Resources to Inspire Local Adventures For When You Can’t Travel Far
posted on January 8, 2021 | by Vanessa Peers
As hopeful as we were that the new year and the vaccine would quickly bring back some normalcy, new stay at home orders make it feel like we’ve landed back in March! While we still may not be able to travel far and connect in person with friends and family, why not use this slower start to the year and being stuck in your local area to get out of the house and explore and hopefully learn something new about where you live? Below is a list of resources to help inspire and guide you on your local adventures.
Nudge Text is by far my favorite resource. A few times a week they send a text message with fully thought out plans for something fun and interesting to do! Basically it’s like having your best friend plan fun weekly activities and they are always well-timed so that you can do them immediately, i.e. they won’t send you a plan for a hike if it looks like it’s going to rain all week! Unfortunately Nudge Text is currently only operating in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Austin but if you live in one of those cities, sign up immediately and get #nudging—it’s free unless you want the premium program which comes with a host more perks!
Walking Tour Apps
Other apps such as Sidewalk and GPSmyCity provide free guided walking tours. You simply pick your city, view the possible walks and get going. I love that they share interesting bits of information along the way so that you can learn something while wandering around.
Local organizations and advocacy groups
From Melbourne to San Francisco to Lisbon, almost every city I have ever visited has offered some kind of guided walking tours, many of which are free. Whether you are wanting to get an overall feel for your city, see a specific part of your city, or experience a particular element, you will likely find local organizations championing that cause. Understandably, depending on the situation where you live, these tours are likely not operating as usual but many of these organizations currently offer online tours or guides for you to purchase and use on self-guided tours.
Apart from local tour operators, many advocacy groups host events or have blogs that give tips about what is happening in your city. WalkSF is one of my favorite advocacy groups in San Francisco that is always offering ideas and inspiration for walking in San Francisco but a quick Google search will help you find others depending on your interests and area.
Local Instagram Accounts
I am a huge fan of following local Instagram accounts whether it be of my favorite restaurant or a local food blogger or photographer. Seeing what they get up to always inspires me to go exploring! Search Instagram for local influencers in your area to see what they have been up to and start planning your own insta-worthy adventure!
Books On Your City
If you’re new to your city, it might be worth purchasing a traditional guide book but if you’ve been in your city a while, reading about the top 10 sights you’ve seen 100 times is hardly going to get you off the couch. In that case, I advise you to put down the Lonely Planet and rather look for books by local authors. Sometimes picking up a book that teaches you something new about your city or tells you about the history or the inhabitants of your city is exactly the information you need to go out and see your neighborhood with new eyes! If you’re in San Francisco, try reading Cool Gray City of Love by Gary Kamiya or pick up a copy of Infinite City by Rebecca Solnit. City Walks decks are another great way to explore—they give quick walks to do in various neighborhoods.
I’d love to know of any resources you use to help you see and learn more about your own city.