Good friends and regular readers of this blog will read that title and say, "WHAT? This advice coming from Diane?"
I know...I know...I am probably one of the biggest destination researchers out there. But there is a point and time when I say enough is enough.
About 20 years ago we visited London for a week. Our plan was to stay in London and take the train to Dover for a day and ditto with Oxford. Trip worked out great. But I have to admit that I researched London so thoroughly, including things like reading about 'walks' and 'best places for...' that, when I finally got there, I stood on a street corner and felt like I had already been there.
Now, I still do my research of course...places to stay, things to see. But I finally draw a line and stop. For instance, on our Holy Land cruise we did a tour of the Peloponnese Peninsula. We had several full day tour options and instead of researching them all, I left it up to the tour operator to pick one that would give us a good overview. We were not disappointed and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the new and different things we saw, without me researching them to death.
So definitely do some homework before traveling to a new city....buy a map, a guidebook, enter the name of the area into Yahoo! or Google search and see what comes up. But leave some unknowns...and enjoy the new and unexpected.