Sometimes it is just easier to travel locally instead of paying for a flight or renting a car to go on a trip. Exploring your own area can be a great way to get out of the house and experience the beauty of what is around you. This clearly depends on where you live, but regardless there are many ways to travel locally in your own city or state. Here are some suggestions:
Travel Locally Within Your Own City
I recently moved to Fairfield, Connecticut in 2018. Since it was a new place for me, it was very easy for my family to travel locally. Everything was new, so it was exciting to explore our new surroundings. Having seen much of my town, I am reminded that it is important to continue to find hidden gems in your own area. Here are some examples:
- Try new restaurants (check out Yelp for recommendations)
- Visit a new park or playground with your kids
- Take a walk in a new neighborhood
- Visit a local museum or zoo
- Look at TripAdvisor and go “where the tourists go”
- Stroll the downtown area and pop into a local shop
- Go for a bike ride in a “scenic spot”
- Get tickets to local sporting events, plays or concerts
Before moving to a small town, I spent my life living in Miami. I know it is a popular tourist destination, so we made sure to do touristy things every now and again and explore the city when we couldn’t get away as a family. It was a nice “getaway” to see new things in my hometown and then come right back home and sleep in my bed.
Travel Locally Within Your Own State
Living in Florida, we often visited many cities within the state on weekend trips and stayed a night or two at a hotel. Since we lived at the very bottom of a long state, Florida road trips were often reserved for longer vacation times. Some of our favorite cities to travel locally within the state were Marco Island, Key Largo, Marathon, Key West, Disney World, and St. Augustine. We had some of the best family beach vacations in our home state.
I urge you to research the top things to do in your state or check out highly rated restaurants or shops and take an adventure to visit them. Our family loves ice cream and when I read an article that highlighted the best ice cream shop in each state, I planned a trip to Ferris Acres Creamery in Connecticut. Then, I looked up other highly rated ice cream places and we planned a visit to each one last summer. The kids loved our Ice Cream Trail weekends.
If you live near the border of another state, check that out some popular things to do there too. After moving to Connecticut, we love the fact that we live within a few hours of many states. We have taken weekend trips to big cities like Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Boston, and because we live so close, we often take the train into New York City. Since we love to try new cuisines, our family took a family food tour in Jackson Heights, a Flatiron food and architecture tour, and a Greenwich Village tour. We also did the touristy NYC things and visited countless museums and buildings too.
Here are some ideas of what you can potentially do within your own state or a state nearby:
- Take a hop-on-hop-off bus or trolley around a new city
- Rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard in a nearby lake or beach
- Visit a state or a national park
- Take a food tour
- Visit a local Farmer’s Market
- Take a different route that hits smaller towns
- Buy food from a local deli and go for a picnic
- Go camping
- Take a lake vacation
- Try an exhilarating activity like zip-lining
- Check out Historic Landmarks
Exploring your state on a road trip for a couple of weeks can be another great option for a different type of vacation. For example, if you live CA, doing a California national parks road trip could be a unique way to explore the outdoors without crossing state lines. You could do a similar trip and visit all of most of the state parks in your area too.
The point is that when you travel locally, you can still experience different cultures, people, and food. Think about the things you like to do on vacation normally and make a weekend trip out of doing something you enjoy. Consider making a bucket list of where you’d like to travel locally.
Why You Should be Traveling Locally
- You spend less money (no rental car or flight)
- You can take more mini-vacations instead of 1-2 larger vacations
- Usually involves less planning, which means less stress
- You can try something new close to home
- You can become more knowledgeable about your area
Resources to Help You Travel Locally More
- Yelp (food)
- TripAdvisor (things to do)
- Google Maps (routes and food)
- RoadTrippers (things to do nearby)
- Ask a friend
- Type in a search on Google and find personal blogs
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17 thoughts on “Travel Locally and Explore Your Backyard”
I definitely need to do this more right now! I recently moved back to my hometown after over a decade away, so there’s a lot to rediscover. :] I’m hoping to go biking this weekend!
I love travelling locally, although I’ll admit it took me leaving and coming back for me to appreciate my own city and province!
I love the idea of visiting a local creamery! That ice cream looks sooo good! I live in Oregon, and we have a handful of really good local dairy farms that make excellent ice cream and cheese. Now I guess I know what I’ll be doing this summer…. 🙂
Awesome blog! Definitely makes you take notice of all the amazing things to do in your backyard
Local travel is so great – awesome of you guys to highlight it here! I miss living in Philadelphia where we were smack in the middle of so many great east coast cities. One of our favorite trips was always a last-minute hotel deal in NYC, D.C or Baltimore and off we’d go!
The ice cream from Ferris Acres looks absolutely delicious! Yes, I have been exploring locally and London has so many hidden gems that I did not even know about! It has been rewarding to discover.
I love that the situation the world is in is giving everyone new appreciation and reason to explore our own areas! I recently just did a road trip through the Rockies as my fiance was moving home and we had to drive the Uhaul. It was a great opportunity to explore and see more of our province! 🙂
It’s always fun to explore your own city! A lot of our area is still closed though, so we have to wait awhile longer until it is safer to go out and explore- even close to home!
Great ideas! With more of us not being able to travel internationally, right now, these will be very helpful suggestions.
It really is necessary to hone in on what we have available locally since we are all going through this right now. There really are soo many things to be done and explored close to home. 🙂
We’ve been doing this too, now that I’m “forced” to explore what’s near me! It’s actually been great – I’ve lived in our area my whole life and so far have discovered things I didn’t even know existed! Great tips for everyone as a reminder that we ALL have unique things to do around us!
Definitely travel local right now. This is such a great post with lots of tips. I just started using Road Trippers and love it. And you are lucky with so much to do in FL
Travelling locally is all the more relevant in today’s scenario, with covid making international travel risky. However, living in a country like the US or Canada makes these things a lot easier than the small country that I live in (the UAE). There literally are 7 small cities here which, in the last 9 years of living here, I have explored at least 10-12 times. We are unfortunately really restricted here in terms of options! But you’re lucky as I see you have so much to see and do where you’re at!
It is a great post and excellent tips. In COVID times, I also try to discover places in my area and neighborhood. I try local dishes, visit local restaurants, go on the nearby hiking trails. For sure, I save more money for my next adventure.
We often take for granted and don’t open our eyes with what’s on our “backyard”. This is a great, helpful article!
Traveling locally in your own backyard is one of the most underrated ways to travel but it truly can be exciting, entertaining and enriching! I love this post and see this as a great alternative to traveling during this unsettling time of travel uncertainty! Thanks for the inspiration!
I love this! It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to just travel away from home, but often we have such amazing spots so close. We love exploring close to home here in the PNW!