The 10 Best Vacation Destinations for Senior Citizens and Elderly Parents in 2023

The 10 Best Vacation Destinations for Senior Citizens and Elderly Parents in 2023

Planning a vacation with elderly parents can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. Choosing the right destination is key to ensuring your parents have a fun, relaxing and memorable trip. This article explores the top 10 vacation spots for seniors and elderly parents, from scenic natural wonders to historic colonial towns. Discover the best destinations that offer comfort, accessibility, and endless sights to explore.

With limited mobility and different interests than younger travelers, where should you take your parents on vacation this year? Read on for the 10 best vacations for the elderly that check all the boxes.

Why Take a Vacation with Your Elderly Parents?

Taking a vacation with aging parents has many benefits beyond just getting away and sightseeing. Traveling together:

  • Strengthens family bonds across generations
  • Allows you to spend quality time together
  • Keeps your parents active and engaged
  • Gives them something exciting to look forward to
  • Creates lasting memories you’ll cherish forever

No matter your parents' interests or physical abilities, the right destination can make for an epic trip.

Tips for Planning a Senior-Friendly Vacation

When booking a vacation for elderly family members, keep these tips in mind:

  • Talk to your parents about their concerns, interests, mobility issues, and overall goals for the trip. The more input they have, the better.
  • Consider destinations with senior discounts and amenities like accessible bathrooms, elevators, shuttle services etc.
  • Book accommodations on the first floor if your parents have mobility issues with stairs or elevators.
  • Look at tour companies that cater to senior travelers and offer small group experiences.
  • Allow plenty of time for rest, naps, and slower-paced activities. Don’t overschedule.
  • Consider travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or interruptions.
  • Work with your parents’ doctors to ensure they’re fit to travel. Have medications refilled and keep health info handy.

Now let’s explore the top 10 destination ideas for elderly parents and senior citizens!

1. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA - Photo, Image

With its arid high-desert climate, rich Native American and Spanish heritage, and world-class art galleries and museums, Santa Fe is a top Southwest destination for older travelers.

The stunning scenery and colorful Pueblo architecture make Santa Fe a feast for the eyes. Many hotels and plazas are centered around pedestrian-friendly walkways with benches, allowing easy strolling between attractions. Don’t miss the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum for an impressive collection of the artist’s iconic work. Take a scenic drive through Bandelier National Monument to see ancient cliff dwellings, or visit the botanical gardens and museums clustered around Museum Hill.

Santa Fe’s elevation of over 7,000 feet may require acclimatization for those with respiratory issues. The dry desert air makes it a great place for seniors with arthritis and joint pain, however. With so much culture and natural beauty, Santa Fe entertainment spans from outdoor pursuits like hiking and biking for active seniors to museums and galleries for those looking for indoor activities.

2. Williamsburg, Virginia

Aerial view of the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, official residence of the royal governors of the Colony of Virginia with brick facade falling gardens - Photo, Image

Step back in time to 17th and 18th century colonial America with a visit to Williamsburg, Virginia. This living history museum lets you experience what life was like during Revolutionary times through costumed reenactments, horse-drawn carriage rides, and tours of authentically preserved buildings.

Williamsburg’s pedestrian-friendly layout makes it ideal for older visitors who want to immerse themselves in early American history. Many of the brick streets and colonial-era houses are wheelchair accessible. Group or private guided tours allow you to customize sights based on your parents’ interests and mobility. Don't miss nearby historic Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Battlefield for a full revolutionary war experience.

In addition to its history, Williamsburg offers beautiful gardens, scenic walking paths, and peaceful waterways for boating or bird watching. The mild climate means pleasant weather for strolling through colonial Williamsburg nearly any time of year. Take breaks for tea and scones in quaint colonial taverns and dining rooms.

3. Glacier National Park, Montana

Saint Marys Lake at Glacier National Park - Photo, Image

For active senior citizens who relish the outdoors, Glacier National Park is a bucket list destination with rugged peaks, pristine forests, and stunning turquoise lakes.

While some of Glacier’s most spectacular sights require challenging hikes, there are plenty of ways for elderly visitors to experience the park’s beauty:

  • Take scenic drives along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and other routes overlooking breathtaking vistas.
  • Ride in a historic Red Bus with other sightseers on easy-access guided tours.
  • Go on ranger-guided nature walks and boat cruises.
  • Visit the park's museums and visitor centers.
  • Enjoy wildlife watching for bears, moose and more.

Glacier National Park’s high elevation means cool weather even during summer, so be sure to pack layers. Look for centrally located lodges like Lake McDonald Lodge or Many Glacier Hotel that offer fireplaces, restaurants and access to the lake shores.

With countless scenic lookout points and activities, Glacier delivers a mountain getaway suited for seniors who adore the natural world.

4. Miami and Miami Beach, Florida

Aerial view of Miami Beach at sunset - Photo, Image

For senior snowbirds looking for sun, sand, and surf, it’s hard to beat Miami and Miami Beach. Situated along the Atlantic coast with a tropical climate, this vibrant region of southern Florida offers easy beach access, luxury hotels, and the trendy, Cuban-influenced city of Miami.

