By Jay Lloyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Spring is time for getaways to the big cities, the urban centers of the nation and the world.
Cities are booming, blooming, and alive this time of year — from the Big Apple to the City by the Bay, from DC to Beantown, from London to Barcelona.
Sidewalk cafés are open under sunny skies, and strolling takes you to unexpected eateries, watering holes, and shops.
But first, take a bus. That’s right: a bus.
If I’m not familiar with a city, the first day on the ground I take a local tour bus, usually run by the city’s equivalent of SEPTA.
I know, it sound so touristy, and we don’t want to look like tourists. But an “on-and-off” bus with a narrated tour is one of the best ways of learning a city layout and getting a feel for its heartbeat.
When you see something interesting, get off and explore, then get back on another bus and continue.
Within a day, armed with a good map, you’ll move around almost like a local.
And here’s a bonus. In Paris, Amsterdam, and several other cities, you can do the same thing by boat!