When you get to a new place, it can be tricky to figure out your priorities and how you want to spend your time.
It's a little disorienting – all the local scenery and landmarks you're used to have been replaced with others. But, there are easy and fun ways to get your bearings and get to know more about your new community that don't cost a lot of money or require too much pre-planning.
There's a reason why so many local governments in America put parks at the top of their list of priorities for residents and visitors. Local parks offer the opportunity to get out and see some nature, work toward fitness goals, spend time with family or enjoy a unique view of a place. Take time to visit a few local parks and get a glimpse of the local culture to feel more at home in a new place.
Fairs and Farmer's Markets
One of the best ways to observe the local culture involve places where people meet to buy and sell and celebrate local commerce. Farmer's markets are an excellent example – you can do your grocery shopping while seeing at a glance what the local community has to offer, what's popular and how people interact. Even if you're only in a city or town for a short assignment, a market can really get you closer to the people and the culture in town.
You might want to go skating or swimming or even check out some informal team sports around your city of choice. Sometimes following your hobbies takes you into places where you can get to know the people and the cultures around you.
Lots of American cities and towns also have museums that show a lot more about a community’s history. Here, you may not be interacting with people as much, but you're learning some of the deep background about why a place is like it is – why it's built the way it is, why things are in places, and how the area was originally settled. This information is beneficial when you're trying to get up to speed on what's happening within a local community.
Finding Out About Local Events
Local radio stations often broadcast some of the best events and attractions that visitors and tourists can use to understand a new place. If the city or town has a local newspaper, it often has a weekend insert or some other kind of special publication that shows a lot of what's going on in the community and offers opportunities to get in on the action. Some places also have local blogs that can get you the inside scoop on places to go and things to do.
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