Monday, June 15, 2009

Go Where the Locals Go

I know you hear that a lot from travel guides, blogs etc., but if you are one who ends up going to the same restaurants all the time, even on vacation, then this blog is for you.

Part of the whole vacation experience is getting out of the normal routine and away from the troubles back at home. If that is the case, then why would you want to only stick with the same eating places that may make you think about things back at home? I am always shocked to see travelers who will go wait in line to be seated at places like Cracker Barrel or Chili's when they have those same restaurants back at home.

Are you afraid to branch out? There are a lot of resources that you can draw from like your travel agent (me) or sites like where you can find great eating choices at your vacation destination that are not chain restaurants.

For example...some of my greatest memories of our travels are some of the "off the beaten path" restaurants that we found simply by talking to store clerks, taxis drivers etc who then recommended some of their favorites in town. Some of those "honey holes" are places like "The Cottage" in La Jolla California. It is such a small quaint eatery and their food was out of this world. Another local favorite in La Jolla was "The Coffee Cup." This again was a small local establishment off of the main drive that runs through La Jolla's tourist area. It was actually a place we would have never found had it not been for a store employee who said..."you have to go to the "Coffee Cup." It is open for breakfast and dinner and can get busy with the locals on the weekend. But this brings up an advantage for you as the tourist. You can visit these local places during the week when the locals are at work and while the other tourists are still lined up to get into the IHOP.

Those are just two ideas to get you to see that the real experience when traveling and the true escape comes when you leave what you know to go try something new and different. Traveling should be a cultural adventure even here in the U.S. You can learn a lot about the different cultures of a State and city when you get out of the tourist filled areas and go sit among the locals and just take it all in.

If you never try to branch out...promise me that you will on your next vacation. I will then promise that it will add so much more enjoyment and great memories to your vacation getaway.

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