Generally speaking, traveling is fun in and of itself. Very few things are as exciting as hopping in the car and hitting the road on a new adventure. That said, it’s always more fun when you make a point of getting out to explore as often as possible. After all, what’s the point in traveling the country if you don’t see any of it?
The issue with this is that seeing the typical tourist attractions can get expensive fast. Besides, tourist attractions rarely give you a real look at what a place is truly like. Sticking to only to the big attractions may actually take away from the experience of traveling as a whole. This leads budget-conscious travelers and those looking for authentic experiences to look for ways to find fun off the beaten path.
Clearly, the first step to finding these more unique entertainment opportunities requires knowing where to look. If you’re wondering where you should be looking, read on. Below we’ll share 7 unique ways my family finds fun on the road.
1. Visit the library
Taking a few minutes to check out the library in every city or town you visit can really pay off. Not only will you have access to the internet, you may also be allowed to check out books and movies with a visitor card.
Besides all of that, the library is a great place to learn about fun events. Almost every library hosts storytimes, crafting items, and classes throughout the year. Additionally, most libraries hang a bulletin board with tons of information on upcoming workshops, festivals, camps, performances, and other events in the area.
2. Seek out coffee shops
Coffee shops are another awesome option for those searching for local fun. Nearly every coffee shop we’ve ever been to has a community board or table where locals can share their upcoming events. Of course, coffee shops often have events of their own as well, meaning you might just catch a knitting session, a music jam, or a live performance.
If nothing else, coffee shops are a wonderful place to meet people, and meeting people can definitely lead to new and exciting opportunities.
3. Check out Facebook
Did you know you can search for local events on Facebook? Simply hop on your account and search for nearby upcoming events.
You’ll likely be presented with a whole list of options to sift through, and while many won’t be your cup of tea, you never know when you’ll find some awesome hidden gems. This is something my family has begun doing wherever we go!
4. Ask the locals
Nobody knows a place as well as the people who live there. For this reason, it only makes sense to ask the locals about things to do in any given area. By finding out what the people who live in a place enjoy seeing, doing, and eating, you’re almost guaranteed to find the best entertainment and restaurants.
So go ahead and ask the advice of the grocery store cashier. You’ll probably be glad you did!
5. Head into nature
Nature is always full of gorgeous sights and wonderful surprises. Take advantage of this by choosing to get out into nature at least once in every location you visit. Seeing the various landscapes this country offers is always fascinating, and by hopping on a hiking trail, you can often find super cool views you never would have known about otherwise.
If there is an adventure out there, a good nature walk is definitely the way to find it!
6. Check out reciprocal lists
Many people are completely unaware that their membership to their local zoo or museum offers reciprocal benefits to other attractions all across the country.
If you hold a membership to anything at all, I highly recommend pulling out the card to see if it has reciprocity with other attractions. If it does, always check that reciprocal list when traveling to a new location. Some of the spots on the list are likely the usually big tourist attractions, but many are probably hidden fun you would never have found otherwise.
If you don’t already own a reciprocal membership but you do travel a lot, you might consider investing in one. There are several options out there, and all are worth looking into. However, my family uses ASTC, AZA, and America the Beautiful most of all.
7. Use RV Trip Wizard
Of course, if you want to find fun things to do in the easiest way possible, there is always RV Trip Wizard. This amazing program gives users the ability to map out their next route in intense detail. The options of stops to add include campgrounds and gas stations of course, but the program also gives the option to add points of interest.
There are over 57,000 points of interest saved in the RV Trip Wizard database and more are always being added. This means it’s super easy to find something fun to do no matter where you plan to travel next.
My family and I adore seeking out the lesser-known fun activities, attractions, and events on our travels. We find that doing so helps to round out our travels and introduce us to new people and ideas. Hopefully, this article can help you do the same during your adventures!
Do you already make a point of finding unique attractions and events while you travel? What methods do you use to find those experiences? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!
RV Trip Wizard is owned by Social Knowledge, the parent company of Do It Yourself RV