3 Ways to Find Local Hot Spots on Vacation

Family Travel on 09.02.11
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Photo: Britt Reints

Looking for things to do on vacation? A quick google search or any reputable guidebook will give you a list of the most popular attractions and tourist destinations in any part of the world, but finding the local haunts and hidden gems can be a little more difficult. After all, if it's really off the beaten path it won't be all over the Internet, right? Fortunately, there are other ways to learn a city's secrets.

3 Ways to Find Local Hot Spots

1. Yelp

Looking for a great dive bar or the best breakfast diner in town? Yelp is where to go. The website and smartphone applications are favorites among locals in cities all over the U.S. and provide information on everything from wifi hotspots to pedicure services.

2. Local News Outlets

Twitter, Facebook and good old fashioned websites maintained by local TV and radio stations are regularly updated with information about local events. This is where to go if you're interested in freebies like street fairs or holiday celebrations, temporary attractions you won't find in printed guidebooks.

3. Talk to Strangers

A hotel concierge might be able to give you good recommendations, but a cop on the street is pretty much a sure bet to find great food at a good price. If you know someone in the area you're probably already pumping them for info, but if you don't, don't be afraid to make friends with people you see out and about. In general, people like to help and love to tell you about their home.

There's no need to entirely avoid spots that are recommended frequently, but there are some great travel experiences to be discovered by doing what the locals do.

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