Sustaining Your Spring Break – 6 Ways to Live the Local Culture

If someone were to take a spring break trip to Ames, you’d probably tell them to try pizza from Jeff’s or Black Market, to get coffee from Stomping Grounds or Arcadia, to shop on Main Street or spend an afternoon at Reiman Gardens. You’d want them to have an experience that is unique to Ames.

Why not find local hot spots at your spring break destination? Whether you’re on a beach or in the city, make your spring break one of a kind while supporting the local economy.

Your smart phone can be a helpful tool for finding local places to eat, drink, see and do. Here are 6 resources to get you started:

1. Foursquare

The Foursquare app allows you to search by topics including arts and entertainment, coffee, outdoors and food. The trending tab lists popular places chosen by other Foursquare users. “Check in” with the app, and you’ll find specials like a free drink or 10 percent off a purchase.

2. Yahoo! Local

The best feature about Yahoo! Local is that it provides you with maps anddriving directions to your destination. You can search nearby locations, get reviews from other Yahoo! users and call businesses directly from the app.

3. Groupon

Local businesses often use Groupon to attract out-of-town customers. You’ll pay upfront for the coupon, but can find discounts for more than 50 percent off. Buying and redeeming deals directly from your phone makes the app very user-friendly and very convenient.

4. Urban Spoon 

If you’re just looking for a local place to eat, Urbanspoon will randomly suggest restaurants near your location. You can filter your search based off of price and cuisine, read peoples’ reviews and even make reservations.

5. Visitors Bureaus

Most cities will have a website or app listing local businesses. For example, the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau site lists most local Ames’ businesses with a phone number, website, map and a short description.

6. Locals

No one knows better than a local. If you’re short a smart phone or computer, don’t be afraid to ask someone who lives where you’re visiting. They’ve probably tried it all and know exactly where to point you.

Written by Madi Linkenmeyer
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