When it comes to the holiday season are we not all a bit guilty of heading to the travel agents (or the internet) in search of sun, sea and sand in pastures new, whilst completely ignoring the wealth of attractions, beauty spots and facilities we are lucky enough to have right here on our Southend doorstep?
For starters, we have the longest pier in the world! At 1.33 miles long you might not fancy walking it, so take the railway service to the pier head, take in the views, relax on the sun deck or take a trip on a pleasure boat.
If it's thrills you're after look no further than Adventure Island! Prepare to give your vocal chords a workout as you plunge down the 75 foot drop of the Rage, perhaps the star attraction of more than 60 rides at this free entry park, and with more than a dozen rides especially for the little ones you can be sure of a fabulous day out the whole family can share.
Fancy a bit of culture? Central Museum in Southend lets you delve into the past and get your hands on history with interactive activities. Or you can witness a spectacular live show about the night sky in the Planetarium.
The Pier Museum tells the history of this famous landmark and details the trials and tribulations it has been through in its lifetime.
You can go back to another lifetime at Southchurch Hall and see how our ancestors lived or explore Prittlewell Priory, home to Cluniac Monks and more recently, the Victorian Scratton family.
Sports in Southend. Well, I think we can safely claim a world class Swimming and Diving Centre – given that it's the choice of the British Olympic Diving Team as a practice venue.
Canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, jet-skiing, powerboat driving and banana boat rides. All activities you can try out at Southend Marine Activities Centre for ages nine years and over. Situated on Thorpe Bay Beach the centre offers quality professional instruction, and also Taster 'try a sport' sessions.
If you're looking for something a bit more genteel, the 18 hole golf course at Belfairs Park covers 123 acres with many of the fairways surrounded by lush woodland. There is also a 9 hole pitch and putt course, and as the course is 'Pay and Play' and open to the public as well as club members there are no costly annual fees to pay. There is a golf starter service and a professional shop on site.
A holiday isn't a holiday without a bit of shopping, and both The Royals Shopping Centre and Victoria Shopping Centre house a range of high street retailers and unique independent shops, plus an extensive range of quality eateries. It could be the perfect antidote to a rainy summer day.
We have a stunning coastline, beautiful beaches, traditional seaside entertainments and world class nightlife. It's all on our doorstep, is there really any need to endure airport delays, fighting over sunbeds and being eaten alive by mozzies?!
Find out all you need to know via the website links on thebestof Southend's Local Guide page.