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How to Easily Create a City Guide for Your Hotel

By Alex Gaggioli, June 23, 2016

Introduction

You know your city better than anyone else. You’ve got the best recommendations in town and you want to share them with the world. It’s great to give your best local tips to your hotel’s guests in person, but you can provide them value before they even arrive. Online local guides can help potential travelers discover your property and help build a relationship before you even say hello. We’ve suggested you create localized content before and here we wanted to show that it’s not that hard to create.

We’ll walk through the process we used to create a simple local guide and if you ever come to San Diego, you’ll know exactly where to go.

Getting Started

First and foremost, you need to choose a niche. Ask yourself who you want this guide to help. Your recommendations are likely useful for many different types of travelers, but it will help to choose a niche. Focus on the type of guests your property attracts and align it with your own knowledge. Personal opinions and experiences help guests get a real sense of what your city has to offer.

Create a profile for your guests and tie your recommendations back to them. For our local city guide, we’re going to create it for the city of San Diego, California. We will provide recommendations for individuals in their mid-20s to 30s. These travelers like to experience new types of food, experiences, and like to feel like a local. Run of the mill tourist activities aren’t their favorite, but always make sure to include the high points of interest. These travelers usually don’t travel alone and have groups of two to six. They want a mixture of cultural experiences and outdoor activities. With this information, we can begin to curate the best things to do.

Curating the Best Options

When you begin to search for the things to do in your city, make a high-level list of the different types of places. Here’s what we used as our framework.

Food

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Desserts

Drinks

  • Coffee
  • Bars / Breweries / Pubs

Things to Do

  • Outdoor Activities
  • Indoor Activities
  • Major Points of Interest

Based on your property and traveler type, you may need to add or subtract some of these categories. Use whatever works best for you.

Once you know what you’re looking for, start creating a list of potential places to include. Start with what you know. Your recommendations will be more authentic if they come from you. But do not be afraid to use other sites as research. For example, Thrillist San Diego does a fantastic job of writing articles about places that are interesting to our target audience.

Find sites that you can pull information from and always give credit if you want to use any part of their recommendation.

Put it All Together

After you create a list of the best places in town, write a one or two sentence recommendation for the property. Then create a blog post or a page on your website to display the recommendations. As we will demonstrate below, include distinct headings and pictures to guide the reader through the post.

Make sure to include an introduction and conclusion to the guide and add your contact information. You can even encourage travelers to use your hashtag and up your user-generated content strategy game!

If We Were to Create a Guide for Our Hotel – Here’s What It Would Look Like

Welcome to Cloudbeds San Diego

San-Diego-City-Guide-Featured-Image

Welcome to sunny San Diego! We’re glad to have you. No matter the season, San Diego has endless activities; whether you’re a foodie, an adventure seeker, or just looking for a relaxing trip to the beach.

To ensure you have a great time, we’ve created a list of our favorite places to go. If none of them float your boat, just head down to the front desk and we’ll be sure to point you in the right direction.

Food

Luckily for you, San Diego has become a foodie’s haven over the past few years. There are countless restaurants that are sure to make your taste buds dance.

Breakfast

Food_San-Diego-City-Guide

Snooze Eatery, located in Hillcrest, is a local favorite. They have delicious pancakes mixed with all sorts of stuff cooked right inside–from fruits, to chocolate, to nuts. They also have savory options, such as tacos and burritos. A personal favorite is the Sandwich I Am–delicious. It’s first come, first served, so prepare to wait in line.

Location: 3940 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92103 Phone: 619-500-3344

Swami’s Northpark, located in North Park, is known for their Acai Bowls, which is a bowl of blended Acai and usually topped with strawberries, blueberries, honey, nuts, etc. They are delicious. This joint is also known for their pancakes and wide variety of coffee flavors.

Location: 2920 University Ave San Diego, CA 92104 Phone: 619-269-3797

Breakfast Republic, located in North Park, is every savory breakfast lover’s paradise, although they have plenty of sweet options too. Some fan favorites include a wide variety of French Toast, the Jurassic Pork, and pancake flights; because who can choose just one?  

Location: 2730 University Ave San Diego, CA 92104

Lunch

Lunch_San-Diego-City-Guide

Draft, located in Mission Beach, sits oceanfront, directly on the boardwalk. If you love sports bar food, beer, and drinks, this is the perfect lunch spot for you. They have a revolving menu that’s updated on the regular. There is indoor and outdoor seating with massive TV screens at every turn. Whether you want to people-watch or catch the game, this a good place to go.

Location: 3105 Ocean Front Walk San Diego, CA 92109

Lemonade, located in Hillcrest, is one of Los Angeles’ hottest chains that has made its way to San Diego. It’s a cafeteria style restaurant that serves fresh pastas, salads, sandwiches, and several meat options. They also have incredible Lemonade, as you would expect. Great for both heavy and light meals, as everything is portion controlled.

Location: 3958 Fifth Ave San Diego, CA 92103

Local Burrito Shops: San Diego is famous for its Mexican food. What may look like a hole in the wall could very well serve you the best burrito of your life. Check out the California Burrito, which is carne asada with french fries, if you’re feeling adventurous. Some of our favorite burrito joints include Papas y Tacos and California Burritos.

