Simply Smart Travel

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Meet the blogger

Orenstein, a “retired” college professor, is a syndicated travel writer from Florida’s West Coast. He and his wife Virginia enjoy traveling the simply smart way around North America and the world and love to explore new destinations and photograph and write about their trips. While they enjoy all modes of travel, train travel is their favorite. They can be reached atjorenstein@SimplySmartTravel.com. Please check out their travel tips, photos, blog and winery and restaurant recommendations at www.SimplySmartTravel.com and like them at www.facebook.com/SimplySmartTravel

Thoughts about being after 50

Being over 50 is the best time of my life. I have more freedom to explore new frontiers, more knowledge and experience to draw upon and more resources to do it than ever before. My wife and I work hard at keeping in shape and it is paying off by giving us the stamina and energy to get the most out of our travels.

Plant City, Florida! And Away We Go!!!

Can you name a small town where antiques, a beautiful historical district, strawberries and trains meet and attract throngs of local visitors? The answer is Plant City, Florida. This town of about 34,000 is located just off I-4 between Tampa and Lakeland and is a mecca for locals because of its many attractions. Named after railroad and hotel magna...Read More

Want a Great Trip? Try Chattanooga – Trains, History, Art and Even More!

A visit to Chattanooga is an opportunity to experience history. Few cities in the nation are as closely tied to railroads and the Civil War as Chattanooga. An enjoyable exploration of this Tennessee Valley town shows that railroads and the civil war have defined what Chattanooga was and still have a major influence today. The Nashville and Chattano...Read More

A Visit to Western North Carolina – Asheville, The Biltmore and Lake Lure

Asheville and Western North Carolina have long been popular destinations for southeastern coastal dwellers. They travel there to get a taste of accessible mountains, cooler summers, seasonal foliage color and impressive natural and man-made attractions within a day’s drive. Some like it so much that they establish summer homes there for extended st...Read More

An Oasis of Golf Near The Gulf – Welcome to Innisbrook

Are you interested in a PGA tour-class golf vacation under the Florida sun? How about one that also has abundant nearby attractions including the Gulf of Mexico to delight family members who might not be avid golfers? If that tempts you. then a few days at Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort in North Palm Harbor, a suburb of St. Petersburg, Florida shou...Read More

Cass, West Virginia: Steaming Back in Time to the Top of Bald Knob

The Cass Scenic Railroad, part of the West Virginia State Park System, offers a nostalgic and educational train ride back in time. It’s fun for the whole family, not just rail enthusiasts. Cass is an authentic logging town, not an amusement park ride. The town is situated in the mountains, on the Greenbrier River. It is largely intact and looks a l...Read More

Portland Oregon: Worthwhile, Wonderful and (a Little) Weird (in a GOOD way)

Portland, Oregon, officially nicknamed the Rose City, is one of North America’s truly unique urban areas. Located on the Willamette River where it flows into the Columbia river, it is Oregon’s largest city and a center for architecture and culture that is known for its livability. Because it is a friendly and well-run city with a pleasant climate, ...Read More

The Canadian Rockies: 4 Parks; 2 Countries; Train, Boat, Gondola, and MORE… Oh My!

The Canadian Rockies are among the planet’s most majestic mountains and deserve a prominent place on your travel bucket list. If you have always wanted to see them but are unsure of when to go, what to see, how to get around or where to stay, Ginny and I recommend taking a well-run tour with a professional guide. One of the best is the aptly-named ...Read More

Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Park

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the then 11-year-old Lake Quinault Lodge on the shores of Lake Quinault in the rugged Olympic Peninsula of Washington during a fact-finding trip that so-impressed him that he signed a bill that created Olympic National Park. While there, he lunched at the dining room that would be named after him. Yo...Read More

Victoria, BC: Britannic, Walkable and Beautiful

Victoria is well-known among simply smart travelers as an attractive island city that is well worth a side excursion from Seattle, northern Washington or Vancouver. But this delightful city of 83,000 people located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island has so many charms and attractions that you should put it on your list as a worthy stand-alone ...Read More

Vancouver, British Columbia – Both Delightful AND Approachable!

Vancouver is a cosmopolitan and approachable city. Canada’s major gateway to the Orient, it is strategically located where the mountains of the coast range meet the Pacific Ocean and form a picturesque and busy harbor. The town has been a center of trade and transportation since the First Nations (Canadian term for Native Americans) era. The ...Read More

Canada by Train – A World-Class Journey – Part 1: Toronto

This is part one of a two-part column on taking VIA Train #1, The Canadian, across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver. It is a genuine bucket list dream trip which begins in Toronto, a metropolis worth visiting by any mode of transportation. . Toronto deserves its reputation as one of the world’s great cities. It is Canada’s largest and ...Read More

Montreal, Canada – Simply Marvelous!

Montreal, Quebec is one of North America’s greatest cities. Located on the St. Lawrence River, this city of four million inhabitants, the largest in Quebec, offers visitors a chance to experience both the fruits of 375 years of multi-ethnic history and the feel of today’s dominant French Canadian culture. Friendly to English-speaking Americans, the...Read More

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