Take a day trip: Things you can do in almost every big city

You don't have to leave the state for a new experience

Not everyone can afford a fancy getaway, but everyone wants a different experience. There's a way to have a nice affordable trip without traveling too far from home. Take a day trip to your nearest city and you'll have plenty of things to do. Whether you live in the city or in the suburbs, here are a few ideas for your next day trip.

1. Museums

Almost every big city has some kind of museum. It could be something more traditional like art or history, but it might also be something refreshing. Some cities even have bowling or science fiction museums. You might even be able to visit a locally curated museum about your city. If you live near where a major historical event took place, you can bet there will be some kind of memorial or museum to visit.

2. Zoos and aquariums

Just like museums, zoos and aquariums are pretty common in big cities. Your city may have one or the other, or both. If you love wildlife, these are the perfect places to learn more about various species. Many zoos and aquariums also work to conserve energy and save animal species from extinction. Most of the time, you'll be able to touch specific kinds of sea life and feed certain mammals.

3. Rollercoaster or water park

Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor are usually located a little outside of big cities, but should still be easily reachable. Especially in the summer, these parks bring a lot of fun and entertainment for just about anyone. Bring your family, a date or a group of friends and dive into the action. You can easily spend all day exploring the various attractions and rides.

4. Downtown experience

Instead of planning to visit a specific area, why not take some time to experience the city? Take a stroll through a park, eat at a brand new restaurant, or participate in a city walking or segway tour. Or do all of the above. Many cities have some kind of public transportation system to help you get around, usually for free or pretty cheap. If you have a theater, you could catch a matinee performance or stay for an evening show. And, of course, during the entire day, you can always take some time out for people watching.

5. State or city capital

If you live near your state capital, you can probably take a tour of the capital building. Many state capital buildings are pretty stately and have plenty of interesting history and architecture to explore. If you visit during a working day, you can probably even sit in on a voting session and experience democracy first hand. While you're there, you might even be able to meet your representatives. But if you don't live near a state capital, you can likely take a tour of your city council's building and maybe even meet your mayor.

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