Color me surprised when I came across an acquaintance who had lived in California all their lives and had never been to Disneyland, or a friend who lived in New York and had never looked through the books at Ellis Island. Can you imagine living in Washington D.C. and never visiting the Smithsonian?
Our beautiful globe is spectacular and the home of many passions and dreams. It is understandable to want to explore unknown places, experience adventure in an exotic location, and try new cuisines. The wonderful thing about the town or city in which you hang your hat every night is that it is also a tourist and vacation destination. Let us also not forget that transportation and lodging would be less expensive and there is no change in currency.
Thousands rush to Leavenworth, Washington every year to spend Christmas at the charming Bavarian-styled village, located within the Cascade Mountains. Or perhaps take a visit to Idaho City, Idaho, a historical town founded in 1862 where the original buildings stand including the first Catholic church within Idaho territory, and oldest Idaho cemetery.
With fifty states, districts, and territories within The Americas you will find everything from international cuisine to fun fashion, outdoor adventures to paranormal tours, history and art, amusement parks and music festivals. It is unbelievable how much there is to see and experience in your own backyard. Seek and you shall find!
During the holiday season both my immediate and extended family made a decision to choose a city within the States we’ve never been to spend the holidays. One year it was Cities of Alaska, another was Orlando, Florida, our time in Austin, Texas, and Christmas in Maui. It is not always possible nor affordable to leave the country for vacation (not to mention work schedules); Southwest Airlines and Amtrak are always wonderful options for trips such as this, and the trips can take place over an extended weekend versus seven to ten days. Instead of gift exchange we purchase tickets to a local show or event that we can all enjoy together. We tour wineries and lavender farms, take a scenic train ride, or partake in a cooking class. It is a tremendously fun and meaningful bonding experience. An endeavor we feel important to invest our money in and document with photos. Of course we all return to our respective homes with souvenirs but rarely is wrapping or shipping included. Before the trip ends we choose the lucky new city for the following year. I have my fingers crossed for New Orleans.
Some great avenues to help with a town search would be your local Chamber of Commerce and State Bureau of Tourism for the town’s calendar of events. It’s also fun to search for art museums, concerts, niche festivals like renaissance or sci-fi, performance art, convention centers for musicals, bookstores for author speaking engagements, comedy clubs, tours, craft and farmers markets, just to name a few. Find out what the town’s best new or tried-and-true restaurant is and make a reservation there. If both time and money are tight there are several free-of-charge or “donations appreciated” events that go on every month in just about every town.
Leave a comment and let me know what you happen upon. I’m always looking for new and interesting reasons to visit a new town.