My parents recently came to visit me in San Francisco. It was their first time seeing the city, so I wanted to show them all that it has to offer. I enjoyed touring the city and surrounding area with them because it made me realize how long it had been since I’d explored San Francisco. I’ve only been living here for 9 months, but it’s so easy to get caught up in routine and not venture out.
Re-familiarizing yourself with your home city or town from a tourist’s eyes will likely give you a greater appreciation of where you live and you’ll probably discover something new that you didn’t know existed! Here are some of the best ways to be a tourist in your home city or town.
Go on a walking tour
If you live in a big city, go on a walking tour! It might sound cheesy and you might be the only local, but I’d be willing to bet that you’ll learn new little things about your city. Walking tours are a great way to get out and explore on nice days, and you’ll probably be able to meet some cool people, too!
There’s probably an iconic place you’ve been wanting to go to but haven’t yet because it’s always available to you and you just haven’t decided to go. Go for it! I wish I visited places like Ellis Island and the Empire State Building when I lived in New York City and had the chance!
Visit the museums
I’ve been to about five museums so far in San Francisco and can’t wait to visit more. The artwork or exhibits are likely not to be local, but it’s very fun and exciting to see what’s hung on the walls of beautiful buildings in your city.
Take walks in different parks
I live close to a park that I only recently visited for the first time. Now it’s one of my favorite parks and I’ve already gone running there twice this week! I love it and can’t believe I went 8 months without ever walking up that hill to see it.
Take time to step out of your comfort zone and visit a park in a new neighborhood. You’ll get some exercise in while broadening your horizons!
Attend local events
Whether it’s a street fair or antique car show, it’ll be cool to see your city in a different light by attending local events in your town or city. Who knows, you might even pick up a new hobby along the way! When I lived in Madrid I always visited the street food fairs. I loved trying different foods and getting to know the local businesses.
Try new restaurants and bars
Take yourself out! Chances are, there’s a new restaurant or bar popping up in your city that you’ve never been to. There are probably more than a few, actually. Try a new spot in an area you’ve never been to before. It’s so easy to only go out to eat or drink at places close to home but I have a feeling there are so many other places that are worth trying!
Visit important landmarks
I’ll admit that I haven’t yet visited San Francisco’s city hall, but it looks so beautiful and I really need to go soon! However, I do jump at the chance to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. Day or night, I never tire of seeing these two stunning landmarks.
Attend a sporting event
I’ve been to Yankees games when I lived in New York City, Real Madrid matches while living in Madrid and a San Francisco Giants game since I’ve lived here. It’s a fun way to connect with the community and cheer for the home team!
Have you ever been a tourist in your home city?