This weekend, I had a phone conversation with a FOJ. We went to high school together. He's now in the Atlanta area, and I'm in South Florida. One of the things that we discussed during that long conversation was a moment that most native Washingtonians have had.

It's the moment that you realize that you took all of the free cultural activities in the Washington, DC area for granted. I remember when that moment hit me. It was in the late 90's. I was on a business trip to Milwaukee. There was another woman there from North Carolina. She was very young and not very well traveled. I could tell because she considered Milwaukee to be the "big city." Hmmph. Anyhow, she wanted to go to the zoo, but after talking to her mom, they decided that she shouldn't be roaming the "big city" alone. She looked like she was about to cry, so I offered to go with her. Our hotel arranged the transportation.

When we got there, my mouth dropped when I saw the price of admission. If memory serves me correctly, it was something like $25 bucks! I do remember asking the ticket lady if they even had pandas. They didn't. I was shocked, but Country Girl's eyes welled up with tears again, so I just paid it. I hope the Milwaukee Zoo folks don't come after me for this, but they have NOTHING on the National Zoo in DC. I guess it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon, but it was then that I realized that I really need to partake more of the sites in the Nation's Capital.

There's so much there to do, and a lot of it is free or very inexpensive. There's the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, The White House, The Capitol, The Vietnam Vet's Memorial, The Lincoln & Jefferson Memorials, etc. It's a great place to vacation, since the tourist spending requirements are so low. Unfortunately, many residents never take advantage.

What kinds of attractions are in your hometown that are free or inexpensive? What should every tourist see? Have you seen it? When was the last time you did the tourist thing in your hometown?

Your comments--priceless!!
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5 Responses
  1. lifeisfantaztic embrace it Says:

    There is plenty to see in Los Angeles for a little gas and the willingness to travel

    The list below has some attractions in Los Angeles that are free or inexpensive.

    1. Watts Towers
    2. LaBrea Tar Pits
    3. LA Museum of Contemporary Art
    4. Griffith Park Observertory
    5. Griffith Park Zoo
    6. Venice Beach/Santa Monica Pier
    7. UCLA/USC have beautiful
    campuses and surrounding areas
    8. Drive down to The Adams/Arlington Avenue parts of LA or Pasadena for architectual views
    9. Sunset Strip and Hollywood Blvd.
    10. The Hollywood Sign
    11. Drive north to Santa Barbara and Solvang

    Too many people make the mistake of coming to Los Angeles and going to large attractions like Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and 6Flags Magic Mountain and spend hundreds of dollars and miss out on the beautiful attractions that are free or inexpensive.

    I do the tourist thing often because I take the scenic route 3-4days a week from Ventura to Los Angeles and it's a beautiful 1.5 hour to 2.0 commute.

  2. catladysd Says:

    Well, my new hometown boasts 3 stoplights and one mcdonalds, but it has a charming town square and a lot of very nice folks. I receive a little magazine about georgia events every month and am trying to visit different areas. There is a lot of history here, and some beautiful countryside!

    Just got back from florida and while we did do disneyworld, we also did mount dora, sebring and some other areas that featured antiques and/or crafty kinds of things. i like to go to those places as well as the well known areas.

    my sister and i are planning to do the worlds longest yard sale this year too. there is so much to do i'll have to live to 150 to do it all!

  3. cmiles Says:

    I'm not a big city girl, but I would give anything to be within an hour of a big city, I'm surrounded by open malls, no museums, no parks of any kind, nothing.

  4. Sinfully Says:

    Several years ago I discovered and area in southern Maryland called Point Lookout State Park. It's located where the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River meet. In addition to serving as a prominent military post in the colonization of the US, during the Civil War it served as a prison where freed slaves served as prison guards to their former owners. The grounds are also rumored to be haunted.

  5. Silk! Says:

    What Life said.

    Also, driving from downtown to the beach via Sunset or Wilshire Blvds, or, if you're in Pasadena, driving down Colorado Blvd.

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