Travel Features

Fun Ways to Explore a New City

There are plenty of places to go on a vacation. But who wants to feel like a tourist? It’s much more fun to explore a place like a native, especially if you’re going to be there for a short time. Here are fun ways to explore a new city.

Start Walking

Uber is in just about any major city and there are plenty of options to get back and forth, but to live like a local, you have to hit the streets and get walking. It’s recommended to bypass getting a cab or calling Uber and opt to experience the city streets at ground level.

Botanical garden in Melbourne

Don’t Revisit

While it’s comforting to seek routine, you want to stay a bit out of your comfort zone given the limited time you have. Don’t revisit the same place, such as going to the same restaurant or coffee shop. Keep things fresh, so you make the most of your visit.

Limit Time at Tourist Attractions

You may want to see the White House and the Smithsonian when in DC but that’s not acting like a native. Limit the number of tourist spots on your list and skip some of them entirely. Alternatively, open a local newspaper and see what’s going on at smaller, local venues right outside of your Renaissance by Marriott, Washington DC.

Go to a Local Sports Bar

Major cities get behind their sports teams, so you’re sure to find some bonafide locals at the bar, especially if a game is on television. The best local sports bar may not be the large commercial establishments around the town stadium but in the heart of the city, closer to local residences.

Try and Make Friends on Twitter

Before you go, do a Twitter search for people living in a certain area. It couldn’t hurt to ask about local places that are hip. At best, you can make a new friend who can show you what to do once you get there. At worst, you won’t get a response and can try another person.

See a Music Show

As with possible friends, you can research the area online and see about when and where local bands play. You can listen to some of their music before taking your trip, so you can rock out at the show just like a local who has seen the band many times.

New Zealand music festivals

Look Through Yelp

Yelp provides customer reviews on a range of hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment. After reading some reviews, you can get a sense for places that are more local and those frequented mostly by tourists. You want to avoid the tourist areas since it won’t provide you with a genuine sense of what it’s like to hang like a local.

Listen to Podcasts from Natives

The podcast industry is booming with thousands producing shows each day. Go through a directory of podcasts and see if you can find one that originates out of your intended destination. You’ll be able to listen to the host with the native accent, listen to what issues are important, and better understand what it’s like to live in that area full time.

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