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This place is special to me because it’s my lovable little college town in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains. I feel like a local by now, but here’s the thing: when I’m traveling to an unfamiliar spot, I like the idea of staying undercover as much as possible. Anyone relate?? Yep, I know I’m snapping photos every 2 minutes and have an itinerary straight out of Yelp, but do the locals really have to roll their eyes and shake their heads?? So, to help you avoid being targeted as tourists by eagle-eyed college students, I want to pass on some tips on how to blend in and convince them you’re one of their own. So check out the map, head into the mountains, and you’ll be feeling 22 in no time ;)
This place is special to me because I grew up on the Florida beaches, and one year worked for an architect whose office was within walking distance of this architectural gem. I remember the incredibly designed cabinetry, trim work, and built-ins I saw in the interiors, and the painstaking deliberation over small details such as exterior paint colors. Many houses have names, picket fences line foot paths (cars aren't needed), and a short walk through artsy pavilions will take you to what everyone comes to see -the fine, powdery white sands and aqua blue surf. When hunger strikes there are plenty of food options, and for entertainment there is shopping, theater/fine arts performances, educational lectures, and bike rentals. I would love to go back with my camera to recapture memories from long ago. Seaside has been heralded as "probably the most influential resort community since Versailles" by Newsweek. I highly recommend visiting here if you love the ocean, architectural beauty and design, and want a peaceful, urban-modern vacation in a small community.
This place is special to me because I love kitsch! My hometown area of Traverse City is known for many things: wineries, restaurants, outdoor sports, etc. But ever since Mom gave me "The Guinness Book Of World Records" for Christmas when I was eleven years old, I have loved oddities of all kinds (I participated in two events vying for inclusion in the Guinness book: 1) world's largest chicken dance and 2) world's largest ice cream social). And after living in this area for over twenty years, I continue to find new and exciting oddball places to visit.
This is a special place to me because it is in my neighborhood and is an oasis in a busy, growing city. The park is home to a wide variety of birds, trees, and native plants. The park hosts multiple activities including bird walks, bicycle races, outdoor concerts, and an annual box car derby. The park is a peaceful place with well marked walking/running trails and thoughtfully placed benches for viewing the city and surrounding areas.
Annapolis, Maryland’s capital city, is on Chesapeake Bay. Its historic district includes 18th-century brick houses and the domed 1700s Maryland State House. On Church Circle, the Romanesque-style St. Anne’s Episcopal Church has Tiffany glass windows and a historic cemetery. The sprawling waterfront grounds of the United States Naval Academy feature beaux arts architecture, monuments and a naval history museum.
This place is special to me because I grew up there, and have many fun memories of riding my bike down the crazy steep hills to the beach, and walking on the pier, the Sandcastle competitions, and the smell of the ocean. This little seaside town has changed a LOT since I lived there, but my favorite places remain the same. The museum was originally a train station, and trains still come along the rails along the beach. There's a little bit of Surrey snuck in there too, since they have an off-leash doggy beach that my dogs adore!
Summer time in northern Michigan is full of adventure! I love crossing the Mighty Mac to go hiking in the Upper Peninsula (officially called The U.P.) or cruising on a ferry to Mackinac Island. The island does not allow vehicles, but the best way to explore is on bike or horse carriage. Plus all the water activities provide plenty of fun. The winters are long and the summers are short..so spending as much time on the Great Lakes is my favorite place!
This place is special to me because two of my great-grandparents came to the United States from Poland (one as a child and one as a young adult). [Correction: Mom says I forgot one, so make that three!] I have always appreciated Polish food and culture. At a prior residence, we lived only two blocks from a Polish hall, where I would occasionally assist the volunteers making pierogi for special events. Fortunately, we settled in an area where Polish culture abounds. If you cannot visit such a place, I highly recommend that you bring the fun to your home, i.e. learn how to play the accordion. It's fun, catchy and hard to put down once you start playing! Trust me.