‘Staycation’ Adventures: 10 Resources to Find Great Things to Do In Your Own Backyard

When was the last time you were a tourist in your own town? Travel is awesome, but most of us can only rarely sneak away on a true vacation. So why not use a few of the other 50 weekends of the year to do some activities in your own area. Grab a friend, your partner, your kids or your parents. Explore new hikes. Go to a show. Try something you’ve never done before.

But how do you find out about what’s available in your area? Here is a list of the Top 10 resources for ‘staycation’ activities. So next weekend, instead of paying bills and going to the same coffee shop, why not head to Yosemite, catch a comedy show or take a night photography workshop? 

REI:
REI Experiences: Great one day adventures (hiking, kayaking, biking, backpacking and more), as well as some overnight camping options, are offered via REI Experiences (not to be confused with REI Adventures which offers group multi-day trips).  Simply type in your zip code and find out what offerings are in your area.
REI Events: REI also offers a ton of events and training courses. Everything from wilderness first aid (my husband took this class and thought it was great) and backcountry navigation to how to fix a flat tire or to tie climbing knots is offered. Definitely worth checking out what’s offered in your area.

Airbnb Experiences Want to go crabbing under the Golden Gate Bridge, take surfing lessons, try your hand at archery, take an Instagrammable photo walk or have a picnic with a pig? These are but a few of the many offerings that locals offer as Airbnb Experiences throughout the US, and the world. Have a look at these very easy and convenient options to explore a totally new experience in your own backyard (or a great local experience when you are on a trip). Also great for houseguests.

Thrillist: This site/email explores up to the moment things to do/eat/see in 35 US cities. At the top of the homepage click on your city and chances are you’ll find a ‘things to do in your city this weekend’ article, or at least find the best burrito, ramen or local hike to explore.

AXS Event Guide Enter your zip code and find out what shows and events are in your area. The site includes a variety of sub-categories within the broad areas of headlines, music, arts & family and sports.  So check out what’s going on in theater, concerts, museums and exhibits, sporting events, comedy shows, fairs, festivals and more.

TodayTix Why just go to a show when you are on vacation? Check out this site/app for tickets to shows in 15 cities nationwide. They also have ‘Rush Tickets’ for a discounted price available for some shows.

RoadTrippers Although this is a great site/app for when you are planning a road trip, you can also type in your own town and then click on the different tabs depending on your interest (‘attractions and culture’, ‘outdoor recreation’, ‘points of interest’ etc) to see what is nearby that you may not know about. There can be a lot of cool stuff you don’t know about in your area it turns out! Also good to use when guests are in town and you want to entertain them (or have them entertain themselves).

AllTrails: This site/app has over 100,000 hikes on it. Enter your city and see where to explore nearby.  Filter by length, difficulty level or rating. See reviews and photos, get directions, save your favorite hikes, create custom maps, see which trails are dog and kid-friendly and more.

MeetUp: Find people in your area who share common interests and ‘meet up’ to share and activities and conversation. Great way to connect with like-minded people in your community! Or try something brand new as well! Terrific resource

Atlas Obscura:  This is a great site to find out cool things to do in 197 countries and 1,918 cities around the world! Search your city and find out what hidden wonders are in your own backyard. Or when visiting a new location check out what they have to offer – super fun!

California Focused:

YourCoast: Want to go to the beach in California but not sure where to go? You can now know where 1,563 beach access points are that the California Coastal Commission tracks along the entire state coast. YourCoast (be sure to download the app as well) maps every spot and details the amenities about each location, regarding if it has a sandy beach, has parking, bathrooms, a path to the beach, stroller accessibility and more.  Search by beach name or via the map. (Interesting note: This app was created by tech billionaire Sean Parker as part of his settlement for violating the California Coastal Act).

Peninsula Open Space Trust POST is a great resource for local hikes, listing over 30 Bay Area hikes that are pre-plotted on Google maps. They let you know hiking difficulty levels, which are dog-friendly, whether they are wheelchair accessible and more.

Weekend Sherpa: hikes in SF and LA area. Sign up for their email and get inspiration for hiking options in Northern and Southern California.

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Chrissie Kremer
Chrissie Kremer

I am a mixed bag traveler - I go the budget route on some things and splurge on others. I love family adventure travel, trips with girlfriends, or solo trips with my kids. I like urban exploration but prefer it coupled with outdoor activity (and when traveling with my kids it's more outdoor activity coupled with a dose of urban). I have been to 62 countries... and counting.

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Chrissie Kremer
Chrissie Kremer

I am a mixed bag traveler - I go the budget route on some things and splurge on others. I love family adventure travel, trips with girlfriends, or solo trips with my kids. I like urban exploration but prefer it coupled with outdoor activity (and when traveling with my kids it's more outdoor activity coupled with a dose of urban). I have been to 62 countries... and counting.

JOIN THE COMMUNITY!

and receive the “Carry On Only Packing Guide”, free. 

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