Tours & Traveling

The Council on Aging provides monthly trips or outings to local points of interest as well as vacation packages to such places as Las Vegas, Chicago, Nova Scotia, Tuscany, and San Antonio. These extended escorted travel trips are offered throughout the year. Call (231) 873-4461 for more information.

America's Cowboy Country

June 10 — June 17, 2018 (8 Days)

Choice of Wildlife Float Trip or Whitewater Rafting on Snake River, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Deadwood, Crazy Horse Memorial, Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park

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Day-by-Day Itinerary

Welcome to Jackson Hole, America’s most famous cowboy town. Find yourself amid its rare blend of elegance and western charm. Get your first taste of the Old West at your welcome dinner* where your ride in a covered wagon takes you past the Cache Creek Canyon for a night of western hospitality at a chuck wagon dinner with entertainment.

Jun 11, 2018: Jackson Hole

This morning the choice is yours. Enjoy a relaxing wildlife float trip or an exciting whitewater rafting adventure! Both paths take you along the Snake River and offer up dramatic views of a grand landscape complete with a picnic lunch. The rest of the afternoon is yours to experience all that Jackson Hole has to offer.

 

Wind through Grand Teton National Park, home to the youngest peaks in the Rockies. Keep your camera ready. There are plenty of opportunities to take photos. Next, visit incomparable Yellowstone National Park, the first and oldest national park in the world. Yellowstone, a true symbol of the west, stretches across 3,470 square miles and touches three western states. Famous for its geysers, hot springs and incredible wildlife – including free-ranging herds of buffalo – Yellowstone lives up to its reputation. A park guide joins your group to discuss the past, present and future of the park as you observe the unspoiled natural splendor. Of course, no visit to Yellowstone would be complete without seeing its most famous attraction: Old Faithful. Watch in amazement as the geyser erupts, sending a fountain of steam more than 90 feet in the air!

 

Begin your day with a journey along Lake Yellowstone and over Sylvan Pass. From the mountains to the prairies, the scenery is simply astounding. Pass through Cody and visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West – a tribute to one of the most colorful figures of the Old West. Before turning in for the night in Sheridan, make your way through the incredible Bighorn Mountains and cross through the territory of the Great Sioux Nation.

 

En route to Rapid City, stop in Deadwood, a rowdy, rambling western town that has been named a National Historic Landmark. Recreations of turn-of-the-century street lamps light the way through the restored architecture. A local guide introduces you to the history of the city, including a visit to Mount Moriah Cemetery, final resting place of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and other figures from the Wild West. You’ll also make a stop at Kevin Costner’s Tatanka: “Story of the Bison.” This interpretive center features large, awe-inspiring sculptures depicting the relationship of bison and the Lakota Native Americans. Enjoy some time to ramble through Deadwood where gold, gambling and gunpowder were once the order of the day. Later, return to Rapid City to enjoy leisure time for independent exploration.

 

Today, learn more about this diverse region. Jump into the world of Black Hills gold on a tour through Riddle’s Black Hills Gold and Diamond Factory. See skilled artisans handcraft South Dakota’s official state jewelry. Then it is on to Custer State Park, where you’ll ride into the park in search of the herd of approximately 1300 free roaming buffalo (or bison) that grace the woods of Custer, along with pronghorn antelope and elk. Your guide will fill you in on the history and fun facts about the park’s wildlife. Next, prepare to be amazed by the Crazy Horse Memorial, the world's largest mountain sculpture still in progress. The memorial includes the Indian Museum of North America, Native American Cultural Center, the sculptor's studio, an orientation center and theaters. Many Native American artists and craftspeople practice their art at the memorial and are on hand to discuss the influence their culture has on their work. Make a stop in the Old West town of Keystone to have dinner on your own before stopping to see the illumination of Mt. Rushmore, one of the true icons of the West, during a sound and light show.

 

Today you visit rugged Badlands National Park. Upon arrival at the visitor center, view its informative exhibits and displays and watch a film that introduces you to the area. Follow the Badlands Loop Road, a wonder of rock formations and vibrant colors caused by mineral deposits. Next, enjoy a stop at Wall Drug, a classic store from 1936, where there is time for lunch and browsing. This evening, a Lakota Native American will join you before your farewell dinner to discuss his dedication to his community and the Native American way of life, past and present.

 

Your tour comes to a close today, leaving you with many pleasant memories.


