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We send out a monthly newsletter with travel tips, recent travel news, and information about what is in each city's box.  Please sign up below to join our mailing list.

  If you have any ideas of places for us to visit or goods to include in future boxes please let us know!  You can email all your ideas or comments to sales@explorelocalbox.com

See past newsletters below

March 2018

 I  love to walk around any new locale, but I especially love to walk  around Chicago – and apparently I am not alone!  Despite its reputation  for wind, rain and cold weather, locals and visitors alike venture  outside to explore the Windy City.                               I  am always struck by the beautiful combination of modern architecture  and vast public green spaces.  Walking around downtown in Millenium  Park, the energy of the city is palpable. There’s 25 beautiful green  acres right in the middle of the city complete with walkways,  playgrounds, gardens, and the famous Bean.                             I  must have a hundred pictures of this Bean! If you wanted to amp up the  exercise a little more, you could go the Lakefront where runners,  bikers, and walkers burn calories while taking in the breathtaking  skyline view.  That is if they are not checking out the creative  sculptures just sitting along the lakefront. That’s something fun about  the art in Chicago – it is so accessible, not just in a frame in a  museum, but outside in the parks for all to see.                             

The  water’s accessible too. You can take a walk to a beach along the  Lakefront or step down along the Riverwalk, a beautiful waterfront along  the Chicago River where you can eat, drink and play – perfect to listen  to live music, take an evening stroll or have a margarita. There’s so  much creative energy here!

                    With Mother’s and Father’s Day approaching, I thought I’d share a few comments from customers who have given Explore Local Box to their parents or who have received it themselves. We are so excited about the wonderful feedback:
 “My mother waits until I visit so we can open the box together.  I look  forward to it too. There is a nice combination of edibles and products,  plus we love the fun facts about the city.”
 

“My parents used to love to travel but have not been doing much of it  lately.  They were thrilled with their gift which allows them to travel  without leaving home.”
Thank you. As always, we love hearing from you.  Here’s a discount code, for 10% off, you can use for your next gift purchase SPRING2018
 

Happy Travels
Jessica 

February 2018

 In the last newsletter, we asked “how do you like  to travel” and we loved hearing your responses!  When we travel, we try  to experience the area like a local - getting off the beaten path,  talking to people who live and work there and exploring like a local,  checking out what makes the area unique.  One reader said he has the  same philosophy of travel, but “give me a nice hotel with a great shower  and comfortable bed at the end of the day.”  Sounds great – you can do  almost anything, walk all day long exploring to your hearts content if  you end the day like that!  Everyone’s different – some adventurous  folks said their first choice is to camp in good weather so they have  more resources for experiences. One woman admitted to “spending more  time researching and preparing than I do at the destination, but that’s  part of the fun” and someone else said, “other than having a place to  stay, I don’t plan a thing, just do what I feel like once I’m there.”   There really is something for everyone!   

                            

Planning,  this month’s box got me thinking of my first time visiting Savannah. It  wasn’t planned;  I happened to be in the area and had a little extra  time so made the drive to Savannah and was so glad I did!  Since it was  spur of the moment, I did not do my usual research beforehand.  Luckily I  was able to jump into a walking tour of Savannah.  The guide was lots  of fun and his love for the city was contagious.  As we walked the city  streets, he regaled us with interesting stories about Savannah’s  history. He then announced “let’s make like a lizard and find the sun!”   We found one of those wonderful squares with huge moss-draped oak trees  and a beautiful old fountain.  We all sat on the warm bench in the  beautiful Georgia sunshine. I got a great lunch after and then was on my  way. I’ve returned to check it out further, but this is my favorite  memory of the place – warm and welcoming.
 

I hope you enjoy exploring Savannah too!
                

Happy Travels, 
Jessica          

     

January 2018 

From all of us at Explore Local Box,  we wish you a Happy New Year and hope it is full of exciting  adventures, delicious food and great times with family and friends!  We  are so thankful for all of you who are following us, exploring with  us, and chatting with us about Explore Local Box.  You have given us so  many great ideas about interesting cities and fun products.  We can’t  wait to check everything out!
 

