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What sites do you recommend close to your home?

I was looking at a Travel Guide for Canada at the bookstore and out of curiosity I went to the section featuring my hometown. As expected, the section was dominated by Banff and the Rocky Mountains. It's a worthwhile destination, but I was disappointed by the lack of information on other sites within a day trip of Calgary. It got me wondering about other must-see places nearby. For me it is the Royal Tyrrell Museum which is also about an hour and half drive from my door. The area is a hotbed of dinosaur fossils including a current display featuring the best preserved fossil of a Nodosaur ever found, and was featured on the cover of National Geographic.

So now I'm curious, what must see places are within a day trip of your hometown that maybe don't get the love they deserve?

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3968 posts


I live in Midtown Manhattan so I recommend NEVER taking one of those silly hop on, hop off buses but instead really VISIT the city. That means walking. That means picking up a MetroCard & commuting by subway and/or bus.

See an off-Broadway play. Never use a guidebook to select a restaurant or a place to get bagels. Explore. Check out Time Out New York.

Rent a bike or walk along the Esplanade on the Hudson River.

Spend time at the Strand bookstore.

Explore Brooklyn & that means walking around Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, and the boardwalk at Coney Island (including during the autumn & spring). At Coney Island, make time for a hotdog at the original Nathan‘s on the corner of Stillwell & Surf. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

For the best bargain in town, take the Staten Island Ferry round-trip from Whitehall at the Battery which is the bottom of Manhattan. Stand/sit outside on the starboard side for the best view of the Statue of Liberty going towards Staten Island. On the way back (you will have to deboard at St. George in Staten Island and board another ferry to Manhattan), go to the port side of the ferry for a view of the Verrazano Bridge immediately & the Brooklyn Bridge as you get closer to Whitehall. The entire trip which lasts about 23 minutes each way is absolutely free.

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2692 posts

This could be an interesting thread given the geographic diversity here! We live in Folsom, CA, just east of Sacramento. If you look at a map you’d see we are a short drive from San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, and you’d be right. But other than occasional trips for a show or such, that is not where we go. Our quiet place is Point Reyes National Seashore, about an hour from SF. Great hiking on well maintained trails, wildlife abundant including tule elk, sea lions, whales, very nice restaurants (think oysters) and a terrific cheese place (Cowgirl Creamery). For wine we visit Sonoma County, usually staying in Healdsburg. Napa is very expensive, but Sonoma County is catching up (I heard a local refer to Beverly Healdsburg). Closer to us, a place we visit often for wine weekends is Amador County and the surrounding wine appellations. It gets hot so reds rule and sometimes they are a bit untamed and overripe. But we love the area and it’s 45 minutes from our house, still relatively undiscovered. Another treat is Apple Hill. This is an area just east of us, toward Tahoe, where there are apple orchards galore. The late fall is prime time (now( and weekends can be very crowded. But midweek it’s pretty open with apple tasting, apple pies, sinfully good apple donuts, and apple cider (the hard stuff sneaks up on you). We are very lucky to have all this and more and great weather!

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13210 posts

Well, I live "on the Palouse" in the North Idaho panhandle so it's not much of a hotbed of tourist activity except the area north of me around Coeur d'Alene. Although there are apparently photography tours that come here in the late Spring/early Summer to photograph the rolling hills of the Palouse.

This area is the traditional homeland of the NiMiiPuu (Nez Perce Tribe) at the junction of 2 big rivers, the Snake and the Clearwater. There is a National Park Service National Historic Site Visitor Center just outside Lewiston Idaho with a number of important historical sites and a driving tour thru 4 states (not a day trip since some are over in Montana). Many are related to the Nez Perce War of 1877 when Chief Joseph led his band on a trek thru Idaho and Montana to escape the US Cavalry.

There is plenty of hiking and birding in this area of Idaho/Washington. Many enjoy river-based activities on the Snake or Clearwater Rivers including boating, fishing and jet boat tours south to Hell's Canyon. There are 2 universities (University of Idaho and Washington State University) that I guess people go visit, lol. (Not a graduate of either!) I can take anyone that wants to see old growth cedar groves!

