Search Out the Unusual

I love to travel. I also love to try new things, and I’ve discovered that there are interesting things to do just about everywhere! It’s amazing and wonderful. In the last few months, I’ve tried Farm Animal Yoga, spent time relaxing in a salt cave and sipped coffee in a cat cafe. All experiences within a few hours drive of where I live and none of which I’d tried before. Pretty cool, right?

Trying New Things

Today I want to share with you how I find these unique experiences. It’s not that hard or time-consuming, and you can apply the same techniques where you live or where you plan to travel. This is what I do before every trip we take:

  • Google. I always start with Google. Just type in the location and “things to do”. You’ll almost always get at least a Trip Advisor link.
  • Yelp. Great for finding local restaurants and shops.
  • Facebook. Sometimes I ask for suggestions in a general post or Facebook group, sometimes I look under events to see if anything is going on while we will be in town.
  • Map. I have an old Atlas that I keep in my office and before we go somewhere, I look up the city. Often there are other cities nearby that are close enough to check out – this can really widen your search, especially if you are going to a less “touristy” area. If you find something, go back to Google and do a search on that city too.
  • CVB. This is my secret weapon. A week or so before we go on a trip, I email the Convention & Visitors Bureau (for the city or for the county or both). I ask them if there are any interesting or unique experiences. These people WANT to help you, so they will almost always respond. No one knows the area better and no one is more excited to get visitors checking out their city or county – that is their job!!! You probably found their site when you did your Google search, but if not, just type in the location and CVB.

Once we arrive, if we have time, I’ll often stop at the local visitor’s office. Not just to pick up brochures, but to chat with the people working there. Like the CVB folks, these employees know the insider secrets and they want you to have a good time. They can give you local tips on restaurants, things to do & festivals or events happening. I’m always amazed and impressed with their knowledge. Well worth a half hour stop.

Visitor's Center Noblesville, Indiana

I’d love for you to try some of these tips out and let me know what you find. If you don’t have any vacations planned, just search your own city and look for a fun adventure close to home.

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Learn my Secrets to finding unusual things to do

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  1. Great post Pam! I love your suggestions, especially the Conventions and Visitors Bureau idea. I’ve had good results through them as well. Yelp is my favorite site when looking for good places to eat. Thanks!

    1. I am a huge fan of Yelp Shirley – I’ve taught my kids how to search for restaurants too and they know once they start getting hungry to pull out their phones!

  2. I love this! We always try to do something new and different while we travel. Especially something unique to the area we are visiting. I always start with google, too, and just type in ‘things to do,’ it always pulls up way more than we usually have time for! We have stopped at a couple of visitor centers along our way, but I think we’ll start hitting more of them! I loved reading about your yoga and salt cave adventures! Those both sound like awesome new things to try. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. It’s easier to contact via email if you are shy – just send a note stating when you will be there and asking if there are any great things to do, hidden secrets, etc.

    1. I’d say 80% of the time – it’s pretty rare I don’t get a response and when I do, it tends to be the really big cities – so it’s easier to find things to do there regardless.

  3. I also love to travel and experiencing new things. It’s great go try out new things and have new adventures every day. Totally agree with you. Thank you for your tips. 🙂

  4. These are superb tips, Pam! Especially contacting the visitor’s centers. I especially enjoy popping in to a local mom and pop shop to get the skinny on what the locals like to do, not just the touristy stuff. Go out and travel in your own backyard!!

  5. I honestly don’t remember how I found restaurants before Yelp. It is so perfect for when you are in unfamiliar territory and helps takes away some f the unknown.

    1. I know! We used to ask for recommendations and even if we specifically said “no chains,” it seems like every other suggestion was a chain restaurant!

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