Think Like a Tourist to Expand Your Horizons

I spend the summer in a small beach town with not a whole lot going on. The ocean is a short walk way and being a beach bum, the lack of other distractions never bothered me.  When my kids were younger, I needed nothing more than the sand, the surf and a nighttime babysitter. This year though, the kids are more self-sufficient than ever, and I am looking to expand my horizons — just a touch. I don’t want to go far, I am still detoxing from spring carpools. It is amazing to me how many cool things there are to do within a short radius of our house. This summer, think like a tourist going to your area for the first time, and you are sure to find lots of great day trips and outings, many of which are free of charge.

For instance, today my daughter and I hiked a nature preserve in Merrick, NY today — the Norman J. Levy Park. It is steps from our local dump, and as such, I never noticed it before — I usually dump and run. Built on a former landfill, it is an award winning example of successful environmental conservation, with a working windmill and spectacular views of the city. Finding it was a simple as Googling “hikes” and “my location”. We plan on going back for an affordable kayak tour offered on site, and we are looking forward to visiting more of the cool places right under our noses.

Some helpful search words: your location with hike, nature, trail, museum, zoo, wildlife, view, culinary, farm and day trip.


The adorable goats along our path. We felt a million miles away.

The adorable goats along our path. We felt a million miles away.

goats road merrick

More goats because this reminded us of Italy.



The human sundial – amazingly accurate. Thinking of adding “build sundial” to my summer bucket list.


The view from the pier — possibly the quietest place on earth.


The working windmill. Though it aged me and probably drove Serena crazy, I couldn’t stop singing Top of the World by The Carpenters.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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