Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Travel Tuesdays: Be a Tourist in Your Home Region

Not everyone can afford to travel or wishes to travel when they have some time off. But traveling in your hometown with the eyes of a tourist can be a transformative learning experience just like traveling further afar.

I first blogged about being a traveler in your hometown last February. In that post I focused on the benefits of exploring natural places in your own area. Today I'd like to encourage a wider view.

Try to think about your area as someone who's never been there before. What would you want to see? Or, pretend you need to advise some tourists- where would you send them?

If I very quickly run down the list of places I would recommend within roughly one hour of my house,  here's what I would say.

New Bedford, MA (20 minute drive)
Providence, Rhode Island (45 minute drive)
Cape Cod, MA (25 minutes to be on the Cape- one hour more to reach the end at Provincetown.)

Plymouth, MA (30 minutes)
Boston, MA (1 hour by car or commuter rail)
This list represents what I was able to write down in less than 5 minutes (putting in all of the links took far longer!) I've visited many of these places. But there are many others that I've never experienced such as a Duck Tour in Boston.

So what's special about your area? What museums have you been meaning to visit? Or maybe you haven't been in years and would like to take your kids there now. What touristy attractions like a Duck Tour might give you a fresh view of your own city? Try to think of free attractions as well as ones you must pay for. For example, admission to the Mayflower II in Plymouth is rather expensive but everyone can see its exterior for free just by walking along the waterfront. (Or go for  "free Fridays").

And don't forget your local library... most in our state offer free or reduced passes to local museums. You just need to reserve them in advance. Be sure to ask at your library. What a great deal!

Brainstorm a list of ideas with your family and make a plan to visit them when you have time. Most students have a break at the end of December until after the new year. If you make a list now, perhaps you could visit some of these places during the quiet time at the end of December.

Have you done this with your kids? Where might you go?

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  1. I love the idea that you encourage people to tour in their own region since some are too ambitious to travel somewhere else. Who doesn't want that to happen? All of us wants to, right? But I guess we also need to be appreciate how beautiful our region can be.

    1. Thanks, Austin. I think we can all be reminded of this sometimes. Even as I was making my list I realized how many of these places I still need to visit (or visit again after a long absence). I was blogging for myself, too!

      Where would you recommend in your neck of the woods?

  2. I grew up in Rhode Island, so "Yay, Providence!" My daughter and I will be living in RI next year and one of my plans is to play tourist, because everything will be new to my daughter. She was born there but never lived there.

    I am always drawn to the Lizzy Borden house in Fall River. The story has fascinated me since I was a kid. I've been several times.

  3. Oh, yes Lizzie Borden is the stuff of legend around here!

    Yay Providence, indeed! You must take your daughter to Water Fire. It means staying up late for a little one but it's just magical. (I say this after not having gone in far too long. Get me to Water Fire!)