Be A Tourist In Your Own Town!

Go ahead. Laugh yourself silly.

Be a tourist in your own town?

"But I live here", you say incredulously while wiping away tears of laughter.

Well, unless you have friends or family who live less than a day's drive away who won't mind if you and your Beloved indulge in a bit of late-night rumpy-pumpy on their fold-out sofa because you can't afford a hotel, you'll probably have to forgo taking a vacation anytime soon.

Also, fish and houseguests begin to stink after three days, so unless a giant salmon happens to be iced down in the bathtub, fish don't tie up the one-and-only bathroom for hours on end like a house guest (or house guestS) would.

But wait!

In the interest of preserving your bank account and staying in the good graces of the aforementioned friends and family, I'm offering a cheap and enjoyable alternative.

Most of us can only dream of lying in the sun in some tropical Paradise any time soon, so why not be a tourist in your own area instead?
Most of us can only dream of lying in the sun in some tropical Paradise any time soon, so why not be a tourist in your own area instead?

Honestly, how much do you really know about the town you live in?

Or the surrounding area?

My point exactly.

What's in *your* backyard???
What's in *your* backyard???

I was a 6th grader bused in from the boonies on a school field trip the last time I went sightseeing in my own city. That was many many years before I moved here twenty-some years ago.

Since then, I've done a lot of traveling and gathered quite a collection of what to see and do in other places.

For instance...

On a warm summer evening in Omaha NE, it doesn't get much better than sipping a margarita at the railing of a paddle wheeler while cruising up the Missouri River with live Dixieland jazz wafting from the lounge.

Or... Texas really is a "whole other country" and should again be recognized as the Republic it was until1846 (and technically still is). When the urge hits to to visit a foreign country within driving distance, Texas is my first choice. No passport necessary (at least not yet).

Or... The best (and cheapest) food between Kingman AZ and Oklahoma City really is at the truck stops along I-40. Also, it's much easier to get up the east side of Flagstaff Mountain than it is to get down the west side.

Or... On the other side of the Pond, the Guards change at Buckingham Palace is wayyy over-rated. Except for the food halls, so is Harrod's. And the Pret a Mangers in London serve the best bottled lemonade in the UK, rivaled only by Fanta's, which for some reason isn't available on this side of the Pond. ???

But until recently, if you asked what to see and do in my own town, the answer would've been:

You're asking me? I live here for gosh sakes!

I'd developed my own favorite routes and ruts while turning a blind eye to anything that might interest an out-of-towner. I could point a first-time visitor to some fabulous parks, the public library and its wonderful cafe, a few interesting cemeteries and my favorite chain restaurants.

And naturally, being a long-time family historian, the Kansas Historical Society Library.

But that was pretty much it.

There's an art gallery?

Several, actually, but I won't bore you with that list. (Well, not this time.)

But I will show you how easy it is to be a tourist in your own neck of the woods.

First, pick your destination.

Your own city or somewhere within 50-75 miles of home so that you can sleep in your own bed each night.

Next, decide when.

Maybe vacation time you've already requested at work, or perhaps just a weekend. Either way, block out the dates on the calendar same as for a "regular" vacation.

Now pretend you've never been to the town you've chosen. Ever.

Find out what there is to see and do:

  • Google your destination. Bookmark or write down everything listed as a landmark or tourist attraction (museums, art galleries, etc).
  • Google each of those, or visit the website shown in the first search.
  • Grab local attractions brochures from inside gas stations, convenience stores, and the lobbies of local hotels and motels. They're not there for decoration, and they're FREE.
  • Same for those mini-newspapers inside the door of the grocery store, gas stations and convenience stores. They're meant to be read.
  • If there's a tourism office or a visitor's center nearby, stop in for their FREE brochures and handouts. These are also the best places for local maps with more detail than a road atlas.

Now work out your itinerary

Set aside an evening to go through the brochures and notes from the internet.

To get into the spirit, make a Trip Book from a 3-ring binder. The pockets inside each cover will come in handy later. Decorate the cover if you like.

Make a pile of any brochures, etc. that interest you...and those that don't. You could be pleasantly surprised that places you've driven by a zillion times on the way to work or the mall are a lot more interesting than you thought.

Remember, the idea is to get acquainted with your part of the world.

Use a spreadsheet to enter each location, distance from home, and opening times. Or put the information on 3X5 cards. Either way, sort by distance and opening time.

Be flexible but creative. Museums and galleries near each other could be a day by themselves with lunch in between, then dinner after.

Alternate itineraries

Rather than visit places like big city art galleries or the Barbed Wire Museum - yes, there is one! - explore the small towns in your area. The really small ones more commonly known as "wide places in the road" that you usually ignore.

Such places usually have at least one (albeit corny) "attraction" that residents are extremely proud of. They also have mom 'n pop cafes that serve surprisingly good (and cheap) food. Even if there's no "attraction" per se, the architecture on the town's Main Street and side streets can be pretty interesting. Same for the conversation at the cafe at lunch or coffee break time.

