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.

Springtime Tulip River Cruise Discovery

April 05 — April 13, 2018 (9 Days)

7-Night River Cruise: Volendam, Arnhem, Middelburg, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Kinderdijk Windmills, Keukenhof Gardens

Day-by-Day Itinerary
 

Savor springtime in Holland and Belgium with a cruise that highlights the blooming Dutch tulip fields.

Your journey opens in Amsterdam, the 800-year-old thriving capital of the Netherlands. Board your ship and unpack once for a relaxing 7-night river cruise. Your beautiful vessel offers the newest technology, panoramic deck, panorama bar, delicious cuisine including regional wines with every dinner, and outstanding service. Tonight, a cocktail is served in the Panorama Bar where you will meet your fellow travelers before a lovely welcome dinner. Enjoy an overnight stay on the ship in Amsterdam.

After breakfast, view some of Amsterdam’s most important sites and diverse architecture while on a city tour. You will also get to see the city from the water during a delightful canal cruise. Midday, visit the little fishing town of Volendam where you can still find fishermen dressed in traditional caps and baggy-legged trousers. A visit to a local cheese farm illustrates the process of how cheese from the area is made and also allows you the opportunity to sample some of the delicious results! During dinner, the ship resumes its cruise to the IJssel Sea.

Late this morning we arrive in Arnhem, location of the favorite summer retreat of the Dutch royal family. This afternoon, pass by lovely Dutch scenery as your journey continues.

Today your ship docks in Middelburg, the capital of the Dutch province Zeeland. It is known as “the monumental city” because over 1,100 monuments dot its landscape. This afternoon you may take an optional excursion to the Deltaworks Project located at Neeltje Jans. This is an amazing example of how the Dutch have truly tamed the environment in which they live. Your excursion continues with a stop in the lovely town of Veere, a prosperous trading port in the Middle Ages due to the wool trade with Scotland; today it is a favorite spot for visitors.

Welcome to the Imperial city of Ghent. Lined with typical patrician houses in its city center, Ghent conveys the splendor of by-gone days. Perhaps you will join an optional sightseeing tour that includes St. Bavo Cathedral with its world-famous painting of the altar of the citizens of Ghent and the "Belfried" with its bell tower. This afternoon, allow yourself to be transported back to another time during a leisurely paced walking tour of Bruges, one of Europe’s most perfectly preserved medieval cities.

Today the ship docks in Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest city, which boasts beautiful Gothic and Baroque architecture and lively cafés. Join a local expert exploring the city’s historical sites including the "Liebfrauenkirche," Belgium’s largest Gothic church; the legendary Brabo Fountain; and the Rubens House, home of the prolific painter. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping and independent exploration. Tonight, the captain welcomes you to the elegant Captain’s Gala Dinner, immediately followed by an evening of dancing.

Stop in Kinderdijk (UNESCO World Heritage site) to experience Holland’s largest concentration of windmills, many still operating, and to get a revealing glimpse into Holland’s age-old battle with the sea. After lunch, explore the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, spanning more than 70 acres within a beautiful park of tranquil ponds and shaded paths. With more than seven million tulips and other flowers on exhibit, Keukenhof is a kaleidoscope of color in bloom. Your day concludes with a farewell dinner and a typical Dutch folklore show celebrating the end of an unforgettable river cruise through Holland and Belgium.

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


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

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

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.