Hometown Experiences

Collaboration Post

In my last post “Growing Up on an Island”, I talked about a few of the different reasons why I love where I am from. This inspired me to ask around.

My hopes were to put together a listing of people’s favorite spots and things to do in their hometowns to help others explore areas they may not know about yet or are on their bucket lists! I also hope this can encourage people to see the beauty right around them that they may ignore in their every day lives.

I had collaborators from all different spots on the globe participate and they did not disappoint! Check out their amazing recommendations and get ready to update your bucket lists!

Canada

Sarah Camp – Lincoln, Ontario, Canada

Fellow Travel Blogger

I’m fortunate to live in the Niagara Wine Region of Ontario, nestled at the foot of the escarpment in Lincoln. We’re surrounded by hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of wineries, along with cideries and breweries, each with their own unique decor and flair. No two wines are the same and each winery tour is different, making for endless weekend opportunities to explore the area!

Lincoln, Ontario, Canada

Lincoln is also only 20 minutes from Niagara Falls – one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world and is a incredibly popular tourist spot, offering numerous parks, gardens, interesting walks, and stunning views. Canada offers the best view of the Falls, making for some spectacular photos!

Niagara Falls, Canada

Lincoln is also home to tons of trails offering sweeping views of the Niagara Escarpment and over Lake Ontario to Toronto, making this area a hiker’s paradise, including places like Beamer Memorial Conservation Area, Ball’s Falls, Short Hills, and the Niagara Gorge River Walk. Even though we’ve been “stuck” at home, we are so lucky to live in a diverse area with lots of activities and areas to explore!

Beamer Memorial Conservation Area

Check out all of the places you can connect with Sarah!

Blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter

Just One Passport – Kincardine, Ontario

Fellow Travel Blogger

Kincardine, where you are a stranger only once, is a small Ontario town nestled along the shores of beautiful Lake Huron. Swimming in a fresh water lake lake, fishing off one of the piers or in one of the many streams, or hiking one of the several trails are just a few of the activities that will keep you entertained during the day.

Kincardine’s Station Beach at Sunset

If you are not the adventurous type, you can browse one of the many locally owned shops for some unique finds or visit the rock garden to just sit and take in the surrounding beauty of the lake.

A summer visit to Kincardine would not be complete without joining in the Saturday night pipe band parade, followed by a visit to the Kincardine lighthouse to listen to the Phantom Piper, after which you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. I can guarantee that after visiting Kincardine for just one day, you will be returning again and again just to experience that small town feel and to catch up with friends that you have made along the way. In Kincardine, you truly are a stranger only once.

Kincardine’s South Pier at Sunset

Check out all of the places you can connect with Just One Passport!

Blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter

Ana – Toronto, Canada

Fellow Travel Blogger

Graffiti Alley – If you love looking at art, this is the place to explore. The art is amazing and best of all it is free. Plus, you can get some great pictures for your Instagram.

Casa Loma – I would say this is not one of the most popular locations in the city. It is a tourist attraction, but most people explore the CN Tower and neglect this amazing location. The tour throughout the grounds is quite amazing; it even takes you through hidden tunnels. The gardens are also stunning. Other activities at the Casa Loma include afternoon tea, haunted walk in October, and an escape room.

Toronto Sign – Not to be missed! Although it is recent, it has become an iconic place for pictures. The Toronto sign is located at Nathan Philip square.

Distillery District – This is area is beautiful for a fancy dinner. The cobble stone walkways make you feel like you are in Europe. There are always unique art installations throughout this area.

Check out Ana’s Instagram here!

Europe

Nele van Hout – Eindhoven, Netherlands

Fellow Travel Blogger

Eindhoven may not be as famous or popular as Amsterdam or Utrecht, but a daytrip to this lovely city in the south of the Netherlands should be something to consider!

Eindhoven being the hometown of world-famous electrical company Philips, visiting the Phillips museum is a bit of a must. Especially because it’s located in the city center of Eindhoven, it’s the perfect stop while shopping. Also make sure to visit the Strijp-S District. Only a short bus ride from the city center and located on the old Phillips factory grounds, this area has turned into a growing hub for creativity. Filled with independent shops and Instagramable eateries, you won’t be bored!

