Has this ever happened to you? You spend hours planning a perfect weekend away with your family, significant other or on your own (raise your hand if you also like doing things on your own), only to have to hampered by an unexpected event?
There go your plans completely out the window.
What will you do??? How about exploring what’s near you. Others may call this a ‘Staycation’ and I’m all for it!
I’m here to show you that you can be a tourist in your hometown with my list of ways. It’s pretty simple to do and so much fun!
When you’re left to plan something super fast to keep you and your family busy, look no further than your own hometown/city. You may end up being surprised by the hidden treasures you have not yet explored. I live in a small town (3,000ish people), and I can tell you that I have not seen everything here.
7 ways to be a tourist in your hometown/city:
Number 1: Make sure to set aside time to plan
The biggest downfall about exploring where you live or planning a ‘Staycation’ is that you carry your daily habits with you. Make sure your mindset is set as if you’re away from home. That means – No Errands Of Any Kind. Set a day or two aside and make a plan to fill the day(s) with fun stuff.
On the first day, scout out a local large gas station, library or tourist information center and look for brochures on things to do in your town/city. Better yet, check the internet and type in your area on Yelp or Trip Advisor. You may be surprised by what comes up.
Find a local tourism site, like this blog 😉
Number 2: Eat at a restaurant you had not previously tried
Try a new cuisine or a new restaurant in your town/city. It may even be an old favorite for your neighbors, but make it something that you have not tried yourself. Read reviews online or ask people you come across while you’re exploring.
This also ties into tip #5 and tip #6, where I suggest you walk instead of using your car and also to meet new people. (See below)
We are a family of picky eaters, so I know that this may be hard for some of you. The wonderful thing about the internet is that most restaurants offer the ability to view the menu before you walk through the doors. This is particularly useful for families with young children.
Number 3: Take along your camera phone and make sure to capture every moment!
You hear me?? Silly and goofy pics are the best! Don’t be afraid to show your silly side. These are the moments that you will look back and revisit with a smile 😀
Candid pics also make for the best memories. Take a photo of your child eating an ice cream cone or swinging on a swing at the local park. These everyday moments will be extra special later on.
Number 4: Take a Tour
I am fortunate enough to have a Historic Landmark in my town, as well as, a variety of wineries and cider houses. So there is always something to do here.
If you dig deep into your town’s/city’s businesses, you may be happy to know that some places will offer tours for those interested and not necessarily for the general public. It never hurts to ask a local business if you and your family can have a ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ look.
Being a tourist in your own hometown means doing things that you would normally do when you’re on vacation elsewhere. Have fun with it! The worst thing that can happen is that they say, “no”.
Number 5: Take a Walk, No Car allowed!
I have found that my favorite part of any vacation is walking from one area to another.
While on vacation, my hubby and I become detectives. We stumble upon the best shops, cafes, views, and the most beautiful homes when we park the car and just start walking.
We love to walk on local streets, in local parks, even in old cemeteries. During these cemetery walks, we often read the dates on the tombstones and wonder about the person buried there.
We walk in and out of shops, markets and have even found a gallery or two during our walking adventures.
Now, it’s your turn… try it!
Number 6: People Watch & Meet New People/Animals
Being a tourist in your hometown/city means taking time and talking to others. Whether it be shop owners, restaurant workers, or the guy behind the deli counter. You never know what cool and interesting facts they have about your town/city that you did not know about.
In the rush of our daily lives, we never get a chance to stop and talk to people, so take time and do that. I love to people watch and often take photos on busy a Main Street/Business District.
And don’t forget to meet new dogs along the way. My most liked photos on my Instagram feed are often of dogs I meet on my adventures.
Number 7: Go near the water or way up high in the mountains
Depending on where you live, take advantage of the sights of your surroundings.
For some, it is a trip to the local beach/river. For others, it’s climbing high up into the mountains or tallest building just for the view.
Take advantage of the time you have and enjoy seeing your town/city from a different angle.
Don’t let the thought of a ‘Staycation’ make you sad. There are so many things that I’m sure you either haven’t seen or haven’t visited in your hometown/city, that I’m sure this adventure will become your most favorite one.