I love to travel. I also love to try new things, and I’ve discovered that there are interesting experiences just about everywhere. With a little practice, you can learn how to search out the unusual things to do.
It’s amazing and wonderful. In the last few years, 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?
Eight BEST resources to search out the unusual
Today I want to share with you how I’ve gotten so good at finding things to do. It’s not that hard or time-consuming, and you can apply the same techniques where you live or where you plan to travel. These are the six resources I depend upon the most!
I always start with Google. Just type in the location and “things to do”. You’ll almost always get at least a few blog posts all about the location. This can be an easy place to start!
Yelp is great for finding local restaurants and shops. I’ve taught both my kiddos to search on Yelp and it’s been such a help when I’m the one driving!
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. Events can be a bit overwhelming, so I’d recommend filtering your search to include only the days you are interested in – this helps eliminate a bunch of events that won’t work.
4. Use an Atlas
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 to see what comes up.
4. Local CVB
This one 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.
6. Visitors Center
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 (and sometimes they are the same people!), 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.
7. Ask a friend
Many times your friends are your best resources when you want to search out the unusual. I know you have that friend who is always doing fun things, checking out the places that just opened, or just always seems to be in the know. Ask them for advice. Odds are good they’ll LOVE sharing their experiences.
TripAdvisor can be a great second spot to check after Google. Typically there is a list of the top things to do in whatever area you are searching for. Plus, you can do a map view to see what else is around that is within driving distance.
Conclusion: Search out the unusual
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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