Explore America's Campgrounds
The glitz and glamour of Hollywood, coupled with the fantastic surfing beaches and perfect weather, make Los Angeles, California, seem like a playground only for the young. But this sprawling metropolis, the second largest city in the country, has plenty of room for young-at-heart seniors, too. From the many well-preserved historic Hollywood monuments and museums to the senior-friendly hiking trails, anyone in their golden years can enjoy what Los Angeles has to offer and, in many cases, at a discount.
Explore behind-the-scenes of film and television productions, past and present at the iconic and historic film studios of Hollywood. While some studios provide walking-only tours, others offer a comfortable tram ride throughout the lot, allowing you to stop to explore sets and take pictures. At Paramount Studios, see the famous New York street setting where a scene from the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was filmed. At Warner Brothers, check out its Midwest street scene, jungle lagoon and, if you're lucky, catch a celebrity on his way to a movie set. Another tour experience that highlights the glamour of Hollywood is the Beverly Hills Trolley Tour. Enjoy a 40-minute ride on an old-fashioned trolley car where a guide points out historic architecture, buildings and iconic Beverly Hills spots made famous by its bevy of celebrity residents.
Los Angeles is home to a variety of one-of-kind museums that may be of interest to seniors. The impressive architecture, design and art of the Getty Center is not to be missed. Perched on the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, the museum is accessible by a smooth tram from the parking structure to the top of the hill with its breathtaking views of the city, not to mention the art inside the museum and the surrounding sculpture gardens. For car enthusiasts, check out the Automobile Driving Museum. This donations-only museum features a collection of vintage cars from as far back as the 1880s. On Sundays, the museum offers a Sunday Ride Program in which a museum guide takes you for a short ride in one of its classic cars. Another automotive museum with an even larger collection of cars is the Peterson Automotive Museum, which includes an exhibit of cars once owned by Hollywood celebrities. Seniors age 62 and older get reduced admission.
Parks and Nature
For a scenic stroll, visit the gardens at the Huntington Library, a 120-acre oasis of small gardens, each with a different theme. Highlights include the Desert Garden, home to several different species of cacti and its famous Japanese Garden, among the most popular and picturesque of all the gardens. Huntington offers reduced admissions for seniors age 65 and older. If you're looking to get a little exercise outdoors, Los Angeles has no shortage of hiking trails in parks and surrounding mountains. One trail that is not too strenuous is Fryman Canyon, which has a short 3-mile loop through the Hollywood Hills. It also tends to be less crowded than some of the other popular hiking trails. You should also check out Griffith Park, which also has low-terrain hiking trails, as well as the Griffith Park Observatory, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Los Angeles, from the Hollywood Sign all the way to the ocean. The observatory offers reduced admission to its planetarium for seniors age 60 and older.
Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world and has a show or performance for every type of visitor to enjoy. Head downtown to the architecturally impressive Walt Disney Concert Hall to enjoy the sounds of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which offers discounted rush tickets, as well as subscriptions for certain musical programs for seniors age 65 and older. For a wildly entertaining dinner show, The Dinner Detective in Los Angeles serves up a thrilling murder mystery for you to solve while enjoying your dinner. The actors hide among the diners, making the experience all the more exciting. You can also enjoy the authentic Spanish Flamenco Dinner Show on the weekends at El Cid restaurant. For a good laugh, Los Angeles has a ton of comedy clubs, but if you can, try to catch Senior Comedy Afternoons, a traveling comedy company that provides hilarious standup and improv comedy shows specifically for seniors in various locations throughout Los Angeles.
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.