If you are sent onsite to work in a suburban office in the United States, you are obviously wondering what you are going to do with yourself on weekends, holidays or some evening when you want to do something fun or sightsee a little. I was in that position a couple of weeks ago and all I could think of was, “Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! What will a city girl like me do there?” I had to be in the Sacramento area ( Folsom, Eldorado hills ). I had seen photos of Eldorado hills and the surroundings and it was nothing but dry, grassy hills.
In the few days I had before leaving, I started doing homework on things to do. There is not much that I could do while sitting at home and looking up things to do. Trip advisor didn’t have much in terms of things to do. My go to travel guides – Lonely Planet on California and DK’s, weren’t of much help either. So, I made a basic list of obvious things like the museums in Sacramento, Folsom prison tour and bookmarked a few Vegetarian friendly places to eat on Yelp, and arrived at El Dorado Hills.
When I arrived, I found a bunch of local magazines at the well stacked California welcome centers. The ones I found particularly useful,
For Sacramento– Sacramento magazine which is a subscription based magazine.
For Folsom — Folsom Magazine from the Folsom Visitors Center
For Eldorado Hills — El Dorado County Adventure available at all the California Welcome Center.
Everything I read suggested the art walk in Placerville in Eldorado County, farm tours and wineries. These didn’t appear in my search, while in my East Coast apartment!! The magazines also suggested the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, State Art museum, Railway museum and ferry cruise ( but these even the guide books will tell you.)
I decided, since I was in the suburbs, I might as well see a small town first.
My first ‘field trip’ was out to Placerville, CA.
Boy! Let me tell you , that town changed my perspective of the area. I went from feeling unmotivated to excited, from apprehensive to confident and from wondering what on Earth, I was going to do for recreation, to will a few days here be enough.
Follow along on my ‘onsite’ trip to Eldorado County.
- If you have to go somewhere for work, think about what to do once you get there.
- Do a basic amount of research before you travel, but be open to finding things and changing plans based on local recommendations.
- Look up local magazines and if you are able to plan your trip, try to get a subscription to them before you go. Tourist Departments of certain states, even send guides to your home by mail, if you request for that on their website.
- Rent a car or you may take three times the time via bus or train, if at all they are an option.
My piece on Travel, will help with inexpensive car rentals.
- Talk to people and get suggestions on what they like about where they live.