How To Be A Tourist In Your Community


Do you know what I absolutely hate? I hate Locals that whine about being bored and constantly complain that they have nothing to do in town, yet they NEVER EVER look for anything to entertain themselves! Do you know what I mean?!


PSA: It's Not Your Community That's Boaring, It's You!


I am a California native but after graduating college in 1987, Oregon became my home. No matter the community, I am quite familiar with hearing people say that they are bored and that their hometown “sucks”. Arghhh this is annoying! There is SO much to do if you actually switch off the TV, get out from behind the screen and have a look; you just clearly don’t know how to be a tourist in your own community!

If you, like many others, have always overlooked your own community as a “tourist spot” then it is time to change!

What’s so great about exploring your local surroundings is that it is much less expensive than normal travel, supports the local economy, and is a lot of fun!

I’m going to make a believer out of you (I hope!). I am going to show you just how to be a tourist in your own community! No more “I’m bored” complaints are almost guaranteed!



Have a “staycation” in a hotel.

For some reason, the majority of people seem to think that you have to leave your town to stay in a hotel; THIS IS NOT TRUE.

Booking a night or two in a local hotel not only supports a local business, it also is a super cute escape from reality, minus the travel time and costs. If you even try and tell me that finishing work and then driving 5 minutes to a hotel doesn’t sound amazing, I do not believe you.

During your stay make sure to really be a tourist – ask the hotel staff for restaurant and attraction recommendations and mingle with fellow travelers at the bar.










Join a Walking Tour.

Yes, you may have been to all of the tour locations 100 times, but have you ever actually learned the history behind them? Probably not. The time is now!

Some of my favorite tours that I have done include free walking tours (a great way to learn the city), photography tours, coffee tasting tours, craft beer tours, and wine & food tours.

Insider Tip: Although free tours are at no cost to the participant, often tipping is recommended for the tour guide who is giving up their time. Don’t get caught out with a major travel fail and forget to have some cash for a tip!








Walk or cycle a route that you normally drive.

Admit it; whenever you are driving somewhere in your town, you never actually look around at your surroundings. I am 100% guilty of this.

A great way to actually take in the scenery is to walk or cycle a track that you normally drive.

When my partner and I lived in McMinnville, OR, we would often spend our weekends cycling downtown, and the country roads and vineyards area. Every half an hour or so we would stop and go for a stroll, maybe grab a snack from a local cafe or take some photos at a hidden gem that we stumbled upon.









Show a friend around.

Showing a friend around your area is a great way to realize just how awesome the community is that you call home is.

When a friend came to visit, I made sure to show her around town, even out the backroads to various working farms with farm stands and items they produce for purchase.

When they stayed at a local hotel, I instantly turned into a tour guide. I loved showing her around, which in turn made me realize just how cool the community that we lived in was.






Go to the local viewpoints.

We all know the “in” spots in our community but we never go to them. We swear we know exactly what the views overlooking our community are but admittedly, we haven’t actually looked at them in years.

Ask yourself, what views in your town can you check out?











Go for a hike and then have a picnic in nature.

Even if you don’t have many “attractions” in your community, you can always get out in nature for the day.

Go to your local grocer, grab some yummy snacks, and hit the trail.

Not much of a hiker? That’s cool! Most hikes have direct car routes to the top to which you can drive to and still have your picnic! I’m a genius I know!







Visit a local museum and learn community history.

I can almost guarantee that most of us who live somewhere our entire lives hardly know anything about the history of the town.









Go on a restaurant or cafe crawl – trying new places and cuisines every weekend/bi-weekly, etc.

How many of us can agree on the fact that we often go to the same cafes/bars/restaurants every time that we go out?

As lovely as it is to support your local, why not spread your wings and support more businesses in your area!

A great way to experience a few places at once is to do a “crawl”. Start at one place for one meal or drink and then move throughout the community for the next.

Even though you may be eating “unhealthy” food, you’re walking it off in between stops; win-win!




Just to reiterate, it is not your community that’s boring, it’s you! Now get off the couch and get out there!

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