By Justin Fricke, aka the JustinTheWeekendWarrior.
A couple weekends ago, the girlfriend and I took a day trip from Orlando, FL up to Charleston, SC (that’s right, I said day trip) to see one of our favorite bands, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors open for NEEDTOBREATHE. The show was phenomenal, the trip was amazing and I learned that if you ever want to find a local hot spot, it’s best to just explore and find it on your own.
Here are some tips to how to make the most out of a trip to a new city.
1) Have a broad plan, but don’t stick to an itinerary: Make sure you know when you’re going to arrive, and when you need to go home, but leave out the specifics. Not feeling tied to a strict plan will enable you to have more enjoyable explorations.
2) Don’t be afraid to be a tourist: Go on that boat tour, bus ride, brew cruise – you can, you’re not from there! You may not think it’s super cool to be a tourist, but you’ll be able to learn way more about the city and its history in a short space of time by going on an organized trip designed for sightseers.
3) Use your eyes and not your Google search: When it comes to finding food, explore a little to see what looks good in person, and not on the internet. If there’s a big group of people outside a restaurant, chances are it’s going to be a good one – even if it wasn’t on the first page of your Google search for ‘great places to eat in ____’. This is a great way to keep an eye out for smaller and more local places that don’t have the marketing budget of the big guns.
4) Try the local beer: Not only will this more than likely be delicious, it’s a fun way of ‘collecting’ things from your trips. You can start a beer diary, learn facts about different brewing processes, and probably meet some jolly natives while you’re at it
It’s wise to have a generic plan, but don’t sweat the little stuff when you’re going to a new places. It’s always fun to explore and find new things, plus when you discover something yourself, you get to make the claim back home that you “found” it.
Happy Road Tripping!