My brother, SIL and I have tried to have a "Geezer Adventure Day" a few times a year since we've all retired. Last time was my time to pick and I chose to go see the Weis Rockshelter. Archeological digs here have confirmed human activity to 8,000 years ago. Unfortunately they have backfilled the niche which is located in a basalt wall so you can only look at part of the entrance. I decided that since I was visiting France and England to see Neolithic sites that I should cover the ones nearest me as well!

Fun to see what others live near!

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3037 posts

I can’t think of attractions per se, people visit Alaska for the natural beauty and wildlife, and the wildlife are not on a schedule. Most miss the lovely Eagle River valley where I live.

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5813 posts

Places that immediately come to mind include, Washington DC museums and memorials, selected sights in Baltimore, Gettysburg, Pa, and Lancaster county, Shenandoah Valley and Skyline Drive, Antietam battlefield.

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4080 posts

Unless you want to do a Civil Rights Pilgrimage, nothing in Bham. Go to Huntsville and see the Space and Rocket Center. (Or Tuscaloosa and see the statues of Bear and Nick)

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2252 posts

We have made a point to visit places close to home for a day trip or sometimes even overnight and amazed at.what is nearby!! We have just started to explore more of the area around Harrisburg Pa and found National Civil War Museum and a National Firemans Museum both so good we went twice. We a!so just went to the Ephrata Cloister a fantastic well preserved community that served a very select and strict self sustained community. We are lucky we live so near to so many historical places and now having the time to explore more locally.

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2443 posts

Tourists come to Phoenix for golf, sports and car auctions, but miss three interesting museums. Heard Museum has the largest Native American artifact and art collections outside of the Smithsonian. MIM is a musical instrument museum. Hall of Flames is a fire truck museum.
Hour and a half drive north, instead of turning west to Sedona, turn east to Montezuma’s Castle, an 800 year old Anasazi hillside ruin. South of Phoenix in Coolidge are more Anasazi ruins Casa Grande National Monument.
A couple years ago we discovered the Desert Caballeros museum in Wickenburg, about an hour northwest of Phoenix, with its Navajo rug collection and western art.

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6457 posts

Continental, we had a great time in NYC earlier this year! The MetroCard to take the subway and the Staten Island ferry were both great bargains. Besides the normal tourist sites, we really enjoyed the Food of NY food tours! We took two of them because the first one was so fun.

We’re moving from Mill Creek, Washington to Hayden, Idaho this week so I’ll comment on the Seattle area, first. Lots of outdoor hiking, I.e. Mt. Rainier, etc. riding ferries, visiting the San Juan Islands. My favorite museums are the airplane museums and the Chiluly Glass museums.

For the Hayden/Coeur d’Alene area, we’re looking forward to lots of kayaking, hiking, the events in both CdA and Spokane, and the fourth season - snow!

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3798 posts

Maybe I’m more well traveled than I thought. I’ve been to something on a lot of the posts so far;

Midtown Manhattan, yes, walking, subway, Staten island Ferry yes.

Point Reyes, Ca, yes.

Coeur d’Alene, yes. It’s a popular summer spot for Canadians when the Canadian dollar isn’t so bad vs, the $US.

Alaska, yes. Tammy, I don’t know if it’s near you, but I loved visiting Skagway because of the Canadian history behind the town as part of the Yukon Gold Rush.

Haven’t been to Washington/Baltimore area yet but it’s on the list for a baseball trip. My friend and I try to follow the Blue Jays somewhere every couple of years.

Harrisburg. Haven’t been there either but I made friends with a guy on an RS tour in France last Spring who is heavily involved in a historical society (I can’t remember which) regarding the civil war. He’s originally from Pittsburgh but lives in Connecticut now.

Alabama. I must admit it’s one place I haven’t thought about except I’ve always wanted to go to a US College Football game.

Phoenix. Many times, and yes to Sedona and Montezuma’s Castle.

Posted by
13210 posts

Allan, yes, when the exchange rate is in your favor there are lots of cars with Canada tags at the Target (and the Malls) in both CdA and in Spokane, lol! The influx is usually end of summer for back to school stuff and in the coming few weeks for Christmas shopping!

