by suzanna stein
Between traveling and now moving, exploring new cities is one of my favorite things to do. My boyfriend, Cody, and I recently made the move from Northern California to Southern California, and now call Pasadena home. Since moving, we’ve spent our weekends wandering and exploring our new city. This has been so much fun and I’m so glad I’m able to share a few tips with you that I’ve picked up along the way!
Google is your friend. When you’re heading to a new city, Google key places you know you will want to visit. The first day Cody and I drove down, I was craving a delicious juice. I remembered there was a few options from previous visits, and Googled juice bars in Pasadena. I found Juice | Served Here, and sure enough, it is now one of my absolute favorite spots.
Stalk local hashtags. Head to Instagram and search the hashtags for the city you’re visiting (and surrounding cities). I searched #pasadena and #explorepasadena when we first arrived, and ended up finding a few places that are now our favorites. This little bar, Bodega, is perfect for happy hour and getting together with friends!
Look for local gems. When you’re out and about, ask locals if they have any suggestions. Most people are more than happy to share their favorites and chances are, they’re going to be little places like King Taco, that you may not necessarily find (or be interested in) otherwise.
Don't be afraid to go back. If you’re moving to a new place, or visiting for an extended period of time, don’t be afraid to have your own favorite/go-to place. After a long day of exploring, sometimes you just need a reliable place that you know you’re going to like. BUT! Be careful not to let this keep you from trying new places! That actually leads me into my next tip…
Keep an open mind. When you’re traveling or moving, don’t be afraid to try new things. Some of them will turn out to be a new favorite, and some will be a serious bust, but guaranteed the experience of trying will be one you will remember!
Take to social media. This one is almost a no-brainer these days. A week or so before your trip, ask your friends and followers on social media if they have any recommendations for the city you’re traveling to. Make a list of the places people suggest and Google them for addresses, menus (if it’s a restaurant), photos, etc. If I know I will be traveling to a certain city, and I see someone I follow post a photo on Instagram of a cute stop in that city, I screenshot the photo, caption, and person that posted. It’s a quick way to make a note of a stop you want to visit without having to have a pen and paper handy. Then, if you have questions, you can direct message that person later to ask!
The more you travel, the more you will create your own methods and way of doing things. I hope these tips help you make the most of your next vacation, or help you explore your new city. If you have any tips to add, be sure to share them in the comments below!