Who says Mods have all the fun? After enjoying our recent posts in which our Mods gave us the lowdown about their home towns, our Project Managers wanted in on the action! Now it’s their turn to offer up the skinny on what visitors typically do when they come to their home towns — and what those visitors really should be doing. Here’s how things look over in PMville.
Belle Chasse, LA
What people typically do: Go on historical, ghost, swamp, and plantation tours. Visit for Mardi Gras (we’re 15 minutes from downtown New Orleans).
What they should do: I’d recommend the historical and swamp tours. Louisiana, particularly New Orleans and the surrounding cities, has a lot of historically rich places to see. From the amazing French Quarter to some of the hauntingly beautiful plantations, there’s a history lesson to be had just about anywhere one would visit here. There are some great lessons from some of America’s darkest hours, from the times of slavery to harrowing tales of how some of the population banded together to survive Hurricane Katrina. There is a rich cultural history all over the area and anyone interested in history, like me, would absolutely love the many different tours available.
There are also a lot of places to kick back and relax with a cold one in your hand and hear live jazz bands playing. This town really likes to celebrate all of its history and all it has overcome. Rightfully so, if you ask me.
La Crosse, WI
What people typically do: Drink, go river boating, enjoy festivals (Oktoberfest, Wienerfest, Applefest, Riverfest, Irish Fest, Airfest, Artspire, and the Beer, Wine & Cheese Festival).
What they should do: Visit the downtown area and the bluffs. There are great places to eat, beautiful locations, and concerts.
Grass Valley, CA
What people typically do: People generally come to the town for its history of mining, wine tastings, annual events, and concerts at The Center for the Arts. Many are just passing through on their way to Nevada City.
What they should do: Grass Valley has many great hikes spread throughout, and most are hidden gems that run along the river. We try to get out and about on the weekends to explore the various trails around here. While hiking along these trails, you may discover wildlife, a unique rock formation, and maybe a waterfall or ten. Wildlife is teeming in this area, and the weather couldn’t be better in the spring. This could also go for the surrounding areas. It’s an excellent location for outdoors people.
What people typically do: Visit the Texas Capitol Building and The Bullock Texas State History Museum. Check out the local music scene, especially during SXSW or the ACL Music Festival. Spend time at one of the lakes. Party on 6th Street. Go to UT sporting events or happenings at the Formula One race track. Try some of the more famous local restaurants like Franklin Barbecue or Uchi.
What they should do: I generally agree with the list above. Austin does a pretty good job of selling its best attractions and events. I‘m not a big fan of 6th Street, but I understand the appeal for those who enjoy the bar scene, especially on Halloween. Although Franklin and Uchi are certainly worth the experience at least once, there are dozens of other amazing restaurants in town to enjoy as well. It’s a great city for foodies, including great food truck experiences. There really is a lot of musical variety all year for any music lovers.
For those spending more than a few days in the area, check out some of the smaller neighboring towns in Central Texas. There are many great wineries to visit, and they all offer tastings. The small towns are also great for antique shopping and sightseeing.
Delray Beach, FL
What people typically do: Go to the beach or visit nearby Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
What they should do: Plan their trip around one of the many festivals held in downtown Delray Beach, such as the Garlic Fest and Craft Beer Fest. The beach is fun and all, but I think a true shining point in my local community is how they go all out for the festivals that are always being hosted downtown. There are local artisans who set up booths, local restaurants offering all kinds of unique eats, games, music… You name it and it’s probably there. The festivals are a unique and fun adventure, typically lasting only a day or two. The beach will still be there tomorrow! Take advantage of the local community coming out and offering their best!
Kalamazoo, MI (Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo!)
What people typically do: When people come to Kalamazoo, they usually check out Bell’s Brewery and Kalamazoo Beer Exchange for the most awesome drafts that will wet your whistle. The Water Street Coffee Joint has the very best hometown roasted coffees from all over the world. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts displays a plethora of art, from local to exotic. Wings Event Center is a great venue where you can attend events, concerts, and K Wings hockey games throughout the year. And then there’s Henderson Castle: This gorgeous, historical landmark is so much more than an Inn. If you want to feel a blast from the past, or get your Steampunk on while you rest, this is the spot for you in Kalamazoo.
