4 ways to experience a new city
By: Brighton the Day
With all the traveling I've been doing I thought it would be fun to talk about the ways that I love experiencing a new city. So I've put together a little short and sweet list for y'all! Let me know if you've got any other ways to add – let's get the conversation going (as always, I LOVE hearing from you guys!)
1. AIMLESSLY WANDER AROUND & GET LOST
Anytime I'm new to a city or place I like to spend the first day (or at least a few hours) just aimlessly walking around to try and familiarize myself a little with the new surroundings. Plus, I'm usually able to get a good "feel" for the city and figure out what I want to revisit or go back and see. If I already have a list of places I want to see or things to do, I like to pinpoint how I'm going to lay out the next few days depending on where everything is located. But I like to physically walk around and get a feel for it (assuming it's not a huge city like NYC or something) rather than merely looking at a 2D map.
I think just about everyone would agree that this is the BEST way to get your bearings for a new city. Whether you're just strolling around or getting your fitness groove on, it's so nice to explore without a destination in mind. I always try and intentionally set time aside to do this and let myself get lost.
I've stumbled upon some of my favorite little gems by randomly deciding to go down not-so-inviting alleyways and/or narrow streets. Some of my favorite restaurants have been hidden down dark ally ways with minimal signage, but those are often the BEST! I try not to have too high of expectations for myself either so that if I do happen to end up somewhere not-so-interesting, I don't feel pressured or annoyed that I took the rest of venturing that way. I'll usually have very loose plans the first night so I can let my aimless wandering evolve into dinner if need be.
2. ENJOY A CUP OF COFFEE
Another way I love experiencing a new city is stopping to grab a cup of jo from a local coffee shop. And when I say "grab" I mean I actually sit down (hopefully on a patio or near a window) enjoy it while doing a little people watching, which is one of my favorite things to do!
3. DISCOVER LOCAL FLORISTS AND ARTISANS
I like to literally stop and smell the roses (or peonies ha!) at the local flower shops and say hello to the florists because I've found that florists are always so passionate about what they do and are excited to meet new people. Have you noticed that?
4. PEEK INTO NEIGHBORHOOD BOOKSTORES
I love to stop in the local book stores and see which new releases or old classics they've got on display. On my last trip to DC, I actually ended up hanging out for 3 or 4 hours getting lost in an an older Tim Keller book
How about you? How do you enjoy experiencing new cities and places?!
RELATED: Traveling the California coast