Feeling like your neighborhood and city are a bit picked-over but don't have the time or funds to go very far this summer? Keep in your backyard by exploring your state. Here are some ideas to spark summer state exploring fun!
Taste your state
What kind of food is your state known for? Cajun and creole? Barbecue? Lobster Rolls? Do the research to find some serious spots to grab a great bite within a few hours (or whatever your travel time allotted is).
Research great drives in your state
Even a day or two's drive around some places in your state you've never been can be just the perfect amount of getaway (and great for picnics and photo ops!) There are lots of lists around the web of some of the most scenic drives in the U.S. (Here's one on Travel + Leisure); find a few near you in your state — or strike out and find your own!
Find the history
Your state capital is a great place to start, but if that's too far of a trip, find out what kind of history might exist in a close drive or trip from where you live.
Explore its (potentially) diverse landscape
Depending (of course) where you live and how big your state is, finding different landscapes in the same state may be difficult. But you might be surprised to learn the different types of ecoregions that exist within your state. Google it — and then learn what makes them different. Learn what kind of plants and animals flourish in different ecoregions and see if you can go out and spot the differences!
Go big and small
Take a trip to one of your state's most popular large cities. Then visit one of your state's smallest cities. Enjoy the differences and similarities in both.
Look for the roadside attractions
The weirder the better. Largest ball of twine? Snake museum? Have a weekend or two of weird and come back with a lot of fun stories to share.
Where do folks in your state go when they need a weekend of relaxation and time away from the daily grind? Even just a night or two in a bed and breakfast tucked away in a corner of your state you don't often visit can be rejuventating.
Consider a short trip by rail, bus, boat or other mode of transportation around a bit of your state to change perspective while you change scenery.
→ What are you favorite parts about exploring your state? Share in the comments below to inspire a trip for a fellow (state) neighbor (don't forget to mention which state!)
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(Image credits: Adrienne Breaux; Janel Laban)