Exploring a New Town

Woman enjoying wineI moved in 2010 to the region in which I currently live. It’s made up of several cities and towns to make the region. I have moved a few times within that region to different towns since the original move. I have lived in three different cities/towns and every time I notice the same pattern: we move, we get settled into our living quarters, and then we have a hard time finding things to do for fun because we don’t know what the new city or town has to offer, or where anything is.

Exploring a new town can be difficult enough if you know the town inside and out. Moving away to another town can hinder your ability to be creative and stay busy.

Luckily, there are many ways to find out what a town has to offer. I’ve outlined many of those ways below.

Check Out Daily Deal Sites

Some of the coolest things can come out of daily deal sites if you check them on a regular basis. Websites like Groupon, Living Social and Teambuy can give you some great ideas of fun things to do, which is a great way of exploring a new place. I like this option because they are also budget friendly and show you fun things to do around the new city that you may not have been aware of before.

Using these services can also be a great way of making new friends.

Visit Your Local YMCA

Even if you don’t want to use the YMCA for entertainment, your local YMCA will likely have affiliate organizations that they work with that might have something that will pique your interest. Ask for a catalogue of events around the region; the booklets are usually free and very helpful. The YMCA is usually very community oriented, so they may be able to give you some good tips.

Look at the Local Paper

Larger events will usually be featured in the local newspapers. If the town has a car show, boat show, festival of some sort, or even just an event put on by the parks and recreation department of the city hall, you’ll usually find it in the “events” section of the print.

Be Open Minded

Some things may not look like they are up your alley, but you may be surprised. My favorite hobbies have fallen into my lap unexpectedly, even if I was a naysayer of the activity. Different regions are known for different things, and even if you don’t think that thing will be up your alley, try it out.

For example, if you move to a town that is known for it’s golf, but you have never tried golfing, go with a friend one day. At least then when you have out-of-town visitors, you can know what you’re talking about at least a little.

Drive Around

I’ve learned throughout all of my moves that sometimes, driving around and seeing what is out there can be the most effective way of exploring. The first town we moved to, I didn’t actually know about many places I’d have liked to visit until we were driving around town looking for boxes so that we could move out. I saw some cool cafes that I would have enjoyed, a park, a dinner theater, and even a chocolate factory that I didn’t know existed (though I feel like I should have had a sixth sense that the chocolate factory was there).

This is also helpful because you can take note of where the places are that you will frequently visit, so that you don’t get lost when you need to go there next.

Adjusting to a new town can be difficult, but using these tips to explore can make that adaption period easier.


Comments

Exploring a New Town — 20 Comments

  1. Once a week, my town had free walking tours, it was great to get to know it better when I moved in, and there were led by locals so you can ask questions about making the most of the town. The internet is great but for small town you better ask people directly.

  2. We both enjoying checking out new towns, villages and cities. The best part is to do some research ahead of time and see if we can pick up and deals to sightsee if not we drive around to see what it has to offer. There are so many places we have not been to in Ontario and that’s one of our plans to get out and get exploring.

  3. Really enjoyed the list. One thing is asking people about things to do and places to eat or go. Some of the best places I’ve enjoyed have been because someone recommended it.

    • I agree. But if you are new to a town, you don’t always know a lot of people. That’s definitely a great way to go about it if you do, though!

  4. We love to explore and drive through new town. We love to eat and try new dishes. But yeah, we do our research first about what a certain town or city can offer, their best delicacies and all so as to maximize our time there.

  5. Like Pauline says – walking. We explore on foot everywhere we go and it is a lot of fun, plus we don’t have to worry about having the car with us. It helps that we walk 5 miles each morning too. Walking 5-10 miles or more to explore a bit is no bother at all and burns a few calories;)

    Great post and I am looking forward to exploring more on foot in the near future!

    • It definitely depends on the town/city. I wouldn’t get very far walking around in mine.. plus you can’t just lock your doors if you get to a bad part of town, but overall it’s a good suggestion.

  6. Definitley drive around!! But NOT with the GPS thing on. Just turn that off and drive around. You’ll run into dead ends and get turned around, but that’s how you learn. And you’ll never forget that way. If you use the GPS, you might not turn down a street because you can see it’s a dead end, but maybe at that dead end there’s something you’d really want to see!

  7. It takes some time to get to know a new town, particularly a large city. But you have to live somewhere so the best thing is to plan your first residence as a short-term and each further residences as longer term places. I moved to Manchester and rented an apartment for about a year or so, bought my first house which I had for 3 years, my second for 9 years, my third for 4 years (good reason for that one) and the present one for over 20 years. That way you know where you are and iterate to your final location. If we move from here, it will be for a very good reason!

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