3 Fun Activities for Seniors in the Bay Area

Trying to find things to do for seniors among the top Bay Area attractions? Here are just a few activities worth considering, plus a look at some of the top over 55 communities in the Bay Area that will put all of your favorite Bay Area attractions within reach.


Bay Area Attraction 1: Wave Organ

Set along the seashore near Coghlan Beach, and a short walk away from the Palace of Arts—discover Longines Rock Garden. An art installation made of granite and marble on a jetty, you’ll also find 25 pipes that are activated by waves to make the sound of an organ.


If your idea of senior activities involves something quiet and low-key, this is an ideal spot. There are rock steps you can travel down to get a better view of the water, but the area itself is also wheelchair accessible. It’s also not a very busy attraction, so many people recommend it if you’re looking for a little peace and tranquility.


Bay Area Attraction 2: The Conservatory of Flowers

Greenhouses and conservatories were fashionable in the latter half of the 19th-century. At San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers, you’ll find all sorts of tropical plants that were brought to California from around the world by explorers and botanists.


The precise origin of the Conservatory of Flowers is shrouded in mystery, but the story begins in the early 1870s with James Lick—a California pioneer who made his fortune in real estate and practiced horticulture. He collected pieces that were intended to build two conservatories, but died before he could see them come to fruition. The collection of glass, totaling 33 tons, was then donated to the Society of California Pioneers and eventually, the Park Commission. However, the first opening of the conservatory didn’t occur until 1979, about three years after Lick’s death.


Today, you can visit the Conservatory of Flowers to enjoy an intimate, up-close experience with rare and endangered plants unlike any other. Visiting seniors receive a discounted entry, making a trip to the conservatory a bargain, as far as top senior activities go. It’s also wheelchair accessible for both motorized and non-motorized chairs with two non-motorized wheelchairs at the ticket booth that visitors may use on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bay Area Attraction 3: Filoli

Located 30 miles south of San Francisco, Filoli is nestled on a slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains and surrounded by more than 23,000 acres of the protected Peninsula watershed. There are a few opportunities that you can explore on-site, with the two main ones being the house—a 54,256 square foot mansion with a total of 56 rooms—and the garden.


The house was designed by architect Willis Polk and took three years to construct, for $425,000 ($8.5 million in 2020 currency). And this cost doesn’t even include the Garden and auxiliary buildings. The garden offers 16 formal acres, with at least 75,000 spring buds planted every year. Originally employing 12 gardeners in 1929, its staff now includes 14 full-time horticulturists. 


These are just a few unique things to do for seniors exploring the many Bay Area attractions. If you’re looking to make California more of a full-time home though, there are also a few over 55 communities in the Bay area worth considering, like Del Webb’s up and coming Del Webb at River Island. Find your perfect home in California and stay connected to the many senior activities the area has to offer.



Contributed to The 55+ Society by Casey McKenna-Monroe

Looking for more Society tips and learnings? Return Home here.

Published  12.30.21 

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