The Top Destinations for Creating Vacation Memories, According to Travelers

We all have those special vacations that stick with us. The kind that are so vivid in your memory that they feel like they were just yesterday. Maybe it was a romantic trip you took with your spouse or a family reunion on the coast. Whatever it was, you’ll treasure the vacation memories forever.

We wanted to know where some of your favorite vacations took place, so we surveyed nearly 1,000 American travelers over the age of 45. Based on the results, we pinpointed some of the most popular destinations across the country where travelers like you had unforgettable experiences.

Ready to take a memorable trip of your own? Take a peek at the list and our suggestions for making your next trip one for the history books.

Las Vegas, Nevada

What happens in Las Vegas is supposed to stay there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your memories with you. No matter your preference, there’s something spectacular around every corner of Sin City, from the jaw-dropping Cirque du Soleil performances to the crime exhibits at the Mob Museum. You won’t soon forget sitting in the driver’s seat of a Ferrari on the tracks at Exotics Racing or soaking in the city views from the Stratosphere Observation Deck. It’s no wonder this city was one of the most frequently picked memorable vacation spots!

Memphis, Tennessee

Allow your senior travels to take you to Memphis, the Birth Place of Rock ’n’ Roll. Of course, visiting Graceland is an unforgettable experience, as is exploring Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Sun Studio. You won’t want to miss a tour of the National Civil Rights Museum, where the powerful exhibits leave a lasting impression. Round out your trip with a stroll in the Memphis Botanic Garden, and the smell of azaleas will forever remind you of your afternoon spent amongst the blooming flowers.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

No image of Grand Canyon does this destination justice. Standing before the gigantic geologic wonder is something you have to experience for yourself. If you’re feeling brave, venture to the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West, where you can eye the grandeur 70 feet below. Get a window seat and chug along the scenic Grand Canyon Railway, or view the river from above on a Grand Canyon Helicopters tour—however you explore it, your memories are sure to follow you home.

Branson, Missouri

Branson is the place to visit when you’re looking for a vacation of momentous proportions. The picturesque Ozark town offers plenty of places to start racking up the good times, from fishing for bass on Table Rock Lake to daring yourself to ride the coasters at Silver Dollar City. Spend a lazy afternoon sipping wine and admiring the vines at Mount Pleasant Estates, and then stroll down memory lane with a visit to the World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex. Between its beautiful scenery and endless entertainment, Branson will linger with you long after you leave.

Wildwood, New Jersey

After a trip to Wildwood along the Jersey coastline, you’ll fondly remember the feeling of warm sand beneath your feet and the thrill of the rides at the boardwalk’s amusement piers. Soak in the coastal views from a seat on the Great Wheel at Morey’s Piers or pick up some speed on a Lakeview Docks jet ski. Better yet, bring the grandkids along for an added dose of fun! Whether you spend your vacation body surfing in the waves or eating your weight in curly fries, a Wildwood trip will go down in history.                                                       

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Sure, you can visit Wisconsin Dells on your own, but bring your family along to make it that much more unforgettable. And whatever you do, don’t forget your swimsuit! Home to several water parks, including Kalahari Resort, Mt. Olympus, Chula Vista Resort, and Noah’s Ark Waterpark, this city has earned its title as the Waterpark Capital of the World. Prefer to stay dry? Climb aboard Dells Boat Tours and cruise along the Wisconsin River or work on your short game at Cold Water Canyon Golf Course or at one of the many other amazing local greens.

Panama City Beach, Florida

A trip to Panama City Beach is hard to forget. Of course, the sparkling coastline is spectacular, but as are all of the things to do while you’re in town. Get in the vacation state of mind with some vino at Panama City Beach Winery or tee time at Holiday Golf Club. Feeling adventurous? Discover why this region is so famous for its dive sites when you book a scuba diving excursion with Diver’s Den, and then make time for a hike through the cypress swamps on Gayle’s Trails. 

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Long considered one of the best places for seniors to vacation, Yellowstone National Park has so many majestic features, they’re sure to be seared into your memory. Old Faithful, Steamboat Geyser, and Grand Prismatic Spring are certainly the headliners, but there’s countless other amazing attractions in the park. Join EcoTour Adventures for a guided tour and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, from wolves to moose and elk to bears and bison. When it’s time to nosh, check out the Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout for a unique dining experience.

Ocean City, Maryland

Beach memories are the best memories. Whether you’re bringing the grandkids to the seaside or looking for a solo retreat for a party of one, Ocean City is the perfect coastal destination. The boardwalk alone offers endless entertainment, from the saltwater taffy at the Candy Kitchen Shoppes to the flying contraptions at The Kite Loft. As the ocean breeze tousles your hair, cast a line on a Wrecker Sport Fishing charter or practice your swing at one of the many themed Old Pro Golf spots.

Header Image Via: V. Erickson

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