Sometimes, when you’re traveling, you head off to a city with a long list of things you want to do, places you want to see, and people you want to visit. Those trips usually come with the most excitement and anticipation, because you’ve known what you wanted to do for weeks, or even sometimes, months!
Occasionally, however, you end up in a city with no clue what to do. Since I’ve been wandering around the States aimlessly for the past few months, this has happened to me more than once.
Below are some of my favorite places to find things to do when I have absolutely no plans.
1. Local newspapers
A lot of times, local newspapers will have community calendars with long lists of events happening in the area. Even better: you can often find these local papers at a coffee shop for free. Although it seems old-fashioned, local papers have the in on ALL of the events happening in the area, not just those deemed cool enough to be on the web or on an app.
2. Facebook groups/events
…That said though, Facebook groups and events are also both great for finding local events. You can search for an area you have interest in (for example, “Portland Vegans” or “San Diego Runners”) or you can just search the city and see what comes up. I’m a huge fan of using social media to connect in person.
3. Tourist apps
There are obviously several tourist apps designed for the express purpose of helping you find things to do, but two of my favorites are TripAdvisor and Roadtrippers. TripAdvisor has a list of the most popular things to do in any area and Roadtrippers has several different categories in which to find cool activities and attractions (they even have an “abandoned” category where you can check out old abandoned houses and buildings).
4. Ask a local
Nothing beats asking someone in the know! I’ve said before that I’ll start a conversation with my barista or server about what to see in the area, and this is also a great way to find out about can’t miss events. Plus, you might make a new friend out of it. 🙂
I’ve, of course, extolled the benefits of Meetup.com before and that’s because it’s a pretty fantastic resource for making friends and finding things to do. Even if you don’t hop on meetup with the sole intention of meeting new people, you will definitely find events that pique your interest!
As you can see, it’s not hard to just roll into a city and find a bunch of cool things to do. I’ve done it almost every week for the past three months. 🙂
What are some resources that you like for finding things to do?