Top Five Ways to Explore Your City
With all of the great destinations in the world, it may be easy to forget the one right outside your door. While it may or may not be a tourist hot spot or a large city, your hometown is sure to have its merits. I grew up in the teeny, tiny Midwest town of Johnsburg, IL (any Tom Waites fans out there??). Despite the lack of things to do there , I remember writing an article for our high school newspaper on how to have a staycation spring break, which is pretty similar to this here blog. It was fun to research and, even then, I was compelled by the idea that anywhere can be a vacation spot with some research, positivity, and maybe a little imagination. When researching how to make Johnsburg a fun staycation destination, I believe we walked to the Mobile Gas Station for candy, stopped into Video Villa for a movie, and walked over to the public library to check out the selection. I remember it as being a pretty solid day. Anyways, the point of the matter is this: not everyone has the resources to travel each instance they get their hands on some vacation time, but it’s important not to overlook the beautiful place you live if you’re in need of an escape. Here are my five best tips to explore your city:
- Plan a stay at a local hotel – See your hometown as a visitor would by planning a little staycation at a hotel that interests you. Look on Tripadvisor to find one that matches your needs and budget. Go all out and pair it with a night on the town, or stay in and enjoy the hotel amenities. Either way, you’ll get to see a different side of your city that you wouldn’t get to witness inside your apartment.
- Check Pinterest – The world wide web is obviously full of information, and Pinterest gives you a concentrated selection of the points of interest that are in your city. The attractions others found there might be things that never would have occurred to you. Furthermore, it may direct you to websites dedicated to events and festivities near you that you may have been completely unaware of.
- Take a tour – “Take a tour of my own city?? That’s crazy” you might be saying to yourself right about now. But, think about it, when you first moved to your particular corner of the globe, did you bother looking into tours of places that interested you? No? I certainly didn’t. And in this day in age, there are so many independent tour companies out there, that you’re sure to find one in your city that is centered around your interests. For example, the walking cupcake tour of Chicago is something I’d definitely like to try.
- Pick a Neighborhood and go for a stroll – Within your hometown, choose a neighborhood or area that you have yet to explore and take a walk. Sometimes the best coffee shops/restaurants/stores are ones that you’ve stumbled upon randomly. Better yet, stop into each restaurant that catches your interest and have an appetizer, drink or dessert there to create your own personal food tour.
- Attend an Event or Festival – This may seem like a given, but not everyone takes advantage of these opportunities. There can be a ton of possibilities that suit all interests in terms of fests and events, especially during this time of year. For example, during the summertime in Chicago, there is an art fair, music festival or street fest happening almost every single weekend. Choose one and discover a new neighborhood, new restaurant or new side of your hometown.
What is your favorite way to explore your own city? How often do you try new things in your hometown?