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How to Feel Like a Tourist in Your Hometown


Have you lived in an area like Dallas for so long that you’ve forgotten what makes it such a spectacular city? Or are you still putting travel to other places on the back burner while the pandemic continues to play out? No matter which situation you find yourself in, learning ways to be a tourist in your hometown is a way to open your eyes to new adventures right in your own backyard. Here are some ways to put this into action.

Go to Popular Tourist Events and Attractions

Credit: Dallas Zoo

Many of those who have lived in a city for multiple years avoid events and attractions that are popular with tourists. To see your city through the eyes of newbies, consider putting a few of these on your to-do list. If you live in Dallas, you can make plans to attend the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show, go to a live theatre production at the Samuell-Grand AmphiTheatre, or celebrate local artists at the downtown Deep Ellum Arts Festival. You can spend an afternoon at The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, explore the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, or check out all the animals at the Dallas Zoo. No matter what you are interested in, Dallas has plenty to offer for the curious staycationer.

Welcome Guests 

One of the best ways to treat your hometown like a vacation destination is to entertain those who have never been there before. When you show first-time visitors around your hometown, you have no choice but to see it from their point of view.

Make sure you hit a variety of destinations such as those mentioned above as well as popular restaurants like Cattleack Barbeque, TJ’s Seafood Market, and Resident Taqueria. Stay up late to show your guests a good time at night spots like Candleroom, Theory Nightclub Uptown, and The Nines. And don’t forget to take them to popular Dallas neighborhoods like the Design District, Lower Greenville Avenue, and the Arts District for some shopping, entertainment, and great eats.

Get Out Your Camera

When was the last time you took some snaps of your hometown? It’s easy to take your city for granted and forget how many amazing sights there are near your home. If you don’t have a camera, you can always use your phone (though you’ll feel more like a tourist if you break out the old-school lens.) You can photograph interesting pieces of street art, murals, exhibits, or just something as mundane as the beautiful bird who likes to hang out by your office. Go through the photos with your family and chat about all your favorite things to see and do in your town.

Get Up for the Sun…or Stay Up ‘Til Midnight

Do you keep to a specific schedule most days? Night owls are missing out on plenty of fantastic morning sights, sounds, and activities if they rarely rise before 8 am, and early birds who hit the sheets at 9 pm are also limiting their experiences. Try changing up your schedule and getting up for a stroll during sunrise or down an extra coffee so you can meet some friends downtown for dancing ‘til dawn. Sometimes switching up your schedule is all you need to see your hometown through fresh eyes.

Go to a Lookout Poin

Credit: Cedar Hill State Park

Getting a birds-eye perspective is one of the best ways to appreciate a new city—or the city you’ve lived in for your entire life! Try visiting a popular lookout point first thing in the morning for one perspective and when night falls for a completely different one. Dallas’s popular lookout points include Cedar Ridge Preserve, Reunion Tower, Katy Trail, and Cedar Hill State Park.

Take Different Routes

Do you always drive (or walk) the same streets to your office, to the grocery store, to your kids’ schools, and to your favorite coffee shop? Relying on routine might be a great way to free your mind up for other things, but it also diminishes the novelty and joy of living in a spectacular city. Try driving or walking a different route to your usual destinations and note new construction, businesses that have just opened, or just a particularly pretty tree or neighborhood garden.

Book a Tour

Credit: Fun Dallas Tours

There’s nothing more touristy than booking an excursion! The next time you have a free weekend, consider joining one of the popular tours in your hometown to be reminded of why it’s such a cool place.

In Dallas, you could check out the JFK Assassination and Museum Tour, a sightseeing tour of the city, a historic Dallas Segway tour, or even a tacos and margaritas coach tour (just make sure to take a cab home!) Not only will you get a full afternoon or day of adventure, but you’ll also get to share in the enthusiasm as you see familiar sights with a group of people who are visiting your city for the first time.

Check Out a Guidebook 

Forgotten what’s so unique and interesting about your hometown? Hit the library or bookstore and grab a guidebook intended for tourists. You’ll be able to find activities and destinations you may have neglected to see in the past, as well as be reminded of some of your old favorite things to do. For a bonus, also grab a book of history on your hometown so you can learn more about your city while you see the sights.

Whether you’re holding off on travel for the time being or you just want to reignite your passion for your hometown, acting like a tourist is a great way to appreciate what you may have recently taken for granted.

Love your city but decided you need to upgrade to a new Dallas home to better fit your family’s needs? Reach out to realtor Steve Killingback for expert assistance.

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Steve Killingback uses his eye for detail and design, combined with knowledge and instincts, gained from extensive global travel, to transform a house into a home. Contact him today!

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