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How to Be a Tourist in Your Own City

While global tourism has become increasingly popular, with 2018 seeing a record of 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals, that doesn’t mean you won’t find anything to do in your own city. In fact, many world travelers are more familiar with places that are thousands of miles from home. 

Now may be the ideal time to consider being a tourist in your own backyard, whether you own Bellevue real estate or a home anywhere else. Here’s how.

Take a Tour

Many cities across the globe offer a wide variety of tours, from walking and biking tours to themed tours around food. Some tours are even free or allow participants to pay whatever they feel the experience was worth. Just try Googling your own city and see what comes up, for example, “guided tours in Seattle,” brings a myriad of possibilities in addition to the usual, including winery tours, underground tours and cruises. 

Pick Up Brochures at a Welcome Center

Many cities have a Welcome Center or Visitor Center with a kiosk that’s filled with brochures on local activities and attractions. Odds are there’s something there you didn’t know about that you can do. If there’s a staff member you can talk to, be sure to take advantage of any advice they might have too.

Visit All the Historic Landmarks

Learn more about your city’s past by visiting its historic landmarks. A Google search will reveal the top options making for an interesting day out and a great education that will help you when family or friends come to visit from out of town.

Explore the Local Museums

Another way to learn about your city is through its museums. Not only can you find out more about how it was birthed and the history since then, but you’ll also probably find institutions focused on art, science and other offerings too. 

Take Selfies In Front of the Tourist Hot Spots 

Just about every city has some tourist spots, from the welcome sign to a statue in the town square, a great view or maybe a cool mural. Some are a bit bizarre, like the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine” in Cawker City, Kansas or a 38-foot tall chest of drawers in High Point, North Carolina. What can you find? Bring your camera and start snapping!

Catch a Sporting Event

Attending a sporting event is a great way to get to know more of the locals and catch the true “spirit” of your city. If you have multiple options, try to go to a game you normally wouldn’t, for example, if you frequently attend baseball games, check out your local soccer team.

Get a Room Downtown

Assuming you live outside of the city center or in the suburbs, get a hotel room (or Airbnb) right downtown and spend the weekend getting to know it better. If you already live in the heart of your city, consider doing the opposite and staying in the suburbs or the next town over.

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