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.)
- Wood's Hole-great to walk around, see aquarium, Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute
- Rail Trail (Old Train tracks converted to bike path)
- Cape Cod National Seashore
- Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
Plymouth, MA (30 minutes)
- Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II
- Walk along the waterfront- maybe see the wholly unimpressive "Plimoth Rock"
Boston, MA (1 hour by car or commuter rail)
- Duck Tours
- Freedom Trail
- Loads of museums (Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, Gardener Museum, etc.)
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?