If you’re flying to Vegas with a group of friends on a weekend getaway, heading to San Diego with a friend for some warmth and relaxation, or going solo to New York to explore the streets of Manhattan or Brooklyn, one thing is for sure: your destination will be filled with singles to meet. The tricky thing is; how do you meet them? One of the most daunting tasks for a traveler going to an unfamiliar city is figuring out where to start. Sometimes it’s fun just to let your intuition do the exploring— after all, a little adventure is part of the fun, right? We’ll provide a few It’s Just Lunch travel tips to help you get started.
Ok, so you found a decent fare on Kayak.com or burned some of those miles from business traveling. Time to look at places to stay. If at all possible, avoid the more well-known hotel brands and check out a local boutique or even boutique chain. For example, hotels such as the Hotel del Arts in San Francisco and Thor(The Hotel on Rivington) in New York City cater to locals as well as visitors with superb aesthetics and upscale lounges and restaurants. The W Hotel group are famous for their lounge-like lobbies, which cater to young professionals seeking after work libations.
And speaking of libations, your next mission is to have a plan-of-attack on where to mingle. Your first step is to avoid dive bars, sports bars, and clubs. Instead, check out a local wine bar, especially if you have a nose for reds, whites and the bubbly; or check out a specialty cocktail lounge. These new brand of bars have expert “mixologists” ready to serve up unique, handcrafted drinks. They may take a bit more time to mix than a regular vodka and tonic, but they’ll be well worth the wait—and serve as excellent conversation starters. Imbibe magazine recently covered the top 100 specialty cocktail lounges in the South if you need some ideas on what to look for.
If you’re interested in looking for a scene that doesn’t revolve around alcohol, there are plenty of options out there. Your best bet is to pick up a copy of the local independent weekly. Newsprint may be dying, but local papers are thriving and they often have the best source of information on art openings, music shows, museum exhibitions, festivals, comedy shows, and so on. And speaking of information, one thing that locals will look for in an independent weekly are restaurant openings or restaurant reviews. The former is risky, but restaurant openings usually offer a simplified menu, and if you’re a foodie you’ll have plenty of opportunities to chat up with other food-loving risk-takers, or even a server. The latter means you’ll have an accurate idea of what kind of dining to expect, but a good review means it may be tough to secure a table. In that case, lean on your hotel concierge (which we’ll be covering a bit later.)
Finally, and we can’t emphasize this enough, but be sure to tap into your social network for fun places to see and/or be seen. Whether it’s updating a status on Facebook, posting a Tweet, or simply shooting a quick text to a local friend, you’ll quickly be inundated with a wealth of info that will get your vacation started off right. And who knows? They may have some single friends willing to help you and your friends explore.