How to Be a Tourist in Your Own City

One of the many things I love about Boston is that it is filled with so much history. There are so many things to do here that I haven’t even done all of them! When you have the urge to discover more of your own city, explore it like a tourist would. Even if you don’t follow all of these tips, following some of them will make you gain a different perspective about the city you know and love.

Kayaking on the Charles River

Take time to research and plan. 

Look at a map and see what’s close together so you can get more done in one day. This can also mean prioritizing your stops based on if the activity is best in the day or at night. Also, plan your adventures around the weather or season. (Go to a game at Fenway if the Sox are in town or go visit the Christmas Tree in the winter at Faneuil Hall.

Take a tour.

I guarantee you will learn something you don’t already know! (The Duck Boats bring you around the city via land and water – yes, they go in the water – while also teaching you about the history of each spot that passes by.)

Move through it differently than you normally would.

Take the subway instead of driving or walk instead of taking the subway. You could also sleepover in a hotel or even visit a well known restaurant instead of a local one.

Bring your camera!

You will see so many things, some old and some new to you and it will be nice to be able to capture the moments.

Get perspective from up high.

Go to the top of a building to get a good view from above the city. (The Top of the Hub has a great look out space.)

Get info from a welcoming center or hotel lobby.

See what the experts recommend! Stop by a hotel to check in with the concierge about activities going on in the city or what restaurants they recommend in the area.


Now for my top touristy Boston recommendations:

  • Walk through the Boston Public Garden, walk up and down Newbury Street and the walk into the beautiful Boston Public Library on Boylston Street.
  • Stop by the Holocaust Memorial on your way to walk through Quincy Market and the Old North Church. Cross the street to the North End for some fabulous Italian food.
  • Visit a Museum: The Museum of Fine Arts, the Science Museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Children’s Museum, the Harvard Art Museum.
  • Walk through the steep streets of Beacon Hill and grab a bite to eat at the original Cheers Restaurant, steps away from the Boston Public Garden.
  • Head to the upcoming Seaport neighborhood, see a great view of Boston’s skyline, and walk along the Harborwalk. Nextdoor, take a tour of the Boston Tea Party Ships.

What will you do next in your own city? Next up on my list is the Freedom Trail!

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Eva joined Wonderlost as a contributor and finds great joy partnering with her best friend Erin! She enjoys the creativity writing gives and loves travel, tea time, planning, spontaneity, photography and putting the extra in the ordinary. Eva wants to share bits and pieces of her experiences to our readers in hopes they have the urge to plan their next adventure!

3 thoughts on “How to Be a Tourist in Your Own City

  1. I love the concept of being a tourist in your own city! There’s so much to see and do locally and we shouldn’t always feel like we need to “get away” to have a vacation! I’ve looked back at my time in San Francisco and definitely thought – why didn’t I ever Kayak in the Bay? or how come I never found the time to go for a hike in the East Bay (the list goes on…!)? You never know when life might take you on a new adventure, so it’s important to seize the time you have locally :)!


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