Monday, April 18, 2011

Travel Tuesday: Being a Tourist at Home

Things are starting to look up in Kelly land. I can actually breathe and taste my food again. Coughing fits have decreased to maybe five or six times a day rather than every hour on the hour. Plus I finished my first book of the vacation: Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I'm still deciding if I liked it or not, it definitely had some cool parts (as far as the whole image of heaven and being able to look at people still on earth and "be" with them), but also some depressing parts (most of it).

You guys really did not give me any cool local holidays to learn about after my post yesterday. I was thinking about it this morning and when I was visiting my college roommate in Chicago a few years ago, they were celebrating Sweetest Day, which I had never heard of. I love holidays. Anytime you think of a cool local holiday, let me know.

As you know, Eric and I love to travel and be tourists. We can't travel ALL the time, so one of our favorite things to do is pretend to be tourists in our own city (and at the Cape).

How To Be A Tourist In Your Own City

1. Visit your local library. Check out Travel books on your area. No need to buy it, just write down anything you want to do. I love the Eyewitness books because they have the best pictures, but really any travel book will do, it's just there to give you ideas. Your library allow may have free passes to local museums, art galleries etc. Might as well save some money while being a tourist in your own city.

2. Use Tripadvisor and Google. Whenever I'm visiting a new city, or a new area of my home city, I always do a tripadvisor search first and click on "things to do." Then I can get real traveler's reviews on the best things to do in that area. After I've exhausted those options, I just keep typing in the name of the place I'm going and "things to do" until something comes up. I swear I find new things to do at the Cape all the time but just doing slightly different google searches.

3. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Ask them what they would do if they had someone visiting from out of town. In Boston, I always take visitors to the Freedom Trail, Swan Boats, and North End (Italian section of Boston). If we have more time, I like to take them out of Boston to see sights of the Salem Witch Trials.

Digital Camera Pics 1057.jpg

If I can get tickets, a Red Sox game is usually a good thing to take a visitor to as well! I've mentioned before that I was in Australia when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. I converted all my Australian friends to Red Sox fans, so when my friend Kirsty came to visit, a tour of Fenway Park and a Red Sox game were must-dos.

4. Read bloggers from your area. I get the best ideas for fun things to do from Tina, Sues and Chels, Melissa, Meghan and the many other Boston bloggers I read.

Tourism Boston
I already mentioned some of the things I think people should do when they come to Boston. Here is my more extensive list. Obviously if you have kids/don't have kids/love something in particular, I might change it a bit for you. Also, I know some people like to get off the beaten path and not do typical things like the Duck Tours- therefore you could ignore my cliche choices- I'm okay with doing both what everyone does, and off the beaten path choices. I wouldn't go to Rome without seeing the Colosseum after all :)

In the City
Freedom Trail

Swan Boats (or Ice Skating on Frog Pond, in winter)

Boston Duck Tours

Shopping on Newbury Street

Red Sox Game and/or Tour of Fenway Park

Historic Sightseeing Cruise

Boat to George's Island

Sam Adams or Harpoon Brewery

Museum of Science

Castle Island

Lunch or Dinner and Pastries in the North End

Out of the City

Harvard Square

Kayak the Charles River Salem, MA

Nashoba Valley Winery

Concord/Lex... I mean why not?

Day/Weekend Trips

Newport, Rhode Island

Coastal Wine Trail

Lakes Region, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Burlington, Vermont (okay this would be a crazy day trip haha)

Coastal Maine


Cape Cod

The possibilities are pretty much endless!

Tourism Cape Cod

Eric and I consider Cape Cod our second home. Since we tend to spend our free vacations down here, we've probably done more touristy things down here than we have in Boston.

Hyannis Harbor Cruise

Shining Sea Bikeway and Cape Cod Rail Trail

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Provincetown (especially Pilgrim Monument and Art's Sand Dune Tours)

Truro Vineyards

Heritage Museum and Gardens

Sandwich Glass Museum


Bass River Cruise or Kayak

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

Cape Cod National Seashore

Day Trip to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket

Do you ever pretend to be a tourist in your own city? Where do you make sure to take visitors? If you live in Boston or have ever been, would you add anything to my list?


  1. Ooooh I will definitely have to refer back to this when I come to Boston (eventaully) for the marathon!

  2. fantastic Boston and Cape list! I love being a tourist around here. I would say for Boston the Charlestown Navy Yard and the USS Constitution are up there. Tack on Paul Revere's House...Old North Church, you know if history is your thing. (I know they are on the Freedom Trail, but I think they can easily be separate activities) The ICA/waterfront are for sure good spots around here too!

  3. FUN! I have actually never been a tourist in our city before, I just feel like there's nothing really to do, but I bet there is plenty to do I just need to figure it out!

  4. Super cute post! I love it.

    As to holidays, last week was national grilled cheese day. And we also have an "unofficial" holiday during the baseball home opener. Most people call in sick, go to the rally and etc. Oh, and ditto St. Pat's as we have a big Irish population/part of town.

  5. Ook, fun! That's a great list! It's really fun to be a touist in your own town. I had so much fun planning out the itinerary last year when the girls came to visit in August. We'll be doing some of the same things this year most likely! State fair... My favorite bookstores... The chain of lakes (might try to rent bikes this year!). There isn't alot of 'historical' things to do here... but Minneapolis is still a fun place to visit!

  6. You keep inspiring me to do more traveling and just to see the world more (even near my own home) but now I finally need to get out and DO IT! Nick and I never do anything touristy around town, because we rarely have friends come in town. And when we do, they are usually FROM Columbus! haha, I have a friend coming back to town tomorrow and she grew up here. We usually go to new restaurants though, which is always fun. Many restaurants are new to a lot of my friends who have been gone since college!

  7. Every spring or fall we have a day that is called "be a tourist in your own town" and it lets you try new activities and food in our area. My town is small but I always recommend people walking downtown and checking out stuff down there. We also have a minor league baseball team, a really nice public gardens and parks.

  8. Hey, I moved to the area back in February, so this list is great for me. I can't think of anything else to add right now! I've visited a few of the places already, but have been waiting for the weather to be nicer. We've ventured out to Lexington and Concord. I really want to go to the Cape!!

    -Erica from