You can comfortably divide your time between the excitement of Miami’s nightlife and attractions with relaxed days soaking up the sun and strolling the boardwalks in Miami Beach. Take an easy walk around Lummus Park Beach to sightsee and people watch. For historical charm, stay in Miami’s art deco district lined with pastel buildings and sidewalk cafes.

Miami Beach also works well for multigenerational families, as there are activities sure to entertain grandchildren as well. Go sport fishing, snorkeling, or paddleboarding, or take them to attractions like Jungle Island zoo. When you’re ready for adult time, send the grandkids to camp or the kids' club at your hotel.

With palm trees, warm ocean breezes, and the Atlantic lapping at its shores, Miami Beach exudes the vacation vibe.

5. Juneau, Alaska

Juneau Alaska from the Sea - Photo, Image

Few destinations satisfy a sense of adventure quite like an Alaskan cruise or tour. For seniors who think they’ve already seen everything, a trip to Alaska promises fresh natural wonders that will reignite their explorer spirit.

Juneau makes an ideal home base, allowing access to massive glaciers, majestic whales, remote islands, and tranquil bays via cruise or guided tour. You can customize experiences based on your activity level and interests:

  • Tour historic downtown Juneau with its gold rush-era architecture.
  • Take a wildlife cruise to get up close to seals, bald eagles, humpback whales and other Alaskan animals.
  • Ride the Mount Roberts Tramway 1,800 feet up for panoramic views of Juneau and the Inside Passage.
  • Browse Juneau's museums, galleries and shops.
  • Feast on Alaskan seafood like salmon and king crab fresh from the ocean.

Juneau’s mild summer temperatures mean pleasant weather for exploring. Just be sure to pack plenty of layers! Between the dazzling scenery and diversity of sights, Juneau makes for an unforgettable senior-friendly getaway.

6. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah Georgia Skyline - Photo, Image

With its garden squares, Spanish moss-draped oaks, and stately antebellum architecture, Savannah moves at a graceful Southern pace. This pedestrian-friendly Georgia city appeals to seniors seeking culture, history, and walkability.

The charming Historic District connects 22 shady parks and public squares, allowing you to walk nearly everywhere. Stop to admire the fountains and monuments dotted among moss-covered trees, or rest on a bench and wave to horse-drawn carriages.

In addition to its Southern charm, Savannah serves up fantastic cuisine showcasing Lowcountry specialties like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and fresh oysters. Between the dining, shopping, and attractions, there are endless ways to experience Savannah suited to your parents' interests and activity levels.

Must-see sights include the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the Telfair Academy art museums. Don't overlook former writer Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home or Bonaventure Cemetery—it’s just as beautiful as it is in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

With wide sidewalks, blocks of historic houses, and green spaces perfect for strolling, Savannah truly feels like a step back in time.

7. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio Texas - Photo, Image

San Antonio charms visitors with its fusion of Mexican and Texan influences. For senior travelers, it’s an underrated gem offering history, culture, theme parks, golf, and endless Tex-Mex cuisine.

At the heart of the city lies the Alamo and River Walk—a vibrant pedestrian waterway with restaurants, shops, and museums that runs for 15 miles. Narrated boat cruises along the River Walk are a relaxing way to sightsee without tiring your feet.

San Antonio is also home to Spanish missions recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Brackenridge Park offers serene gardens and walking paths under a canopy of oak trees. Six Flags Fiesta Texas thrills kids and grandkids seeking adventure.

With its dry heat, San Antonio offers pleasant weather for seniors much of the year. There are scenic drives through the surrounding Hill Country, championship golf courses, day trips to historic towns like Gruene, and, of course, endless authentic Tex-Mex cuisine. San Antonio checks all the boxes as an ideal intergenerational travel destination.

8. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston Townscape - Photo, Image

Like Savannah, Charleston enchants visitors with garden-filled public squares, horse-drawn carriages, and historic Southern architecture from elegant mansions to rainbow-hued row houses. Its location on the coast means there’s also amazing Lowcountry cuisine overflowing with fresh seafood.

Charleston’s food scene entices with Southern classics like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, pecan pie, and the famous Charleston red rice. It's the perfect place to indulge your parents' palette. The temperate climate means pleasant weather for al fresco dining much of the year.

In addition to its food and architecture, Charleston impresses with its true Southern hospitality. Stroll through shady neighborhoods like the French Quarter or venture down sun-dappled alleyways where flowers spill over stone walls and iron gates. Stop to admire the fountains and landscaping of White Point Garden, with panoramic views of the harbor.

Part of what makes Charleston so delightful to visit is that it feels like a Southern small town, layered with history and charm. Treat your seniors to vacation full of relaxation, warmth, and amazing cuisine.

9. Orlando, Florida

Orlando morning - Photo, Image

Home to some of the world’s best theme parks, Orlando is a premier destination for multigenerational trips. What’s special about Orlando is that even though it’s famous for high-thrill attractions, there are also plenty of things for elderly parents and grandparents to experience.

