May 2, 2009

Book Local Activities in Your Destination; Reach Out to Local Bloggers.

Almost any city offers a website with local activities, from attractions to shows, and if you are planning to visit Washington, D.C. for holidays, visit the local favorites, such as Things to Do in DC and Cultural Tourism DC. Before you plan out a trip based on a guidebook alone, check out online for a local website that lists local activities – most likely you will find something that is not mentioned in a guide book for two reasons:

1. It is a current and most updated activity,
2. It is something so local that even a travel reporter might not have experienced it.

Some of bloggers are also very active on a tourist, local scene, providing all kind of “best kept secret” information on the area they know so well, because they live and experience it here every day.

Take Washington, D.C. Bloggers, for example

For Washington, D.C. local bloggers, check the latest list recently composed by the Washingtonian’s “The Best Blogs in Washington”:

For a visit in the city, the following blogs and sites would be informative and entertaining to get to know before and while you are in to D.C.: for the extended list, visit Washingtonian.

Brightest Young Things - a site that provides an alternative look at everything from fashion, music, food, art, film and booze for D.C. locals.

Washington City Paper City Desk - this is a blog from the Washingtonians’ beloved The City Paper that many of us swear by every week it comes out.

For History, Culture, Educative Events, visit:

Cultural Tourism DC - this site is full of very useful information for the culture-lovers. That is – it provides insights into more than 250 Washington cultural and neighborhood organizations. And you can check out historic tours you can take while visiting the city, go to DC Historic Tours.

National Geographic. Go to their Live Events for information on how you can visit their acclaimed lectures, performances, speakers’ events, and other both educative and entertaining events for kids and adults. Some events are free.

Note, National Geogrpahic offers live events only in seven U.S.A. locations, : Seattle, WA, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA, Houston, TX, Mesa, AZ, Chicago, IL, and Dallas, TX.

Newseum Front Pages - this new addition to Pennsylvania Avenue might one of the few museums in D.C. that does not have a free entrance. It costs $20.00 / person, so if you opt to not visit it this time, go to its website and browse through award-winning newspaper articles and photos online.

If you are looking to do some shopping on your visit, check out the local bloggers who always have something new, unique, and deal-worth to tell you about.

For D.C. fashionistas, visit:

All About the Pretty – the names speaks for itself. This Southern woman has the latest on local fashionistas to fashion runaways in other parts of the country.

For Food and Drinks, visit:

The Bitten Word - this site is run by two partners, Clay Dunn and Zach Patton, who put their love for gourmet food to a very good use. Not only they have a good pile of food magazines to go through on a regular basis, but they also try those recipes themselves. And we can read and see the outcome of their cookings. (Maybe it’s not much use for experiencing the local food and drink scene, but it’s one of those blogs that makes you feel good about missing a food or a drink that everyone is raving about by offering a great solution – make it happen at home!

Metrocurean – this is a blog by another local foodie, who provides the latest on restaurant news, as well as a summary of the latest from major food publications.

To Learn About Other Parts of D.C., visit:

If you are planning to visit some of the areas around D.C., that is Maryland and Virginia, go to: bloggers who write on local happenings, in their towns and cities.

And Now, Anacostia - all about Anacostia, all that’s happening around the town.

Restonian – a blog about Reston, the author makes fun of such an easy target as Reston, but at the same time a father of two provides enough information and news about the town that any local or visitor would appreciate.

What’s Up Arlington - is my personal favorite, having become an Arlington resident recently myself. This blogger makes Arlington THE place to be with his always comments and news on events, eateries, real estate development, art scene, and more. And since Arlington is only five minutes way from the National Mall, it could become a pet-stop on your visit to D.C.

Tell your friends in D.C. and surrounding area to keep in touch with the local blogs so that next time you visit, they have something new to share with and show you.

For some of the blogs that are popular with people in their own countries, check this out: this is not a complete list, just a few examples to show you what you can find on local blogs.

1. France: for French, Franco-Americans and everyone else, go to BonjourParis.
2. Russia: for information, prices, videos, reviews, gossip, and such – go to Afisha that covers the day, night and in-between hours life in 23 cities of Russia, from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi (where the 2014 Olympics will take place) to Samara, Kaliningrad and Murmansk.
3. UK: for what’s happening in all UK cities, literally, go to What's Happening in UK.
4. Berlin: go to Spreeblick and get blown away by information on German Pop, Politik, and other things.
5. Italy: go to Macchianera for satirical news, culture, sport and comic strips.

You can also find local Examiners, who cover anything from local celebrities sightings, restaurants, museums to events, hotels, and outdoor activities. These bloggers are experts of their home towns and cities, from Dallas, Los Angeles, Pittsburg, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Minneapolis to D.C. - check them for yourself and find the ones who cover the place/activity of your interest here.

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