The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Finding New England in your backyard

Willow Pond at Bird Park, Walpole, Mass.

Local travel often brings about the best experiences. Pictured above: Bird Park, Walpole, Mass.

I never prioritized getting New England travel advice from the person trying to sell a destination. Better to discover on your own or hear about special places through your family, friends and neighbors.

Here’s the thing: You can even discover the best New England destinations in your own town, city or village. Find a park, hiking trail or body of water. Get out the bike or kayak for outdoor recreation without a lot of trip planning. Go to a seasonal event whether it be a 4th of July parade, harvest festival or tree lighting ceremony. Check out a local restaurant that may very well be every bit as good as the ones you go to on vacation. Or, take in a farmers market or farm stand for local foods. Get in touch with your community’s historical society to tap into a tour or other resources.

Sometimes all you need is a pleasing pastoral scene to create instant New England memories.

Stone wall, farmland in West Brookfield, Mass.

or, maybe just a scenic place to enjoy the coast in New England if that’s where you live.

Wickford Village, Rhode Island.

Wickford Village, R.I.

These are some ways to tap into the spirit of New England without spending a lot of money if any at all. That includes saving on gasoline, lodging and possibly airfare.

The beauty of New England is never relegated to just vacation spots. Your own hometown has foliage, snow, sunrises and sunsets, too. Look harder (or hashtag your own town on social for ideas), find your own magical places close to home, and know that New England is often right in your own backyard.

Bench and foliage in Peterborough, N.H.

Somewhere in Peterborough, N.H.

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York, Maine Gift Corner

Nubble Lighthouse 8X10 unframed photo print

Long Sands Beach throw pillow

Nubble Lighthouse white sweatshirt

Long Sands Beach 8X10 unframed photo print

Nubble Lighthouse two-sided throw pillow

York Harbor throw pillow

Nubble Lighthouse wall clock

Twilight at Sohier Park unframed photo print

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