With the rest of the world waiting to be explored, why should you return to a place you have already visited?
There are three reasons, I believe, to go back to an amazing destination.
First, you have changed. You are wiser and more understanding than your younger self, and you will see things from a different perspective.
Second, places change, too. Some changes are good, such as improved accessibility and thoughtfully-implemented restoration projects, but others threaten the existence of natural and cultural wonders.
Finally, you can explore the sights you missed the first time around and return to places that touched you deeply.
Here are six amazing places to revisit now that you’re in your 60s.
Why You Should Return: Alaska’s pristine habitats and unspoiled vistas will delight and refresh you.
The Alaska you saw on your last cruise or tour is just one of the many Alaskas you can visit. Head away from the cruise ports and discover the rest of The Last Frontier. Wherever you turn, gorgeous views surround you. Wildlife abounds; from bears to whales, you can see birds and mammals in their natural habitats.
Explore Alaska’s native culture, too; museums, cultural centers, demonstrations and libraries throughout Alaska showcase the cultures of the state’s 11 native groups. If you’re feeling uber-adventurous, visit a fly-in wilderness lodge, join a glacier exploration trip or go hiking in Denali National Park.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Why You Should Return: This beloved temple is too large to explore in only one visit.
The world’s largest religious monument, built in the 12th century, is so huge that it is impossible to see in one day, or perhaps even in several days. It’s worth a return visit, one in which you plan time to linger long enough to watch the crowds leave, walk the halls and pathways in peace and watch the sun set over the temple towers. Put away your camera – you took photos last time – and absorb the atmosphere of Angkor Wat.
Why You Should Return: Germany’s capital city has reinvented itself – again.
Perhaps the last time you visited Berlin was during the Cold War or just after the Berlin Wall came down. If so, it’s time to go back. The edgy vibe you remember is still there, but many of the city’s museums and public buildings have been completely renovated. You’ll find new sights, too, such as the Holocaust Memorial and the Mauerpark (Wall Park), formerly where part of the Berlin Wall stood and now a popular green space where people of all ages like to gather.
Why You Should Return: Costa Rica’s pura vida, incredible biodiversity and natural beauty are calling you back.
There are so many ways to explore Costa Rica’s natural wonders that you’ll need to make a return trip to experience them all. Take a night walk tour of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve; you’ll probably see more wild creatures than you did on your original daytime visit.
Explore Corcovado National Park to see birds, monkeys, tapirs and other animals; day tours to the park leave from both Drake Bay and Puerto Jimenez. Arenal Volcano National Park offers a completely different perspective on Costa Rica.
Hike the volcano during the day – the volcano is still active – and spend the evening relaxing in one of the nearby hot springs. If hiking doesn’t appeal to you, consider touring Lake Arenal by kayak.
Why You Should Return: The rest of Italy is waiting for you.
For many decades, tourist Italy included Rome, Venice, Florence and Pompeii – and not much else. These places are amazing, of course, but there is so much more to Italy. In the southern region of Puglia, you’ll find unspoiled beaches and distinctive, cone-shaped trulli, buildings found nowhere else in Italy.
Sicily’s Greek ruins and bold flavors will entice you to linger just a bit longer than you’d planned. Umbria’s hill towns are as alluring as those in Tuscany, and they’re far less crowded. Up north in the Alto Adige, where you’ll hear more German than Italian, you can explore castles and villages in the shadow of the Dolomites.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Why You Should Return: The Falls are just as spectacular as you remember them, new attractions abound and Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s most accessible cities.
Some sights must be seen in person because photographs cannot do them justice. Niagara Falls is one of those places. The Falls continue to amaze, and it’s easier than ever to get around Niagara Falls’ Canadian side. The Falls Incline Railway and the WEGO bus system are wheelchair and scooter accessible.
According to travel writer Linda Crabtree, who founded the Accessible Niagara website, there are so many accessible attractions at and near Niagara Falls that you could not possibly visit them all in a day.
Some, like the Skywheel and the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, are new, while others, such as Journey Behind the Falls, are much as you remember them. Even the Hornblower cruise, which takes you to the base of Horseshoe Falls by boat, is wheelchair accessible.
Have you returned to an amazing place you visited many years ago? Did you enjoy your return visit? What had changed, and what stayed the same? Please “like” this article and share your experiences and travel tips in the comments below.