How to Take a Staycation in Greensboro

Jun 15th, 2012 | By | Category: Feature
Greensboro Bed and Breakfast

Troy Bumpas Inn B&B

We all want to travel the world, but sometimes those vacation days catch up on you. Whether time or money (or both) prohibit you from traversing the big, wide world, don’t despair. Greensboro is a big, wide city, too. It’s all about making yourself feel like a foreigner in your hometown, and here’s how.

DON’T sleep at home!

This is first on the list as it’s the most important point. How can you really feel like you’re on vacation if you’re falling into your lazy Sunday routines of feed dog/watch game/have dinner with the folks? No diss to your moms and pops, but to quote Mouth from The Goonies, “This is our time!”

There is something to be said for packing luggage, loading up on travel-sized soaps, and exclaiming with anticipation, “Should I pack a swimsuit?!” It builds excitement about your impending “travels” in the smallest, most critical way.

DO Support a Locally-Owned B&B or hotel.

Either check in to a hotel or support the local economy by staying at a bed-and-breakfast. Here are our top four suggestions:

DON’T eat at your favorite restaurants.

This includes bars! Eat at locally-owned restaurants you may never have been to, like African Continental Cuisine, Cleopatra’s, Tavo, The Red Onion, or Jerusalem Market. Ask the waiter for their recommendations, and more importantly, ask “Is it local?” a la Portlandia. If you can bear not to giggle.

When you want to splurge, go to Table 16, 1618 Seafood Grille, Josephine’s Bistro and Bar, Undercurrent, Mark’s, or relish in a platter of incredible mussels at Cafe Europa. Okay, that last one might not be a splurge, but it sure tastes like it.

DO Enjoy Touristy Activities

Greensboro swag at Civic Threads

Greensboro swag at Civic Threads


It’s more fun than it should be. Don the fanny pack bursting with city maps, visor, sunscreened nose (only the nose, and you have to overdo it like Ug in Salute Your Shorts) and a glazed-over, confused look about you similar to the face one makes whilst constipated, and hit the streets!

First on our stops is the downtrain train station. Gawk at all of those colorful, glossy brochures. Don’t forget to see the downtown satellite map on the floor! Can you see your house from there? Bring your luggage in and pretend you’re going somewhere. You could even have a seat on one of those long, old wooden benches and sigh, looking at your watch, about how long you have to wait until your train comes in.

Head to Civic Threads on South Elm (tell ’em you’re new to town – any recommendations on sights?) and score an I ♥ GSO tee. Take a look at the colorful buntings in the windows, declaring proverbs like “When in doubt – HIGH FIVE”. Then high five the clerk on your way out. A crucial step, because that’s how we roll here. Greensboro is about to become the High Five Capital of the World, after all. Way to keep it relevant.

Go on the ghost tour of downtown Greensboro. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, you’ll never look at downtown the same way again.

Visit the Greensboro Historical Museum. Hem and haw with a total stranger about the brilliance of O’Henry, the significance of the railroad, and exclaim how glad you are that we shed the “ugh” at the end of Greensborough. Ugh, indeed! And you simply must stop at the gift shop, bringing me to my next point…

Pick up a few souvenirs! But don’t stop there: send postcards from Greensboro to your friends and family, especially those already living in Greensboro. “Wish you were here! Having a blast in the Gate City.”

Check out the art galleries you’ve heard of, but perhaps never seen in person. There’s Lyndon Street Artworks, The WeatherspoonGreen Hill Center, Artmongerz (technically an art seller), The Artery, The African American Atelier Gallery, Ambleside, or immerse yourself in the darling weirdness of Elsewhere Artist Collaborative. (Sidenote: is this place a cult? I think it might be a cult.) (And how adorable is that?) An especially good time to visit downtown Greensboro art galleries are on First Friday, which is worth looking into if you have control over your vacation scheduling.

The Greensboro Four plaqueMust-See’s:

The International Civil Rights Museum, the most significant exhibition of which honors Greensboro’s pride, the Greensboro four, who instigated the sit-in movement.

Battleground Park, where the pivotal battle for Guilford Courthouse took place during Revolutionary War times. Technically called Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, but affectionately known as “Battleground Park”. You are obligated to take advantage of all photo ops within the park.

Catch a Greensboro Grasshoppers game and have a hot dog eating contest with the nine year old kid sitting next to you. You’re going to pwn his ass. Granted, this is something you could do in any city, but we’re still pretty damned proud of ourselves for having The ‘Hoppers here. There are fireworks at every home game at Newbridge Bank Park, too.

DON’T Confuse “Staycation” with “Comfort Zone”

Do something you’ve never done, or haven’t since you were a kid – have you ever seen a play at Triad Stage? Never picnicked in a city park? Has it been over a decade or more since you rode in a bumper boat at Celebration Station? How old were you the last time you went rollerskating or cosmic bowling?

This is an opportunity to see your city through a foreign lens, learn a few things about Greensboro and the people “travelling” with you. Give yourself permission to be a kid again, or a wacky tourist, or whatever fake persona you might be taking for the week (I hereby dare you to use a fake accent!) and have a thrill or two.

What did I forget? Please leave your recommendations in the comments!

Photo Credits: missrogue, Civic Threads on Facebook, Troy Bumpas Inn on Facebook.

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One Comment to “How to Take a Staycation in Greensboro”

  1. matty sheets says:

    Wear different clothes. Maybe spend 20 bucks at Goodwill on a new outfit- all Hawaiian prints.

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