Pick a town 70-80 miles from home as your turn-around point. On a map, pick a route that'll take you in a circle to and from so that you won't go through the same town twice. GoogleMaps or any other online mapping site is ideal for this. Or simply get on the nearest interstate and going out, take exits to the towns on one side, and those on the other side coming back. Look for "scenic drives" along the way. Take them.

Don't forget B&Bs

My area has a lot of B&Bs, in town as well as in the countryside. If your budget can can handle it, being pampered in a local B&B is well worth the money. Use it as your base for a two-day excursion.

Contact those that look inviting and ask which part of the week is the least popular. These will be the nights with the lowest rates...and maybe even a special, much lower rate! Breakfast will be included in the price no matter the day of the week. Dinner the night before may be included too. Be sure to verify that it is or isn't.

One B&B where I used to live was next to a spa, and B&B guests got a discount. Some B&Bs have arrangements with local attractions whereby their guests get discounts in gift shops and such. Ask about them.

The day before The Day..

  • Notify friends, relatives, and trusted neighbors that you're going away just as if you were going on a long trip.
  • DO NOT tell anyone but the neighbors that you'll be home each night.
  • Arrange for pets to be cared for. DO NOT take them.
  • Print out your itinerary and visitor information such as opening times and driving directions from the websites of places you'll visit.
  • Print out address labels of friends, family, and yourself to make mailing postcards a snap. Get a book of postcard stamps. Stash in Trip Book.
  • Gather your Trip Book, camera, etc in a backpack or day bag and set them by the front door.
  • If a B&B is part of the itinerary, pack your overnight bag.

Ready...set...GO!!

  • Follow the Itinerary you made.
  • DO NOT combine the day's activities with anything you'd do if you weren't on vacation (like paying bills, grocery shopping, or a trip to the mall).
  • DO NOT go home at any time during the day (except to change clothes for a fancy restaurant or the theatre). You don't live here, remember?
  • Buy a few postcards at each place you visit and mail them to friends, relatives or yourself as you go.
  • Above all, HAVE FUN!

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Comments 124 comments

ocbill profile image

ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

Flagstaff really is beautiful...wish they had a lake but the pine tress are great as is the air.


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

That is so great Jama! I have lived in/around Seattle since 1966 and I've never been to Mt. Rainier. I've never been to Mt. St. Helens..there is a ton of things I've not done,since I live here! We do take it for granted. Nice hub!


Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

Once I was finally able to get past the tropical picture at the top, I found a very funny and interesting read!

If you knew anything about the VERY SMALL town I live in, you'd realize the barbed wire fence is probably the most interesting thing around. Well, we do have a very old, very dirty cafe named after a very colorful bird that was used to film a commercial for some Bass Fishing company. The biggest excitement was when Brady found an albino skunk run over in the road, loaded it up on the back of his flatbed and brought it down to the cafe. The only reason I noticed it was because all the men in town were standing in the middle of main street poking it with a stick saying things like, "Think your wife will let you hang the hide on your wall?" when I was trying to get to city hall to pay the water bill. I stopped at the drugstore and bought a small suitcase because I knew I needed to get outta here for awhile!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

What a great idea, JamaGenee! I'd say very few of us really know much about what's really available in our own neighborhoods and nearby towns. I think most of tend to follow the same routine for years and just pass by dozens of places that would be wonderful to visit without a second thought. From now on I'll be on the lookout for those hidden (in full view) places. Thumbs Up!


jennifer maurer profile image

jennifer maurer 7 years ago from Chicago, IL

I love this hub! It's so true and so timely. I learned this myself when I moved to California. Most natives had never seen even the most obvious attractions. I saw more of that state when I lived there than most natives did in thier lifetime. What a shame! I now live in Chicago and I do exactly what your Hub suggests. It's a great way to save money and to appreciate what's right under your nose. Dorothy said it best; "There's no place like home!".

Well written too, by the way. I was entertained and informed!

Great job! 


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

A wonderful hub, and I completely agree with you! We do take Isaac all round London, he'll know his own town if it kills us (-:


MindField profile image

MindField 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Reminds me so much of trips my folks took us on. We never had a lot of money so we just poked around, stopping at little towns, playing in the sand at a beach, eating cheap but great meals at diners and cafes, getting lost in forests and finding our way back out. Some of my very best memories of childhood come from those short trips not far from home. Glad you wrote this, Jama. It may spark wonderful times for some other kids who'll look fondly back on them in fifty years.


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Jama, this article is so apropos my current mood! :-) Makes me think how I've writen about some of my destinations but never about my own (wonderful, mind you!) city! You give me something to think about,for sure!

PS: I didn't laugh myself silly, I insist: You gave me something to think about! :-)


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Terrific ideas, and of course it save a lot on gasoline or travel tickets. I volunteer at our local history museum (which gets visitors from all over the world, and is a great place to visit).

While some local residents bring their out of town visitors in, I am constantly surprised to learn that a lot of locals have NEVER been inside.

It's also a good way to help keep the local economy running, when out-of-town visitors decline.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Great hub! We are lucky as we live somewhere that is very pretty, and right by the sea. All the same, it is possible to walk around blind to the obvious attraction. Try going out with a camera, and think about what pictures to take to show a stranger the attractions of your home town. That can be an eye-opener.


