Let's face it: moving to a new town, city or state can be a little scary. It's brand new and completely different from what we've known our entire lives. You're starting over and you're going to have to find "new" everything. Your favorite coffeeshop? Gone. Favorite place to hang out on the weekends? Time to find a new one. These five tips will help you start to explore your new area.
1. Find out where Main Street is.
Main Street is most likely going to be the center of the town you're living in. It may also be referred to as "downtown." This is where you'll find less chain-like retailers and restaurants. You probably won't find a Starbucks, but you might find your new favorite place to grab a pick-me-up. Main Streets also have restaurants where the local delicacy is sold, small concert venues and cool vintage shops.
2. See if your new area has any sports teams and go to a game!
Only 26 states have a professional (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS) sports franchise in their state. I won't list them all, but obviously New York and California are two massive markets for sports franchises. For those of you going to schools in the other 24 states, you're not completely out of luck! Leagues like the American Hockey League, Minor League Baseball, the Women's National Basketball Association and Major League Lacrosse all operate in a few states without traditional franchises. For example, Connecticut has two AHL teams and a WNBA team. You might even be able to catch a NASCAR race where you're headed next fall.
3. Find the closest parks, nature preserves and beaches.
Sometimes, it's fun to get away. The great outdoors are always a great escape when you're looking to get away from all kinds of crazy. Preserves can make for a good place to go running, if you like running for exercise. Ocean and lake beaches are beautiful places to go for walks, to hang out with friends or to even have a picnic!
4. Look for the nearest mall.
Sometimes, you just have to shop! While the shops on Main Street may be unique, there's nothing more familiar than the stores you're used to shopping in. There's no better place to get one-stop shopping done than a huge mall with lots of stores! There are bound to be some great restaurants, too, if you're looking for something a little less like dining hall food.
5. Learn ways to get around.
If you're going away to school and first year students can't have cars, you're going to have to find a way to get around. If your school is located in a big city, the subway or metro system may be tricky at first, but you'll get the hang of it! See if your school has ZipCar or learn your area's public bus schedule.
Lead Image Credit: Kickstarter