In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the location for my novel House of the Blue Sea. Below is the fifth and final segment of the what I learned list:
Take time to smell the flowers! And any other aromatic items in your setting.
If your story has romance in it, (or even if it doesn’t) make a little romance of your own. If you’ve been married for years, imagine what it would be like to fall in love in your setting. Maybe you’ll fall in love all over again. 😉
Google is great but there’s nothing like the real thing. I described these La Paz benches in my manuscript from photos I saw online, but it was still good to touch one and sit for awhile.
Signage and advertising can vary greatly in different locales. Pay attention, look through the newspaper and take photos of anything particularly outrageous.
And my final tip. It is essential to sample the drink of the area, preferably in a very large glass. If you decide to sample a few more, maybe don’t schedule a lot of other researching for later that same day. Unless, of course, one of your characters is a drunk. In that case, cheers!