TheSandman 7 years ago

I absolutely agree, I live in one of the top tourist towns in America, people spend a fortune to come here. I have a great view from my own fron porch. Why should I leave? On the other hand that beach shot looked inviting, do you have a hammock we could share, I mean my wife and I LOL.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

No one wants to see what I want to show them when they come visit, they just want to go to Disneyland :(


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Goldentoad-- I lived in Anaheim for years, took plenty of visitors to D'land. One of my sons worked there for awhile as a street portrait artist, so he got lots of extra tickets.

We moved to the foothills of the Sierra. Now we have to take visitors to Yosemite


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

Once the "D" word is mentioned in my house from visitors, its total chaos from the kids, I wish I lived further away but I'm over in the south bay and its only 15-20 minutes from the house. Occasionally we get tickets thrown our away, but I rarely get asked to go, people know I feel about a zillion kids running over me.


LAmatadora 7 years ago

I lived in Anaheim for years too..what a coinkydink!!( I am sure that is misspelled) anyways I love Disneyland! My happy place. I always had a season pass and would often go after school....I just went there a few weeks ago. The kids had a blast. I have friends that work there so I always can get free passes and my Abuelita lives so close you can see the fireworks from her backyard.


Nemingha profile image

Nemingha 7 years ago

You're spot on. I learned a lot about other countries, their history and culture during the 12 years I spent travelling all around the world. Of course, I also gained a new respect and appreciation for my own country (Australia). But when I returned to my home town just 5 years ago, I worked for a short time as a Tourism Information Officer. Faced on a daily basis with answering questions and providing visitors with maps and information made me quickly realize how very little I actually knew about the area I grew up in! It's a little frightening really.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

ocbill, from what I saw of it passing through several times, Flagstaff *is* beautiful, and what I remember most are all those pine trees!

Thanks, Candie! We do take the sights in our own backyard for granted, don't we?

Laughing Mom, I was gone most of the day and didn't get to check HP until this evening at a friend's house. I was laughing so hard at the skunk story that I had to read her your comment - between ROTFL!  She wants to know if Brady got to hang the hide on the wall...  ???


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Bill, I'm trying to start a movement called Vacation Locally. lol!  Seriously, Elena asking about the Pink Elephant rock was the inspiration for this hub.  Since then, I've been making a list of the things in my area that I know - knew - nothing about.

jennifer, I'll bet you did know more than the natives when you moved to California!  Glad to hear you're doing the same thing in  Chicago.  A great town, btw.  I've never seen as much of as I'd like to.

LG, Isaac is one lucky little boy, even if he will be an orphan due to his mom and dad killing themselves acquainting him with his hometown! ;D


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

(my comment didn't show?)

I loved this.  Many places that I frequent are still unknown to many natives of my hometown. 

And for your neck of the woods, have you ever been to the Brookville Hotel?  They seem to have moved from Brookville to Abilene.  :(       I enjoyed the ancient hotel out by the fields that they get their food from.  The atmosphere couldn't be the same, but if the cooking is, I would highly recomend it! 


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Mindfield, what a lucky little girl you were to have parents who made you enjoy places and activities close to home!  What better way to give a child positive childhood memories. Too many children grow up believing far off places are better than places close to home, because vacations = going to far off places. 

Elena, you've done a *wonderful* job acquainting hubbers with the rooftops of Madrid! But I did wonder why you never tell us more about it.  Maybe you will now? btw, the Pink Elephant has a sister! I added the pics yesterday.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Rochelle, I'm afraid I'm one of those locals who never set foot inside the local history museum (KSHS is the state's history museum).  But that's about to change! Thanks for dropping in - twice. ;D

2patricias, great advice about walking around with a camera!  I don't leave home without a camera now.  But not to seem like a traitor to local tourism, such photos are a *great* icebreaker on overseas trips, or even trips to another part of the country.

Sandman, I felt the same way when I lived in Las Vegas.  I only left because my kids hated it.  As for the hammock-for-two, I'm sure there's one with yours and your wife's name on it *somewhere* on that beach!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

GT, same thing happened when I lived in Vegas.  Out-of-towners didn't want to see anything but the casinos. 

Nemingha, working as a Tourism Information Officer sounds like a surefire way to learn about your own area quickly!

Paper Moon, your comment *did* show up, and yes they did move the Brookville Hotel to Abilene.  Built a duplicate of the original, actually, from the tin ceilings in the main dining room to the wallpaper in the museum-like rooms upstairs.  But the food is still as wonderful as it's always been!  Just this afternoon a friend and I were talking about making the trek for their to-die-for fried chicken, creamy coleslaw, creamed corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, and those feather-light biscuits! Yummy!


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 7 years ago

I enjoyed this. Although I'm not a native of Lisbon, my OH is. And a lifelong one at that. Therefore I've discovered little corners that you'd probably struggle to find otherwise. Some wonderful restaurants, bars, markets and such - Sintra, Obidos, Cadaval - yep, it's time for a 'stay close to home' vacation.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

In the last month, I've been to the British Museum (twice) the London Transport Museum (twice) the Science Museum (once) and the Tate Modern (once). Do I get a prize, or a smack for being a smug cow?


