Easy Ways to Experience Culture In Your Hometown
You’re used to living in your hometown, so it might be a surprise to learn there’s more than meets the eye about this place. Sure, you have your favorite restaurants, parks, bars and beauty salons, but you can find hidden cultural gems if you know where to look. And, once you find them, you might just appreciate your home culture a bit more — it doesn’t have to be the same-old, same-old if you’re experiencing a new side of your residence’s cultural scene.
To make the job a bit easier, we’ve put together a list of 5 ways to explore your city’s cultural underbelly. Some spots may seem a bit obvious, while others may just be places you didn’t even think to look for a bit of art. However, once you find them, you’ll be so glad you did — and you might just find a new level of appreciation for the place you call “home”.
- Hit the Museums
When you think of potential cultural experiences, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a museum. Whether you visit a museum to contemplate modern art, view artifacts from centuries past or study the evolution of dinosaurs to today’s reptiles, you can learn so much about the world and about yourself by perusing such carefully curated collections.
Of course, you might be thinking, “I’m from a small town. There aren’t any Smithsonian museums for me to visit, so there’s not going to be a lot of culture to give me.” It would be a mistake to think that small-town museums don’t have anything to offer you, though — in fact, some of the nation’s best museums are in small cities and towns. So, do a quick web search to see what local museums exist, find the one that piques your interest most, and then go and enjoy some culture.
- Take Public Transit (If You Don’t Already)
It’s one of the best ways to immerse yourself in culture abroad, but it works at home, too: leave your car behind for an afternoon and see what your local mass transit options have to offer you.
Whether your town runs on buses, trains, monorails, trams or anything in between, grab a ride and do your best to take in the local landscape. Look for sites you haven’t seen before, people watch, and use your exploration as an excuse to disembark in a new neighborhood you want to explore. And, by getting there with the help of public transit options, you’ve experienced something totally new about your hometown.
- Attend Hometown Events
Extra-large events like Coachella get all of the attention when it comes to festivals, but your hometown probably has an event or two of its own that you can attend. It may not be headlined by the likes of Beyoncé, but it’s certainly a great place to get a taste of local culture.
Check out your local Parks and Recreation department’s calendar to see if there are any events, concerts, bazaars, flea markets, farmer’s markets, etc., in the local parks. You might also want to try a web search for the type of event you’d like to attend along with the name of your hometown to see if there’s anything on nearby.
- Meet the Locals
One of the most beautiful things about America is the country’s diverse population. You’re different than your neighbor, who’s different than his neighbor, and so on. If you’re looking to mix up your cultural perspective, try to branch out to meet new people, visit new neighborhoods and try the foods and products that make each area unique.
A great example of culture-within-a-culture is the Amish population, nestled within America’s farmlands. This community has a lot in common with other agriculturalists but does differ in its methods and simpler lifestyle. If you live near an Amish community, you can easily plan a visit to see what life’s like there: you can try the food, stay locally, shop and converse with people from a new culture that’ll open your eyes to the world outside your front door.
- Try (Real) Local Restaurants
Finally, you probably already have a favorite place to grab dinner on a Friday night. But expanding your horizons and trying new local eateries will have you feeling even more in touch with the local community and culture.
One of the best ways to find the best local restaurants — not to be confused with chain eateries, which may have infiltrated your hometown — is to ask around for recommendations. You can also consider using restaurant discovery apps that pair you with the culinary experience you want. Either way, food is a huge part of the culture, so seeing how local chefs invent their own cuisines can be a taste of what they’re all about.
How will you dive into the local culture? Will you visit new people, try new foods, or visit museums? Will you ride the bus or listen to live music? Let us know in the comments section below — or give us suggestions as to how you’ve tried something new in the past so the next culture vulture can try that approach, too.
Thank you to Kacey, from the Drifter Collective, our guest blogger today!
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.