Depending on the place, there is always something that everyone says you should do in a certain place. For example, if you’re visiting New York, people may tell you to visit the Met or see Central Park or Times Square. All that’s fine and dandy, I wanna tell you other ways to spice up your vacation that are outside of the major tourist attractions.
Take a cooking class. This is a great to learn about and experience the local cuisine. This is also a good way to meet people, since you will likely be there for a few hours.
Go out at night. Or maybe I should say the evening, you don’t want to be the last one out. It is not as scary as it may sound. Take a walk around the town, get a snack, and hang out in the downtown or city center.
Get your hands dirty and visit a farm. This is a great way to learn about the local agriculture, meet some people, and also see what rural life is like in that area. I’d recommend volunteering, taking a tour, or even staying at a farm. Planting seeds and working with soil is very relaxing. I think people should try it at least once.
Paint in a park. It doesn’t have to be a park, but I definitely recommend taking time to just relax and paint or draw. It forces you to really look around and be present in the space that you are in.
Go to a supermarket or library. Strange, you might think, but I have done this in different countries and it really gives you a chance to practice your language skills.
Hike. Hiking is such a great activity to do when you are traveling. You get a lot of exercise and often times there is a rewarding view.
Ride a bike. Again, great for exercise and also for seeing a place. You can cover a lot of ground on a bike and is typically cheaper than a cab and you see more than when you are in a subway. Please note: Be careful, I would not recommend site-seeing on a bike in places like New York City because of the cabs and delivery men, you betta pay attention. For New York, I’d recommend walking. It has gotten a lot better for bikers in terms of safety in recent years but I don’t think we are at the level of some other cities.
Take the road less traveled. Visit a neighborhood that is outside of city center. I’d say step out of your comfort zone but reasonably out. Use your judgement. This is a great way to more authentic local experience and practice your language skills.