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

frog, glad you enjoyed it.  And bravo for finding the little corners off the beaten path.

LG, you get the OMG prize *and* a smack for being a smug cow.  lol! You know, of course, I'm green with envy that you can visit those treasures whenever you feel like it.  I'll just go bury myself in the book about the British Museum...again.  :-(


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 7 years ago

Jama I can't claim the kudos for finding anything. I was shown ;) Still, if ever you land my way, I'll take you to an absolutely fabulous cocktail bar. Umberellas, cherries, the works!


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

If I were to travel 75 miles in three of the four directions, I would end up in the sea, this is a very good idea, Cornwall does have so much to offer and anyway if we we crossed the border to Devon it's like going abroad, Cornwall tis then.


badcompany99 7 years ago

The good ship "Wild Imagination" is now setting sail for Anaheim, methinks the Cabin Girl deserves a good holiday, great hub moi friend : )


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

frog, if I ever get to Lisbon, you're on!

Hawkesdream, to the suggested mileage I'll have to add "unless you live near an ocean'!  With so much to see and do in Cornwall, I can't imagine why you'd cross the border to Devon either.  Not even for its famous clotted cream. It's my understanding Cornwall's is awesome too! (See, more of that knowledge of Other Places!)

BC, I was thinking the Hubbers Convention that's been talked about for next year should be in Anaheim, with GT's house as our base.  Whaddaya think? ;D


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

We are very lucky in where we live - the British Museum is between 5 minutes walk (normal pace) and 15 minutes walk (Isaac pace, examining every tree on the way) from where we live.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Neat idea, JamaG. I live in a very picturesque little town that gets a fair number of tourists, and the sea islands -- especially Hunting Island -- have some beautiful beaches. I can't afford a B&B, but living in my little camper makes it feel like a permanent vacation. I'm very lucky.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

LG, I like the way you gauge distance by "normal pace" and "Isaac pace, examing every tree on the way".  Good for him that he isn't bored with them yet, considering how many times as he's been on that walk! lol!

Teresa, I've often envied you in silence for having the good fortune to have a life that fits in a camper.  That would make it seem like you're on a permanent vacation. You are very lucky indeed!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Walking somewhere with Isaac when we're at lesiure is great fun - he brings my attention to things I wouldn't normally notice, and that's great. He's currently going through a tree-hugging phrase (literally!).

But if you need to go somewhere and do something, and get on with it - walk to the supermarket, do the shopping, get home for the gas man - it can be a bit of a pain in the neck (-:


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Ah, the joys of life with a toddler! ;D


Curious Traveller profile image

Curious Traveller 7 years ago from United Kingdom

Well, as one (male traveller) who has moved location about six times in the last year, I suppose I could virtually make a career out of this! Good idea and great Hub.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, CT (male). You *could* make a career of this!


Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

Jama--sorry haven't been back in awhile. In answer to your question, it wasn't long after that I was invited to Brady and Jennifer's for a somber ceremony. We were all asked to wear black. Apparently, she allowed him to hang it. But the following day was the day the Merry Maids came to clean and the hide somehow fell victim to a very dramatic vacuuming accident. None of the guys could tear themselves away from the burial site, so Jennifer confided to us girls in the kitchen over a pitcher of margaritas that the cleaning bill was pretty high last week, but it was well worth it.

(Okay, the last part isn't true, but Brady really did find a dead albino skunk. And the Green Parrot emptied for an hour or so while they were all out front poking it with a stick. The sight of that poor, lifeless white stinky thing being poked and prodded is burned into my brain for life.)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

Such a great idea, JamaGenee. Most of us ignore the great things we have locally and I love day trips! Great if you have kids too.


ratcliffe07 profile image

ratcliffe07 7 years ago

this is great! Such good ideas! I will have to do this ideas this summer...it would be so much fun! thanks for the ideas


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Dolores and ratcliffe. Playing tourist locally is sooo easy on the budget, even if you go to a B&B (without kids, of course).


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Such a great idea. I've written a few hubs about local things in and around the Houston area.....but look for more. If we all did this, we would learn so much more with the perspective of people actually living in these places. OK.....what will be your next local article?


Cellar Door profile image

Cellar Door 7 years ago from South East UK

i agree that the changing of the guards is wayyyy overrated,

oh next time youre in Pret, try the tuna and cucumber minibagguettes, amazing stuff!

cool hub


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Peggy, you're so right that evryone benefits when locals write about what's in their own backyards.  As for what's next - a combo Rochester Cem and overlooked local attraction hub.  What else?

Cellar Door, the tuna and cucumber minibagguettes do sound tasty! Thanks for the tip!


Silver Freak profile image

Silver Freak 7 years ago from The state of confusion

Woohoo! I have the same memory, being bused in from the boonies to "the Big Town" to see the Shriners Circus, then doing a little field trip. Remember them quite well, actually.

