A retired couple walk the beautiful beaches of Tulum, Mexico, with their dog.

Surprising Destinations for Adventurous Retiree Travelers

Baby boomers are a pretty unique generation. They're living longer, staying more active, and travelling more. This has created a bit of a new niche in the travel industry, from the advent of travel groups to tour organizations like Overseas Adventure Travel catering to "seasoned travelers." These groups tend to be geared towards "young seniors," meaning that you won't be sitting around on a sightseeing bus all day. Whether you're going all-inclusive or striking out on your own, here are some great destinations.


Maybe it's cheating to include an entire country, but there's so much to see and do in Scotland that's it's hard to narrow it down. That breadth of experience is part of what makes Scotland such a great choice. You can take in the castles of Argyll, or wander the lush Angus Glens. There's no shortage of lush countryside to roam, and the country has a long, rich sense of history that they're proud to share with tourists. Of course, not all adventures have to be in the wild.

Edinburgh, with its castle, is a great place to get a blend of active tourism and urban relaxation. Glasgow is another of Scotland's beautiful cities, full of Victorian and art nouveau architecture. If you're a golfer at all, the Old Course at St. Andrews is basically Mecca. And if you're the kind of person who would appreciate the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, you might also enjoy Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail or a perosonal visit to any one of Scotland's nearly 100 malt distilleries.

The Balmoral Hotel clocktower with a cameo by  the Castle

Tulum, Mexico

You probably don't want to go check out the party-central, Americanized resort experience at Cancun, but that doesn't mean you don't want to experience the beauty of the region. Tulum is a great way to have it all. It's big enough by now to be accommodating to tourists, but it also isn't overrun with drunk spring breakers. The beaches aren't the long, uninterrupted white sands of Cancun, but they're less crowded, and just as breathtaking.

cruise day 12

Tulum hotels tend to be smaller, more attentive, and eco-friendly. Plus, the area is rich with unique and historic sites like the famous Mayan ruins. Tulum hits a good sweet spot as far as being "touristy" goes. There's plenty of adventure to be had here, gorgeous beaches, and nobody will look at you sideways for being active. Having said that, it's also not so comfortable that you're traveling hundreds of miles just to stay at a resort that you could probably find in your own backyard.

National Parks

With so much beauty to see and so many cultures to explore, it's easy to forget about or discount the beauty in our own backyard. America's national parks system is one of our country's greatest ideas, and if you're over 62-years-old, a lifetime pass is an affordable one-time fee of $10. The National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation will all honor that pass.

Remote river in Gates of the Arctic

Try the Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska, some 8.4 million acres of wilderness with no established trails. Or maybe the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Or Yosemite, Yellowstone, or the Grand Canyon. Our country is full of adventure. Make yours a grand one.

Last Updated: April 30, 2024