How to Be a Tourist in Your Own City

Have you ever taken time to explore your own city through the eyes of a visitor? I recently lived like a tourist courtesy of Tourism Kamloops and Destination BC and toured my city of Kamloops, British Columbia for a weekend. You can spend lots of time on Google or Bing researching what to do but here are some of my suggestions and the first one is better than Google!

Visit Your Tourist Information Centre

One of the first things I recommend doing is to drop by your local Tourism Information Centre. This team is well-versed in all the fun things to do in your city and can recommend activities, sights, and tours that you may not have known about. This is true for me as they recommended a hike to some gorgeous waterfalls near my city that I did not even know existed and I’ve lived here for nearly 30 years. They also are current on events during your staycation and can suggest more fun things to do like Kamloops’ super-popular Brewloops Festival filled with biking, beer, and live music throughout the city.

Brewloops at Noble Pig Kamloops, BC Kamloops Brewloops Kamloops Brewloops The Noble Pig Kamloops, BC Brewloops Kamloops Brewloops

Stay in a Hotel

To get a full tourist experience in your own city, stay one or two nights in a local hotel. Experience room service, spa, and other specialities that the hotel of your choice offers. If you’d like to save a bit of money, you can simply visit some local hotel lobbies and browse through their brochure rack for highlights of what your city recommended to tourists. This will give you more ideas and perhaps some that you may never have thought of.

I rarely visit local hotels unless I am there for a conference or event, so I was pleasantly surprised to see such a beautiful lobby in one of our newest hotels—Sandman Signature Hotel. I may need to book a staycation!

Sandman Signature Hotel Kamloops, BC


Visit a Restaurant You’ve Never Been to Before

Even if you live in a small town, there must be a café, pub, or restaurant you have not tried. Do some web searches, or Yelp, for recommendations and try something new! You may discover your next favourite place to eat. With Tourism Kamloops, I discovered Terra Restaurant which offers a variety of local organic food. I also revisited The Noble Pig and had a taste of deep-fried pickles! Have you tried them?

Terra Restaurant Kamloops, BCThe Noble Pig Kamloops, BC

Make a Stop at the Local Farmers’ Market

Nothing beats a local Farmers’ Market! The local farmers and artisans offer such a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and homemade wares. On my last visit, I discovered a vendor with homemade soup mixtures that will make perfect Christmas gifts.
Kamloops Farmers Market

Experience Local History Like a Tourist

One of the best ways to experience historic Kamloops is to take a ride on the Kamloops Heritage Railway! Travel through history on the 2141 steam locomotive—be careful, there are train robbers! Visit their website for showtimes as there are many different choices.
Kamloops Heritage Railway steam engine 2141Kamloops Heritage Railway

Go on a Wine Tour

I shouldn’t admit this, but I didn’t even know that we had four local wineries until I went on a wine tour with Tourism Kamloops. I had my head in my textbooks for so long that I wasn’t paying attention to what was happening in my city. You can read more about the different wineries in another post here.
Privato Winery Kamloops BC Kamloops Wine TrailMonte Creek Winery Kamloops BC Kamloops Wine Trail
Your local Tourist Information Centre will have many great suggestions for things to do in your city. Let me know in the comments below, some of the fun things you’ve discovered in your city that is “new to you”!
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How to be a Tourist in Your Own City

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  1. I live in a small city so I tend to take the attitude that I’ve done it all and need to go much futher afield to play tourist. It’s always such a luxury to stay in a hotel though and Wellington does do some amazing food tours which I should really try – you have inspired me! Beautiful photos, you obviously live in a pretty city 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Sarah. There is still so much I need to see, and it’s a small city! :). Your food tours sound amazing, definitely do try them!

  2. This is such a great idea! As my travel budget has recently been squeezed down to almost nothing, I love the idea of travelling at home. Thank you so much for sharing! (And P.S., that hotel looks AMAZING – saving that for next time I’m in your neck of the woods!)

    1. Thank you! It’s amazing what you can discover in your own home city. I was limited this year because of studies and work so weekend road trips and staycations were such a treat and I discovered places I had never experienced before. I will continue! 🙂

  3. What an awesome idea to visit the Tourist information Centre. It’s normally one of the first places I visit on holiday, but I never thought of checking out my local one.

  4. Thanks for all these trips! I am always itching to travel outside of where I live (San Francisco), but I need to remember that where I am is pretty awesome and learn to explore it more! Thanks for the reminder!!

  5. I’m definitely guilty of overlooking the gems right in my own city! Thanks for reminding me to check out more of Virginia Beach.

    1. I’ve heard great things about Virginia Beach and have a friend who lives there. I’ve never visited though, I will watch for your posts and see what there is to explore!

  6. Excellent – I’ve done the Tourist info visit but the hotel stay is one I’m going to try. So much to see at home that I’m considering spending 2018 locally.

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