Another local attraction that can't be missed is Hays House Restaurant in Council Grove KS. The most scrumptious home made food in the world!

This is a great hub, and a great idea. Beats the heck out of what we did for our "vacation" this year - cleaning house ;(


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Sorry it took me so long to get here, JG.....but, I love this hub. It is a great idea. I've always toted people around locally showing them all the little things they never knew were here, but yet there are some things I still haven't gone to myself. I'm going to make a point to do that this summer. In fact, I have two days off this week, I might just do a couple of them. :)

LM had me curious about this albino skunk. I wondered if he (she?) was ALL white. So I googled it. I had intended to switch to images, but didn't. Guess what came up on Google? http://www.albinoskunk.com/ In October, we could make a roundtrip to SC to see the Albina Skunk Bluegrass Festival.

I eventually did make it to the images and yes, they're all white. Cute little critters. I can see why they were poking at him.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

SilverFreak, our school never bused us to the circus. :-(  But I *do* remember the food at Hays House.  Scrumptious, indeed!  I also remember being a total idiot for having one teeny, tiny shot glass of sake after dinner.  What was I thinking! Sake is *not* for amateurs.

KCC, if I can tear myself away from Hubland for a few hours, there are a couple of places on my list too.  Don't think I'll make it to SC for the Albino Skunk Festival, altho white skunks and bluegrass is an interesting combination!  Better than blue skunks and whitegrass. :)

But if you and Hubby make it to the skunk festival, on the way back be sure to take a *slight* detour to Olney, Illinois to see the *albino squirrels*.  (Google albino and olney.)  If not for the squirrels, Olney would shrivel up, but they rather cute.  You think they must be fake until one takes off across the park.

Enough of Jama's weird travel tips...nice to see you again! Hopefully I'll make it to TX for next year's bluebonnets! Feel free to start nagging me around Feb! ;D


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

I'll mark you down for a spring visit!


Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

What? You didn't believe me, KCC? At this point, I'd take a trip to an albino skunk festival just to get away. And I'm emailing Brady the link. Jennifer may hurt me.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

KCC, done! And Laughing Mom, I'll pick you up on the way. Bluebonnets rock! ;D


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

This is a wonderful hub - I am going to put some of the ideas here into effect THIS WEEKEND. I rarely get a vacation - but there are a lot of things around town that I keep saying "Oh, I should go check that out." So I will. Thanks for the great ideas.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

You're quite welcome, mythbuster. Have a *great* weekend! Maybe let us know how it turns out in a hub???


Connie Smith 7 years ago

Fabulous article, both funny and informative. Great style.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Hi Connie. Thanks! Happy you enjoyed it!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I love it - and added it to tagfoot, and tweeted too. Fantastic, had to read it all again and enjoyed it once more!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

LG, I'm flattered you liked this enough to read it twice! Wow.... And thanks for the tweet and (tag?)!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

tagfoot - it's great, hope you get some traffic from there.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

I'll have to check out tagfoot then. Thanks!


Capable Woman profile image

Capable Woman 7 years ago from Augusta, Georgia

Great idea. My ex and I used to do it all the time up in North GA. 50-100 miles in any direction, no matter where you live, there is a whole other place that you don't know anything about..why not be a tourist there as opposed to anywhere else?

Thanks for writing this.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Capable Woman, it's odd that more people don't do what you and your ex did. Kansas has a club whose members do nothing but explore the back roads and out-of-the-way places as a way to bring business to otherwise overlooked towns. I imagine other states have such clubs too.


Updownside profile image

Updownside 7 years ago from Southern California Coastal

Why would I ever want to be a tourist in my own town? That's pretty stupid.


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

Updownside lmao

JG ..What a delightfully creative mind and thankyou for inspiring me . Dont know when but I could probably write a good hub on my homecountry as a tourist destination ,then in about 6mths maybe where im at now. Thanks for sharing.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Eagle, I'd love to hear about NZ, and then SC in about 6 months!  Glad you enjoyed the bits and pieces that fell out of my "creative mind" and turned into a hub! Thanks! ;D


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I love the idea JamaGenee! There are still a lot of places to explore in the city where I live but I never really bothered to make time for it. Your hub just inspired me to include this in my bucket list. Many thanks! :-)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

You're most welcome, ripplemaker! And thank *you*! ;D


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

Hey J ,thanks to your encouragement and great hub I did it , I wrote a hub about my place, I was really getting into and relised now wow Ive left so much out but I wanted to drop in and say a HUGE thank-you!! http://hubpages.com/hub/My-Home--New-Zealand-Aotea... if ya get a minute check it out


cashmere profile image

cashmere 7 years ago from India

You know, I never thought of it, but its actaully a great idea. And considering that I keep shifting base every two years I really can get mega sight seeing done.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Guess you have no excuses now, cashmere! ;D


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

As one who has recently done exactly this, I have to agree with you and encourage others to try it.

You tend to look at your own backyard with different eyes when you are officially "on vacation".

It's inexpensive and can be lots of fun.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

The last time I paid the rent, I noticed a stack of this year's guide to our city, and the girl in the office said "Take one...PLEASE!" - like she'd be glad to get rid of them. Silly girl! *Of course* I took one! Found a few places I still hadn't heard of - imagine that!


Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 7 years ago from Florida

Excellent! This is so true. There is so much to do here in the Grandstrand in SC - yet we still go other places for vacation. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the local activities.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Great hub, I was amazed how many people know very little about there own town. they spend hundreds of dollars visiting other countries and not their own. I have just come back from a 12 month trip around australia. And yes we have half seen it and we did over 30,000 k's its a really big country. People we met try to see it in 2 months no hope at all. Thanks for a great hub


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Wow, Eileen, 12 months touring Australia! What an adventure that must've been!


festersporling1 profile image

festersporling1 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Definitely a clever idea, especially when people are short on cash in this bad economy.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Well now. I live next to Sherwood Forest, just 7 miles from Robin Hood's tree. Not even a cinema in my tiny town but half an hour to an hour all around me there are fascinating historical sights. We have an extra bedroom, so when are you coming to visit us?:D


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Alas, DG, not until I win the lottery. Your part of the woods...pun intended...was already on the must-visit list since my daughter's ancestors on her dad's grandmother's side were from around Kingston-On-Hull. ;D


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Ah... Kingston-On-Hull... Real peasants then.

Half an hour's drive from our place, but you must remember to leave all valuables behind, hold tight to your purse and walk in groups carrying stoud walking sticks for protection :-)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

DG, I have no illusions that the K-O-H of today would be the same port of three (four?) centuries ago when my daughter's ancestors were spreading their seed.

I always wear stout walking shoes when sight-seeing, and never ever carry valuables. But then you didn't know (until now_ that I wandered around the South of England *alone* for two and a half weeks a few years ago, starting with 6 days in London. Was only in danger of getting mugged once, outside Sherlock Holmes' fictional home on Baker Street no less! (Read my "Packing - Don't Bother" hub for tips for safe travel before, during, and after that trip.)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Toto I think we're still in Kansas, but it's OK! I smell fried chicken, creamy coleslaw, creamed corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, and feather-light biscuits--don't worry about the diet, those biscuits are feather-light. Wonderfully fun hub Jama, I've been doing the local tour here for years and it's still a surprise since I'm in the middle of a cultural and culinary oasis. It's all those friends and relatives from Kansas that keep me hopping--excuse me I have to go ice the salmon in the bathtub. =:)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Winsome, you've just listed the only meal served (family style) at the Brookville Hotel in Abilene, KS. I've waddled out of it many times, as well as several good steak houses like the North Star in Topeka.

My sympathies to you for all the friends and relatives from the Sunflower State who keep you hopping, especially when you have to give up bathing to ice a fish to feed them. lol!

I myself didn't realize how many kin I had until word got around that I'd moved to Las Vegas. Such declarations of undying familial loyalty, but only after temps on the Plains plummeted!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

I just like being a tourist in one of your hubs!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

epi, that's definitely the kind of "traveling" I like! Thanks!


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

A great hub. It is so true we miss so much of our home towns. I guess a mixture of just taking it for granted or and no urgency. It usually is when visitors arrive and want to visit a landmark that I have actually seen a lot of the hometown sites. What is funny is when I travel I tend to see as much as I can - all that nothing stuff that the locals avoid!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Funny how that works! ;D


Drood profile image

Drood 5 years ago

sweet, jama. this is my life. i've lived all over and am always getting the 'drop-in' friends. the whole sight-seeing tour sure beats sitting at home playing cribbage. i've found this to be a fine way to connect to the history of where you are livng. thanks.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Drood, I was never more popular than when I lived in Las Vegas. Amazing how many long-lost friends and relatives came out of the woodwork. :-) Didn't take long to figure out which of two categories each belonged in: those looking for a place to shower and store their luggage for the weekend, or those who genuinely wanted The Tour, which naturally HAD to end in a casino with "loose" slots! But as you said, it beat staying home playing cribbage. ;D


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Very well done! I have made a couple hubs about -simply - walking "downtown". I just head for tall buildings. If you don't know an area (make sure it's reasonably safe) you can pretty much keep an eye on the big buildings and they will be surrounded by smaller coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, gift shops, etc. Very nice hub! Thank you Ma'am!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Marvelous tip, Micky! Thanks!


peanutroaster profile image

peanutroaster 5 years ago from New England

When visiting someone how many times have you heard "you know I've lived here X years and never have been there". I've moved around so many times I always treat the area as temporary and try to see everything I can.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

I lost count years ago of how many times I've heard the "lived here many years" bit! When I move to a new town, I don't necessarily treat it as temporary and need to see it all ASAP. I was simply born insatiably curious and like to start poking around on Day One to see what's there and get a sense of what makes it tick.

