Story and photos provided by the Visit Stillwater Team
“What is there to do around here?” If you asked your co-workers, the waiter at lunch, your cashier at the convenience store, or a family at the park, “What is there to do around here,” how would they each respond? Better yet, how would you respond if asked the same question?
The best way to learn more about your community is to experience it yourself as a visitor. In fact, share the idea with your whole family, a group of friends or your neighbors. Plan your local “staycation” as you would any other vacation. Make a list of what you want to see and do, leave time for the unexpected, and be sure to include local dining, live music, or nightlife options as well.
Staycations became popular when travel expenses went up and budgets became tighter. The concept really became a travel industry niche and allowed residents to learn more about their home towns and regions and become spokespeople for the unique events and attractions in their backyards.
Things to consider:
- Develop an itinerary to ensure that you have time to visit everything on your list.
- Include an attraction that will appeal to each person in your group.
- Attend an annual festival or event to learn more about art or music.
- Become more acquainted with the history of your hometown.
- Include a recreational activity like paddle boats, miniature golf, or a hike.
- Enjoy meals in restaurants you have not yet visited.
- Stroll through the downtown district for unique one-of-a-kind items.
- Choose a local hotel for the evening or weekend.
- Plan around a live music, culinary or wine tasting event.
- Visit your local *Destination Marketing Organization to gather resources and answer questions.
Being a tourist in your own community will increase your awareness about the atmosphere and “vibe” of your home town. Your perceptions about the options available for the arts, culture, recreation, dining, and nightlife will most likely change as you experience it for yourself.
Driving by a museum, restaurant, lake, theater, shop, or live music venue twice a day on your way to and from work does not allow you to truly experience what your community has to offer. Over the next several months the Visit Stillwater team will introduce you to visitor destinations and experiences within our community. We feel confident we will enlighten you about things you would like to experience for yourself and learn new fun-facts regardless of how long you have lived in Stillwater.
To learn more about how to be a visitor in your own community, go to VisitStillwaterOK.org, “Like” Visit Stillwater on Facebook, and follow “@VisitStillwater” on Twitter. If you already consider yourself a seasoned “staycationer,” we would love to hear about your favorite hometown favorites and staycation tidbits. The Visitor Information Center, located at 2617 W. 6th Avenue, is open 24/7 or call 405-743-3697.
*Editor’s Note: Here in Stillwater, that’s the Visit Stillwater Center located at 2617 W. 6th Avenue.