Monday, October 26, 2015

15 Ways to Rediscover your Town

Portland, Oregon, Keep Portland Weird, hometown, bridgetown, bridges, river, city

I've lived in Portland for almost 2 years now. This amount of time is not nearly long enough to get to know the entire city, but I do have it pretty well figured out for all intents and purposes. When I first moved here I tried to take a different route every time I went somewhere so I would be able to understand the layout a little better. Now that I've settled into my routine I tend to always take the road most travelled. I've decided I want to return to that adventurous spirit I once had and discover (or rediscover) some of those hidden places Portland has to offer. Here are 15 ideas for seeing new places in your own hometown.

Portland, Oregon, Mount Hood, hometown

  1. Buy a map of your town and highlight all the routes you've taken. Next time you go for a walk, bike ride or drive follow a different path to get to your destination.
  2. Go to open houses all around town. Let your dream home become a reality (if only for an afternoon) and find new neighborhoods you might not have known about.
  3. Look for local theater productions and see a play. You may even see someone you know on stage.
  4. Go on a public art tour. Try to find as many murals and sculptures as you can. Mark the ones you find on a map.
  5. Rediscover history by reading old newspapers at the library. “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.” - Winston Churchill
  6. Research your towns sister city and visit it if you can. 
  7. Wake up early for the early bird breakfast at your local diner. See who's up and about at that time and experience a different side of your town.
  8. Organize a scavenger hunt for you and your friends. With a little research you can discover amazing places you never knew were in town.
  9. Take a day to visit the flea markets, craft fairs and antique shops in your town. You'll meet some very interesting people with wonderful stories.
  10. Do some research to discover if you town is the setting for any movies, TV shows or books. Then try to find the landmarks.
  11. Collect pamphlets from hotel lobbies to discover some activities tourists might do when visiting. You don't have to go out of town to go on vacation.
  12. Set your alarm an hour earlier to take an early morning bike ride. Let the trails lead you where they will.
  13. Start a walking or running group, take turns leading the route in order to find new trails and sights.
  14. Find out if any famous people are from your area. Find the house they grew up in and the places they used to work.
  15. Find the highest point in town or take a hot air balloon or helicopter ride to see your town from a new perspective.

Portland, aerial, oregon, City, hometown

Take some time to rediscover where you live. You may be surprised what you find right in your own back yard. Do you have more ideas to add to the list? Tell me in the comments below.