With so many people being more careful with their money in these uncertain times, it is no wonder that so many people are choosing to stay closer to home for some respite and/or adventure. There has even been a new term coined – “staycation.” And why shouldn’t people explore their own hometowns/regions/states? You may live in Memphis but have never been to Graceland. You may live in Metairie, Louisiana but have never had a cafe au lait and beignet at Cafe du Monde. You may live in Lacrosse, Kansas but have never been to the Barbed Wire Museum. Make this summer your opportunity to see what your hometown has to offer. Here are a list of places/events that you should be sure to research and add to your calendar.
Parks – Local city/state parks are often the most overlooked treasure of fun things to do. Many parks contain things such as walking trails, splash parks, and unique play structures all for a minimal charge or even free! Get out your city/county map and discover a green space that you haven’t yet tried.
Museums/Attractions – Discover or re-discover the jewels in your town that will not only entertain you, but teach you something you might not have known. Don’t just keep saying that you want to visit the local art museum. Don’t pass by your city’s zoo again without deciding to finally stop and take a look. Make it your summer goal.
Transportation – Whether it be a streetcar, a ferry, a train, or a bus, there is so much to be gained by trying out the local transportation options. Not only are they usually inexpensive, but you may even see a side of your community that you have never seen before.
Local Food – When is the last time you had a clambake on the beach or ate dim sum in Chinatown or visited a barbeque cookoff in the place you live? Eating some of the traditional regional fare gives you an insight into the local culture and people in a way that nothing else can – and did I mention it was delicious?
Summer Performances – Here in Maine, I’ll bet we have a choice of 10 summer concert series options within 20 miles of us each week. Visit a summer concert on the green or check out the summer theatre schedule.
Local Landmarks – Your town my by situated on the banks of the Mississippi or nestled in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, but unless you take some time to appreciate that fact, you may as well be living in a characterless, beauty-less place. The natural setting of a town is what gives that town its character. Revel in it!
Tourist Traps – Don your hawaiian shirt and your camera and head out to the places in your city where you are sure to fit in with the tourists from away. See your town through their eyes for once. Notice what makes it so fascinating and be proud!
What great things make living in your hometown exciting? What are your favorite things to do locally?