What they should do: Along with the locations listed above, visitors should most definitely check out The Kalamazoo Nature Center. Bring your kids or just be a grown-up kid when you visit. It has been one of my most favorite places since I was about four years old. There’s a great animal rehab group here, where thousands of animals have been rescued and rehabbed back to health for as long as I remember.
In early September, you must come to the Kalamazoo Annual Street Rod Nationals for all the street rods that line the roads and parking lots. If you love fancy, classic, beefed up, shiny vehicles, this is the one thing you can’t miss. I look forward to this event every year. The entire county is chock full of the best eye candy I’ve ever seen.
From Broadway shows to musicals, Second City to Panic! At the Disco, you’ll find the best entertainment on the campus of Western Michigan University’s ginormous Miller Auditorium. I hope you all get the Kalamazoo experience some day!
Locust Grove, VA
What people typically do: Not much, since it’s a rather small town. But we are about 20 minutes from Fredericksburg and 90 minutes from Richmond. It’s a lake community, so folks go to the lake a lot during the summer.
What they should do: Go see the sights! We’re close to D.C., Shenandoah National Park for the mountains, and Richmond for the state capital. And the beaches are a short drive from here. There’s so much to do and see, I can’t narrow it down to just one thing. I love the mountains in the fall, the ocean in the summer, and the diversity of food and things to do in the nearby cities. Virginia is a beautiful place. I love it here!
What people typically do: We usually get visitors for the yearly Airing of the Quilts, Founders Day, and the Wyoming County Fair.
What they should do: They should be camping, hiking, canoeing down the Susquehanna River, visiting the Saturday Farmer’s Market, leaf peeping in autumn, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There is definitely something to do all year long. We are located in the beautiful Endless Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, and the great outdoors is definitely the place to be!
Santa Fe, NM
What people typically do: Head to the plaza and eat as much amazing green and red chili as is reasonable for a human.
What they should do: Go to Meow Wolf and explore the House of Eternal Return, an immersive, psychedelic art piece about a house that’s been uprooted in time and space. You can literally spend an entire day crawling through fireplaces into fairylands, sifting through computer files, and finding secret rooms without fully discovering all the clues and tricks. Plus there are mushrooms that change color and play music when you hit them. What’s not to love?
What people typically do: We’re a small city, so most visitors likely use it as a stopover before going to Atlanta, Kennesaw, or other larger cities.
What they should do: Head to Lake Acworth! There’s a gorgeous lake and dam nearby that offers canoeing, fishing, and more fun. In a state that doesn’t have beaches (former Southern Floridian here), the lake would be the next best thing!
Newport News, VA
What people typically do: There are many interesting and fun activities in Hampton Roads (Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Norfolk, and the surrounding areas). You can visit Colonial Williamsburg and nearby Busch Gardens, the now-decommissioned Fort Monroe in Hampton, the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, and quite a few military museums. Our local paper has an attractions list that shows all these and more.
What they should do: When visiting Hampton Roads, definitely go and see all the tourist attractions. There is so much history in this area that should not be missed. Because of the military presence, this place is a melting pot of people from all over the world. The diversity of people and their cultural influences is what makes this area so interesting. I really enjoy all the niche communities in the area. There’s a large and active tabletop gaming community and many comic and novelty shops that host Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, and other game events. Hampton Roads is also home to quite a few anime/gaming conventions. And there’s a large community of fellow programmers that get together to host hack-a-thons, creating useful civic projects to help the community.
There are also a lot of small restaurants that have some amazing foods! My favorite has to be Rocky Mount Bar-B-Q in Newport News, and their Monday night deal on southern barbecue pork made with vinegar. It’s pretty awesome; juicy and so tasty.
What people typically do: Camp, fish, be outside. Unless it’s winter; then they come to drink alcoholic beverages, because it’s Wisconsin. Actually, they probably still fish while drinking. Fish. I’m going with people go fishing.
What they should do: Bring in more take-out (ha-ha). Please, someone bring good take-out to this town! There’s awful take-out in this town and it’s dinner time! (Just kidding. I live in a town with a population of 4,000. There isn’t much to do but camp and drink.)
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