Dinner

Dinner_San-Diego-City-Guide

Cannonball, located directly above Draft (listed above), is right on the boardwalk with killer ocean views. They’ve coupled amazing sushi with the largest ocean view patio in San Diego. They offer more than just sushi, making it a fantastic spot for Asian Fusion. There bar is also second to none. Sushi, cocktails, beach… perfect. Be sure to make a reservation before arriving.

Location: 2105 Ocean Front Walk San Diego, CA 92109

Prepkitchen Little Italy has to be one of the best spots in San Diego. Located on a second floor in trendy Little Italy, you’re in for a treat. They categorize themselves as an American restaurant and boast a farm-to-table menu. They also offer craft cocktails and a nice selection of local beers. It’s a little on the pricer side, but you will not be disappointed.

Location: 1660 India Street Fl 2 San Diego, Ca 92101

The Crack Shack is a fast casual restaurant located in Little Italy. Their mission is to “elevate the chicken and egg back to the high perch they rightfully belong on.” It’s got a hipster vibe that will make you instantly feel cooler just after sitting down. Play bags, drink a beer, and enjoy farm-to-table food in a “playful” environment.

Location: 2266 Kettner Blvd San Diego, Ca 92101 Phone: 619-795-3299

Coffee

Coffee_San-DIego-City-Guide-

Better Buzz Coffee has three San Diego locations; one in Mission Beach, one in Pacific Beach, and one in Fashion Valley Mall. If you’re looking for great coffee or an acai bowl, Mission is a local favorite.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in La Jolla is also a local favorite. They micro-brew their own coffee beans right on site. They have a super local vibe and are located close to Windansea Beach. This area is off the tourist-beaten path if you’re looking for an authentic San Diego stay.

Bars

Bars_San-Diego-City-Guide

Coin Op Game Room is one of the most fun bars in North Park. They offer great craft cocktails and have lined the walls with video game machines, old and new. Play Pac Man while sipping on a delicious Ram Sauce. Highly recommended. It’s located in the heart of North Park, making bar-hopping easy and accessible. Neighborhood faves include: True North, West Coast Tavern, and Bar Pink.

Noble Experiment is San Diego’s very own speakeasy. It is hidden within the restaurant called Neighborhood, and sits behind a wall that appears to be stacked kegs. You need to make a reservation by texting a secret number that you can obtain online, or hop down to the front desk and we’ll help you out.

Hamilton’s Tavern. If taverns and pubs are more your style, you will love this spot. Located in South Park, they have an incredible tap selection and maintain a dive bar vibe that people have come to love.

Things to Do

When you’re not eating, there are plenty of things to do in and around the city. San Diego is broken up into neighbors that all have their distinct feel. Within each neighborhood, there’s plenty of things to do within walking distance. However, to get from neighborhood to neighborhood, you’re probably going to want a car.

Outdoor Activities

Ocean-Hike

In a place as sunny as San Diego, you’re never going to run out of things to do outside.

Sunset Cliffs is a strip of ocean located in Ocean Beach that, naturally, is an amazing place to watch the sunset. The cliffs span more than a mile down the coast and give perfect views of Mission and Pacific beaches that will leave one pondering their existence. You will not be disappointed.

Torrey Pines State Reserve is located a little north of the city. This spectacular spot has sweeping ocean views and beautiful beaches. The park has several hikes that are great for beginners and aren’t too taxing. The best way to experience Torrey Pines is to hike up the hill on the road and then weave back down through the trails. You’ll end up on the beach where you can walk back to your car, or pick a spot and spend the day in the sun.

Balboa Park is what they call “a landscape of Arts and Culture.” There is a healthy mixture of stunning architecture, interesting museums, and open space to hang out. The natural history museum and art museum are personal favorites, but any of them are sure to please just about anyone. Balboa Park is FILLED with things to do–check out their website to get a full list.

The USS Midway Museum is a decommissioned aircraft carrier that once held up to 225,000 sailors at a time. The museum allows visitors to see restored aircraft, flight simulators, the engine room, and so much more. History and naval buffs alike will surely enjoy this unique experience.  

Other Activities

Craft Beer Tours. San Diego is home to more than 3,000 craft breweries, which makes beer tasting rooms all that much more enjoyable. Stone Brewery, Ballast Point, Green Flash Brewing Company, and Modern Times are some of the best to visit.

Go to a Padres Game at Petco Park located downtown San Diego. The park is right next to the Gaslamp Quarter and features plenty of good food options and a beautiful stadium. Tickets range anywhere from $16.50 to $100, so there’s a little something for everyone.  

The San Diego Zoo is world-renowned for their exhibits and of course the pandas. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park located in Escondido is also well worth the visit. The main difference is that animals at the Safari Park look like they’re in the wild and not in cages.

The Options are Endless

There are about a million and three things to do in San Diego and this is a very abbreviated list. This list is a combination of some of our favorite local spots and main points of interest. If you’re looking for something that you don’t see, just ask! Our employees are San Diego natives and would love to lend you a helping hand.

If you’re out and about, feel free to call us or send us a message on social media. The links are below.

Conclusion

Creating a city guide for your website doesn’t have to take a long time or be too complicated. We walked through the process of creating a guide for our own city in hopes of inspiring you to create your own. A branded city guide will help your guests navigate the city and travelers will appreciate it more than you know.

Once you’ve finished your guide, place it prominently on your website. You can create a standalone page for it and post it to your blog. We also suggest printing it off to hand out at the front desk or leave in guestrooms. The content is valuable across many different mediums.

Featured Image: Flickr

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