Have you ever done a staycation? My family and I have, and most of the time, it’s for a long weekend. We live in North Carolina, and we have so much to see in our state. From the Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, we have a packed slate with things to do. And I’m sure if you look around your neck of the woods, you will see that there is a lot more to do in your state than you ever thought it would be possible to see.
VISIT THE STATE YOU ARE LIVING IN
I am from the great state of New York, and there is so much to do from big city lights to Niagara Falls. I remember when I lived there, many people would ask if I had been to the top of the Statue of Liberty; shamefully, I would say no. Now I will admit that I am not fond of small spaces, so going up those steps was not on my must-do list. But I haven’t been to Niagara Falls either, which is on my “live list.” (I believe in doing it while you are alive and thriving!) The point is that many times we plan a vacation to other places while many people from around the world plan to come to the state we live in. So what are you missing in your state?
DO SOME DIGGING IN YOUR BACKYARD
I decided to do some research to see what places there are in my area and state so that I can experience those places while I am living here! You never know how life changes; the state you call your home today may not be your home state tomorrow.
So here are some things I suggest to find the dynamic places in your area!
Subscribe to some local magazines; many are FREE, but some come with a subscription. It’s usually worth it. We have several magazines that are local in our area, such as the Durham Magazine, Cary Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine. So look in your area for these “city” magazines.
Last year I subscribed to Our State Magazine. It suggests places to visit and restaurants to eat. Some I have been to, and others I haven’t even heard of, but I’m excited to visit!
You may or may not have noticed, but many stores like Whole Foods and others have a place at their exit with local magazines. Pick one up next time and see their reviews of places to eat and visit.
Cooking shows are another great way to look for excellent places to eat.
There are some shows that either visit places that are their favorites or feature chefs like the show, ‘Chef’s Table.’ As I have spoken about in an earlier post called ‘Cooking Shows On Netflix That I Crave,’ this show has landed me some great finds while traveling.
If you are lucky, maybe chefs in your city are featured here. For instance, if you live in Savannah, GA or close by, the show features Chef Massimo Bottura from the Grey Restaurant, which I’ve visited (see my earlier post on my experience). If you live in New York, you may want to visit one of their many Milk Bar locations; owner and creator Christina Tosi, has been featured on the Chef’s Table.
Another go-to cooking show is Guy Fierra’s, ‘Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives.‘ We have eaten at some of the restaurants’ Guy has been to, and usually, they are a winner! The beautiful thing about this site is you can look up eating establishments by state and city to find a place quickly.
Check to see if PBS, Public Broadcasting System, has a cooking show that features places in your area. We have one called Vivian Howard The Chef’s Life, which is in Kinston, North Carolina. We haven’t been there yet, but it’s on our list.
Also, many news stations have food channels, which is another way to find great places.
BLOGGERS ARE A WEALTH OF INFORMATION
Search out knowledgeable travel and food bloggers, like me, from your state or those who have traveled to your state. They often seek out many hidden and popular places to eat and to visit, and for the most part, they have lots of photos so you can see where they’ve been.
AAA, THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND THE VISITORS CENTER
These are places you can visit in person or visit their website. I love going to AAA, which I spoke about in an earlier post; you can access them on that post. They have free information and free maps for their members or a minimum fee if you are not a member.
The Visitors Center is a place you will see when you cross state lines if you are traveling by car or bus; they often have a wealth of information. Most cities have them in their towns also, so do a google search to find one closest to you.
The Chamber of Commerce has a lot of information about where to eat and where to visit, as well as activities to do, such as festivals and fairs to enjoy!
I hope this list helps you in some way, and if you want some free printables to use when planning your next vacation or staycation, be sure to subscribe to my blog; you will get them for FREE.
Please share if you have been on a staycation, and if you have ideas on how you do your research when getting ready to plan a staycation, please share them!