How To Survive Living in a Small Town

Are you a city person living in a small town and don't know how to enjoy yourself? Are you curious how people enjoy living in a small town? You have clicked on the right link! I have lived in a small town for pretty my entire life and I hope to move to a bigger city one day. But people have asked me how I survive and how do I have fun when there's not as much entertainment and sightseeing like in the big cities. My key to surviving and having a good time is making the most of what is already available. If I don't, I will be miserable and I don't like being miserable. I'm a pretty #basic kinda girl, but I love finding things to do that are unique and different from the norm. I try to break out of my comfort zone and find places that are special to that particular city. Here's a list of things you can do based on my experiences.

FYI: it does require doing a little research because I obviously don't know where my audience lives, lol.

  1. Look at the town's website. Start out by looking at the town's website. Somewhere on their website they'll have a list of things that you can do or a list of events happening. There are usually lots of free or low cost events that you can attend!
  2. Follow local businesses on social media. One of the few perks about Instagram is that once you follow one place, it will suggest other places and businesses similar to what you just followed. Restaurants, stores, local government, local news, etc. These places will also share events that are going on!
  3. Nightlife. After living in Dalton, Georgia for a hot second, I learned REAL quick that there are towns out there so small that there isn't any real nightlife! If you talk to locals or people familiar with the town you're in, you will find what people like to do on the weekends. Depending on the type of town you're in (whether it's a college town, a rural area, suburb right outside a city, etc), the nightlife might be more chill, like having a brewery or restaurants with a bar. Some might have actual bars or clubs. But what's cool about these places is that it will be unique to that town and their culture; the people, the drinks, the music... basically the whole vibe. It's also a good place to hang out with friends even if you don't wanna drink! Auburn is a college town, so our nightlife is catered towards college students. But there is enough around to find a place that fits your vibe and interests.
  4. Coffee Shops. More of a daytime person? Check out if there are any coffee shops in the area. Coffee shops that aren't Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are some of my favorite places to visit. They usually have food and drinks unique to that place, so you're bound to try something new and different. And it's a great place to hang out with friends, do work, relax, and even listen to some music artists (Depending on the place). Plus they're usually pretty and "instagrammable" if you're basic like me and like to take pictures of everything. ๐Ÿ™ˆ
    Coffee Cat in Auburn, AL
  5. Music. Did you know lots of famous artists started their careers by performing in their hometowns? Check out places that have small bands or any other music artists performing. You might just discover the next John Mayer or a new artist to listen to! I discovered a DJ that I really liked at one place in Auburn and started listening to their Soundcloud. 
  6. Public Library. Some public libraries have events throughout the year, but it really depends on the library, so check out your local library. Not crazy events, but maybe workshops and book clubs. My library has a lot of events during the summer that cater to different age groups, whether it's toddlers or adults. Also a good place to relax and spend some me-time!
  7. Downtown. Go downtown. The downtown area of your town will most likely have places to explore. Not necessarily touristy spots, but just some places to eat (usually local) and random stores to explore or window shop. I found a thrift/vintage shop near me that I had never heard of and they had all these beautiful art pieces, record players, and basically anything and everything you could think of.
    Downtown Auburn
  8. Instagram hunting. Okay before you make fun of me, like I said earlier, I use instagram a lot. I also love photography and finding new places to photograph. You don't have to post everything to the internet, but it's actually kinda fun finding aesthetically pleasing spots to explore and take pictures of! Kind of like a scavenger hunt, but for pretty places!
    Spotted in Downtown Opelika, AL
  9. Parks. Check out if your town has a park! They are great places to relax, exercise, have a picnic, camp out, host an event, etc! I know not everyone is an outdoor person
    (myself included), but it's a great way to step out of your comfort zone and also get some Vitamin D.
  10. Road Trips. You might be like, "sarah i thought this was a post about things to do IN a small town" and it is! But a small perk of living in a small town, is the excuse to travel. I love to travel and it's nice when you can get out of town for the day and not have to worry about getting a hotel or Airbnb. Check your area to see what places are nearby that are worth visiting! Whether it's the beach, the lake, the mountains, a bigger city, or whatever!
  11. Events. I've kinda already talked about this already, but attend random events that the town might host. They are probably free or very inexpensive. We know that big cities do have events and there are free ones, but the events that cost money are sometimes pretty expensive. If your town does host events year round and it costs money, it's probably for really cheap, so take advantage! They are probably different from the usual and it's a great way to meet people and hang out with friends.
    Cheers on the Corner 2019 in Downtown Auburn. 10/10 would recommend.
  12. Get a gym membership. Okay once again, you might be like "sarah what the heck?!" but my philosophy to life is that if you're gonna be in an unfortunate situation (ex. stuck living in a small town when you wanna live in a city aka me), at least look hot while you do it. It might not be for everyone, but it is good for your health (mental and physical), a confidence booster, plus you can make friends. Going to the gym has made me feel so much better about myself and it's a good distraction from my problems. Plus it is something to do when you're bored!
  13. Shop Local. I've hinted at this throughout this post, but go to places that are exclusive to that town. Chain businesses/franchises are great, but these local places are more authentic and you are bound to discover something cool, whether it's a new restaurant, new shop, or a new place to just hang out! Plus you are directly supporting local businesses and their families, which is kinda awesome :)
I know you can't do every activity on here in a small town, and I know some of these ideas might not be fun and sound kinda lame. As someone who has visited NYC numerous times and would love to live there, believe me, I KNOW, haha. These are just some suggestions if you are struggling to figure out what to do, or you are have friends and family visiting. Hopefully they are helpful!

Check out my last post: Where I Learned All About Makeup


  1. These are some of the best tips of how to survive living in a small town. The gym idea is worth trying as your health is on a priority.


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