Cala! I've always wanted to visit B'ham just to see Vulcan's bare behind! I have laughed so hard when reading the Southern Sisters mystery books by Anne George which are set in B'ham.

I guess I also forgot to mention that there are lots of Lewis and Clark sites from the top of Lolo Pass at the Montana line through Idaho and then down the Snake River to where it meets the Columbia in Central WA.

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4359 posts

In an age when art museums in Europe are often ludicrously crowded, and even getting tickets can be a challenge, all these Midwest temples of art have free admission, top collections, and no tour groups or cruise crowds.

Kansas City

Posted by
4080 posts

Allan, if you want to go to a college football game, Tuscaloosa, AL is the place. Roll Tide and Praying for a Complete Recovery for Tua(despite 2 and 26). Athens GA(not far from ATL, but you have to drive) would be good too. Or, if you want to be comfortable, the college game at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta that begins the season(but it won't have the atmosphere of Tuscaloosa or Athens).
Pam, I have not been to Vulcan Statue(since I didn't go to Elementary School here) but I think I've seen his bare behind from a plane.
I also have not yet been to the Boll Weevil Statue in South Alabama, in Enterprise. And Opp has a rattlesnake rodeo (too creepy to imagine going to it) and I don't care if diamondback rattlers are an endangered species-in that instance, I would be ok with extinction. Yes I do know that snakes kill rodents, but I prefer the non-venomous ones.
Horsewoofie, I enjoyed the Frank Lloyd Wright House, I think it's in Scottsdale?, especially getting to see a roadrunner!
I'm currently planning a trip to the Dakotas, Omaha, Sioux City and Montano that will include a number of Lewis and Clark sites-but don't tell Rebeccca and the posters from a recent post on the environment that we will be doing this by car!

Posted by
6934 posts

Allan, if you want to go to a college football game, Tuscaloosa, AL is the place.

Goodness, is there any such thing as an available Alabama home game ticket?

(Or for just about any top 10 team?)

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215 posts

I suppose that since we've spent many a winter with the RV parked just south of Disney World, that the logical suggestion for me to make is the theme parks, all of them. Instead I think I'll suggest Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, about an hour's drive east on the Atlantic Coast. One must be mindful of shuttle launches, which close the NWR to the public temporarily.

Posted by
6457 posts

Wow, thanks Tom_MN! I’ll be in Cleveland in December and would love to see their art museum exhibits.....after playing with our grandkids and returning to the Rock &Roll Hall of Fame Museum....and going to see the house of The Christmas Story - ha!

Posted by
4080 posts

There are plenty of home game tickets in Tuscaloosa for the cupcake games(including Arkansas)-not very expensive either. Of course, it gets really boring pretty quickly (and our daughter will never let us leave early because Nick says "We play for four, you stay for four".) As long as you don't want to see LSU or Ole Miss or Auburn or Tennessee. My husband goes to StubHub every summer to see what looks cheap and somewhat interesting-we went to AL vs Duke in ATL this year. Of course, that lacked the ambience of Bryant-Denny Stadium which is something to see and hear.

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363 posts


Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is my number one choice and where almost all of my out of town guests want to visit. It is part zoo, part botanical garden, with an aquarium, art displays and desert walks.

Saguaro National Park - there are two sections of the park, on opposite sides of Tucson. Saguaro National Park East is my favorite but Saguaro National Park West is great, too, and is located about five minutes from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

.San Xavier Mission - Nicknamed the "White Dove of the Desert", this historic Spanish mission was completed in 1797, has beautiful artwork on the walls and is not to be missed when visiting Tucson.

Pima County Air and Space Museum - is one of the world's largest privately funded aerospace museum, with over 300 aircraft.

Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures - this unusual museum, which is celebrating its 10th year, has over 500 antique and modern miniatures, with a fun children's area.

Old Tucson - part movie studio (many Western movies as well as "Three Amigos" and others were filmed here) and part amusement park, it was originally built in 1939 for the movie "Arizona".

Tombstone , the location of the shootout at the O.K. Corral, is about 90 minutes from Tucson.

