Guest Author - Sharon Bejin
Thinking about a day trip or a longer vacation? We all do. But most people think of heading for the big city when taking a family trip. But have you ever thought about going to a small town and taking in what they have to offer? If not, you may want to consider it the next time you take a vacation.
The best kept secrets about small towns all across America are the unique museums and sites they offer for vacationers and local residents. Many small towns have bed and breakfasts accommodations or campgrounds if you are the outdoorsy type.
My husband and I enjoy driving through small towns as we travel around our state of Wisconsin or in nearby states of Minnesota and Michigan. The same goes when take trips way down south to visit relatives. The older homes and city buildings hold historical value. The architect of the town's buildings have so much to offer aesthetically with many of them boasting the year they were built.
If you decide on a trip that takes you through small towns, read up on its history before you get there. Nowadays this can be easy to do with the use of the internet or a smart phone. Your journey may be more interesting and have more meaning when you pass through the towns.
What might make your vacation even more interesting is if you had some connection to the small town. Even if it is a small connection, you may find something of value to you. Many towns have buildings named after people you may have heard about or parks with familiar names.
You may want to go to the town’s local library and find old newspapers, writings, or historical information about an individual area. Another source of information would be the local historical society. For some, a trip to the past may be interesting.
You could contact the local tourism center or find someone who has knowledge of the town’s history and ask them to help you when touring their small town. With the information you get you could also go on your own self-guided tour of the town.
Some of the oldest towns in the Great Lakes region date back centuries ago. Those who lived before us were born, raised, walked the streets and died in these small towns. Reading up on some of those people may be of interest too.
Take a walk through the past by visiting the local cemeteries. Reading the headstones of people who resided in the town years ago may be of interest too. I also find that it is in some way respectful to the deceased by having someone acknowledge their burial site by passing through and reading their tombstones.
The aging tombstones and historical information you find may tell something about the people who lived there decades and centuries ago. Some people may think visiting old cemeteries is morbid, but if done in a respectful way, it can be a positive thing.
As a keepsake from your historical trip through any small town, save any articles you find, photos you take, or journal memories for each town. Over the years, you may be impressed with what you have learned about the small towns you have visited.