Moving to a new city comes with a long checklist of things to do. But getting settled in a new city is more than getting your stuff moved into your new place. It’s about finding the best local spots to get a quick cup of coffee, a grab-and-go sandwich and the best place to enjoy a bourbon sour during happy hour. You’ll need help finding a reputable dry cleaner, safe places to work out, and so much more. Once the utilities are on and the moving truck departs, it’s time to make this new place your home. Here are tips to help you find the best local spots when you’re in a new city.
Ask a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents know their cities very well. They know the best streets to not only live on, but the best local attractions, restaurants, and bars. They can tell you the spots that are safer and the ones you might want to be more aware in when you visit. If you used a real estate agent to find you a home or rental, ask if they have recommendations for some of your favorite places to frequent. Find out if there is a local nightclub, trendy bars, and other entertainment to enjoy nearby. Most agents will be able to tell you things like the best local bakeries, where you can buy unique gifts, and even if there is a dry cleaner they would recommend.
Online forums and review sites can be a great place to start. Use simple search terms that include your city to get local reviews to turn up. Whether you find a review on Yelp or Facebook, you can easily get a feel for some local spots you might enjoy. If you’re looking for a jogging trail or other outdoor activity, posting in a local online forum like in a Facebook group can give you the details you need. People love to share what they know and like about a city, so you’re likely to get tons of responses. Ask specific questions to find out where people go to buy books, get groceries, get your hair styled, and find various other services.
Ask Local Businesses
Did you find a great little restaurant around the corner from your home or work? Ask the staff if they have a directory of local businesses they recommend. If you stopped to grab a burger from a local dive bar, you’d be amazed at the wealth of information the business can provide you with. You’ll get more details than even Yelp or Google can give you because many local businesses don’t show up on their maps. Plus, the human connection you make can always lead to new friendships.
The good old-fashioned way of finding things is to hop in your car to drive and look. If you can walk the nearby areas, do that instead. You’ll meet people and find hidden gems much more effectively this way than you can with Google Maps. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is try a restaurant to see if you like it or stop in a local bar to get your own first impressions. What someone else didn’t like, could be something that you love about it. A local coffee shop could offer only simple menu items, but since all you drink are vanilla lattes, that’s not a big deal for you.
Ask Your Co-Workers
Most people move to a new city because they have a new job. Ask your co-workers about the places they recommend. You might be able to find all the local services you need just by talking to the people you work with. Those who have been in the city longer might even be willing to show you around and help you get to know the city. The people you work with, like it or not, often become your friends because you spend so much time with them throughout the day. These friendships can be a great connection when you are in a new city all by yourself.
When it comes to moving to a new city, let the locals tell you about it. Whether you get recommendations from your realtor, a local business, or one of your co-workers, there is a lot to see and do, and they will each have unique experiences from which you can glean.