Travel is a favorite activity for many. But experienced explorers may be a bit tired of seeing the same old well-known tourist attractions. Luckily, there are incredible hidden gems waiting to be uncovered by travelers in just about every destination. Read on to learn the secrets to finding them!
A little bit of research can go a long way toward uncovering some of the lesser-known but still amazing attractions during your trip. Even a simple internet search for "things to do in ____" (filling in the blank with your destination) can unearth a surprising amount of choices. You can opt for mainstream sites like TripAdvisor, which offer the benefit of the wisdom of crowds in sifting out bad options. But for real hidden gems, you may want to consult more off-beat choices like Atlas Obscura, which offers weird, wild, and otherwise strange spots from major cities to small towns. Another way to find some hidden gems is to get lost – deliberately! Using the Dérive app, you’ll play what’s essentially an exploring game, where you follow simple tasks that may help you see even familiar cities in an entirely different light. Other great ideas include reading local bloggers or local news to see what the residents are talking about and focused on – it could unlock parts of a place you’d never expected!
2. Consult Your Maps
Sometimes, the easiest way to find hidden gems is to just go looking for them! A close inspection of a map of your destination (either via services like Google Maps or a physical paper copy) can reveal otherwise unknown towns, green spaces, attractions, and more. You might uncover a potential scenic route or day trip that would have gone unnoticed.
3. Get Off the Highway
Interstates and other big highways are great for getting where you’re going as quickly as possible. But this fast pace and limited-access travel can keep you from discovering many amazing sights. Taking local roads will extend your travel time but also put you face to face with diverse communities at a pace that allows you to stop and explore. Who knows what you might discover in exchange for a few extra minutes in the car?
The same principle applies once you’ve arrived in a particular destination. Walking puts you intimately in touch with the community and slows you down enough to observe little things you might otherwise miss. You may find yourself poking your head into museums, shops, restaurants, or other spots you’d have either skipped or ignored altogether. Plus, it’s great exercise!
5. Talk to the Locals
Who knows a place better than the folks who live there? This can be employees at your hotel, tourism workers at a visitor center, bartenders, or anyone else you come in contact with during your visit. Most people are proud of their home town, and simply asking them about the best things to see and do can often produce a detailed and enthusiastic response. This can be an excellent way to find out which much-hyped spots may just be overrated tourist traps and which under-the-radar options shouldn’t be missed.
Find Those Hidden Gems Waiting For You On Your Next Trip
Don’t waste your time on your next trip seeing the same old spots everyone else does. Find the hidden gems that will make unforgettable memories for you and your traveling companions. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have no trouble, no matter where you roam.