One of my pet peeves, however, is when I'm traveling and stop for directions at a small town gas station or convenience store, and the local behind the counter has NO clue what road I should take. My English blood prevents me from being rude and asking if they've EVER ventured outside the city limits...or even had the desire. ;D


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, I live in a small town or village as it used to be, and last year I actually did the tourist thing, I went on the Steamer up the river! there were loads of tourists and little me! it was fun, and this is a great idea, it did make me smile though when you said go 80 miles or so, as I live in England, this is the distance from me to the coast! and I often have holidays there, it just showed me how big America is! lol cheers nell


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Nell, I'm always amazed at how small England is compared to the U.S. Until I found maps with matching scales, I didn't realize it's roughly the same size (in square mileage) as my home state of Kansas. Even more of a mind boggler is how so much history and gorgeous but different scenery can be packed into such a (relatively) small space! Actually had a chance to move there in my twenties, but passed up the chance. WHAT was I thinking! But if I ever win the Lottery, I'll for sure be dusting off that resident visa application!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, we had a chance to be Canadians! my mum didn't want to leave her mother so when her aunt nell, that's where I get the name from! apart from being an adaption of my name melanie, when she went to live in Canada she wanted us all to go, but mum said no, I often wonder what it would be like, or in fact what I would be like!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Nell, I venture you'd be mostly the same, but with different faces in the family album photos. My maternal grandmother's parents and all of her siblings moved to California when my mother was a baby. One sister had married a great uncle of one of my best friends and most of HIS family went with them too. BF and I have often pondered how our lives would've been different if her mother and mine hadn't been left behind in Kansas. One thing's for sure - we wouldn't have had to spend years digging up the family secrets long-buried out there in Calif! ;D


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

You are so right...look how many of us, have so many amazing places to go, just by traveling a short distance! Almost all of us, live in a place or town that attract others from other parts of the world...let alone other states? I know I just get too comfortable at times, and don't get out enough:) Doing better I have to say, went camping just a few weeks ago:) Thanks for the encouragement of traveling locally!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

I moved to a different state last fall and now that I'm settled and the heat wave is over - FINALLY after 60-some days of 100+ degrees! - I need to get out and savor the attractions of the area. But camping, for reasons spelled out in another hub, will NOT be one of them! ;D


ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

Very inciteful piece. You're right, there is always an experience waiting for us in our own backyard, we just need to discover it. Good ideas and advice. Thanks much.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

ytsenoh, you're most welcome! And thank YOU for stopping by. Glad you found it worth the read! ;D


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

I'm glad to see there are other like minded people out there! :) My husband and I have done similar trips over the last few months in and around Cape Town - and why on earth not?! Pretending to be a tourist in your own city is an amazing experience (and cheap too!)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

MelChi, good for you and your husband! 'Why on earth not' indeed! That said, now I have to admit that I haven't ventured into the several museums and culture centers that are within 5 miles of my new home. I just need to pick a day and "DO IT"! ;D


Chuck profile image

Chuck 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

Great Hub! Since I enjoy traveling and have written a number of Hubs about travel destinations I decided to take an online travel writing course a year ago to try to improve in that area.

One of the first things presented in the course was the fact that one can be a travel writer without having to travel to distant places.

One of our first assignments was to make a list of 50 places of interest to tourists located within 50 miles of where we lived.

It was an eye-opener for some. I knocked off close to 40 places my wife and I have visited fairly quickly, some of which I have published Hubs about. The last ten or so were a bit of a challenge but I finally completed the list and, in addition to completing the assignment came up with some new places to visit as well as a number of places have visited but never thought to share on HubPages.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Chuck, there's really an online travel writer course? How intriguing! Sounds like something I'd definitely be interested in. I live at the far edge of the OK City suburbs, so 50 sites within 50 miles would be a drop in the bucket for that course! Thanks for the heads up, and for stopping by and commenting! ;D


GDiBiase profile image

GDiBiase 4 years ago from Portland, ME

Hi Jema,

I love this hub and can definitely relate to it. I lived in a rented one bedroom loft apartment with so many windows, a stone’s throw from the Atlantic, in the beautiful state of Maine. My dog and I loved the quaint little community, and lived there for 5 years. We lived right in the square, with a sweet little Bakery with all sorts of yummiest goodness right across the street. I loved not having to worry about any of the maintenance, and my landlord was fantastic. When I met my now husband, it was so sad to move out of that apartment, but unfortunately it was not large enough for when we have the children. We found another great rental. It is definitely freedom not having a mortgage, or any of the other money consuming things that always pop up with the responsibility of owning. I had the joy of owning houses when I was married to my first husband, by joy, I mean sorrow, seemed like we were always having to call someone to come work on something. I do not see us ever having the interest to buy a house. It’s too bad so many people get sucked into that American Dream Rip-off. You are correct when you said it’s never paid off, and most people never will actually own their house. Great Hub Jema!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

GdiBiase, I think you meant to put this on my "Rent, not own" hub. Not a problem. I'll take praise wherever it lands! Thanks!

That said, my first thought on reading about your apartment with lots of windows on the town square a stone's throw from the Atlantic was "Heavens! She's the girl in one of the murder mystery series I just read!".

Turns out it was several characters in several series who all lived in apartments like that on the square. Oh well...nice to know such places really exist! ;D


phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 4 years ago from United Kingdom

I agree that exploring your own backyard can make for a good holiday. My family and I will be doing just that this year.

