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Time to Explore Your Own Backyard

Jul 21, 2008
Most Americans are very accustomed to hopping in the family car and taking a day trip or a weekend vacation to some nearby landmark. There's something about getting in the car and going that makes us feel we've had a mini-vacation!

Not surprisingly, many people are more familiar with recreational and cultural offerings 90 minutes away from where they own their homes than they are with similar resources in their own backyard. Again, not surprisingly, gas prices are causing millions of families to reconsider the distances they travel from home for leisure and recreation.

This trend could be an excellent change for communities and home owners. Most cities of any size have tourist attractions that bring people from afar. However, locals may be never visit these sites unless they are entertaining out of town guests.

For example, this writer lives about an hour away from the Bay Area and San Francisco, the luscious and world famous City by the Bay. It's been easy to dash off for a weekend to visit museums, people watch, dine out and take our out-of-state visitors there. At the same time, we live in California's capital city.

People come to Sacramento to gaze upon a very beautiful capitol building, visit many historic sites and enjoy specialized museums. I have to admit there are many of these tourist destinations I've not seen. Now, with the cost of gas causing pain at the pump and Sacramento being a very bicycle friendly community, we're rethinking the resources in our home town.

By leaving the car home and finding alternative transportation - maybe rent a moped for a day or dare to rollerblade the city streets - you can create an experience that makes a trip around your hometown seem more like a the mini-vacation you need.

For people across the county the Internet has made it easy to really dig into the opportunities and attractions where they live. From the comfort of your home office you can search city government websites, chambers of commerce and local tourist bureaus. There are interactive sites that provide video of local attractions, reviews from travelers, complete listings of local festivals and cultural activities that can save you time and money while opening new doors to your local community.

As the optimists say, with each new challenge comes opportunity. Perhaps rising gas prices can make us all more connected to where we live. All it takes is a change in perspective. Think of yourself as an out-of-town visitor and map out a day of exploration. To make it even more unusual and out of routine, see if you can take public transit or ride a bicycle. Take advantage of the adversity at the gas pump to discover the delights of your home town.
About the Author
Come visit us to learn about the beauty of Sonoma County Real Estate or if you are considering purchasing real estate in Sonoma County
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