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Travel Inspiration
Become a Tourist in Your Own City

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Being a tourist in a new city can be fun and rewarding. It’s a chance to explore and discover the delights of a new place. But it can be just as fun and rewarding to be a tourist in your own city.

After living in the same area for a while, it’s easy to fall into a routine. You tend to frequent many of the same spots over and over again. But there might be new places you want to explore, hidden gems you have yet to discover, or tourist attractions you’ve never gotten around to visiting.

woman biking near city river

Being a tourist is a chance to be a little more active, as well. When you can, leave the car behind and explore on foot or by bike. And look for events and activities that will get you moving. It may not offer the same fitness benefits as a structured workout, but being a tourist is still a great way to be less sedentary.

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If you’re looking for even more fitness-specific events, you should have no problem finding something that works for you. Find out about tai chi, yoga, or boot camp classes in the park. These types of outdoor classes are more popular than ever. You can also take part in a local 5K race or obstacle course race.

people on a historic tour

There are a lot of ways to explore what your city has to offer. Try an online search and find out what others are talking about. Or check out some travel sites and see what tourists have to say about your city. You can even download apps for your phone that can help you find different points of interest. Or, simply head to a part of town you’d like to explore and start walking.

You can also check the weekly reader to keep up to date with local events. Many cities regularly host art fairs, food and drink festivals, or free concerts in the park. Or learn about local architecture and take a tour of historic neighborhoods.

people planting a tree

If you’re looking to give back to your community, you may even want to pair your tourism with some volunteer work. There’s a term for this—voluntourism. You might plant trees at a local park. Join a cleanup event in the area, perhaps at a local beach or popular hiking trail. Or help out with Habitat for Humanity or at a local shelter. You can help your community while learning more about it at the same time.

The bigger your city, the more there is to explore. And the good news is that you can take as much time as you like!Z Recruit your friends and family to come along. Encourage your kids to discover the joy of opening their minds to new discoveries. Or explore on your own. You’re likely to meet new people along the way and make a few friends. 

*This information is not intended to take the place of regular medical care or advice. Please check with your doctor before using this information or beginning any self-care program.

American Heart Association. (2017, January 10). Why is walking the most popular form of exercise?
Duvall, J., & De Young, R. (2013). Some strategies for sustaining a walking routine: Insights from experienced walkers. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 10(1), 10–18
Furie, G. L., & Desai, M. M. (2012). Active transportation and cardiovascular disease risk factors in U.S. adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 43(6), 621–628
Mayo Clinic. (2021, May 19). Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health
Pasanen, T. P., Tyrväinen, L., & Korpela, K. M. (2014). The relationship between perceived health and physical activity indoors, outdoors in built environments, and outdoors in nature. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 6(3), 324–346