Lucky you if you are 50 or older. Adventures To Go caters to adventurous Santa Clarans who meet the minimum age requirement. The Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department’s year-round travel program, headquartered at the Santa Clara Senior Center, 1303 Fremont St., makes going on an adventure care free, whether you’re a lone explorer or want to bring a friend or two along for the fun. The guided, motor coach tours are open to non-residents at no extra charge.
“I’ve been on so many trips. I love them. You go to very nice places and restaurants. They’re just great–wonderful locales, and the bus takes you right there,” said San Jose resident Cathy Sheridan. “I’ve gone on my own and met friends. It’s especially good for women because it’s nice to go in a group rather than by yourself. It’s a good day.”
“The fees are very reasonable. We keep them low and affordable,” said Senior Center Recreation Program Assistant Helen Bobias. “We want to encourage our seniors to get out of the house, make new friends, have new experiences, learn about the destinations and just enjoy life.”
If you want to go to the ball game in San Francisco but don’t want the hassle of driving in the city or taking Caltrain, sign up for the SF Giants vs. the 2016 World Series champions–the Chicago Cubs–game at AT&T Park on August 9. The air-conditioned coaches (most with restrooms) hold 25 to 30 passengers.
“It’s a fairly large program,” said Bobias. “We have a lot of day trips, and we’re always open to suggestions.”
A sampling of other unique day trips: KQED Studio Tour, July 14; Jackson Rancheria Casino, July 18; Guide Dogs for the Blind Graduation, July 22; Santa Cruz Follies, September 14; and Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco, December 17.
Adventures To Go also offers extended guided tours. If the Ashland Shakespeare Festival is on your bucket list, the Southern Oregon Getaway trip September 25-29 includes a backstage tour and tickets to the comedy “Shakespeare in Love” and the musical “Beauty and the Beast.”
Trips include a professional local guide at destinations and two volunteer escorts on the bus. Santa Clara resident Donna Dull has been one of the bus escorts for two years.
“I got involved by traveling with the group. I was looking for things I could do by myself,” said Dull. “I found out they needed more escorts and applied.”
“I like meeting all the people and socializing. I like the adventure of exploring in the comfort and security of a group. I’ve lived here my whole life and I haven’t seen or done everything. I meet new people–nice people–on the trips,” said Dull.
Let’s Talk Travel! meets the fourth Wednesday of most months at 12:30 p.m. in the mezzanine of the Senior Center. New trips are introduced and questions are answered. Resident registration for the new trips is open at that time. Non-residents can register beginning the following Monday.
“I can’t wait until the new trips are announced at the meetings,” said Sheridan.
“Couples, singles, men, women–you should just come. At least try it once,” said Dull. “I guarantee you’ll come back. And it’s okay to come alone.”
The monthly Adventures To Go trip guide is available online: www.santaclaraca.gov/seniorcenter. Click on the “Adventures To Go Newsletter” picture. For information by phone, call the Senior Center at (408) 615-3170. The Adventures To Go coordinator is Ysela Villegas.