Atlanta Zoo
MLK Tomb
MLK Tomb
Oval Office at Carter Presidential Center

Retirement Activities in Your Own City

Many times we boomers travel and discover the attractions of other cities in the US and around the world, most often during our short vacations in our working years.  We just want to get away for a few days and do something different. We visit remarkable museums and landmarks and wonder what it would be like to live in other places.

In retirement I have noticed that I can experience some of these discoveries right here in my own city, during most any mid week day for very little money but get the same thrill and pleasure of visiting some new places.  Most people do not take in the sights in their own city when they are working as they do not have the time or can’t get away for many reasons.  But every city has attractions enjoyed by out of town visitors but not fully enjoyed by the city’s own residents.

For example last weekend I visited the Atlanta Zoo with my wife, our nephew and his wife and two kids.  Beautiful fall day with blue skies and made a day of it, ending up with dinner in the trendy Virginia Highlands neighborhood.  Got the senior discount at the zoo.  Took plenty of pictures. It has been 23 years since I last visited the Atlanta Zoo, so this was like a new trip for me.

Woke up today a few days later, with another beautiful Fall day with powder blue skies and decided to go two places that I have never visited before and always wanted to: Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.

I researched on the Internet and then headed down GA 400 to visit the Martin Luther King , Jr, National Historic Site.  It is a short block off I-75 in downtown Atlanta.  Plenty of free parking and walked over to the King Center and toured the museum (free admission) before walking over to Dr. King’s Tomb and Eternal Fame. A film crew was filming. A couple of doors down is the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary which is being renovated for a 2011 opening.

Next back in the car for a short 1.5 mile trip down Freedom Parkway to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.  Wow, this is a large complex with the Carter Center (not open to visitors) and then the library and museum.  After paying the $8 senior admission fee I toured a very interesting museum.  Man the stuff the other nations give our Presidents as gifts is amazing!  Had lunch right there with fried chicken and two sides for $5.50.  Enjoyed the nice grounds and the lovely Koi pond.

Back home this afternoon thinking this was really something and wondering why I haven’t visited these two huge attractions after living here most of my life. But this week confirms to me that a large benefit of being retired is the ability and interest to get out and see and do things in my own backyard that maybe I didn’t do earlier.

– Robert Fowler

Originally posted 2010-10-21 17:36:09.