Philips Museum
Strijp-S
Strijp-S

Eindhoven is also home to the Dutch Design Week and GLOW (a light art festival). Both attract hunderds of thousands visitors to the city and if you happen to be in the Netherlands in October/November, please make sure to check if you can pay a visit to these events – they are more than worth it.

Didn’t get enough Eindhoven? Check out Nele’s Eindhoven guide here!

New Zealand

Jennifer Parkes – Christchurch, New Zealand

Fellow Travel Blogger

Christchurch is the gateway to the South Island and it’s largest city. There are some amazing things to do in Christchurch:

The International Antarctic Centre: One of the few places in the world that fly to Antarctica, here you can experience an Antarctic storm, ride a real Hagglund ice vehicle, see penguin feedings and cuddle huskies.

International Antarctic Centre

The Port Hills: If you enjoy walking or mountain biking, the most incredible views can be found from these trails. The highest point over Christchurch, the Port Hills are an iconic part of the landscape. Try out the Godley Head Track and the Rapaki Track, local favourites.

Christchurch City Centre: After the 2010/11 earthquakes, which devastated the city, the city is being rebuilt. Innovative architecture, art collaborations and a focus on local people means the city is buzzing again. Try out the Riverside Market and Little High Street Eatery for great eats.

Riverside Market

New Brighton Pier: This is “the” spot for epic sunrises. But this beach spot is great in the summer for surfing and swimming, as well as has a great splash pad and pirate playground for the kids.

Want more Christchurch adventure? Click here!

Check out Jennifer’s Instagram here and Facebook here!

United States of America

Alanna Koritzke of Periodic Adventures – Los Angeles, California

Fellow Travel Blogger

Griffith Observatory is my number one must do in Los Angeles for locals and travelers alike. It has the best views of the city, Hollywood sign, and great free exhibits.

Griffith Observatory

The Santa Monica Pier is a classic beach experience and riding the ferris wheel is a fun bucket list item!

Santa Monica Pier

Olvera Street is a historic Mexican Marketplace with amazing authentic Mexican food and vendors.

Olvera Street

I just discovered Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles and it’s amazing! There’s a ton of yummy and diverse food options and it’s so close to so many iconic LA attractions like Angel’s Flight Railway, The Last Bookstore, and the beautiful Bradbury Building.

Check out Alanna’s Instagram here or her blog here!

Lyndsay Crescenti – Wallingford, Connecticut

Fellow Travel Blogger

Wallingford, Connecticut is a great place to stop for a night if you’re in Central Connecticut.

Wallingford, Connecticut

On the Wallingford/Hamden town line, Sleeping Giant State Park is a great area to enjoy a day hiking, fishing, or camping.

Spend your afternoon taking in the view and taste-testing different blends at one of the two wineries. Gouveia Vineyards and Paradise Hills Vineyards are situated outside the town center and have beautiful views of the mountainside.

Finally, catch a concert at the Oakdale Theater later that night.

Check out Lyndsay’s Instagram here and Pinterest here!

Zack Litchfield – Gainesville, Florida

Fellow Travel Blogger

Visiting the springs just north of town is an absolute must. In particular, people need to grab a tube and hit the Ichetucknee River. It’s a relaxing float between 1.5-3 hours where you can let your worries melt away into the cool waters.

Stay out in nature by heading down to Paynes Prairie. This lush wetland is home to hundreds of different animal species, all calling this unique ecosystem just south of Gainesville home. Paynes Prairie features the best hiking and wildlife viewing anywhere around North Florida.

Finally, no trip to Gainesville is complete til you catch a Gator game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Better known as The Swamp, football is in the blood of every Gainesville resident. There is no better way to get to know the town than coming to a game in the fall. The atmosphere, pageantry, and libations are sure to make for a good time.

Check out all of the places you can connect with Zack!

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest

Emily-Claire – Boston, Massachusetts

Fellow travel blogger

Boston Commons and Gardens – Explore the park and stop at the make way for ducklings statue

Back Bay- Newbury Street & Acorn Street: This area is great for shopping

Historic Boston- See where Paul Revere road, where WW2 ships, the Freedom Trail, and the USS Constitution

Seaport – Eating lobster at Seaport while watching the boats is iconic!

