If you’re looking for a quick fix, you won’t find one here. It takes time to get to know your new neighborhood. From coffee shops to grocery stores—to the best places to have a cry—your new hood is full of amazing nooks to discover. It’s okay to take your time. You won’t immediately feel like a local.
We’ve got some tips for helping you make the process more efficient, however. It’s helpful to know a few key things about your neighborhood so that you can effectively host parties and pick up toilet paper when you run out. Plus, when your family comes into town, you’ll need to impress and entertain them with your local knowledge.
Here are the things you should know, and how to find them out. Remember, you can only learn so much from the Internet. At some point, it’s important to get boots on the ground and find out for yourself. Just don’t forget your phone and your sunscreen!
Introduce yourself to your neighbors
Once your movers from Fort Collins have departed, it’s time to introduce yourself. Whether you live in a house, a condo, or an apartment, you should meet your neighbors. You never know when you’ll need a cup of sugar, or someone to bring in your mail while you’re on vacation. They might even have some good tips for coffee shops or parks in the area.
If you really want to impress, bring them a baked good or a bottle of wine. Add your name and phone number so they can contact you if necessary. Make sure to ask them if there are any neighborhood organizations that you should join. For instance, many communities have neighborhood watch groups. Some have free groups on social media, or they have a tool library for sharing resources.
At the very least, meeting your neighbors increases the chances that someone cares about you and your home. If there’s a broken window or a weird noise, it’s important to have a neighbor who will notice and step in. You never know, you might discover some great new friends, too.
Check out Google Maps
If there’s one thing the Internet is good for, it’s finding stuff near you. The reviews are something else, but you can start by checking to see what types of amenities are available near your new home. Try searching for coffee shops, grocery stores, and parks.
Keep in mind that places on the main streets will be the busiest. They may also be the most bougie. If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a quick bite on your way to work, then you might want to look off the beaten path (or off Google maps) to find it.
Validate your discoveries by going over to social media and see what the people have to say. Reviews can mean anything, but a strong and loyal local following is hard to argue with. Go where there is regular business from nearby residents and you’re guaranteed to be happy with your results.
Seriously! Once your moving company from Fort Collins has finished unloading, take yourself out for a wander. Pack a picnic or set aside some cash to support local businesses. The key to this technique is to follow your gut. Allow yourself to be distracted by the streets and shops, and go wherever your intuition leads.
Every local knows that the best places are not on the main street. They’re hidden or stumbled upon by accident. You probably won’t be able to convince a local to share their secrets with you immediately. Instead, take yourself on a local adventure. See if you can scout out a cozy cafe with outdoor seating. Find a back way to reach public transit. Check out that park that’s full of dogs and kids playing.
Recreate what you loved from your old neighborhood
If you’re not sure where to start, think about what you loved the most in your old neighborhood. Set a destination for a similar place in your new area, and let that inform the rest of your adventure. It can be emotional to go through a relocation, even if you’re doing it for all the right reasons.
To help ease the bittersweet transition, look for a replacement for your old haunts. Find a restaurant that can serve as the new brunch hangout spot with your friends. Scope out a corner store with personality where you can make friends with the owner and get ice cream on hot days.
Don’t forget to look for cultural centers like art galleries, museums, and theatres. Keep an eye out for shaded nooks and public spaces where you can hang out and shoot the breeze, too. When your friends or relatives come into town, you’ll be prepared to show them a good time.
Read about the history of the area
If it’s not good weather—or you prefer a more intellectual foundation—then look for some reading materials. Most neighborhoods in this country are less than 200 years old, and all of that history is well documented. You may be able to find it in historical archives, but you can also find plenty of novels set in your new city.
Why not do a bit of light reading to educate yourself about your new area? You might learn about the original inhabitants, the first settlers, and the types of industry that first carved out a life for people in your neighborhood.
The benefit of reading up is that it improves your experience of living in and walking in your neighborhood. There might even be historical markers, old buildings, or guided tours to deepen the living history in your area.
Finalize your moving services from Fort Collins and get ready to explore your new neighborhood. It’s exciting to make a new home. But don’t get stuck mourning what you lost. Start to find out what makes your new area unique. Read up, explore, and meet the people who are your neighbors. You’ll find that it takes no time whatsoever to feel right at home. Welcome home!