Voted up, interesting and useful.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

phoenix, good for you! Being a tourist in your own area is sometimes called a "Staycation", but many people use that term when they don't plan to go farther than their own driveway. It wasn't called that when I did it one year after a particularly grueling months-long project at work. I didn't have the energy to go *anywhere* farther than my own bed, but told everyone at the office I'd be out of town so they couldn't call 50 times a day - this was before cell phones - with questions I'd already answered in the "While I'm Gone" folder I left on my desk! ;D


tamarawilhite profile image

tamarawilhite 3 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

One option for a stay-cation is to check with the local tourism office for what they advertise. Then visit the small museums, parks and venues you might not have otherwise known existed.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 3 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

tamarawilhite, thanks for reminding me about the local tourism office! I've moved to a different state since I wrote this hub, and pass the town's tourism office when I go to the post office, but it pains me to admit that in the two years I've been here I haven't set foot inside it...OR any of the town's tourist attractions for that matter. No excuse for not doing so except that the local PBS stations air several half-hour "get to know Oklahoma" programs each week, which seems to satisfy the need to personally visit the museums and venue they feature.

Thanks for stopping by!! ;D


bridalletter profile image

bridalletter 3 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

Wonderful tips and ideas. I love the idea of picking up postcards and sending them to family and friends. I normally do that when I go out of town, so new idea for in town visiting.


nybride710 profile image

nybride710 3 years ago from Minnesota

Great ideas. My husband and I love taking short trips in our home state of Minnesota.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Hi Jama,

I hear you.

Ever since our dog has joined the household, we have been exploring our city, nay, our neighbourhood. We didn't even know that we have so many trails, a conservation area, and a historic village in the vicinity of a 2 km radius of our home.

Last fall we discovered many trails for observing the fall colours. This spring and summer, we plan to venture out a bit more and a bit farther.

So I can relate to this hub, There is so much fun exploring close to your home.

Also, micro exploration of nature has lot to offer.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 3 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

bridalletter, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Funniest thing...I passed through your town (at 70 mph) last Monday on the way from Warrensburg MO to Lawrence KS! Part of a 4-day road trip that grew (and grew!) out of having to attend an out-of-state funeral. I have a friend back east whose friends still believe people in the Midwest still travel in stagecoaches or get picked up and put on the Yellow Brick Road by the odd tornado. Obviously they've never been to KC! ;D


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 3 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks for the comment, Suhail! I no longer have a pet to walk, but know that a young grandchild is just as good for discovering unknown trails and other places you never knew existed. ;D


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 3 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

nybride710, since I moved to a different state from where I was when I wrote this hub, I never set out specifically to explore my area. Seems like the trips just happen when it's an especially nice day and I have nothing else pressing. then I'll just get in the car and go! ;D


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Jama,

I envy you. A grandchild can be even better for I could take him/her to a neighbourhood zoo. But that ain't a possibility for me for few more years :-(


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 3 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Suhail, I appreciate how grandchildren can add a new dimesion to one's life, but try not to waste the years before they come along. Take yourself the zoo and ENJOY IT! Pretend you're still a child! ;D


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

LOL. That is a nice advice JamaGenee.


littlething profile image

littlething 2 years ago

Great Tips! I'm definitely going to try this out in my town, as small as it is. Perhaps I could find something nearby. Awesome Hub!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, littlething! And I'm definitely going to try some of YOUR ideas in your "10 Staycation Ideas" hub in my own town, small as IT is! (-:


littlething profile image

littlething 2 years ago

Ah, you might have me confused with another author. I might have shared a hub with that name, but I'm afraid I've never written one like that....


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Oh littlething, is my face RED! Oops. )-: I'll have to look in "My Comments" and see who I cofused you with!


littlething profile image

littlething 2 years ago

JamaGenee, no worries! Mix ups happen. :-) I just figured I'd let you know that one wasn't mine. It sounds like a great hub though, so I'm off to search for it! Always good to have some staycation ideas! and again, great job on this hub! I tried some of your tips, and found an art gallery I never knew existed!


OhMe profile image

OhMe 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

I love this. I live in a small historic town with lots to see and do. so many younger citizens have never taken everything in and head out if town for their entertainment. It would be fun to put together a tourist package for locals.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

littlething, I consider this hub a success if it caused you to find an art gallery you didn't know about in your own town! Funny how that works!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

OhMe, I think a tourist package for locals is a GREAT idea! Most tour packages are promoted by hotel chains, B&Bs, and upscale restaurants, but a package for LOCALs could easily be advertised through the local cafes and businesses, even the local high school and elementary schools.

In the town where I grew up, one of the annual field trips for first- and second-graders was a visit to a one-room school house on the edge of the local college. Alas, my own kids dreaded that day because the property the school sat on (as well as part of the college) was originally owned by my great-grandparents. A fact I always noted on the permission slip for each child, which meant each class was told of that child's "personal connection" to the site - the downside of being the offspring of a family historian. :-}

One advantage of the field trips, however, was that several parents were required to accompany the group, most of whom said they'd never known the one-room school existed until then. ;D

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