4 Tips For Exploring Your Own Backyard | State By State Travel

Do you ever get the craving to take a road trip? Some people have salt water in their veins and have this compulsion to visit the beach, but I just need the open road. I can always tell when we haven’t been out on an adventure in a while because life gets really boring and my outlook gets kind of dreary. If you need a road trip, but can’t afford to get past your county line, you’re in luck. There’s probably more to do within an hour of your house than you realize. Here’s 4 tips to help you explore your own backyard and turn it into an adventure you’ll never forget.

Exploring Your Own Backyard: #1 Think Like A Tourist

Go the internet and do a search for your city and county with the word “visitors center” or “attractions.” Then explore the list of results. Have you seen everything listed on those websites? Are there museums nearby that you’ve overlooked? Is there a waterpark in the neighboring city that has a new ride? Is there a historic site that you’ve never visited? Sometimes we get so busy with daily life that we forget to be a tourist in our own backyard.

For example, I live in the town in North Carolina that is the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show. Yet, I have never been to Andy Griffith’s homeplace and I have never visited the jail or other Andy Griffith Show inspired visitor’s attractions in this area. So, I definitely need to start exploring my own backyard closer.

Exploring Your Own Backyard: #2 Ask The Old-Timers

Start talking to the old-timers who have lived in the area forever. They may remember back in the day when there was an old fishing hole that got forgotten. They may have a favorite mom and pop grocery store that is still open for business that you need to check out. The elderly are a wealth of information and they generally love to share. Who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?

Exploring Your Own Backyard: #3 Walk Around Downtown

When exploring your own backyard, be sure to park the car and go for a walk through your own downtown. There are probably little novelty shops that cater to tourists and downtown employees that you have never visited. These people can often lead you to even more cool places to visit. Check out the coffee shops, sandwich cafes and little hole in the wall boutiques. You may find a treasure that has been under your nose this whole time.

Exploring Your Own Backyard: #4 Explore Your Local World

What do you look for when you go on vacation? Are you intrigued by the architecture of the local buildings? Then call the local cathedral or temple and get a behind the scenes look at the bell tower. Do you love to find new waterfalls or hiking trails? Contact the local fishing and wildlife office and ask them for some hiking ideas. Love historic homes of famous people? Hello, the Andy Griffith house is calling me. Check with the local library and find out if there are any tour of homes happening near you.

Sometimes you can’t take a full vacation because of money, schedules, etc. Exploring your own backyard can be the next best thing if you are creative. Use these tips and start an adventure that will save you money and let you enjoy some exciting adventures in your own backyard.

Share Some Tips With Others. What Is Awesome About Your Town?

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  1. May 16, 2014  2:30 pm by Chavonne H Reply

    I like your ideas because I really don't know anything about the city I live in. No history, the people nothing and it's been seven years. However before then I'd lived in San Francisco most of my life and I know lots of that city, it's my favorite! But these are good ideas to learn about where you live and have fun exploring!

  2. May 16, 2014  3:37 pm by Amanda Ripsam Reply

    My hubby and I sometimes like to take mini road trips together in our own state and we love Ann Arbor started going to u of m for my daughter medical needs and found some of our favorite restaurants that way.

  3. May 16, 2014  3:37 pm by Kristi Reply

    This is a great post and it comes at a great time of year too when people like me are going to be looking for places to go with the kids this summer. Great tips here!! My town is out in the boonies, but our claim to fame is Cushing Academy a very prestigious private high school that has a couple famous alumni - Bette Davis and Nate Berkus to name the most famous. ::)

    • May 16, 2014  3:50 pm by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      That sounds like a very interesting high school! I am sure there are lots of things to explore in your area given the celebrity factor.

  4. May 16, 2014  3:44 pm by Robin (Masshole Mommy) Reply

    Asking an old timer is an awesome idea! I am actually going to accost my next door neighbor the next time I see him lol!

  5. May 16, 2014  5:48 pm by Pam Reply

    We are very lucky in that our area has a ton of fun stuff to do. Plus we are very close to a small city with even more activities! These are great tips.

  6. May 16, 2014  6:08 pm by Triplezmom Reply

    We live about 12 miles from NYC, so we can always find plenty to do in our backyard.

    • May 17, 2014  12:58 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      Oh I bet you can. We live near some cities but nothing like NYC.

  7. May 16, 2014  7:43 pm by becca Reply

    what great tips. i just learned we have a botanical garden in our neighboring town it's way cool.

    • May 17, 2014  12:57 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      Oh I bet that is cool! I love botanical gardens!

  8. May 16, 2014  9:34 pm by Rita Spratlen Reply

    Thanks for the great tips! It is funny how sometimes people come to visit and we don't know the answers for we just take things for that is how it is and it isn't so special. But, it is special if you don't live here.

    • May 17, 2014  12:57 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      That's true. I am surprised by how many people come to my town to vacation. To me, it's just home. I think I need to start learning to appreciate it more. :)

  9. May 16, 2014  10:22 pm by Nicole Brady Reply

    Hubby and I were just talking about this today. We're trying to figure out if there's anything "major" that our community offers that we are blind to seeing because it's right in front of us. Great timing on your post!

