IMAGE: DENISE LUBY DENISE LUFEB 16, 2014
Part of the charm of moving to a new city is getting to know the local scene. However, sometimes that can take months or even years, after you missed that killer set at the local concert hall.
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Whether you want to be a tourist or get in the thick with locals, check out these ways to stay apprised of local events, people and places to see.
1. Make a Twitter list.
Curating a quick Twitter list is a convenient way to stay on top of local happenings. It’s easy to follow an organized list, as opposed to individual accounts; if you’re constantly on the move, it’s a cinch to switch to your city Twitter list. Key accounts include local publications and popular venues, but don’t forget Twitter is a valuable tool for local personalities, as well. Think local food editors for restaurant recommendations or music bloggers for local bands. See who they’re following, or do a quick Twitter search for your city. Throw them all into a list and keep a feed on your TweetDeck or HootSuite for last-minute plans, such as a pop-up show or ticket giveaway.
2. Save locations on Google Maps.
IMAGE: GOOGLE MAPS
An easy way to keep track of venues, restaurants, attractions or other locations is with Google Maps. Once you’re signed in to your Google account, type location names or addresses into Google Maps and save them to your personal account. Not only is this an easy way to visually map out your to-do list for new sites, but you can also personalize your map with your own addresses.
For example, once you set your Work or Home addresses, Google Maps will automatically display transit times to and from those places. If you’re on the move and have your Google account synced to your phone, open Google Maps to see what starred locations are around you.
3. Activate IFTTT for locations.
IMAGE: DENISE LU
Use the iOS location channel on IFTTT to remind yourself of places to visit when you’re in the area. Set the “if” statement to the location channel and the “then” statement to a text message or email, so you’ll never miss the chance to check out that restaurant on your list again.
4. Join Facebook groups.
Who knows a city better than its locals? When you’re tired of the same tourist attractions, however, locals might not always be that readily available to share their secrets. Take a quick search for Facebook groups that cater to local events. Because Facebook groups are fairly effortless to create and maintain, they’re very suitable for low-key groups with crowdsourced events.Though sometimes you might need an invitation, most groups are friendly enough that you can simply request membership.
5. Search Meetup and Eventbrite.
Meetup is a great way to meet people in a new city who share the same interests as you. With everything from web development to happy hour groups, there’s a meetup group for a diverse variety of interests. Looking for a job? Many Meetopes also host networking events. Or if you’re just looking for a group of people to go to concerts with, Meetup can help with that, too.
Eventbrite is another platform to find (usually ticketed) events that tend to have bigger bills, such as festivals or competitions.
6. Use Scoutmob.
Much like a Groupon for local small businesses, Scoutmob offers deals on nearby restaurants and shops. Many of the deals are steep, such as 50% off, or sometimes even completely free. Even better, Scoutmob features businesses that welcome newcomers.
Make sure you get the mobile app, because many deals are only available there. If you subscribe to its newsletter or check out its blog, Scoutmob also publishes posts on what to do this weekend and profiles on local shops. Scoutmob’s online shop also offers goods, from clothing to homegoods from local designers.
7. Yelp and Foursquare
Yelp and Foursquare are quick ways to find nearby, customer-reviewed destinations. Don’t limit yourself to just restaurants, either. Although both apps feature good rating systems for eats, you can also find venues: shops, concert halls, museums, etc. Take a quick glance at customer comments before you head out, to make sure you order that must-try dish, avoid the bathroom in that dive bar or buy the signature keepsake from the gift shop.
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