How to Be a Tourist in Your Own City


be a tourist in your city, how to find things to do where you live

For spring break this year, I needed a real break. Like a come home, see your family, stay in your own bed, and have home cooked meals break.

Cam and I thought it would be fun to head downtown a couple days out of our Spring Break and go exploring! I realized how easy it was to find fun (and free) things to do in my city, and thought I could share that with you all today, as well as give you a little sneak peek into my Spring Break.

Let’s take a look at how you can find new, fun things to do in your area. Also, enjoy the little videos Cam shot with his GoPro. They’re all under a minute, and I think they turned out awesome! (Be sure to watch in HD.)

Start with the outdoors

Spring Break 1 from Cameron Threlkeld on Vimeo.

I love Houston for the many outdoor activities and exhibitions it has. We have tons of fun murals, lush parks, and gardens that are free to explore. Simply Google your town (ex: Charleston) and add in an outdoor site (ex: parks) and hit that search button!

We visited the Cullen Sculpture Garden outside of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. I was lame and didn’t take any pictures, but if you’re in the museum district, you need to stop by!

Check for photo-ops

how to be a tourist in your own city and find new things to do where you live

Cam ended up doing a Google search for things to see in downtown Houston, and this treasure was one of the places on the list! I was bummed I didn’t bring my nice camera, but we took a few (thousand) iPhone photos until we were satisfied. Search your town as a hashtag (ex: #Austin) and see where people are going to take fun photos! That’s usually how I find murals and backdrops like this one.

The Biscuit Paint Wall in Montrose is my new favorite spot for an Instagram photo!

Coffee break! 

Spring Break 3 from Cameron Threlkeld on Vimeo.


I don’t know what it is about coffee shops, but they are always cute and unique! I love stopping into a coffee shop when I’m in a new city (or my own) for a great atmosphere and a yummy snack. I had seen Common Bond on Instagram, and now I can say I’ve had the (delicious) salted caramel macaron!

Visit a (free) museum

The museum district in Houston is quite spectacular. I’ve been to each museum (natural science, history, fine art, children’s, etc.) many times, but I always am blown away each and every time I go back. Check online to see what the prices for admission are before you go; you may notice that there are certain days when admission is free or that there are great student discounts. Take advantage of that! Cam and I visited the Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday when it costs exactly zero dollars to stare at pretty pieces.

Have a good ole shopping day

Spring Break 2 from Cameron Threlkeld on Vimeo.

Sometimes I feel like I’m back in middle school when I have a shopping day. It’s as if I’m going to turn around and see my mom picking me up in her minivan at any second! Ha! Either way, shopping is always fun – even if you don’t end up buying anything. It’s a way to support business big and small in your area! (Plus, I never turn down a stroll around JCrew.)

Try a new lunch spot

Want to try something new in your city? Start with food! Here’s the catch: you can’t have tried it before! I love it when I’ve had a day of exploring and I feel my stomach growling. I pull out my phone, open the map, and check what’s around. (You’re allowed to do a quick Yelp search to make sure the place got good reviews.)

Cam and I tried the Burger Joint in Montrose and it. was. AMAZING. I had the best veggie burger of my life and way too many fries.

Go out a be a tourist in your city! You can see all of my travels and adventures by searching the hashtag #CWHtravels on Instagram.