Updated: May 1, 2018
5 Ways to Be a Tourist in Your Hometown: On a Budget
Ever wandered into a new neighborhood minutes from your home or area you frequent and thought "hey, that place looks cool, never even knew it was there" or "wait, slow down, did you see that new restaurant, i wonder what they sell"?
“Home is where you hang your heart, where memories are created, friends and family are loved, and never-ending happiness flourishes.”
We've all been there at least once. All those days of riding past the nearest construction site patiently waiting to see what the new hot spot will be and if you will plan on going broke to visit. GO! You don't have to go all the way to Philly to get a good cheesesteak (however, Philly has some un-toppables). You don't have to buy a bus ticket to visit that festival 2 states away when it may be coming to a city near you. You don't have to travel far in order to visit a museum or historical site that you're interested in. Low budgets and time constraints often put a dent in the fun of outdoor adventures and travelling. But just because you can't go far, doesn't mean you can't explore, try something new, and have a blast. You'd be surprised to know how much there is to see and do in your city, that you never knew about. Bring Your Camera!
1. Google EVERYTHING
Google is your best friend. You can literally Google local events and things to do in your city. Local city calendars usually offer plenty of information about free activities/events in the area. Search Eventbrite. This is an awesome source that offers information regarding date, time, location and price of several events happening today, tomorrow and all month, citywide. You can also search and join community forums. Here you can usually find neighborhood events like cookoffs, free sports games open to the public, mini festivals, outdoor markets, the little things to inhale on a chill Saturday...
2. Change the Way You Move
Take that route that you always pass wondering where it goes! If you normally catch the underground Red line Metrorail to downtown and hop off, cross the street, hit that Mediterranean spot on the corner and walk around that area, change that this weekend. Consider taking an uber/lyft downtown so you don't have to focus on driving, all while sitting in the backseat peeping that new bar 5 mins from your house that you never knew existed. When you get downtown, consider taking a hop-on/hop-off bus tour where you can go further and see more in the same amount of time it would've taken you to walk a few blocks and hop back on the train. Nevertheless, if you love to walk, you got options. Join a walking tour so you can see different attractions that you can tell your friends about later. Bonus Action: Every major US city offers sightseeing tours that vary in experience but normally include some form of transportation, commentary and a guided theme. Do it! You can learn a lot about the history in your city!
3. Be Fancy
Go to that touristy restaurant that everyone talks about when they come to your city. Order the dish they pledge allegiance to and taste what your city is known for. Afterwards, if you have a little extra cash, book a room at that fancy hotel you've always dreamed of staying at but don't because, well, you live here. If you're gonna do it, do it big!
4. Be a Cheerleader
Head over to the local arena and go to a sports game or find a popular sports bar with free entry to watch a game on the big screen, surrounded by passionate locals and tourists craving excitement. Venues with outdoor lounging options are the best for summertime fun. The spirit of your city will be sure to fill the room and likely rub off on the food and drinks. You never know, you might make a few new friends.
5. Go All the Way Up!
Find the highest ground in your city and go there. For a completely different experience, go witness a panoramic view of your city. Rooftops, Hills, Mountains, or that peaceful public lounge on the 50th floor. You never know, you might've just found your new quiet space. Who am i to recommend this location as a weekend getaway with your favorite wine and book, after a long, busy week? I'm just saying!
HOME IS NOT A PLACE, IT'S A FEELING
Have you ever been a tourist in your hometown? Any touristy places you never knew about and grew to love? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!