How To Be A Tourist In Your Own City

Drugstore Divas received the sweatshirt in this How To Be A Tourist In Your Own City shirt.

Can't get away? Don't worry. You can still be a tourist in your own city. Find out how at

We are going away for spring break this year, which is new for us. We usually just turn the week into a staycation. I’m excited to get away, even though it’s only for half the week. The other half, we’ll be playing tourist at home. Have you done this? It’s actually a lot of fun, plus it’s a lot cheaper on the wallet than actually going  on a trip. To help you plan, we put together this how to be a tourist in your own city post.

How To Be A Tourist In Your Own City

Start at your city’s tourist bureau.
Most cities will have a tourist bureau to give information to out-of-towners. You can use this for yourself, though. Most of the time, when people go out in their own cities, it’s for dinner at a familiar restaurant. Or maybe you go to a park you love. People tend to go to the same places. If you go to your city’s tourist bureau, you can get ideas for places you may have forgotten about or may have never been.

Ours also has an entire section for freebies for local residents. Many of our local museums offer a residents day where anyone in the county can visit for free. Definitely work some free attractions into your schedule so you can save some money.

Pack a camera.
When you’re on vacation, you tend to break out the large camera (at least, we do; I know most people just rely on their phones). Don’t forget your camera when you’re a hometown tourist. Act like a tourist and take photos of historical landmarks, famous buildings, your dinner, etc. Anything that you would shoot when you’re out of town, shoot when you’re in town.

Go out to eat at a tourist spot.
We live at a beach town, so we have a couple very tourist-y seafood buffets that we always pass. You know, the ones with an oversized crab greeting you as you drive by. Stop in there, and see what the tourists eat. Don’t go to your little hole in the wall, off the beaten path, local joint. Go right in the mix of bathing suits and beach towels (or your town’s equivalent). 

Book a hotel.
The only time we stayed in a hotel in our city was the day after we got married. We had a room booked at the hotel where our reception was. Other than that, we’ve never slept in our city. If we were playing hometown tourist, I would definitely book us a hotel for a night. Pick a hotel with free breakfast and coffee in the room. That way, it feels like a vacation. Plus, we would be able to take our time leaving the next morning.

Can't get away? Don't worry. You can still be a tourist in your own city. Find out how at

Pack a bag.
You want to be prepared for anything when you’re out and about. Sure, you can probably easily run home between day and night activities, and that is a perk of vacationing in your own city, but pack a bag and make it feel like you’re out of town. Put in a sweatshirt and long pants, so if you get cold, you have clothes with you. That’s what I did recently. We were out exploring our area and I had the Native Sun Bird Wide Neck Sweatshirt from Vibration Apparel. I actually am obsessed with this shirt. It’s really lightweight, so perfect for spring, and incredibly soft inside. Pete wanted to claim it as his own actually, but the wide neck wasn’t for him.

What tips do you have for being a tourist in your own city?

  1. darla

    April 6, 2017 at 2:54 am

    I was thinking of doing this. Hope to see more posts about your adventures :)

    I’m pretty simple, I just check yelp for restuarants and things to do in the area.

  2. Karen Propes

    April 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Great Idea, we’ve been trying to keep up with the things in our area we haven’t been to. There are alot in the Raleigh-Durham area. only 30 minutes away we have Chapel Hill and Burlington. There are a lot of old history from wars to plantations. North Carolina is rich in heritage and it’s great that the children have grown and we can start exploring our area. Thanks for your tips!

  3. Nikki Gwin

    April 25, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I have made it my mission to visit every nook and cranny of our great state of Alabama. And usually in May, we take a vacation for our anniversary and visit a new spot. However, this year, we are doing the staycation and will be visiting things right here in Birmingham. I am excited about it! And I plan to use a few of your tips too! Thanks.
    :) gwingal

  4. Patrick Weseman

    April 26, 2017 at 12:03 am

    I do this all the time. Of course, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the most tourist friendly places in the world.

  5. Annie

    April 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Love this idea!!! We live in Denver and I feel like there is so much we still need to see and do — we seem to fall into the same routine over and over and do/visit the same places.

  6. Chloe Crabtree

    April 27, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Great idea and I live just outside Orlando, where is there is so much to do that we have never taken advantage of! I think I see a trip to Gatorland in my future! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

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