Jay Lloyd's Getaway: SEPTA for seniors

SEPTA Regional Rail train
Photo credit Jay Lloyd/KYW Newsradio
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There are certain advantages to aging. Senior status brings a smorgasbord of opportunities that seem remarkable. 

So, I'll remark on a few. 

First, there's retirement. With it, for many of us, comes the ability to volunteer or work when we want, where we want. Then, there's leisure time, getaways, discounts and free travel throughout the Philly region on SEPTA rail, bus, subway and trolley lines. 

Let's stop right there, because this is a bonanza. It relieves us of driving busy highways and congested city streets. And it takes us on day trips or overnights to unique spots we resist visiting because — let's face it — driving becomes a chore, not a youthful pleasure. 

So, what and where? 

Manayunk/Norristown Line

To me, this is the mother lode of opportunity, whether you live in the city or western suburbs. 

Parking at the Norristown Transportation Center is a soft $3 a day. The ride is free, and the passing scene is enjoyable. A stop at Conshohocken takes you to a revitalized town that has become a gathering spot to meet friends who do drive. 

At the intersection of the Blue Route, Expressway and the rail station, we train here to meet friends at the Lucky DogGreat American Pub, and Flanigan's Boathouse — even go up the culinary scale. 

Ride the train a little further to boutique shopping and global flavors at Manayunk on the Schuylkill — a pain to drive and park, but just a comfy stroll from the train. 

Then, book an overnight getaway in Philly. We stay at the Hilton Garden Inn across the street from Jefferson Station. It's lunch in Chinatown, a walk through history at Independence Mall, then dinner choices from Old City and Rittenhouse or University City while riding the free buses from east to west. 

Stop to shop at Reading Terminal Market before the ride home.

Media trolley

Media, the county seat of Delaware County, isn't often thought of a day-trip destination, unless you live nearby. But this compact suburban town has become a hub for dining, theater and strolling. 

Ride the SEPTA 102 trolley from Upper Darby or pick it up anywhere along the route, and arrive in the heart of Media. See live professional theater with both matinee and evening performances at the Media Theatre and score discounted senior tickets. 

Then have lunch or dinner at a collection of notable eateries within walking distance. My favorites are Spasso for a creative Italian feast or Iron Hill Brewery for pub fare, steps from the trolley stop.

Lansdale/Doylestown Line

When was the last time you visited the fascinating Michener Art Museum, founded by the author who inspired "South Pacific" and changed the reading habits of generations with pioneering historical fiction?

Hop the Lansdale/Doylestown Line in Center City or on the route to the end of the line. You'll be a short walk from the museum and the restaurants that surround the Bucks County Courthouse. 

The county is known as a haven for artists and writers. The museum offers a kaleidoscope sampling of unique local art in paintings, sculpture and woodwork. Changing exhibits highlight a global array of artwork. 

Next, stroll uptown to the classic Doylestown Inn for a comfort food lunch or dinner at the Hattery.

By the way, the free rides for seniors are funded by those Pennsylvania lottery tickets you buy. Enjoy the rides and good luck in the lottery.