There is something special about where you live (or have lived) and the place you call your hometown. Simply put, there’s no place like home… but everyone already knows that. That’s why it is such a common theme in our everyday lives.
What does our favorite ruby slipper wearing movie heroine say? There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.
What’s that line from one of our most beloved Christmas tunes? There’s no place like home for the holidays.
What popular phrase is on your welcome mat and wall décor? Home sweet home.
What common refrain do you and your spouse cheerfully exclaim upon entering your house after a long time away? Honey, I’m home!
It’s a universal truth! There is something about the familiar surroundings of home that welcomes and comforts us. Why else would we prominently feature this concept in our movies, music, rugs and daily conversations?!?
Our homes give us the warm-and-fuzzy feels, and those positive feelings extend beyond our actual domiciles into the surrounding areas of our hometowns.
What Makes My Hometown Special?
I recently wrote about my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In recent years, Grand Rapids has come to be known as Beer City USA but I feel this new nickname doesn’t reflect just how wonderful and special my hometown is. My hometown is a great place to raise a family. It is filled with art and beautiful spaces and fun sporting events. It is bustling with activity from its art festivals to its beaches, from its parks to its many recreation trails. So yes, with over 60 local breweries, Grand Rapids is a great place to drink a pint of craft beer… but there is so much more to love about my hometown than just beer!
What Makes Other Hometowns Special?
Since I’m on the subject of hometowns, I decided to ask some of my favorite travel bloggers about their hometowns. Here’s what they had to say about the following cities:
- Denver, Colorado
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Fort Worth, Texas
- Kirkland, Washington
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- San Francisco, California
- White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
- Joplin, Missouri
Hometown of Tara from Travel Plus Family
I’m honored to share my love for Denver, Colorado with Minivan Adventures! Denver has only been my home for the last 17 years; however, my heart has always belonged here! Denver is widely known for its crisp, clean air, vast views of the Rocky Mountain range, and a plethora of outdoor activities, but what you might not realize is that this city has amazing restaurants, great hotels, a full range of cultural events, and lots family-friendly activities (check out my post about the Denver Zoo).
The weather in Denver is one of my favorite aspects of living here. Most of the days are filled with pure blue skies and sunshine. Even in winter, the combination of the sunshine and altitude makes the outdoors tolerable! A visit to Denver during any season will prove to be an amazing vacation!
Charleston, South Carolina
Hometown of Jimmy from Off With the Kids
Every year travel magazine giants like Condé Nast and Travel + Leisure have award ceremonies for the top cities as voted on by their readers. Charleston, South Carolina has won the #1 city in the U.S. for seven straight years and counting (Condé Nast), and even ranked the top city in the WORLD by Travel + Leisure in their 2016 World’s Best Awards. So it’s no wonder it makes for an excellent place to live! The “Holy City” is famous for its amazing history. There is no shortage of historic sites here. From famous forts such as Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie to absolutely beautiful colonial era houses throughout the city. Charleston also has amazing beaches, gardens, and most importantly – people! In 2016 Charleston also landed the title (Condé Nast) for the friendliest city in the world! With warm smiles and welcoming hearts, this is what truly made us fall in love with this city and why our family loved calling it our hometown! To read more about Charleston, please visit my post at Why Charleston, South Carolina is the #1 City in America
Fort Worth, Texas
Hometown of Umiko from Two Worlds Treasures
Where else you can see cattle drive passing by in the city? Yes, only in Ft. Worth, at the Stockyards to be exact. You can see this world’s only twice daily cattle drive at 11.30 a.m. or 4 p.m. And that’s not it. If you come on Friday or Saturday afternoon, make sure you hang out at Stockyards until evening, so you can watch the world’s only year-round rodeo at 8 p.m. in the Cowtown Coliseum. Before the rodeo begins, fills up your belly with signature Texas steak or BBQ in one of the famous restaurants around Stockyards. Then stroll around to enjoy the historic buildings or just for people watching. You will see cowboys and cowgirls with their beautiful hats and boots, that makes you step in to one of the western stores around. When it’s time to watch the rodeo, put on your cowboy hat and boots, and enjoy the night away where you will immerse yourself into the western world just like the locals.
Hometown of Angela from Tread Lightly, Retire Early
Charlotte, North Carolina
Hometown of Kiersten from Hiking in My Flip Flops
Even though I grew up in central NY, Charlotte quickly became my adopted hometown. It’s where I landed my first job and met my husband. And until recently, we had raised our kids there. Now that we have moved on to new adventures, we look back and appreciate all the amazing memories from our activity-packed days in Charlotte.
This often overlooked travel destination is home to some amazing food, loaded with culture, and has access to enough adventure for even the most avid outdoor enthusiast. Blend that with southern charm and urban amenities, and you have a pretty special place. Easy access to both beaches and mountains opens up the possibilties even more. It is easy to spend time in the Queen City and not have enough time for everything on your itinerary. Whitewater rafting, hiking, and professional sporting events were some of our favorite things to do there. And the best BBQ in the world (do you take yours eastern- or Lexington-style?), historic plantations, and locally made pottery are what this southern city is all about. But what really makes Charlotte so special? The genuine southern hospitality, of course!
San Francisco, California
Hometown of Emily from Henry and Andrew’s Guide
San Francisco is special because so many people have left their hearts in this 7-mile x 7-mile City by the Bay. Like Tony Bennett, people love this city. The sunset orange colored Golden Gate Bridge warms people up when Karl the Fog chills the city in the summer. San Francisco is home to over 220 parks, 150 playgrounds, 50 museums and 39 piers. In this tiny city, we have over 82,000 acres of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Families visiting can check out over 250 buildings designated as historical landmarks while staying at one of over 200 hotels. Or you can ride the world-famous cable cars to go eat at one of over 4400 restaurants. If you can manage to pack in more things to do, you can go to watch a show in one of the 98 theaters or wine tasting in over 1000 wineries in every direction. If all these numbers aren’t enough to show how special this place is, you will just have to bring your own and your kids’ hearts here to feel the amazingness yourself.
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
Hometown of Carla from Loving This Living
Located just north of the USA border at Blaine WA is the beautiful beach town of White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. During the summer months (June-August) people flock to White Rock to enjoy the sprawling sandy beaches and walk along the beach promenade and infamous pier. At low-tide the sand is uncovered and leaves tidal pools throughout the beach, making it a perfect place for children of all ages.
Along the beach there are many restaurants to choose from and lots of little shops to browse through. If you’re planning a walk down the pier you have to stop in at Dolce Gelato (right across the street from the pier) and get some authentic Italian gelato to eat while you stroll (don’t forget to bring cash as they are cash only).
Whether you are there for a family beach day, a beautiful walk, or just want to have dinner waterfront, White Rock’s beauty is incredible. If you visit at sunset you will be graced with a breath-taking sunset to the west that can be seen from anywhere along the beach. We are truly blessed to call this our hometown.
Hometown of Stacey from Love, Laughter, and Luggage
If you’ve heard the lyrics to the song, “Route 66,” then you’ve at least heard of my hometown. Joplin, Missouri, is featured in the chorus right after the mention of St. Louis. Joplin is truly a special place where Route 66 runs right through town, and you can still see remnants of that bygone era when people used the highway to head west through the U.S. You can also still see evidence of the town bouncing back after a devastating EF5 tornado left a path of destruction through the city in 2011. Still, the creation of the Interstate system and the tornado have not crushed the spirit of my hometown. In fact, Interstate 44 runs along the southern border of the city making it easily accessible from Tulsa or St. Louis. If you’re passing by, you should check out some of the reasons Joplin is a unique place to visit.
- See the natural beauty of the Ozarks. Shoal Creek offers opportunities for floating and fishing, and many people enjoy sitting or wading near the Grand Falls area while listening to the roar of the waterfall. The trails along Shoal Creek offer a great view of the rocky hills and little caverns in the area.
- Just outside of town is one of the few remaining drive-in movie theaters left in the country. Route 66 Drive-In is a great place to take the family on a warm summer evening.
- If you’re really craving adventure, take a drive out in the country on a quest to see the legendary Spooklight. This mysterious light makes an appearance many nights on the crest of a hill on a country road near Joplin.
- The George Washington Carver National Monument is just southeast of Joplin, and it is a great place to learn about area wildlife, advances in agriculture, and Carver himself.
If you find yourself near Joplin, be sure to stop awhile and do some exploring. Joplin offers plenty of dining and shopping opportunities, and there are several hotels right next to the Interstate. Find out for yourself why my hometown is special.
What Makes Your Hometown Special?
Please leave a comment below and tell us a little about your hometown. What makes your hometown special?