I am writing this on a plane heading home from my latest destination to  explore – Montana. Watching all the travelers at the airport, I thought  about the many different ways to travel: cruises, tour groups,  international, camping, all-inclusive resorts, hotels, hostels, house  rentals, timeshares, rural, urban, etc.  These choices shape how we  experience the destination. How do you like to travel? Let us know on Facebook/Instgram/Twitter @explorelocalbox
 

                                                                                When I travel, I enjoy going at my own pace  and exploring - checking out what makes that area unique and different.   I get off the highway and explore the area like a local. I try to visit  restaurants that are unique to that area and check out little shops to  get a feeling of the local culture.   By trying to experience the area  like a local, I feel I get to see what daily life looks like in the  community and experience a different side of the place.  Plus, it is fun  to interact with the people who live there.
 

I love finding craft markets and farmers markets because it’s another  way to interact with locals from the area.  I was lucky to come across a  small craft market the first day I was in Montana. I met and talked to a  few artisans there and purchase some unique items from them.  One is a  bricklayer from Arizona who spends summers in Montana now that he is  retired.  To make extra money, he carves wooden bowls from local trees.   Another is a potter who makes clay items from Montana clay.  Not only  does purchasing souvenirs from them support the local economy and help  the artisans make a living, but also it helps keep these communities  thriving. These are the places that make each community unique. While  chain stores play a role in the national economy, we all know that it is  the small businesses that create the distinct character of a community.  Plus, it is so much more interesting to interact with the artisans and  small business owners and hear their stories.
                                           

  After  traveling to all 50 states, most of them multiple times, I love  comparing areas and seeing how one place can be so similar to another – a  place in Arkansas can remind me so much of Billings, MT. It is also fun  to experience the great contrasts in this country from the white beach  coasts to the red-rock deserts, to granite mountains and scenic farmland  and see how the locals live. I started Explore Local Box  because I love traveling and exploring local culture.  I want to share  my experience with others who get to “explore” the city with us and  experience some wonderful, delicious products and learn about the  interesting people who have created them. Tell us how you like or would like to travel - sales@explorelocalbox.com or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @explorelocalbox
 

Happy Travels,
Jessica 

 

December 2017  

Celebrate the Holidays by Shopping Local 

We love to travel and are passionate about all things local –  seems an unlikely mix, but that is how Explore Local Box was born! When  traveling, we always get off the beaten path and try to see the city as  a local would.  We go to the little coffee shops, talk to the local  merchants, and just walk and walk around the city.  We find unique  products, delicious food and wonderful gifts.  The best we include in  our boxes so everyone can explore the great cities of the United States!   

Here are three reasons why we like to buy local for the holiday: 

1. By shopping local we support the local economy. By shopping local you will be giving a present to the local community as well. Buying  a gift locally is investing in that community. Who doesn’t like a  community shopping experience where you see the business owner and often  their family members, where the local shopkeeper often recognizes your  face and greets you? These are  the places that make each community unique. While big box and chain  stores play a role in the national economy, we all know that it is the  small businesses that create the distinct character of a community. Plus supporting local businesses is so much more fun than facing crowded stores and fighting for a parking spot at holiday time! 

2. We can give original gifts that are often made by hand.  Products by small businesses and artisans are usually unique and have a high degree of craftsmanship. They  are not trying to scale their product for the mass market so they are  usually personally invested in the quality of their product. Many  people are trying to be mindful of their material stuff and into having  “less.” For those people and for those who are hard to buy for or have  everything, Explore Local Box is a great gift because it focuses on the  experience. It also encourages sharing the experience of exploring a new  locale with children and family. 

3. In shopping local, we have a personalized experience.  We have loved this aspect of our business. Whether  it is talking to our Portland vendor about repurposing old trees for  wood products, supporting a local coop of former refugees now living in  RI who are making a healthy granola or working with a producer of  delicious caramels who started out making them at home, it has been one  of the most enjoyable aspects of our work. We have learned a lot and we are excited to bring these experiences to our customers. So,  whether you shop local in your own community or you support local  communities in wonderful cities throughout the U.S. with Explore Local  Box, we wish you an enjoyable shopping experience and a wonderful  holiday season!  

Our gift boxes can be found at http://www.explorelocalbox.com   See us named in Real Simple Magazine’s 30 Surprising Subscription Box Ideas - https://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/gifts/gift-of-the-month#explore-local-box