  10. May 16, 2014  11:54 pm by Kayla @ TheEclecticElement Reply

    Now that I've actually READ the post, I agree, sometimes all you have time or money for is a little adventure around town and that's not a bad thing! There's always new things to explore and discover in your own backyard ;)

  11. May 17, 2014  12:01 am by Grandma Bonnie Reply

    Those are some great tips for having a staycation. My town has lots of old homes that can be toured at certain times during the year. They also have a Merry Go Round museum.

    • May 17, 2014  12:55 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      The Merry Go Round museum sounds interesting! We also like to ride around and check out old houses here. I need to see if they offer tours of any of them!

  12. May 17, 2014  12:36 am by Jennifer Williams Reply

    We just moved to our new area a couple months ago so it is still like we are on vacation. Back home, I would do a search for our area and see what came up that we had not seen before. I lived there 42 years so it was a bit hard to find new things.

    • May 17, 2014  12:55 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      Wow! 42 years in one state. I bet that was a big adjustment for you! I lived in my home state for 29 years and I have been here for 8.

  13. May 17, 2014  9:00 am by Amanda Reply

    What great tips! We will be putting these into use this summer for sure!!

  14. May 17, 2014  9:41 am by Rosey Reply

    We did tent camping in the yard last year. It was really fun!! Actually, we did it the last two years. :)

  15. May 17, 2014  6:31 pm by Beth Reply

    Lots of great tips. We move frequently so I feel like we never run out of things to explore.

  16. May 17, 2014  9:24 pm by Mina Slater Reply

    These are great tips for finding things to do I your own city. I've lived here for 8 years and still find new things to do! I love that.

  17. May 17, 2014  10:03 pm by Tough Cookie Mommy Reply

    I'm always amazed when I learn new information about my town that I did not know previously. It's wonderful to find out about the history and culture of a community.

  18. May 17, 2014  11:13 pm by lawna Reply

    I miss the days when my kids could run around our back yard exploring. Perhaps soon we will be able to rent a house so our kiddos can enjoy the fun of having a back yard to play in.

  19. May 18, 2014  3:54 am by Onica {MommyFactor} Reply

    We live in the NYC area so there's always somewhere to explore but still I can use these tips. I really like the one about asking old timers. They can know alot of secret places you never thought about.

  20. May 18, 2014  1:38 pm by Liz Mays Reply

    I especially love the idea of asking some old timers. I can only imagine the wonderful tales and suggestions one would get.

  21. May 18, 2014  7:49 pm by Annie Reply

    My hometown of Sunnyvale is the heart of Silicon Valley in California. Also the happiest town in the US according to some article :P

  22. May 18, 2014  8:56 pm by Amy Desrosiers Reply

    My town has some great text book history with being the first mill city back in the days. Now it is pretty run down and could use some new life.

  23. July 10, 2014  11:48 am by The Folding Pilot Reply

    Great list! I've recently tried to rediscover my home town and I was amazed by how much there was that I'd never seen or known!

  24. July 15, 2014  1:59 pm by Kaylee Kuroski Reply

    I loved these tips and I'll definitely be using them in the years to come!

  25. July 16, 2014  1:27 pm by Cami Reply

    It is funny to hear visitors rant about how beautiful my city is, they notice things I don't even see anymore! I need to "explore in my own backyard"!

  26. July 17, 2014  8:27 am by Shannon Reply

    Asking an older person is always a good idea to get to know more about your town. If you come to Richmond, VA some of the best things about it are all of museums. My favorite thing about it is Maymont Park. It is beautiful and also where I got married at.

  27. July 18, 2014  12:25 pm by cami Reply

    I have always grown up in towns with such amazing history!! In Tombstone Az and now in Salton Sea CA . I love learning about history of where i live. You never know where you will find a hidden gem :)

  28. July 26, 2014  12:36 pm by Nicole Becker Reply

    My town is Baltimore Maryland!! Home of the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Orioles. There is alot to do in my town. We have the Inner Harbor which is a great place to hang out with family and friends. We have the best looking stadiums. We are close to Ocean City Maryland where we go on vacation every year. And we have the BEST seafood!! Crabs are amazing!!

  29. July 27, 2014  7:10 pm by jeanne lynn Reply

    I like your ideas, and they caused me to think a bit about all the things in the surrounding area that I have never taken the time to explore. 20 minutes away is downtown Milwaukee where there are so many, many things to explore and sights to take in.

  30. August 1, 2014  3:09 pm by Jana Williams Reply

    I Can't Really go on Vacation Like I would Wish I could at the Moment! I have had So Many Health problems Lately Stemming from a motorcycle Wreck I had a Couple of Years Ago! I would still like to Enjoy my Summer so I really Appreciate this Good Tips! I Figure if I can't go on Vacation than I will Bring the Vacation to me! Thanks & God Bless! Jana

    • August 23, 2014  4:17 pm by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      I'm sorry to hear that. I hope that you heal soon.

  31. August 14, 2014  1:37 pm by Jeanna Wise Reply

    Great tips I'm gonna do this.

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