Southern Italy & Sicily

November 05 — November 16, 2018 (12 Days)

Palermo, Monreale, Agrigento, Valley of the Temples, Giardini Naxos, Taormina, Catania, Choice on Tour, Mt. Etna Volcano, Matera, Alberobello, Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Pompeii

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Day-by-Day Itinerary

Explore the hidden treasures of Southern Italy and Sicily. You’ll find breathtaking scenery, historic cities, centuries-old hilltop villages and wonderful cuisine.

Your tour opens in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner featuring authentic Sicilian cuisine.

 

Come to know Palermo on a tour featuring its lovely squares - Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria and Piazza Bellini. Along the way, discover an exotic mix of Moorish, Norman and Spanish Baroque styles. View the Palace of the Normans, La Martorana church, and the cathedral which houses the Imperial Crown of Constance of Aragon. In the nearby town of Monreale, visit the 12th-century cathedral with its dazzling interior of multicolored marbles, paintings, mosaics and cloisters. The remainder of your day is at leisure to relax or peruse the city’s museums and shops.

 

Travel over the countryside’s rolling hills and past peaceful farmland toward the town of Agrigento. Stop to explore the stunning Valley of the Temples (UNESCO), one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Here you get an up-close view of the temples of Juno, Concordia, Hercules and Jupiter. Continue on to Giardini Naxos, the “garden of Sicily,” for your 3-night stay.

 

Set off for beautiful Taormina, known for its charming atmosphere, historic monuments and flowering gardens. Join a local guide for a tour of the city. You will see Corso Umberto and the bountiful public gardens, and marvel at its well-preserved Greek Theatre. Enjoy some free time to independently explore this delightful town.

 

Journey to vibrant Catania where the choice is yours! Join a local guide to visit the cathedral and view other iconic sights of this historic Baroque city (UNESCO); then witness the daily spectacle of bartering for fresh fish and produce at the local market. Or, explore the Museo dello Sbarco (Allied Landing Museum); this moving museum is dedicated to the Allied troops who landed on the southern coast in 1943. Later, gather together to discover the impressive Mt. Etna Volcano National Park with a local expert and take in the spectacular landscapes sculpted by nature. Return to Giardini Naxos for the evening.

 

Venture to Messina for a short ferry ride to Villa San Giovanni on Italy’s mainland. Pass through the beautiful and unspoiled region of Calabria and into the Basilicata region. Make a stop along the way at one of the area’s local wineries. Join an expert on a walk through the cellars and vineyards before sampling their wines at a tasting. Linger over dinner featuring regional cuisine in the winery’s own “agriturismo” restaurant.

 

Explore the “Sassi di Matera,” an ancient settlement of carved cave dwellings. A local guide shares the history of the site and reasons why it has recently caught the eye of many film producers. Continue to a local shop for a chance to sample some regional produce. Enjoy free time in Matera to browse the boutiques or taste the local cuisine before heading to the mystical town of Alberobello. Marvel at some of its most unusually built homes (UNESCO)—known as trulliwith distinct cone-shaped roofs.

 

Travel towards Campania and the Bay of Naples, one of the most breathtaking areas of Italy. Make a stop in Salerno to explore the historic city center at leisure. Take a moment to gaze at its impressive cathedral, considered to be the most beautiful medieval church in Italy. Arrive at the Sorrento Peninsula in the late afternoon. Sit back and take in the views of this magical place.

Savor time this morning in the lovely seaside resort town of Sorrento. Then, begin your adventure traversing the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Make a stop in the charming town of Amalfi where you will have time to explore. Then it’s off to Minori. Take this opportunity to sample regional specialties at a family-owned limoncello factory. Later, sit down for a traditional Italian afternoon break at a local café and pastry shop. Your evening is at leisure.

 

Drive along the Bay of Naples to the excavated ruins of Pompeii, nestled at the foothills of Mount Vesuvius. A local guide will provide an in-depth view of this remarkable archaeological site. You will be immersed in history as you explore the preserved buildings of this 2000-year-old Roman town. Later, travel to Rome and celebrate the end of your journey with a farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant.

 

Your tour comes to a close today.


Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

October 03 — October 08, 2018 (6 Days)

Santa Fe, Santa Fe School of Cooking, Turquoise Trail, Balloon Fiesta, Old Town Albuquerque, National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

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Day-by-Day Itinerary
Welcome to a veritable “land of enchantment.” New Mexico is a place diverse in culture and scenic beauty. In both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, discover cities rich in multiculturalism, natural beauty and profound history. Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta has grown into one of the world’s most photographed events. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers.

Oct 04, 2018: Santa Fe

A local guide joins us as we tour the renowned Santa Fe Plaza and the surrounding city. Enjoy time to discover the many shops and numerous art museums that Santa Fe is known for. A special treat awaits at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. It’s your favorite cooking show come to life as you watch an expert chef create a delicious meal before your eyes. Everything is made with a southwest theme and is simply delightful.
Today we set out for Albuquerque. Traveling via the historic Turquoise Trail, you are sure to enjoy the stunning views. Prehistoric peoples made their homes here, Spanish missionaries explored the area, and many battles were fought over this land. Since before the Cold War started, New Mexico has been known as a hub for covert military projects. Next, we'll stop in the quaint old coal mining town of Madrid. This fascinating history unfolds at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History where a docent takes you on an intriguing journey that includes details of the Manhattan Project. Next, visit the gateway to the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. See the ever-changing galleries that highlight local and national Native American artists. With a focus on Pueblo artists, the center strives to preserve their culture.
This morning, enjoy a tour of Old Town Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Savor the unique fusion of Mexican, Native American and Spanish heritages. Experience a “must-do” as you thrill to a ride along the eclectic Route 66. Take some time in Old Town to explore the wonderful shops and restaurants. This is followed by what is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip…Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta. Join in the excitement of this annual hot air ballooning extravaganza as you visit the Fiesta by moonlight. This is your chance to experience one of the world’s most photographed events.
Experience the grandeur of the Balloon Fiesta at dawn as the balloons ascend in the early light. See balloons launch in two remarkable waves. It’s one of the most spectacular displays of sound and color in all of aviation. After your early morning, you have some time to relax.

Oct 08, 2018: Albuquerque - Tour Ends

Your tour comes to an end with wonderful memories of the spectacular Balloon Fiesta.

Spotlight on San Antonio Holiday

December 08 — December 12, 2018 (5 Days)

Mission San Jose, The Alamo, LBJ Ranch, Fredericksburg, El Mercado, Choice of South Texas Heritage Center or San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Paseo del Rio Cruise, Olive Orchard

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Day-by-Day Itinerary

Welcome to the “American Venice.” Historic missions, River Walk restaurants, Spanish architecture and a beautiful river centerpiece make this a truly remarkable city. The sights and sounds of the holiday celebrations are sure to immerse you in the spirit of the season as you stroll along the San Antonio River, illuminated by festive decorations. This evening, get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome reception.

Your day begins with a fascinating tour of San Antonio with a local guide. History and culture abound with a visit to two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visit the Mission San Jose, the second mission established by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus in 1720. Then it’s on to visit one of America’s most historic sites, the Alamo, which played a critical role in the Texas Revolution. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against impossible odds – a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Next, browse for one-of-a-kind goods at El Mercado, the Mexican Marketplace. This afternoon the choice is yours: visit the South Texas Heritage Center, an interactive museum dedicated to sharing the stories of San Antonio’s people and the land that has shaped their lives. Or, explore the 33-acre grounds of the San Antonio Botanical Gardens featuring expansive rose gardens, a conservatory with tropical vegetation, and the Texas Native Trail showcasing ecosystems from the diverse regions of the state. This evening, enjoy the local flavors of barbeque during dinner at a ranch.

Journey to Stonewall and enjoy a visit to the LBJ Ranch, birthplace of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. On your tour of the ranch you will view the “Texas White House” and learn about living in the Texas Hill Country. Continue to the heart of the rural Hill Country and the German settlement of Fredericksburg. The holiday season is a fabulous time to visit with its seasonal festivities and decorations flavored by German heritage. Enjoy the evening at leisure to explore San Antonio’s beautiful River Walk.

You’ll be surrounded by holiday cheer during a riverboat ride on the Paseo del Rio. Relax as the narrated cruise takes you along the San Antonio River Walk. This evening, visit a picturesque olive orchard.* Enjoy a tour of the orchard complete with a wine and olive oil tasting and learn about its history before indulging in a spectacular Texas-inspired farewell dinner.

San Antonio’s natural beauty, history, cuisine, people and music create wonderful holiday memories.