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1515 posts

Well that's a tough question for Peterborough. Nobody visiting Toronto would stay this far away, and we aren't really the heart of cottage country.

I guess my town has two big draws. All summer there are free concerts in the bandshell by Little Lake. Every Wednesday and Saturday. They often get pretty good groups too (I saw Great Big Sea there, for example), though lately there's too many tribute acts for my liking. People come from all over for these shows.

We also have the Canadian Canoe Museum, which I'm embarrassed to say I've never gone to. I think I should go have a look and report back! I hear its truly wonderful.

There's the big liftlock (once biggest in the world) here, which the City seems very proud of and I don't really get the thrill.

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1515 posts

I would add that we hosted friends from Poland for Christmas once and they wanted to go to the Pioneer Villages in the area. I guess like we went to the Skye Museum of Island Life and looked around the relocated cottages!

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327 posts

Travel and Leisure magazine, in its description, calls Edmonton “Canada’s token middle child,” a city that has “long gotten short shrift amid its glitter sisters”… until now (50 Best Places to Travel in 2018).

Another Canadian/Albertan here, with suggestions for day trips from Edmonton, Alberta's capital city (perhaps on a stopover en route to Jasper National Park or on VIA Rail's transcontinental train The Canadian):

  • Elk Island National Park - 45 minutes drive east of Edmonton - an oasis of calm and an important nature preserve for bison, elk, moose, and 250 species of birds; wonderful in the winter for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and skating on a frozen lake; part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve - stargazing and Northern Lights viewing when the conditions are right. Also nearby is the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, a living history museum open during the summer.
  • University of Alberta Botanic Garden - 15 minutes drive southeast of Edmonton - home of the spectacular new Aga Khan Garden, the Kurimoto Japanese Garden, an Indigenous peoples garden, and 240 acres of beautiful tranquility.
  • Reynolds-Alberta Museum - 45 minutes drive south of Edmonton - interprets technological change in transportation, aviation, agriculture, and industry from the 1890s; home of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.
  • Canadian Energy Museum - south of Edmonton and west of the Edmonton International Airport - home of the historic Leduc No. 1 oil derrick (1947) and interpretation of geological timelines, landscape changes, oil sands, and renewable energy trends.

Of course there's plenty to keep visitors busy without leaving Edmonton:
Royal Alberta Museum, Alberta Legislature Building, Fort Edmonton Park, Art Gallery of Alberta, Alberta Aviation Museum, Muttart Conservatory, Old Strathcona Historic District, Telus World of Science, the Ice District, Winspear Centre, Edmonton Valley Zoo, High Level Bridge Streetcar, and West Edmonton Mall, to name a few major attractions.

Allan: You and I are fortunate to live in Alberta where there is so much to enjoy!

Posted by
3798 posts

Allan: You and I are fortunate to live in Alberta where there is so
much to enjoy!

Yes we are, except for this week, I'm not ready for all the snow.

I purposely didn't bring up the National Parks in Alberta because they're already pretty famous, but if you do go to Jasper or Banff, a visitor really should do the drive from Lake Louise to Jasper. In my opinion it is one of the most spectacular drives in the world. The only other place where my jaw has dropped as much is the drive along the Amalfi Coast.

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3860 posts

We lived in Santa Barbara for 34 years and I think most guidebooks hit the highlights pretty well. We’d just try to point our European exchange guests to our favorite beaches, restaurants and wineries. However I was continually surprised by people who’d leave us a note about going to Cold Springs Tavern. It was a hard to get to, in a canyon, former rustic stage coach stop restaurant on the other side of the mountains from us. One German family left their guidebook at the end of their stay and that’s where I saw the big write up on visiting Cold Springs Tavern. Also in every European’s guidebook of California was a section on visiting Death Valley which some of our visitors did.

Now that we are in Northern California I’d say Alan’s recommendations are spot on. I’d add that many of our European visitors have especially enjoyed visiting many of the nearby Gold Rush towns too.

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6934 posts

Regarding Tucson and the Pima Air and Space Museum...plan ahead and try to get on one of their tours of the Aircraft Storage Facility or Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB/