One of the easiest and cheapest ways to see your hometown or state with the fresh eyes of a traveler is by changing your mode of transportation. Switching from four-wheels to two, or from two to six, or whatever other combinations I could endlessly concoct, can really change the way you see the places that you see every day.
Five months ago I moved to a part of Portland that is perfectly located for commuting on foot and by bike and just being able to ditch my car every weekend has transformed the way I see the city. From discovering little parks that I’d normally whiz by, to enjoying the breeze and beautiful views riding next to the river, rather than driving over it, I feel like I’ve discovered a new city.
Car, bike, roller blades, RV, kayak, horse, bus, metro, dune buggy, electric car, scooter, unicycle—try one or try them all and see old places in a new way. Here are a few suggestions for checking out a familiar place or a new one, by changing up your mode of transport:
- Car: If you don’t own one, why not rent one and visit that place that’s always too far to pedal.
- Electric Car or Hybrid: Why not? Many big cities already have car exchange programs going.
- On foot: A great chance to really slow down and experience a place.
- Rollerblades: Don’t worry they’re in style again, really… and they’re surprisingly speedy.
- Bicycle: Go green for a day and support this growing movement.
- Pedicab: Go green for a day and support a pedicab driver by letting him pedal YOU around.
- Dune buggy: You have to live in the right type of place for this, but it sure would mix things up.
- ATV: Speed, agility, what more could you ask for?
- Unicycle: Believe it or not, this is an increasingly popular way to get around, but maybe just for a day.
- Horse: Visiting a small town, beach town, you might be able to arrange a tour on horseback.
- Trolley: Is there a historic trolley in your city? Have you been on it?
- Kayak: Rental prices are reasonable and if you’ve got water in town you can kayak it.
- Golf cart: My neighbors do this. So fun! Stay off the busy streets and enjoy.
- Scooter: Fun, affordable, kinda good exercise, and faster than walking.
- Train: Yes people still take the train. Go on a long trip or for a scenic tour.
- Tandem Bike: Sit back and enjoy the ride! Just kidding, I’m pedaling back here, really.
- RV: If you can afford this extravagant transport to tour your own ‘hood, I say go for it.
- Surrey: British word for a pedal-powered golf cart, great for a birthday.
- Go Kart: Yes, you can probably rent one. Lean back, pedal hard, and coast when you can.
- Limo: This is a great way to do a wine tasting or brewery tour.
- Bus/Metro: Don’t normally use public transport? Then you’ll definitely see a whole new side of your city.
- Beerbike/Brewcycle: Think- 6 or more sets of pedals and seats, all connected, destined for bars.
Did I miss any?