Q: Hello Peter. At 65-plus I'm quite active and looking for exercise-based vacations for folks my age. No luck so far; can you advise?
–Peter Menendez, Miami
A: There are vast numbers of options for exercise vacations in the United States and abroad, and many are suitable for older folks. I don't know of any that are specifically for the 65-plus set, but most of the companies below offer a variety of programs at various intensity levels.
Bicycle tours are a great way to take in the sights and experience local culture while staying active in the process. Bicycle tours also allow you to adjust your exertion level depending on how you're feeling, so there's no added pressure to keep up with an exhausting routine.
While you can arrange bike trips yourself, there are dozens of companies that specialize in such tours. Such touring firms offer structured, scenic routes.
For example, Butterfield & Robinson offers high-end biking experiences in Europe and elsewhere. Tours come complete with luxurious accommodations and gourmet meals.
Trek Travel specializes in cycling tours throughout the world. One of the company's packages is a tour of professional racecourses, and one even traces a leg of the Tour de France. Tours are assigned by level of intensity, so you can pick one that suits your preferred level of physical exertion.
If you're into water sports, La Jolla Kayak, a company based in San Diego, arranges kayaking and snorkeling tours of the Pacific Coast. The company's programs allow you to see the Seven Caves, the La Jolla Underwater Park, and local wildlife—particularly dolphins and sea lions. This type of program gives you the flexibility to choose your preferred level of physical exertion, while offering an opportunity to experience something different from the every day.
Or how about a dude ranch? While horseback riding is integral to the dude ranch experience, many of the ranches allow you to practice archery, take tennis lessons, fly fish, or hike at your own pace. For advice on how to pick the best ranch for your needs, visit the Dude Ranchers Association Web site.