Must-see highlights include EPCOT Center’s 30,000-plant International Flower & Garden Festival, Legoland’s botanical gardens, and Aquatica Orlando’s meandering rivers and white sand beaches. Disney also caters well to seniors with disability services, shuttles, and activities like boating in the World Showcase Lagoon.

When the grandkids want their thrill rides, send them off to the parks for the day while you lounge by the pool or get pampered at the spa. Take advantage of resort amenities like golf, fishing, spas, boating, and even balloon rides. Orlando offers endless entertainment options in an easily navigable package.

10. Santa Barbara, California

Traditional colonial architecture in Santa Barbara, California. USA. Popular tourist destination.  - Photo, Image

With its charming Spanish architecture tucked into gently rolling foothills, Santa Barbara invites you to trade everyday stresses for vineyard tours, birdwatching, and beach strolls. Seniors can partake in Santa Barbara’s endless outdoor pursuits or relax at sidewalk cafes and high-end spas and resorts.

Must-see attractions include the Old Mission, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the scenic red-roofed architecture along State Street downtown. The Santa Ynez Valley wine region pleases the palette with world-class pinot noirs and chardonnays.

Beyond wine tasting, Santa Barbara offers whale watching cruises, mountain driving tours, golf, botanical gardens, and legendary California ocean sunsets. The region also boasts a thriving arts scene, with theaters, concerts, and festivals happening year-round.

With endless sights to occupy your time coupled with laid-back luxury, Santa Barbara encapsulates the California lifestyle. Treat your seniors to a getaway they’ll never forget.

Find the Perfect Vacation for Your Aging Loved Ones

Vacations provide lasting memories, strengthen family bonds, and give elderly parents something to look forward to. With an array of destinations suited for seniors across the country, you can find just the right trip to meet your parents' abilities and interests.

Focus on relaxation, comfort, accessibility, and showing them a great time. Taking a vacation with elderly family members does require some extra planning, but the rewards are immeasurable. You’ll come home with memories to last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the best vacation destinations for senior citizens and elderly parents in 2023?

A: Some of the best vacation destinations for senior citizens and elderly parents in 2023 include places with beautiful beaches, historical sites, picturesque landscapes, and options for excursions. These destinations are ideal for elderly parents and offer something for everyone in the family.

Q: What are some vacation ideas for seniors and elderly parents?

A: Some vacation ideas for seniors and elderly parents include visiting destinations with historical sites, such as ancient ruins or famous landmarks. Other options include exploring places with beautiful beaches, scenic landscapes, or cities with cultural attractions like museums and art galleries.

Q: When is the best time to visit these vacation destinations for seniors?

A: The best time to visit these vacation destinations for seniors may vary depending on the specific location. However, generally, it is recommended to visit during mild weather conditions, avoiding extreme heat or cold. Spring and fall are often considered the best times to travel, as the temperatures are usually pleasant and the tourist crowds are smaller.

Q: How can I make sure the vacation is enjoyable for my elderly parents with limited mobility?

A: To ensure an enjoyable vacation for elderly parents with limited mobility, it is essential to consider their specific needs. Look for accommodations that offer accessibility features and consider renting mobility equipment if necessary. Plan activities and attractions that are easily accessible and provide opportunities for rest and relaxation.

Q: Are there any destinations that are particularly ideal for elderly parents?

A: Yes, there are destinations that are particularly ideal for elderly parents. Places known for their accessibility, senior-friendly amenities, and attractions that cater to different preferences and mobility levels are often considered ideal for elderly parents. These destinations prioritize the comfort and enjoyment of senior citizens.

Q: Is it possible to travel with seniors and have fun for the whole family?

A: Yes, it is possible to travel with seniors and have fun for the whole family. By planning activities that cater to different age groups and interests, choosing destinations that offer a variety of attractions, and considering the specific needs of senior family members, a vacation can be enjoyable for everyone.

Q: How can I keep my elderly parents busy during the vacation?

A: There are plenty of opportunities to keep elderly parents busy during the vacation. Look for destinations that offer a range of activities such as guided tours, cultural events, shopping, dining, or even spa treatments. Planning a variety of activities can help ensure that there is something of interest for everyone.

Q: Are there any specific attractions or landmarks that older parents might prefer?

A: Yes, older parents might prefer attractions or landmarks that are known for their historical significance or cultural importance. For example, places like ancient ruins, museums, or historical sites like Notre-Dame Basilica can be particularly appealing to older parents who value art, history, and culture.

Q: What are some destinations that offer both relaxation and adventure for seniors?

A: Some destinations that offer both relaxation and adventure for seniors include places with beautiful landscapes, such as locations with waterfalls, leafy forests, or hot springs. These destinations provide opportunities for scenic relaxation as well as options for adventure like hiking, exploring, or taking part in outdoor activities.

Q: How can I make traveling with seniors more comfortable and convenient?

A: To make traveling with seniors more comfortable and convenient, it is important to plan ahead. Consider their specific needs, such as dietary restrictions or physical limitations, and make necessary arrangements in advance. Choose accommodations and transportation options that prioritize comfort and accessibility.

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Content writer


London, UK

Hi there! My name is Marcus, and I'm thrilled to be a Content Writer at Arctrav.

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