You did it! You've uprooted your life and took that job managing your uncle’s mini golf course in another city! Here are two guides on making your move awesome no matter how far you're traveling. Then check out the itineraries for your best first day in five US cities, the perfect compliments to any move: the best places to eat, drink, and do whatever in your new 'hood.
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First up, the essential tricks you need to know before you begin packing that will turn potential problems into easy solutions. (At least one of them involves playing with sharp instruments!)
Now memorize the best practices for moving that will help you anticipate (and avoid) any hitches that might arise. Make sure your move goes smoothly by following these guidelines, and in no time you'll be experiencing the best of your new hometown.
Once you've read those two guides and your move is squared away, take a big stride into your new community and appreciate its many perks: food, music, coffee, dating, hiking, bars, more coffee, city parks, a possibly haunted mine, coffee again, shopping, amusement parks, spas, and of course, where to find the best coffee, because you quite obviously have a caffeine addiction.
Here are the best ways to spend your first day in some major American locales, and in so doing, fall in love with your new home (or, if you’re just moving across town, how to rediscover your current city). Assuming your home is Nashville, Denver, Philadelphia, Boston, or Minneapolis. And if it isn’t… maybe move again?
Country music at its best! Affordable Jack Daniels! A cuisine built around biscuits! You picked the right town for good living. There’s a reason The Music City is consistently one of the happiest cities in America. The only downside of life in Nashville is you’ll add five activities to your itinerary every day but only get to four of them.
Belly up to the barbecue: You’d be some kind of criminal to move to this article’s one southern town and not try the regional barbecue. Especially when it’s Nashville, a marinated meat mecca. If it’s afternoon and you’re at Edley’s, get a Bushwacker to go with it; milkshakes make everything better -- even booze.
Visit the world's sexiest friend zone: The larger the group you're partying with, the more chance you have of making some new friends. These venues will accommodate your entire, say...softball league, so you can get to know the third basewoman better. Besides, it’s summer, and this is a hot southern town, so now you’ll want to hit the pool before retreating to the icy goodness of an air-conditioned bowling lane.
Get in line, dance: These are the best music venues in America's best music town? Yes please. Then yes five more times. Honky tonk is the best form of country, and Robert’s Western World is the best form of honky tonk. Buy some boots, then break them in as the place transforms into a live music bar even locals love despite its Lower Broad address. Crawl to the rest of your checklist from from there.
Ride that spicy chicken: The only thing hotter than Nashville hot chicken is America’s newfound passion for Nashville hot chicken. Unless you’re a vegan with an ulcer, it’s essential that you hit up one of the town’s primo spots to sample your new religion. Save this one for a late-night stop so it doesn’t burn through you on your other adventures.
Denver is Nashville’s friendly rival for the happiest city in America -- yes, even before Colorado legalized marijuana. It’s a paradise of beautiful vistas, highly educated residents, and great food, like the Colo-Mex fusion that’s (mile) highly distinct from southwestern and Tex-Mex. Expect to spend a lot of time at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, probably the most gorgeous concert venue in the U.S.
Get out and meet people: Denver is one of America's most active cities, so you don't have to lounge around coffee shops and bars when there are trails to hike and bike, rivers to raft, and parks to picnic in. But don't worry…if bars are your thing, there are some outdoor ones here too.
Learn to stop worrying and love green chile: Often differentiated from every other city’s chili by a proprietary -e, green chile is hot stuff in every sense of the word. No wonder it's the bomb.
No need to make a bucket list: we've done it for you with these essential activities to earn your transplant badge. From Red Rocks to First Friday Art Walk and everything in between (Little Man ice cream!) you'll never be bored in the Mile High City.
Feast in Olympus: Denver is a wonderful eating city, so here's the best in each category. No need to collect the local takeout menus when you can just push a button to each of these places.
Look, there are going to be cheesesteaks and roast pork with rabe in your future, okay? Don't rush it. Let's have some fun first. This is a great walking town by design, with a lot of rich history, spectacular river crossings, and underrated architecture from the best years of American development.
Doughnut pass go: As promised, there's more to the cuisine here than cheesesteak and roast pork. If Federal Donuts had existed in 1976, Rocky would have remained a loser. Because there's no way to pass up a fried chicken and doughnut house. Wash down all that warm sugar and salt with a water ice. Now you're a Philly food fanatic.
It's always sunny outside Philadelphia: Sometimes the perfect day in a city includes getting out of it. If cracked sidewalks aren't your thing, load your backpack and hit the trails instead for some easily accessible outdoor adventures.
Do some dim sum: Are dumplings the new tacos? Or are they both the new pizza? Both dishes are incredibly delicious, cheap, and filling, so it's easy to see why're so popular. Fortunately, Philly's pretty good at them. See your new city on foot with a walking tour of everyone's favorite folded pocket.
Do a cheesy tourist activity: Okay, we lied. Get a cheesesteak. They're so, so, so good and you're going to need one after a drinking tour of Fishtown.
Boston is a city that loves its history. There's no shortage of activities for the America buff. But maybe you’re more epicurean. That’s cool, because many of the pubs that hosted the Sons of Liberty and George freaking Washington himself are still in operation. Raise your glass to the Revolution!
Step back in time: Sightsee the Freedom Trail. It's about 3.5 miles and a great way to see the city. Follow the red brick road! Make note of its most interesting stops and spend the next several weekends visiting them to absorb all that patriotism. Mmmmm! That's good America.
Sea the sights: This maritime town is full of college students, which means there's no shortage of new activities every week. It's also loaded with history, so there are more permanent exhibits you must check out. Even better, most are walkable, so you can leave ya cah pahked (and no need to save a spot with a lawn chair).
Do doughnuts: Nobody takes their doughnuts more seriously than New England (except possibly Berlin), and Dunkin' Donuts, originating in nearby Quincy, renders Boston the doughnut capital of the world, or at least 'Murca. For any other doughnut to survive here, it has to be better than great.
Immerse yourself in the Revolutionary Warren: Think of Boston and you'll imagine history, great seafood, and tavern culture. Why not have a drink (and a clam) with history? Toast the ghosts of George Washington, Paul Revere, and other patriots with (what else?) a bottle of Sam Adams in Boston's oldest bars.
You’re probably expecting a good lutefisk recommendation, but you really need to work your way up to lye-soaked cod, not dive in on what’s supposed to be a perfect first day. Lake Woebegone doesn’t exist, Prince’s estate hasn’t opened as a museum yet, and The SPAM Museum is 100 miles outside of the city. So what makes central Minneapolis Minneso-much fun? This stuff:
Go balls out: See a huge swath of the city at almost no cost so you can figure out what you like the most and add ideas for other activities. These cheap but fun Minneapolis fixtures include the provocative art museum, House of Balls.
Take a nice ride: ...on a Nice Ride. Minneapolis is historically hailed as the nation's best bike city, and this not-for-profit wants to spread the love. See your new city, save the earth, and have an excuse to skip leg day. You can't lose! Except weight, that is. You'll lose that.
Rub-a-dub-grub: Tour the world culinarily while you tour Minneapolis geographically. If you're lucky you'll end up in one of Minneapolis's many hot tubs, but worst case scenario you'll still enjoy every bite in a hot dish.
Brace yourselves: You know what midwest winters are like. Figure out your favorite coffee spot NOW before you're buried under six feet of snow and realize you know nothing. Do you see where this joke is going? DO YOU? Good. Have a coffee.