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Staycation - Visit Local Attractions

Updated on July 29, 2017

Take a Staycation and Visit Great Local Sites

Every weekend can be a vacation when you "staycation" in your hometown. Scratch the surface and you'll likely find interesting places you never knew were there.

The word staycation entered our vocabulary in recent years. It means a vacation where you stay home, or close to home, and explore the offerings that are available nearby.

I am a local history fan, so the historic places near my home stand out to me, and I've got a bucket list for them, so that eventually I'll visit them all.

Some are already favorites, and I visit over and over. And new favorites pop up, too. That might mean a location that was previously private is now open for visitors. Others, reopening after a period of renovation.

And we often think of museums as hidebound, dusty places. But there are new museums that are established - celebrating people, places and things that you might never have known about.

Your local convention and visitors bureau is a good place to start your research, whether you're a long-time resident or newcomer to an area.

No matter what your interests, there are indoor and outdoor attractions within easy driving for you and your family to enjoy inexpensively and conveniently.

The Elks of Elkhart are a fundraising project for CAPS, Child and Parent Services. These fiberglass statues, artist decorated, are located at more than 25 local attractions and businesses.

This elk is called "North, South, East and West - Home is Best" Elk, and stands outside the Elkhart Municipal Building, which is one of the existing buildings designed by E. Hill Turnock in town.

Photos by kimbesa.

Restored Ruthmere house and museum
Restored Ruthmere house and museum

Make Your List

Choose Local Sites Based on Your Interests

Are gardens your thing? How about historic homes? Or zoos? Some local museums and other sites are open year round, others are seasonal. One of my favorites, Bonneyville Mill, is open all year round for outdoor activities, but if you want to go inside the mill, visit between May and October.

Weekdays are often less crowded, if you can work that into your schedule.

Many of these venues have websites, where you can check out the location, hours, parking and other details you might need before visiting. If you're like me, you want to take pictures. Some sites allow this, others don't.

Also, if you need to have some snacks, are there facilities close by? Or will you want to pack a snack?

In the photo - Ruthmere. This house is also referred to as "the Beardsley mansion" though there is now an older Beardsley home that has been restored and opened to the public, just down the street.

This wonderful house has beautiful details, including furniture and art, painted ceilings, wallpaper, and an in-floor pipe organ. It's a real treat to take a guided tour. I especially loved seeing the kitchen and dining room, spaces that have been added to the tour in recent years.

And... Ruthmere is just one of the tantalizing staycation opportunities in this area.

New York Central Train Museum

New York Central Train Museum
New York Central Train Museum

Day Packs For Your Local Explorations - My Kind of Day Trip Bag

I call mine a "comfort bag" and I use it to keep my supplies, like a water bottle, extra socks and tissues. Anything I think I might need while I'm out and about, exploring a place.

I may not be able to take it inside a venue with me, but if I have it in the car, then it's still handy.

The Lerner Theater

The Lerner Theater
The Lerner Theater

Map to Elkhart - Northern Indiana Along the Toll Road

Elkhart is easily accessible off Interstate 80-90:
219 Caravan Drive, Elkhart, IN 46514

get directions

Is a Staycation for You?

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      21 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I think that many people take the time to check out places far from home when on vacation. Sometimes what is in your backyard, so to speak is every bit as enjoyable.

      Because of my website, we continually discover places in our metro area that we might never have gone to were it not for needing fresh posts to publish. It is amazing what is out there, particularly in such a large area as Houston. We will never get to them all, but it is fun trying.

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from USA

      Thanks, Mel!

      I had to make an effort to get around to the local stuff. I missed my chance on one city where I used to live, and have work on avoiding that again. It is fun, if you can find the time!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      It looks like you have some lovely things to do in your town. I live in San Diego, and it's a shame that I rarely make time to get to the beach. I have a book with hundreds of hikes in San Diego county, and I have barely done any of them. I have to get started doing some stay-cationing. Great hub!

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      It is infectious, to find those places. Thanks for stopping by!

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana Adler 

      6 years ago from California

      I love discovering new places in the city where I live. It seems like you know the place, but I'm still amazed sometimes driving in an unfamiliar neighborhood, how different it looks. It's definitely worth exploring! Thanks for the hub, voted up

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      It continues to amaze me, the interesting and educational spots that we have here in a small town, and this area. Something that I learned when moving away from bigger cities: Don't take those local attractions for granted. Thanks Mel and Grand Old Lady for stopping by!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      I love the idea of having a staycation and discovering places so near to home. You've inspired me to come up with a list of stuff to see in my own hometown.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      6 years ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      Here in San Diego ww have beautiful beaches but we might as well not, because I go and look at the ocean maybe once a year. You are right, stay cations can be fun with a little imagination. Great hub!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We've been doing some shorter trips that are closer to home and have found them to be quite enjoyable.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Really enjoyed the picture of the elk! Sounds like a great place to go! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Also, congratulations on your purple star!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love the ideas of the Elks, lots of photo opts and local fun! I'm thinking this summer that there will be even more staycations with the cost of gas out of most people's limits. Most of us don't explore the wonders in our own backyard unless we have company and do a tour for them and it turns out to be such fun for us too! Don't wait for company to come, let's get out and see the sites all around us! Where I'm from, we have the advantage of having a National Park so there are interpreters during the summer months teaching on local lore that the locals enjoy as well. I think its always a good idea to have some snacks along, especially healthy ones and maybe a cooler as well. :)

    • kimbesa2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA

      @Charmcrazey: The elks are well-bolted to the pavement, so they won't wander. And I'll bet they weigh quite a bit, too. There are some new ones being decorated, for a sale that's coming up. The herd gets bigger!

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I love the "Home is Best" Elk sculpture. We used to have local artist designed lizards around the downtown area here. There was a theme and reason why they used lizards but I can't remember it. They were very eye-catching. Anyway they kept getting kidnapped so the idea was scratched.


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