4 Tips To Finding The Best Local Restaurants On Vacation | State By State Travel

Have you ever been on vacation and wanted to find one of the many great local restaurants that most towns have? Sometimes you are just not in the mood for a tourist attraction or themed restaurant, though I admit that I like those, too. There are some people who love to eat at chain restaurants because they always know what to expect. But there are other travelers who want to experience the local color of the hometown favorites. If you are the latter of the two, here are 4 tips to help you find the best local restaurants when you are on vacation.

4 Tips To Help You Find The Best Local Restaurants While On Vacation

Talk To The Locals
Ask the hotel clerk. Ask the gas station attendant. Don’t be afraid to ask the people at the visitors center. These people live in the area and will be the best resources to helping you find the best local restaurants. They may look at you funny for a minute, but most locals will be honored that you trust and value their opinion on where to eat. Most people also like talking about themselves and their likes and dislikes. They may even be able to tell you their favorite menu item at that restaurant. People love to share their experiences and may even tell you tips about the best time to go to get the freshest, tastiest meal possible.

Take A Chance
Sure, you might find a dud if you try out a local hole-in-the-wall. But you might also find some local culture that you will miss if you go to a national chain. Be willing to take a chance on the mom and pop catfish house. It will definitely give you more memories than if you just visit the same restaurant you eat at when you are home. You just might find a treasure.

Check Social Media
There is a place near Pensacola, Florida that has the best seafood and atmosphere in the whole area. Flounders offers everything from beach volleyball, sandy beaches to enjoy, and a marina to live music, fresh fish and authentic beach decor. This place is amazing! How do you find a place like this when you’re on vacation? Use your friends’ knowledge by checking with your Facebook and Instagram friends. Just ask for recommendations and wait for the suggestions to roll in. Then don’t forget to share what you find with your Facebook friends.

Watch The Local TV Station
We also really enjoyed a place called Bubba’s Love Shack when we went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina earlier this year. None of us had ever heard of this restaurant until we saw the locals talking about it on the local Myrtle Beach channel. I have been going to Myrtle Beach all my life and never got to enjoy this restaurant until I was in my 30s. Trust. I will definitely be going back.

What Are Some Of Your Favorite Local Restaurants That You Have Discovered While On Vacation?

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  1. September 9, 2014  5:49 am by Robin (Masshole Mommy) Reply

    Those are all great tips. We usually just end up stumbling on places by accident.

  2. September 9, 2014  10:16 am by Laura “Lolli” Franklin Reply

    We always try to ask locals for their restaurant recommendations. It makes such a difference!

  3. September 9, 2014  11:03 am by Deborah A. Reply

    I loved this! We're about to vacation for two weeks to places we don't know very well at all. This will definitely come in handy!

  4. September 9, 2014  11:08 am by Stacey - Seattle Mom Blog Reply

    These are really great tips! The only part of a vacation that's not fun for me is trying to find a nice place to eat. Thanks!

  5. September 9, 2014  1:17 pm by Dawn Reply

    How cool! I can NEVER find a good restaurant when I go on vacation.

  6. September 9, 2014  1:27 pm by Elizabeth @ Being MVP Reply

    We usually ask the locals to find some good grub. Sometimes we'll even find a gem while driving around!

  7. September 9, 2014  2:33 pm by Nolie Reply

    The locals hold all the secrets that you can't find in the vacation books or tourist centres.

  8. September 9, 2014  4:00 pm by Tammi @ My Organized Chaos Reply

    I love sourcing the local restaurants when traveling. We once found this adorable hole in the wall in vegas {no really, that's the name} - non-touristy like the ones on the main strip and amazing food!

    • September 10, 2014  2:02 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      That is great! It's so much fun to find something interesting not everyone else knows about - kind of like a treasure hunt.

  9. September 9, 2014  6:34 pm by Lori Pace Reply

    These are great tips! I am always up for trying the local places out on vacation.

  10. September 9, 2014  7:53 pm by candice Reply

    talking to the locals is a must! thats how you find out about all the best spots!

  11. September 9, 2014  8:29 pm by Chrissy Reply

    These are great tips! Talking to locals seems like a great idea especially. If they frequent a restaurant, I would imagine it has to be good!

  12. September 9, 2014  8:59 pm by Mama to 5 BLessings Reply

    Great tips! I know they have apps for this also, that is helpful.

  13. September 9, 2014  9:05 pm by Shauna Reply

    I have actually had luck using Groupon to find deals to places while on vacation... We save money and find a new place

    • September 10, 2014  2:00 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      A coupon AND a good restaurant is even better. :D

  14. September 9, 2014  9:30 pm by Pam Reply

    We make it a point to eat at local restaurants while we are on vacation! Some of our best memories are of great restaurants we found, like Tin Roof Barbecue in Birmingham Alabama!

    • September 10, 2014  2:00 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      My husband loves barbecue. We will have to try that sometime. :)

  15. September 9, 2014  9:58 pm by Chelley @ A is For Adelaide Reply

    I love checking the local paper, as well as the bartender at the hotel where I am staying. I think that just walking around and reading menus (if you're n a location that allows for that) is such a good way to find a great spot!

  16. September 9, 2014  11:09 pm by Stefani Tolson Reply

    I love finding new local restaurants to try when I am traveling. I also enjoy finding them around my home area too.

  17. September 9, 2014  11:20 pm by Jenn Park Reply

    This is a great post. I remember seeing lots of local recommendations, depending on where you were, on the food network too.

  18. September 9, 2014  11:47 pm by Aimee Smith Reply

    We love to look for places featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! We love hole in the wall places!

    • September 10, 2014  1:59 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      That's a great idea. I love the places they check out on that show. :)

  19. September 10, 2014  12:43 am by TerriAnn @ Cookies & Clogs Reply

    There was one breakfast place we loved and another that offered just bite-sized portions. We use the web to search but we've done so much better by asking locals!

  20. September 10, 2014  7:58 am by Myrah - Coupon Mamacita Reply

    This are great tips and I have experienced a few, due to my extensive past travel ife! I like to experience the culture and their typical restaurants.

  21. September 10, 2014  12:23 pm by Amy Desrosiers Reply

    When my family and I travel, checking social media is the most trustworthy in my opinion. You get a variety of opinions quickly.

  22. September 10, 2014  1:34 pm by Liz Mays Reply

    I've received some great tips from the hotel concierge and even limo drivers. I've even stopped people in the street to ask for suggestions, and I've never been disappointed!

    • September 12, 2014  12:28 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      That sounds like fun. What a great way to just meet people, too.

  23. September 10, 2014  1:40 pm by lisa Reply

    These are great tips! I love eating local when I travel so I can really experience the whole area.

  24. September 10, 2014  1:41 pm by Ann Bacciaglia Reply

    I love these tips as I love to eat at local places when I am on vacation. Asking around on social media is a great way to get some suggestions.

  25. August 14, 2015  9:21 pm by Inspiring Kitchen Reply

    Such good suggestions for finding local restaurants when on vacation. It is part of the fun to be a local in a new city.

  26. September 9, 2015  8:53 pm by The Future Mrs. Vines Reply

    Great tips! I wish I had seen this before our recent family vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida. We anticipate many more vacations to come, so I'll definitely save this. I'm a foodie and I love eating at local restaurants versus chains.

    • September 11, 2015  7:32 am by Dawn McAlexander Reply

      That's funny that you mention Panama City Beach, Fl. We actually just got back from there a couple days ago. :)

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