Cheap Vacation Strategies: Tourist In Your Own Town

Ivy says:

My cousin is coming to town sometime in the next 2 months and wanted to know what she should see and do in Nashville. She especially wantd to know if the Country Music Hall of Fame was worth the $18 admission fee. When I told her I had never been to the Country Music Hall of Fame, she was completely and utterly shocked.

“What do you mean you have never been to the Country Music Hall of Fame?! I mean, you live there. How can you live there and not go?”

Ah, well, I don’t really care one whit about country music. I’d probably only go if admission was free, and even then, I’m not sure I’m that interested. Sorry, country fans. I’m a rock n’ roll kinda girl living in a country town. What can I say?

But it did get the rocks in my brain rolling about doing touristy things in town to have vacation-like experiences without the cost of driving all over creation. A couple of weeks ago, we hit Cumberland Caverns and the kids are still talking about it. We like to go to the local museums (except, of course, the Country Music Hall of Fame) and battlefields.

So, if you can’t afford a full blown vacation this year, what about hitting some of your local touristy spots? You can easily stretch your vacation-y goodness to last the whole summer. That’s our plan.

Home Eccers, tell me- what are some of your favorite touristy things to do in your town?


  1. Adam Taylor on June 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    That is a great way to vacation in this economy.

  2. JayMonster on June 30, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    “IN” town we have literally nothing. However living just outside of Manhattan, we are a short bus or train ride away from a world of wonder.

    I am constantly amazed at how many people here, have not seen the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, etc.

  3. minnemom on June 26, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Historic sites, state parks, museums, parades, local festivals–anything we can find that is cheap and fun!

  4. Leah Ingram on June 26, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    It’s so funny that you’re writing about being a tourist in your own town. Last month I wrote about a similar topic and coined this notion “locavacation”–you know, a play on the word locavore? Anyway, if you’re interested in my take on this topic, here’s a link to my post:



  5. fortune cookies on June 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    The Parthenon, at Centennial Park is pretty cool, lots of great Nashville history, also, the Frist is nice to visit and easy on the wallet. I always enjoy a trip out to the Natchez Trace Park

  6. Meegan on June 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    We like to road-test different parks that we haven’t had a chance to get to or that friends and family have recommended. Sometimes they aren’t exactly close (like maybe 45 minutes drive away) but half the fun is getting there, right?
    It’s a cheap excursion for us anyway. Pack a picnic, the camera (so you can come home and blog about your trip!) and some sporting equipment and away you go!

  7. Soire on June 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    We’re in the Capital city, so Parliment is free, and the view from the peace tower is awesome, and there are a myriad of museums in the city, and none are particularly expensive, but all also have free evenings of the week!! The kids dig it more than I ever thought possible!

  8. Ann at mommysecrets on June 24, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Ivy, I have a list of Nashville fun that I share with guests that are visiting town. Lots of the ideas are free. It’s nothing fancy – just a 2-3 page list of places we love to take friends. If you’d like a copy, feel free to email me at annsaylorATgmailDOTcom. 🙂

  9. Kaye on June 24, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Wow…what a crazy coincidence. This is the second post about this very topic that I’ve read today! And I just finished a series about cool things to do where I live divided up by cost (which can be found at

    Of course, I live in a touristy town, so I have yet to visit most of these myself!


  10. Tricia on June 24, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I forgot to add touring factories. Nissan, Purity, Sunbeam Bread…


  11. Tricia on June 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    We live in Smyrna and have lots of parks… believe it or not. I chose 1 park per week to visit. It was fun and found some new places to play.

    We also visited the Tennessee Agriculture Museum last week and really enjoyed it. It is more for older children but my little ones still had fun. Admission was FREE.


  12. Angela on June 24, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Hahaha, we lived in SE Idaho for over five years and never made it to Yellowstone National Park. I know we’re losers. But I hate camping and we were poor students with no money for gas.

    The zoo is always a cheap/free way to be a tourist and even enjoyable for adults.

    In Houston we had some amazing museums and that was my favorite thing to do (at least once a year).

    In Amarillo, I’ve not found it yet, though with four or five libraries, checking out a new one is exciting. Even if we just sit in the bathtub in one of the children’s sections and read books.

    In Rexburg, ID, it was Warm River just north of us for walking/hiking.

    In Idaho Falls, ID, feeding the ducks by the green belt/water falls and going to the farmers market.

    We’ve got Palo Duro Canyon here in Amarillo now so eventually we’ll make our way out there.

  13. Jasi on June 24, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    We have a really clean, happy little zoo out here we belong to. About 10 min from my home. And there’s a farm park- a huge walking/biking trail around a giant corn field and farm with various exhibits and playgrounds scattered about.

  14. newscoma on June 24, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Fisk University has a great museum and then there is the Parthenon.
    And Nash Trash tours, I don’t know the cost, sounds fun to me and I’m thinking about doing that this summer. Here’s the link:

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.