Ethel Andrus, a retired teacher and principal, had a vision of helping Americans lead more vital, challenging, and politically active lives. Pursuing this dream, she founded the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)—and Grand Circle Travel—in 1958.
Recognizing the power of travel to offer new challenges and to invigorate minds, she insisted that Grand Circle tours be designed specifically for her peer group - offering excellent service, easy pacing, and unique opportunities to discover local people and cultures firsthand. Today, these founding principles still shape Grand Circle vacations.
For many years, Grand Circle Travel was based in New York City where it served members of AARP until 1982 (Grand Circle Travel now serves all mature Americans). In 1985, Alan Lewis purchased Grand Circle Travel and moved its offices to Boston.