The “Just Moved In’ Checklist of New Neighborhood Places to Find Fast

published Jul 22, 2015
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(Image credit: Breanne Johnsen)

After the moving trucks have left and you’ve located the closet grocery store, pharmacy and other essential locations, the reality of a new neighborhood can sink in. It’s exciting to have a new place to explore, sure, but it can also be a little confusing and disorienting. After you settle in a little at home, consider a trip around your new ‘hood to locate these places that will make your transition into a new area a lot more enjoyable.

The place where everyone will know your name
For many, this might be a neighborhood bar — the kind of joint that’s got low lighting, plenty of seating, music quiet enough you can hear conversations over and a good selection of drinks that you can celebrate over. But if you’re not that big of a bar person, find yourself a cute little cafe you can grab breakfast solo at a counter. Or a newsstand or bookstore where you can peruse titles to let your mind wander. Find a place that you can get to know the people who own it and work there — and you’ll feel more connected to your new neighborhood and start cultivating happiness.

The need-something-in-a-fix place
If you’re lucky enough to have a grocery store very close to you, you can skip looking for this. But if you have to take a bit of a drive to your grocery store, look for an alternate place nearer to you. Maybe smaller (maybe a little more expensive). Maybe just a convenience store with a surprising selection. You want to find a place you can run to in a pinch when you’re in a hurry, not feeling well, the traffic’s a joke or you just need one or two items.

The 24-hour place you can go to for your fix of late-night food
You might get lucky and this could be the same place as the place where everyone will know your name. But the search — and finding — of a late-night food spot is a vital thing to peg down before you find yourself starving late at night.

The get inspired, get some work done coffee shop
There might be a lot of coffee shops near where you now live, but you want to try and visit each one. You’re looking for a level of ambiance that matches your favorite kind of motivation. You want to find a place with an interior vibe that makes you want to whip out a journal, punch out some prose on a keyboard or just give you a zing of creativity.

The place you can walk to for gentle contemplation in nature
You might not be lucky enough to live within walking distance of any sprawling outdoor parks. But that shouldn’t stop your search for finding a place you can walk to from your new home where you can be in nature and get quiet for a bit.

The place your dog can mingle in freedom from its leash
Don’t forget Fido when you’re hunting for these new neighborhood places. Be on the lookout for any official or unofficial dog parks that your neighbors use to let their dogs get some exercise and they themselves catch up on neighborhood news.

What would you add to this list?