There’s no better way to spend your extra time between meetings on a business trip than by exploring your destination. Try experiencing the city the way locals do — at street level. By walking, hiking, or meandering through a new, exciting place, you can turn your business trip into a genuine getaway, one hour at a time.
If you just want to go where the road leads you, head-off any which way. But when you’ve only got an hour to work with, it can be helpful to maximize your time with a little direction. Here are five enriching walks you can find in nearly any city.
Connect with a Walking Tour
There’s a good chance that whatever urban niche you’re interested in, there’s a walking tour for it in your destination. History and architecture tours are fairly common, but some cities offer really unique, one-of-a-kind tours, such as the Hidden Secrets Tours in Melbourne that include foodie and café-focused itineraries. You can also find super-niche themes, like the perfectly sweet Chloe Chocolat tours of Parisian chocolatiers. Some unusual options around the world include a Breaking Bad tour in Albuquerque that pays homage to the hit television show and a Vampire Tour in New Orleans. Ask your Crowne Plaza® concierge to help connect you to unique walking tours in your destination.
Trek to a Local Market
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new city is to shop where the locals shop. Local street markets are ideal opportunities for this. Whether it’s a farmer’s market in the U.S., a seafood market in Spain, or a flower market in Amsterdam, you’ll get a chance to chat with local merchants and browse the goods residents enjoy. And don’t forget night-time options, especially in Asia. In Tapei, for example, the colorful Shinlin Night Market will dazzle all your senses. Exploring local neighborhoods will put you in lock-step with the people who live there and give you a true taste of their culture.
Whet Your Appetite on a Dining Route
Speaking of taste — if you’re a foodie, you can follow your appetite and discover a great walk while you do so. Identify a great place to eat near your hotel, chart out a safe, walkable route using a standard map app, and walk to your destination. In addition to consulting with the usual suspects, like your hotel’s concierge, Zagat has an app that will help you find whatever type of cuisine aligns with your taste buds. During a break from meetings in New Orleans, for example, a Zagat search will provide you with a menu of options, from Cajun classics to traditional Po-Boy sandwiches. Google Maps is a great option for this choose-your-own-adventure idea because you can use Street View to preview your route.
Take a Hike
You don’t need a forest or mountain to find yourself on a hiking excursion. Pack your hiking boots and water bottle on your next business trip and take an adventurous, urban hike through the city, parks, riverwalks, and more. To find the right hike for you based on difficulty, length, views, and hiker ratings, check out the AllTrails app. If you want to take a break during a meeting in Chicago, for instance, AllTrails will help you choose between 28 hiking, running, and walking trails. Every city will have its own unique parks, nature preserves, and trails to explore.
Explore Indoor Gardens or Markets
If the weather is not conducive to outdoor treks, you can always find interesting indoor destinations, such as indoor markets or botanical gardens. Depending on where you are in the world, this could range from an indoor market packed with souks selling everything from camel hair coats to a warm, sunny conservatory bursting with blooming plants. Try an app like AroundMe to surface possibilities near you. If you’re looking for some fun on a rainy day in Seattle, for instance, you can spend hours exploring the iconic Pike Place Market, which features everything from entertaining fishmongers and farm-fresh produce to antiques and bric-a-brac. For a botanical outing, try options like San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers or the Cloud Forest in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay.
Walking will activate all of your senses and re-energize you so that when you settle back into your next meeting, you’ll be more attentive and productive. After a day filled with work and play, you’ll also be ready to enjoy our innovative Sleep Advantage program — featuring everything from luxurious bedding to aromatherapy.
For more ideas on how to balance work and play, check out our Plaza Workspace.