During 2018, an estimated 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day*! With so many folks reaching retirement age next year, it seemed like a great time to explore some travel destinations and trends. Here are a few of our top picks for boomers next year!
Palm Springs, California
Back in its heyday, Palm Springs was a vacation mecca for Hollywood royalty. After a few decades in decline, Palm Strings has come back strong and has much to recommend it to Baby Boomers in 2018. The year-round warm desert weather is perfect for a winter getaway, and the town has a burgeoning food scene for every taste and style. Golfers love coming to the desert and visitors have more than 100 courses to choose from in the greater Palm Springs area. Furthermore, music festivals have become a mainstay – and there’s a movement to bring more festivals like “Desert Trip” – a 3-day lineup in 2016 that included The Who, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Bob Dylan!
Exploring history and heritage becomes more important to people as we move through life, and one of the richest destinations for this aim is in our nation’s capitol. With countless free activities including many national monuments to visit and reflect upon along with the Smithsonian (the large complex of 19 museums and research facilities – 11 of them on the National Mall), there is great value in a visit to D.C. That leaves loads of cash to experience fine dining – there is a long list of one- and a (slightly shorter) list of two-star Michelin restaurants where you can dine. It’s easy to get around town using public transportation or cabs, and the weather is reasonable for most of the year!
Though taking the grandkids to Disneyland never goes out of style, we’re suggesting a more out-of-the-box kind of trip for the whole family. Many national parks are an amazing option for inter-generational travel and continue to be a top destination for the baby boomer generation. Since adults of all ages tend to remember their national parks visits as some of the best memories of their childhood, and baby boomers visit the parks more than anyone else** it’s a match made in heaven! We recommend a less traveled park for your trip: Arches National Park in Moab, Utah! Arches has easy walks, more challenging hikes and even mountain biking for the adrenaline junkies in your group – and the landscape is simply spectacular.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Boomers want new cultural experiences and you don’t have to leave the country to expand your horizons. New Orleans is a fantastic destination for culture vultures, since it’s steeped in culinary, musical, and artistic history. There’s a little something for everyone in the Big Easy, so we recommend soaking it all in whatever way you like. DIY fans can explore the city’s sights on foot, or you can experience N’awlins in a more structured way. The New Orleans School of Cooking offers a fun, interactive hands-on class for $139, and you can also participate in the always popular Haunted History tour of the city.
Now, Miami might not sound like a revolutionary idea for a vacation destination, but we recommend framing your visit in a new way. Miami’s close proximity to Cuba has made Little Havana a thriving, vibrant sector of the city for years, though it’s not as widely visited as South Beach. That’s a boon for visitors – the neighborhood is local, filled with delicious eateries and festivals celebrating the Cuban culture, and is a great substitute if you’re a bit nervous about traveling to Cuba itself. Locals will tell you not to miss La Carreta for traditional Cuban fare. Other locals will insist upon Versailles. You should try them both. They’re that good.
Most Baby Boomers are planning three to five leisure trips next year. Put one of our picks at the top of your list!
**AARP, Travel Research: National Parks Report 2016