If you have dreamed of discovering new places and having the experiences of a lifetime, count down with us as we unveil this year’s list of incredible destinations worth exploring!
10. The San Juan Islands
On this magnificent archipelago in Washington State, you’ll witness the wildlife and vistas that these Pacific Northwest waters are renowned for. Join Road Scholar experts on the search for Orca and Humpback whales, harbor seals and porpoises, and watch while bald eagles soar overhead. There’s something for everyone here — hikers will enjoy exploring the coastline and forests, kayakers will delight in opportunities to paddle along narrow inlets and beaches, while marine enthusiasts can take in a whale observation at the Limekiln Lighthouse and visit the Whale Museum. If you’re ready to enhance your knowledge of wildlife preservation, fauna and marine mammals — and revel in the beauty of the 25-acre Pelindaba Lavender Farm — be sure to add the San Juan Islands to your “must visit” list!
Join Road Scholar in the San Juan Islands!
9. The Canadian Rockies
Did you know that an estimated 50 peaks in the Canadian Rockies reach 11,000 feet above sea level? This jaw-dropping mountain range spans across British Columbia and Alberta and is home to some truly “wild residents” — bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, moose and elk are just a few native residents to call this incredible landscape their home. And there’s no wrong way to explore the Canadian Rockies. Join our experts for a journey by horseback or train, raft along its wild rivers or even board a glass-enclosed gondola for better views of ancient glaciers and jagged, ice-capped peaks. Delve into history in Banff, Canada’s oldest national park, and take a visit to the exclusive mountain resort of Chateau Lake Louise. Hike Yoho National Park to observe vertical rock walls, waterfalls and stunning peaks.
Learn with us in the Canadian Rockies!
8. New Orleans
Laissez le bon temps rouler! In New Orleans, you’ll hear this phrase wherever you go — “Let the good times roll!” Music, food and celebrations are a way of life here, and you can begin to discover the heritage that the Crescent City is famous for by immersing yourself in the iconic jazz music scene of the French Quarter, complete with colorful buildings and cast-iron balconies along Bourbon Street. Savor fresh Jambalaya and join our experts at the New Orleans School of Cooking where you’ll taste cuisine embracing a melting pot of French, African-American and American cultures. (Save room for those famous beignets and bread puddings!) Take in some of the city’s most beautiful homes in the Garden District, and be sure to spend an afternoon at the National World War II Museum.
See our array of learning adventures in New Orleans!
7. Peru & the Galápagos
For many explorers, Machu Picchu and the Galápagos Islands are at the top of their “bucket” list — and we certainly can’t argue with that! From the mountains to the coast, Peru has diverse and magnificent beauty. Whether you’re ready to trek the Inka trail to the preserved sacred ruins of Machu Picchu, or journey off the coastline to explore the awe-inspiring Galápagos Islands, we guarantee this will be the journey of a lifetime. Meet locals along the way in the bustling capital of Lima and quiet villages where textiles are woven from traditional Andean techniques. In the Galápagos Islands, you’ll swim and snorkel in search of sea turtles, rays and sea lions and learn about the Galápagos giant tortoise and wildlife conservation efforts.
Make new discoveries in the Galápagos!
6. New York City
There are endless possibilities for discovery in the city that never sleeps! Feel the energy as you explore the streets of Manhattan from Times Square to the Metropolitan Opera House. Catch a Broadway show in the theater district or admire the Empire State Building and take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island — the gateway to America for millions of immigrants. Join our experts inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art and explore Central Park with iconic monuments and architecture at every turn. Plan a Christmastime trip to experience the exhilarating magic of Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree lights and ice skating rink, and see the Rockettes perform their high kicks at Radio City Music Hall.
Experience learning and adventure in New York City!
If you’re an animal lover, one of the most awe-inspiring movements of wildlife on Earth happens in Africa as zebra, wildebeest and other large mammals make their dramatic migration from the Serengeti plains to Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve. Another amazing Road Scholar adventure leads you into Tanzania on a classic safari where you’ll search rarely-explored reserves and national parks during expert-led game drives for the Big Five — lions, cheetahs, the elusive leopard, rhinos, and elephants — in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. Engage in time spent with villagers at a local school to follow in the footsteps of what their typical day is like, perhaps joining the kids for a game of soccer.
Learn with our experts in Africa!
Prague is one of the jewels of central Europe, where gothic rooftop spires evoke the feeling of being inside a fairy tale. In this incredible medieval city, immerse yourself in exquisite world-class art, breathtaking architecture and historic monuments and castles. Encounter beautiful churches along the way as you stroll over the historic Charles Bridge. Join fellow Road Scholars as you spend New Year’s Eve in magnificent Old Town to enjoy the lively Christmas markets, sampling mulled wine, chestnuts, potato pancakes, and sausages in this festive environment. And then ring in the New Year in a traditional Bohemian restaurant with music and dancing.
Join us for a learning adventure in Prague!
3. Mackinac Island & the Great Lakes
Cars are not allowed on Mackinac Island, which means that your choices of transportation are horse-drawn carriage, bicycles or walking — a truly delightful way to experience this island frozen in time. Take in the vistas of Lake Huron over a cup of tea at the Grand Hotel. With Road Scholar experts, gain an understanding of the island’s history at Fort Mackinac, discuss the geology of the island and delve into the resort’s rich traditions. Then take a voyage to all five Great Lakes — Huron, Erie, Michigan Superior and Ontario — to immerse yourself in the pristine natural beauty of these fresh waters, soaking up stories that have taken place along these lakes, culminating in an up-close thrill at Niagara Falls.
See our learning adventures on the Great Lakes!
Sedona is the heart of Red Rock country and it’s nothing short of spectacular! On a Road Scholar learning adventure, ride the heritage Verde Canyon Railroad or experience a “Pink Jeep” off-road adventure to view color-seeped rock formations up close — and delight in a day trip to the Grand Canyon. Sedona is also known for its healing arts, with plenty of opportunities to participate in ancient and new-age practices for the mind, body and spirit including yoga, Qi Gong and Ayurveda. With Red Rock State Park as their backdrop, Road Scholar golfers can hone their skills on renowned courses while receiving tips from PGA-certified pros.
Find inspiration in Sedona!
In Ireland, the hillsides are green, the history is rich and the people are nothing short of charming. Immerse yourself in wild and verdant landscapes of the Emerald Isle as you stand atop the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher, step inside medieval castles and spot megalithic ruins. Enjoy a pint at a cozy pub while you explore County Kerry and practice your Irish jig as you enjoy lively traditional music. Visit iconic cities like Galway and Dublin at the mouth of the River Liffey. Join Road Scholar experts as you dig into the history of Northern Ireland, learn about Cork’s Irish emigration or the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands. Be sure and kiss the famous Blarney Stone for luck!
Learn with us in Ireland!