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    Five ways to become a tourist in your own hometown

    – For most people, vacation time and money are finite resources. So what can you do if you’re interested in exploring and trying new things before your next vacation? Become a tourist in your own hometown.

    If you’re looking for something new to do in your community, often the best sources of information are people who love to explore just like you do.

    By going online, you can learn more about what like-minded people in your city recommend as fun and unique activities. One great place to look is, where users can find and share their favorite activities. There you can search by city or category to find both special events and ongoing activities from other locals, making it a helpful “insider’s guide” that can be used with more traditional resources like the events section of your local paper.

    To help you get started in your quest to explore the best your city has to offer, the experts at LiveLifeLocal, which is made possible by the folks at Safeco Insurance, recommend five ways to discover new things close to home:

    * Find fun ways to get active. Click around on the LiveLifeLocal map to find bicycle-friendly routes that take you somewhere you haven’t explored. Or take a hike through a park that you’ve never visited. If you have a favorite lake, experience it a new way by renting a stand-up paddleboard and going for a paddle.

    * Explore regional food options. A great way to reconnect with your local culture is eating and drinking at establishments that offer flavors unique to your town. Farm-to-table restaurants allow you to enjoy the fruits of the local harvest, which taste all the better if you are able to wash it down with a pint of carefully crafted brew from a local brewer. Or head to the nearest farmers market for a fun diversion before preparing a delicious and fresh home-cooked meal.

    * Take advantage of free events and festivals. Enjoy local art, food and music at a free weekend festival, as often you can find them all in one place. Festivals are also a great place to learn about new restaurants, galleries or musicians, all of which you may want to see or visit again on another excursion.

    * Try a night of local entertainment. Do you wonder what goes on at the theater that you always pass on the way home? Take to the Web to see which plays others are recommending. One fun way to explore your local arts scene is to set a goal to see a new play, visit a new gallery or see a new musical act once a month.

    * Learn more about your community. Take a tour of a historic building in your neighborhood in which you might find out something you never knew about where you live. Libraries are also a great place to look for fun classes or seminars about people or areas of interest in your town, as are local historical societies.

    Part of the fun of becoming a local tourist is that you can share your experiences with others who have common interests, while getting ideas on new ways to explore your city. Visit for more ideas on how to make living life in your town more entertaining and to share some of your best-kept secrets about your city.

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