What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of your travel destination than to attend a local event?! No, seriously, we’ll wait. This can be a highlight of your trip if you find the event for you! These can be as small as farmers’ markets and as big as county-wide fairs. Read on for easy ways to find cool local events!
Facebook is pushing its Events feature more and more each day, expanding to let you find them by category and date. Local businesses create these events to find visitors like you! Inside the event, you’ll find details like schedule, cost, where to buy tickets, photos, and parking rules. Facebook Events is great because Facebook will customize your suggested events based on your interests and past events attended. If you have any questions you can ask right there in the event’s discussion and other visitors can answer.
Ah, yes, the King of all online searches. This one is so obvious that people forget about it. Just search for “Events in CITYNAME” and you’ll get more results than you ever thought possible! Google even rounds up the most popular events for you in a nice little box at the top.
Don’t forget to look at the News section of Google too! Just search “Events CITYNAME” and you’ll get blog posts (like this one!) that show you what’s going on in your city this week.
A website based around finding events, you can find that local beer fest and buy a ticket for it here too! Sort by:
- Category – food and drink, arts, community, health, government, business, music, travel & outdoor, etc.
- Price – free or paid!
- Event type – classes, galas, festivals, parties, rallies, screenings, seminars, etc.
To access the event info and buy tickets or save your spot, just click the event name. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Your Local Newspaper/News Channel
Don’t forget about the news, people! The original gangsters when it comes to bringing community information to you, visit your local newspapers or news channels’ websites! Anyone can list events (usually for free) so you should have plenty to choose from.
These fall into a couple categories:
- Chamber of Commerce – the city’s site for promoting local business, you’ll find smaller events here.
- The actual city website – such as LAcity.org – this website is run by the city and tends to be more focused on city-sponsored events like Town Hall meetings. However, you can still find cool events here!
- Tourism sites – made specifically for visitors, these tend to list the highlights of the city and bigger events.
Shopping malls need more and more love as Amazon continues to take over, so they often compensate by putting on events! This could be anything from a Black Friday sleepover to the Playground Grand Opening, and chances are it’s going to be free or very cheap. You can usually score a deal too.
Find the local mall by searching “mall”, “shoppes” or “outlets” and then the city name.
Meetup is the ultimate way to find people with similar interests. Just go on their website and search for your category of choice in your city. This way you’ll get to engage in a hobby you like and maybe even make some friends!
Common Meetup groups:
- Learning a new language
Whatever you’re into, there’s something for you!
We all know and probably use Yelp to find local restaurants, so why not events? While Yelp isn’t worldwide just yet, it’s huge in the United States. Use it to find not only Yelp-sponsored events but also local ones. Some examples of what you might find: restaurant grand openings, street fairs, museum exhibits, festivals, free tickets to things, comedy shows, food trucks, and more.
You can also RSVP, invite friends, and chat with other Yelpers about the event.
Mostly known as a website used to find a place to sleep, you can also use it to find local events! Some locals will indicate on their profile if they want to meet up with visitors for drinks or coffee. You can meet up with them or tag along for a local event. This is the best way to get a true local’s perspective!
There are also Couchsurfing groups around a specific area of interest, just like Meetup. Make sure the group is active before pursuing it, as some still lay dormant. Finally, check out the Events section of Couchsurfing to find unique local happenings.
Pro tip: All of these options usually have an app or mobile-friendly website to go along with them, just search your favorite app store or check out this list of the best local event apps.