When was the last time you really got to know your hometown? Instead of traveling to far-flung places, try loca-tourism. Pack your next four-day weekend with special places to eat, learn, and play within 100 miles of home. “No airports, no TSA, no exchange rates, and huge savings,” points out travel writer Betsa Marsh. Here’s a travel plan from Marsh and Post staffers:
Day 1 Friday
Morning: Take a walking tour of the nearest city led by locals who know the best-kept secrets and scandals from a city’s past. Search online for “walking tours of [town].”
Afternoon: Enjoy tea at a specialty tea room or a posh hotel. It’s a surprisingly relaxing ritual, and so out of the ordinary that it’s romantic, too, says Marsh.
Evening: Check your newspaper’s calendar for gallery openings—a fun way to meet new artists and friends, says Marsh.
Day 2 Saturday
Morning: Explore an offbeat library, museum, or monument. Check local travel guides for ideas.
Afternoon: Go creative and try a craft at an arts center, maybe batik or even fused glass jewelry making. Or go shopping for ethnic food and housewares. “Every town has some strong immigrant roots that linger in their deli cases,” says Marsh.
Evening: After all that art, it’s time for fun: dinner and a movie. But not just anywhere. Watch in comfort at one of the new luxe theaters that boast full lounge chairs and wait service. (One option: ipictheaters.com) Alternative: “Brewery tours are always fun and interesting,” adds Assistant Editor Megan Rohrer. “Some cities even have buses that will shuttle you between multiple breweries so you can make an evening of it.”
Day 3 Sunday
Morning: Bicycle with friends to a favorite brunch spot, or put out an Italian-style spread of favorite cheeses and meats. “I like to spend my staycation catching up with friends,” says Post Comptroller Tamatha Crist.
Afternoon: Volunteer to plant trees or spruce up trails at a city or state park.
Evening: Experience a gourmet meal. To make it a fun and surprising choice, download the Urbanspoon app, enter your location, select $$$ or $$$$, and “shake.” Make a reservation at the first restaurant that comes up. Been there before? Spin again. Sure it’s a splurge, but think about all the money you’re saving on hotel and airfare.
Day 4 Monday
Morning: Enjoy a panoramic view. Every big city is proud of its highest building, and spring is
a great time to take in
a skyline, says Marsh.
Afternoon: Play classic board games (Farkle, dominoes, and Clue), or newer favorites from local retailers (Things, Ticket to Ride, and Ruckus).
Evening: End the day with an in-home couples massage. Ask friends for recommendations or check out spafinder.com.
For more staycation ideas from Betsa Marsh click here.