Looking for fun things to do in your new hometown?

If you really want to settle into a new home, you need to settle into the surrounding area.  The best way to do that is by exploring it and its people.

Exploring takes getting up off the couch and forcing yourself into new situations.  This might be scary for some, but there are ways to do it comfortably.  Here’s how:

Use the Internet

The Internet is a great tool for learning all about your new town.  You can find things to do, learn the history of the area, and check out local reviews, among other things. It is also a great tool for pinpointing things that interest you.  Here are some useful websites:

  • Yelp – Yelp compiles customer reviews about all the places in your area.  If a restaurant has four stars on 100 reviews, it’s a good sign that it’s at least worth a shot.  You can also look up services.
  • Local Government Websites – Your city and local police departments will have websites with good information, such as upcoming events and crime maps.
  • Local Newspaper Websites – Your local newspaper(s) will have a website with the daily news and upcoming events.
  • Forums – There are forums of all types out there, such as Yahoo Answers and Quora.  If you just moved somewhere and would like to do something specific, such as go fishing, put a question on a forum and maybe someone will respond.
  • Google Maps – Simply knowing the lay of the land is important.  You can find local parks and get to know the streets by typing your address into Google.

Get Out There

As efficient as the Internet is, it isn’t a substitute for going out into the world.  So, button your pants, put on some shoes, and get out there!

  • Walk/Jog – Walking and jogging are the best ways to really learn about an area.  You see everything first hand, and you can easily stop to investigate or read something, if you want.
  • Bike – Biking is a great way to get a bigger idea of your area and the roads.
  • Drive – You can drive around you new locale, which is more useful in the suburbs than the city.  However, try to have destinations to stop at so you can walk around places a bit and get a better feel of things.

Talk to People

Talking to people is the best way to learn about your area.  Chat up your hairdresser, a bartender, your coworkers… find out what they like to do and what the area is known for.  Maybe their recommendations won’t be that great, but at least you will have tried something new, and, of course, maybe they’ll turn you on to your new favorite thing.

There’s only one way to find out, though: start talking.

Also, don’t forget to meet your neighbors shortly after you move.  They can help you familiarize yourself with your new community.

Homesick?  Learn not only how to explore your new town, but how to love it like a home.

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