Living a great life while traveling for business means seeing and experiencing the best of every new city. But between meetings, seminars, and client dinners, it’s easy to let leisure time fall by the wayside. The solution? Make a plan to connect with each city’s most locally-loved destinations, and add a few days onto your agenda—before, after, or during your business plans. By blending work and leisure, every moment of your trip can be a rewarding adventure.
Here’s how to most efficiently go local on your next business trip.
Seek out insider intel for prime leisure times
Whether you’re visiting New York or are headed for the heartland in Columbus, Ohio, there’s no better way to get the city scoop than by going straight to a local whose business it is to know and care.
“My inside recommendation is to actually try and plan for a Sunday or Monday as your leisure days,” says Kristin Hankins, area director of sales and marketing at New York’s Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan. Not only are hotel accommodations less expensive those days, but crowds are smaller, too. “That being said, a less crowded day in New York City is still like a Friday night in a city like San Francisco or Chicago.”
At Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, you’ll discover that we love the cities where we do business, and we want you to experience that love, wherever you travel. Hotel insiders can help you discover the city’s rhythms and make the most of your extra days in town.
Take time for must-do attractions
To get the full flavor of a city, don’t overlook the destinations that tourism boards tout. There’s a reason these attractions draw crowds. Wherever you travel, Crowne Plaza insiders can help you zero in on the places that regularly surprise and delight visitor—as well as which ones aren’t worth the effort.
For example, many travelers don’t know what to expect when they travel to Ohio’s capital city. Juan Laginia, general manager at Crowne Plaza Columbus-Downtown, always shares the attractions that earned Columbus a spot on “The New York Times” list of “52 Places to Go in 2019.” This includes a stroll through Columbus’s vibrant, highly walkable Short North Arts District for world-class galleries, mouth-watering eats, trendy boutiques and cool local hangouts. The Scioto Mile is another Laginia recommendation: Walk or ride the Mile’s driverless shuttle route to explore riverfront stops.
That insider knowledge just can’t be replicated. Locals know about everything from the most-worth-it views to the lines of tourists you can skip and still experience the local flavor.
Ask about how to get off the beaten path
To make your leisure time even more memorable and authentic, ask locals about the non-tourist places where residents live and play. From hotel concierges to helpful front desk staff, your intro to local secrets and hidden gems that maximize immersive excursions is just a conversation away.
“Summer and early fall are the best seasons to visit New York because the city comes alive with so many outdoor activities,” says Hankins. Catch the East River ferry and explore Brooklyn’s trendy neighborhoods, she suggests. Or rent a bike and ride the Hudson River bike path from the George Washington Bridge to the South Street Seaport. Hankins always recommends visitors allow plenty of time for stopping off at New York’s piers and barges along the way — like her favorite, Grand Banks, a floating oyster bar on a wooden schooner.
Stay right in the heart of every city
If you’re planning local outings before, after and between meetings, you’ll want to be staying right in the middle of it all to make your transition from one adventure to the next seamless. Wherever your itinerary takes you next, a Crowne Plaza home base can help you blend work and life to take care of business and leisure at the same time.
With premier locations like Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, adjacent to Times Square’s famous red steps and a quick subway ride from every New York neighborhood, to Crowne Plaza Columbus Downtown, just steps from the North Market’s organic produce, locally roasted coffee and international cuisine, celebrating a city’s local flavor has never been easier.
“The personal experiences that you will bring back home with you to share with your family and friends are as important as the business component of your trip,” says Laginia.
Crowne Plaza has more than 425 hotels in global business destinations around the world, and with the patented WorkLife Room concept, flexible workspaces and Sleep Advantage amenities, they’re the perfect spot for both work and leisure trips. Staying with Crowne Plaza can help you stay connected, get immersed and make the most of going local during your stay.