Make Travel & Local Activities a Priority for 2015! (We have some ideas to help you!)

Posted on January 27th, 2015 by BreAnn

So… 2015 is underway, and we’re near the end of January… have you made any big inspirational plans for the year? How are they going so far?

Why not plan to TRAVEL and EXPLORE in 2015?!  You don’t need to leave the country—or even your state or city for that matter. I’m talking about making it a priority this year to explore the activities and attractions in your own city, take a weekend trip out of town, fly to the next state for a goofy festival, or something even larger if you prefer!

Traveling and exploring different interests can be a HUGE stress reliever, it can give you perspective on other people and your own life, and can help you feel closer to your family and friends…. so NOW is the time to make this a priority for 2015!

Since traveling and entertainment can be pricey sometimes, let’s start small and go big:


Be a tourist in your own city!

Whether you realize it or not, most of the time you are probably taking your own city/town for granted and haven’t thought about all the wonderful places and activities that are right in front of your face, waiting for you to discover them!  Take the time to be a tourist in your own city. If somebody from another state or country came to visit you, what top places would you show them?  What type of activities would you do together?  Do some research online of “tourist attractions” in your city or the surrounding cities and towns and start a list of things that appeal to you and your loved ones. Try new foods. Go to places that you have never been before like a sporting event, opera, or ballet.

**The KEY here is TO MAKE A LIST.  Then, when you are bored, have a free day, or want to try something new, check off something on that list!

James and I made a list a couple years ago of all the things in Los Angeles that we SHOULD have done by now, but haven’t yet. The list included many things that are FREE, including bike riding down to Hermosa Beach, visiting the Griffith Observatory (we had never been there before!), hiking to the Hollywood Sign, and driving up north in Spring during poppy season. Because we made a physical list of these activities, we were much more likely to actually complete some of them… and we did that year!

To get you started, I compiled some lists of things to do in Los Angeles and Milwaukee (since a great amount of our readers are from these areas)… if these lists/areas don’t apply to you, just scroll down to the next RED section!


  • See a concert at the Disney concert hall
  • Visit the Getty Villa
  • Take the tourist bus around the city
  • Hike up to the Hollywood sign
  • Go biking in Hermosa and Manhattan beach
  • Visit the Griffith Observatory
  • Visit the Magic castle
  • Get a group together to camp in Malibu
  • Go sailing out of Marina del Rey
  • Visit Universal Studios and/or Universal CityWalk
  • Have a hot dog at Pink’s
  • Go to an Ethiopian restaurant
  • Go to Six flags / Knotts Berry Farm
  • Go to a Sunday brunch buffet at Castaways
  • Walk around the Hammer Museum in Westwood
  • Have a brunch buffet in MDR
  • Get yourself on a taping of the Price is Right!
  • Bar hop on Main Street in Santa Monica
  • Visit the Japanese American National Museum
  • Window shop on Rodeo drive and surrounding streets
  • See a show at the Viper room and/or Whiskey a go go
  • Go Deep sea Fishing
  • Check out a Rose Bowl flea market
  • See the Watts towers
  • Wine taste & picnic at one of Malibu’s wineries
  • Shop and have lunch at an outdoor cafe at the Santa Monica 3rd street promenade
  • Watch big fish at the Long Beach Aquarium
  • Walk around the Grove mall and have lunch at the farmer’s market
  • People watch for hours in Venice beach
  • Spend time at the LACMA (museum)
  • Ride the roller coaster on the Santa Monica pier
  • Disneyland!
  • Tour the Queen Mary
  • See Dinosaur skeletons at the LA Natural History Museum
  • Check out the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens
  • See a concert at the Hollywood Bowl (with fireworks!)

  • Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Tailgate at Miller Park
  • Visit the Harley-Davidson Museum
  • Check out the Pabst Mansion
  • Try snowmobiling (if you haven’t yet, or haven’t been in awhile)
  • Visit the Domes (Mitchell Park Conservatory)
  • Admire the architecture of the Greek Orthodox Church
  • Have fun at Discovery World
  • Take a lunch or dinner cruise on the Edelweiss
  • Check out the Haggerty Museum of Art
  • Go ice skating at the Pettit Ice Center
  • Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Walk around the Historic Third Ward
  • Bar hop on Water street
  • Get some fresh air and walk around the RiverWalk, get some coffee, and explore
  • Take a trip to the Milwaukee County Zoo
  • Check out Old World Wisconsin\
  • Go on a Brewery tour at Miller
  • Take cruise on the Milwaukee boat line
  • Take a gamble at Potawatomi Casino
  • Summerfest!!–of course, but why not try one of the other fests on the grounds that you’ve never been to before? Such as African World Festival, PrideFest, Asian Moon Festival, Polish Fest, or Indian Summer Festival.
  • Enjoy a musical and dinner at the Fireside Dinner Theatre
  • Escape the city madness and go to the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
  • Picnic in Kettle Moraine Forest
  • Enjoy endless activities and shopping at the Wisconsin State Fair
  • Visit the North Point Lighthouse
  • Check out the Grohmann Museum
  • Fly a kite at Veteran’s Park



Two hours outside LA in wine country, you can feed Ostriches!

