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Create a Bucket List of Local Adventures for 2024

By Patty Grasher December 29, 2023 Travel

There are so many fun things to do right in your hometown that, if you are like me and keep putting them off, they never happen. So, how about creating a “Local Bucket list of Adventures”? Not only will it beat off the local humdrums and send them packing, but there is also the bonus of having a great answer for guests who ask, “What can we do?”

Let’s get started creating your list of things to do, see and explore in your hometown. Come up with a list of activities for 2024 that have been on your someday over the Rainbow timeframe and get rejuvenated for living in your own place and time right now.

Ask Yourself This Question

“What things have I put off for a long time, but never made the time or effort to do them?”

The answers might surprise you.

It might be something easy, inexpensive and take just an hour or two to accomplish and yet… sigh, you never do it.

Local Adventures Can Be Ridiculously Small

One idea that I have wanted to do is to ride the local city bus. I’ve ridden buses before so it should be a ridiculously simple thing for me to do, but I haven’t done it here in Vancouver. Why not?

I guess I’ve built it up in my head as something hard and difficult. Which, of course, I know it’s not and yet… I don’t do it. And as a result, my chicken level meter keeps running a longer and longer tab. Funny how that works, right?

Here are a few “Small Adventures” you can easily do and while they may not make it on the 5 Star list of things to see and do locally… they could be adventures for you!

  1. Visit a local park you have never visited before.
  2. Try a new coffee shop and a new flavor of coffee.
  3. Visit a local boutique or shop that you think might be interesting.
  4. Love Farmer’s Markets? Try a different one. Every market has its own surprises.
  5. If you like to walk, pick a new trail or neighborhood to explore.
  6. Take a bus ride to a different part of your city.

Think Like a Tourist

Another way to start your bucket list of adventures is to think about what you would want to see, do, and experience if you traveled thousands of miles to a distant location.

I work at a small bookstore in our city’s national historic site that gets over a million visitors a year. Across from our shop is the visitor center desk. A new friend of mine works at that desk several days a week. She is retired, a dedicated traveler who normally spends three to six months volunteering at different parks around the country.

In the six months she has been here, she has visited more historic sites, local attractions, museums, beaches, parks, concerts, charity events and places to eat, drink and have a good time (on a budget) than I have in the eight years I have lived here. Visit my post, Tammy’s Travels to see how many local adventures Tammy has power-packed into her stay here in Vancouver, Washington.

Her motto? “Do All the Things!”

It’s all a mindset.

If you find yourself a bit bored… up your game and start creating your bucket list.

Find Some New Ideas for Your Bucket List

  • Google “Top Things to Do in [your city].
  • Google one or more of these: “Event Calendars [your city]”, “[Your City] Event Calendar,” “Events in [Your City],” and “Events near me.”
  • If you are in a large metro area, city, or popular destination, buy a local guidebook or check one out at the library. The authors spend hundreds of hours searching around corners and back streets to take you beyond the same old top things to do that get shared repeatedly by popular media.

Onwards to Even More Adventures!

  1. Local Museums – you may find small museums that don’t make the headlines. These are often run by passionate followers who will give you a personal tour of their collected treasures.
  2. Historic sites and markers – I had no idea how many there were in my area till I started my search and I bet you will find some as well. Visit the Historical Marker Database.
  3. Annual local events, city fairs, street fairs and even local businesses put on fun and affordable celebrations.
  4. Fundraising events featuring local talent, artists, and writers.
  5. And don’t forget your local library, schools, and college events.

Put It Together

For flexibility, I like using a small spiral notebook that will easily fit in my bag or glove compartment. At the back of the notebook, I list all the brainstorming ideas I come up with. Putting it at the end allows me to keep adding to the list of possibles till I make a decision to include or not.

The first two or three pages in the front, I leave to make a table of contents. This, of course, is optional, but I like to put each bucket list activity on a separate page in the notebook so that I can add details like a short description, dates, time, address, and cost, if any. Then I add the heading of that event to the table of contents.

As you do an activity, don’t forget to check it off your list and include the date you did it! Your bucket list becomes a mini diary as well.

After leaving the first few pages clear for adding headings, I then use the next 12 pages to add monthly activities. One page (front and back) for each month.

And… this might seem a bit overkill for a small bucket list, but I sometimes number all the pages that I can reference from the table of contents. Because it’s very likely that your 2024 Bucket list might be expanding and extending for years once you get started.

Now Go for It!

Don’t worry that you will run out of new things to put on your bucket list for next year. Once you start your list, more things will come to mind throughout the year. Some activities may be so much fun that they will be added to your bucket list every year because who said you only must do something “once” to qualify for an official bucket list.

Who wants an official bucket list anyway?

It’s absolutely your bucket list. You make the rules.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How often do you explore your city/town and its tourist locations? What adventures can you share while exploring your local city and county? Please share in the comments to keep the inspiration growing.

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LaBrilia Denson

Love this article as well, I live in Woodstock north of Atlanta and have been for 18 years and I keep saying I’m going to ride the Marta some day and take in everything Atlanta has to offer. It’s now at the top of my list, thank you

Patty Grasher

Is the Marta your bus service? Isn’t it crazy how we say things and don’t do them? It’s like really? So here’s the thing. Which one of us is going to beat the other one doing this? I don’t know. No guarantee on my part. Ha. Ha. Thanks for your comment!

Linda

I’m very lucky to live by the Rhein in Switzerland, there are lots of lovely walks, galleries and museums to explore.

Despite being here for 8 years I still feel like a tourist as there is so much to see and do. My home town in Scotland is near Edinburgh so I’m lucky to be able to spend time there too. I’ll eventually retire to Scotland in the next few years (I’m in Switzerland because my husband’s job is here).

Patty Grasher

Whoa. How very wonderful to live where you live now and your home town. I do think everyone’s location is absolutely amazing to everyone else. Even when I grew up in a small town in Idaho – there was a magic about it.

Susan Kolb

Love, love, love this article! I live in a fascinating tourist destination – Santa Fe, NM, where the activities never end. My husband and I always set aside time on New Year’s Day to discuss ideas for the upcoming year and this article will be front and center. Thanks so much, Patty!

Patty Grasher

Oh my gosh! That is so cool. Love your idea of making it a New Year’s Day project.

One of the things that prompted me to write this article was a comment from my mom after we had moved from Texas and New Mexico that she regretted never seeing some of the things that were almost down the street!

Leslie

I absolutely love this article. I live 40 minutes from Washington, DC and probably go into the city once a year! And each time I go, I wonder why I don’t go down there more often to walk around the monuments, etc that are right in my backyard, practically! Thank you for this motivation.

Patty Grasher

Wouldn’t it make a lovely book – if everyone did a local bucket list, did at least some of the things and we shared it with each other? We could cover the nation with things to see and do. :-) That would be so cool.

Tammi

I love this idea! Thank you for sharing it.

Patty Grasher

You are most welcome! This was my very first article for Sixty and Me and it was really fun article to do.

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The Author

Patty Grasher, Urban Blogger & Author, helps visitors, newcomers and residents of Vancouver, WA explore fun and exciting things to do in Clark County. She is the author of the popular guidebook, Explore Vancouver USA, as well as creating games, puzzles and other local themed books and games.

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