Cambridge – See Harvard University

Check out Emily-Claire’s Instagram here!

Amanda – Bay Shore, New York

Lover of her hometown

A fun spot to go out to is Pinot’s Pallet where you have some drinks during a painting class, which always comes out cool even if you cant paint!

I also live close enough to the ferry docks, where on a nice day it’s fun to take a trip over to Fire Island! There are lots of beach activities and bars 🙂

Check out Amanda’s Instagram here!

Melissa – Centereach, New York

Lover of Travel

Patchogue, for the night scene, is always a lot of fun. They also have great restaurants!

Port Jeff is beautiful to walk around, get ice cream, and walk along the docks since it is right on the water.

Port Jefferson, NY

There are a ton of beaches, so it’s always lovely being able to be at a beach in less than 15 minutes!

West Meadow Beach

The wineries aren’t too far and always a memorable time!

We also always take advantage of the fall activities like apple picking and pumpkin picking, as it is a short drive and always have a blast.

Apple Picking

Check out Melissa’s Instagram here!

Lau – Islip, New York

Fellow travel blogger

Long Island Wine Country: 40+ wineries to visit within a 25 mile stretch from Riverhead to Greenport. The wineries offer something for everyone, from family-friendly experiences to live music to beautiful scenery.

Visit Fire Island: Fire Island National Seashore has been celebrated for its beautiful beaches, and it has a ton of activities to do. Ocean Beach is my personal favorite- from cute boutiques and ice cream shoppes to great bars and restaurants, there’s something for everyone there. Plus, it’s so much fun to walk around the community and see the beach houses and wildlife that roams around.

The Big Duck: Located in Flanders, NY, this giant roadside attraction- literally a big duck- actually used to sell ducks and eggs. There’s even a defunct coop still on the property! It has a gift shop and museum inside its belly, too, where you can learn more about the duck’s history.

The Big Duck
The Big Duck

Sagamore Hill: This historic site in Oyster Bay, NY was the summer home of former US president Theodore Roosevelt. As you take a guided tour through the house, National Park guides give insightful tours on all things Teddy: his early life and pastimes, his passion for national parks and animals, his presidency and his final years. Don’t forget to explore the grounds, as well- well preserved nature trails take you to beautiful water views. Also, if you’re interested, Roosevelt’s grave is a close drive from Sagamore Hill.

Sands Point Preserve/Hempstead House: Located in Sands Point, NY (the village that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s town of East Egg in 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘎𝘢𝘵𝘴𝘣𝘺), Hempstead House was once a Gold Coast mansion (more like a castle!) owned by the Gould family. Today, the house and its grounds are part of the Sands Point Preserve, which offers a ton of nature-inspired programs, from owl watching to making bat houses. You can also drive up to the grounds and walk around for free, too- they offer nature trails and water views.

Check out Lau’s Instagram here!

Maria – West Islip, New York

Travel Lover/Travel Blogger’s Mom (it me, I’m the travel blogger she’s referring to!)

Secatogue Brewing Co – A craft brewery located on Union Boulevard in West Islip which features an ever changing menu of beers made on site and different food trucks daily.

Secatogue Brewing Co

Robert Moses State Park – An ocean beachfront. To get there: head south on the Robert Moses Parkway until you reach the 5 mile stretch of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

Robert Moses State Park

The Argyle Theater – It’s where Broadway comes to Babylon Village (One town over from West Islip). There are lots of restaurants in walking distance too.

Argyle Theatre, Babylon, NY

Check out Maria’s Instagram here!

Sooooooo…….

What did you think of this collab? Comment your thoughts below to see more content like this or give feedback to make the next collab even better!

Interested in participating in the next collaboration post?! Send me an email or message through the Contact form and I will happily let you know when the next one will be and what the topic will be!

4 Replies to “Hometown Experiences”

  1. This is an incredible post Nina! Thank you for the opportunity to contribute! It’s been a great experience being at home and discovering some local treasures!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this compilation! Hometowns are always so underrated and locals never seem to explore their own area enough! Happy to contribute to this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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