This ancient port town, and others nearby, including Faro and Lagos, offer exceptional cafes and small shops with jewelry and ceramics. Algarve is a place where every moment is a postcard, a place that will make you fall in love with Europe all over again.
Banff National Park, home to Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade, is a natural wonder for its expansive ranges, valleys, and snow-covered peaks. Stay in a chateau-style hotel, go on a guided tour to see the grizzly bear and elk, or trek to Bow Falls for the rushing water. Get inspired by nature on a canoe ride on Lake Louise or do some rock climbing. Banff is a place where nature's grandeur is on full display, a place that will make you feel alive and free.
Queenstown is a hidden treasure on the shores of South Island's Lake Wakatipu. It's also one of the best locations for those who love to climb. Choose from The Remarkables or Coronet Peak, especially if you want skiing to be a part of your trip. The Milford Sound is a stunning fjord you can explore by canoe, kayak, or hiking. Get on a jet boat to check out the expansiveness of the Shotover and Dart Rivers. Queenstown is where adventure and tranquility coexist, a place that will make your heart race and soul sing.
Provence offers luxury spas and retail therapy but also some exceptional culinary experiences. The area is noted for saffron, olive oil, wild herbs, and other ingredients to tempt your tastebuds. The best way to experience them is on a culinary tour which you can book alongside Roman ruins and quarry walking tours. Explore cities like Avignon, Noves, and Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, all known for their fine cuisine and countryside escapes. Provence is a place where every meal is a celebration, a place that will make you fall in love with food all over again.
Lucerne is often considered the heart of Switzerland, located at the foot of the Alps on Lucerne Lake. The city is enchanting with castles, old wood-covered bridges, Chapel Bridge, and music-filled festivals. It's a location where luxury boutiques and fine-dining seafood come together to create a memorable experience. Try destinations like Stadtkeller for ambiance and Restaurant Schiff for hospitality. Lucerne is a place where tradition and modernity meet, a place that will make you feel at home.
Victoria Falls, which sits on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is a spectacular view. With over 17 billion cubic feet of water going over the edge every minute, it's incredible to see in person. While here, swim below the falls, go white water rafting, or kick up your adventure by bungee jumping. Other activities include abseiling, hydrospeeding, and gorge swings. Victoria Falls is a place where nature's power is on full display, a place that will leave you in awe.
Well known for its rugged rainforest, Costa Rica provides a vacation destination centered around nature and history. Explore the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum to learn the history of the area. Take a helicopter ride over the volcanoes and dense rainforest. You can often see spider monkeys on the edges of town. Visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve to learn about the natural habitat and take in the beaches at Parque Nacional Corcovado. Costa Rica is a place where every day is an adventure, a place that will make you feel alive.
Once you land in Prague, you'll notice about 500 spires that make up the city's skyline. In the 19th century, there were only around 100 of these spires. Today that's grown substantially, and many churches and buildings offer tours for a closer look. The well-preserved skyline and Neo-Gothic architecture lure many travelers to the area. Tour the Church of Our Lady Before Tyin, one of the most well-recognized destinations. Prague is a city that wears its history with pride, a city that will make you feel like you've stepped into a fairy tale.
Good food, smiling faces, and a warm, welcoming greet you throughout Charleston, South Carolina. Don't just look—explore the city. For good Southern food, visit Leon's Oyster Shop and Basic Kitchen. Learn about the area's culture at the Gibbes Museum of Art. Take a kayaking trip along Shem Creek. You can also shop for culinary treats at the Charleston Farmers Market or learn the city's history at Fort Sumter. Charleston is a city that exudes charm and hospitality and will make you feel at home.
The spectacular Northern Lights experience in Reykjavik, Iceland, is reason enough to visit on its own, creating a bright, colorful display in the nighttime sky. This coastal city is also home to the Saga Museum, which tells Viking history. A must-see is the Perlan glass dome at the Hallgrimskikja church, or why not relax in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon spa? Reykjavik is a city that's as vibrant and colorful as the Northern Lights themselves, a city that will make you feel alive.
Paris is a world-class city noted for its romantic vibe and fashion. Much of the region's history is in these historic spaces, from the Notre Dame Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower. Get to know that culture intimately by taking a culinary tour or cooking class, viewing art at the Louvre Museum, and taking the Paris Pass to about 50 cultural attractions throughout the city. Paris is a city that's as timeless as it is modern, a city that will make you fall in love.