There are SO many places that are within hours of your doorstep… camping getaways, river trips, bigger cities with lots of activities, music venues, vineyards, shows, and more!

Again, this is a list of day trips and weekend getaways outside Los Angeles and all around Wisconsin, so if these lists/areas don’t apply to you, scroll down to the next section 🙂


  • Visit the San Diego zoo
  • Go boating in Lake Havasu
  • Go skiing (in winter) or boating (in summer) in Big Bear
  • See the majestic giants in the Sequoia national park
  • Drive up to Lancaster in the spring to see the amazing fields of poppies
  • Go wine tasting in Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara, Temecula, San Luis Obispo… so many options!
  • Escape to Catalina Island
  • Escape and relax in Santa Barbara
  • Get crazy in Las Vegas for the weekend
  • Watch the horses race at Del Mar racetrack
  • Soak your muscles in the hot springs around Palm Desert
  • Drive up, down, and around the winding streets in the mountains north of Malibu
  • Experience the beauty and relaxation of Laguna Beach
  • Surf or sunbathe on the beautiful beaches of Malibu
  • Relax and get artsy in Ojai
  • Camp and climb up boulders at Joshua Tree Park
  • Party in the Gaslamp district in San Diego

8 under-the-radar day trips for when you need to get out of LA

(really cool and random places to explore an hour or few from LA)


25 Best Weekend Getaways from Los Angeles


52 weekend getaways: a year’s worth of escapes


  • Get away to door county for wine tasting, boating, and relaxation
  • See a Packers game in Green Bay!
  • Go skiing at Granite Peak in Wausau
  • Play and explore the many, many attractions in Wisconsin Dells
  • Visit Circus World in Baraboo
  • Camp in Devil’s Lake state park
  • Take a dog sledding trip in Bayfield or Door County
  • See the amazing EAA show (or museum) in Oshkosh
  • Go snowshoeing in Wyalusing State Park
  • Explore the Cave of the Mounds
  • Soak it up with an escape to Kohler Waters Spa
  • Fishing, fishing, fishing!!
  • Go river tubing just outside of Madison
  • Go CHEESE CRAZY at the annual Cheese Curd Festival in Ellsworth
  • Check out the House on the Rock
  • Tour the State Capitol in Madison
  • Go shopping-crazy at the Mall of America in Minnesota
  • Enjoy the Wisconsin State Polka Festival in Oconomowoc
  • Visit a real dairy farm and milk a cow
  • Hit the slopes at Tyrol Basin in Mount Horeb
  • Camping, camping, camping!
  • Dance and sing along at one of the MANY country fests around the state
  • Watch the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition in downtown Lake Geneva
  • Gasp at the 165-foot tall Big Manitou Falls in Pattison State Park
  • Eat up at the annual Strawberry Festival in Cedarburg
  • Stargaze inside at the Barlow Planetarium in Menasha


Wisconsin’s 12 best towns:



Visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras!?

I came across the COOLEST article a few weeks ago… it lists the best event in every one of our lovely 50 states.  Look through this list, and if something appeals to you in a random state, MAKE PLANS TO VISIT THERE!

The one can’t-miss event in all 50 states this year:



Of course, I’m a HUGE proponent of world travel, so if you have never left the country—or haven’t in awhile—start saving and plan for 2015 to be THE TIME for that amazing new trip!!

Below are a few awesome links of the best places to travel in 2015. Among them include Cuba, Guatemala, Corsica, Japan, Norway, Barbados, South Africa, Romania, and Columbia.  And, of course—James and I have to put in our two cents, and recommend you visit our favorite countries from 2013-2014:  Japan, Thailand, South Africa, and Iceland!

Go abroad!

TIME: The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2015

Conde Nast: Top 15 Places to Go in 2015

Fodor’s Go List 2015

National Geographic: Best Trips 2015


SOOOOO, there it is!!  What are YOU planning for 2015 for travel and activities? PLEASE SHARE WITH ME what your aspirations are… or any other places you think should be added to these lists… or travel ideas for other cities and countries. I would LOVE to hear from you!!

And as always… happy traveling (and discovering)!

10 responses to “Make Travel & Local Activities a Priority for 2015! (We have some ideas to help you!)”

  1. Ann says:

    You’re making me want to travel! love the post, lots of great ideas here!

  2. Sandy Mueller says:

    So there are some good ideas for all of us to do when we get there. Good job!

  3. Julie says:

    Great post Bre! I’ve definitely been focusing on exploring more of the U.S in the past few years. There is soooo much to see and do right here.

    • BreAnn BreAnn says:

      Yes!! My favorites around the US are some of the first ones in that article:

      Alaska: Iditarod
      Arizona: Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo
      California: Opening Day at Del Mar

      And the races at Del Mar are actually not too far from LA! 🙂

  4. Pamela says:

    Wow thanks for sharing; time to “get to work” planning this years travel agenda!!!

  5. Daphane says:


    Thanks for sharing! This is so well written, I printed it and will cross off the local sites I visit this year.

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