Local Guides: how to explore like a local

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a Google Local Guides event. Like I was, you’re probably wondering what Local Guides is all about.

What is local guides?

Local Guides is a community driven program that allows you to update location information so that Google Maps not only stays up to date, but you help others find the best local spots. You can leave reviews, add pictures and best of all, if you do this regularly you get invited to meetups and earn benefits like extra free Google storage.

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Exploring Melville with Local Guides

The Local Guides event started at 10am at 27 Boxes in Melville. My friend Kate and I were one of the first to arrive. We sat outside and soaked up the morning winter sun. As other people started arriving, we had made one HUGE mistake.


Every one else was in jeans and sneakers. We were in lycra and tekkies. Of course we were the only ones in full on gym gear. And of course we were also the only overweight ones. Thank goodness we decided against the sweatbands and caps, because there would be no coming back after that.

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I thought it would be a Melville Koppies type hike. I thought wrong. We started off with cronuts and coffee. The cronuts looked amazing, but as high as my tolerance for embarrassment is, I wasn’t going to eat a massive cronut in my gym gear. Even I have my limits.

We were divided into groups and matched with a Local Guide. Upon registration I asked if my friend and I could be in the same group (I’m at that age where I have my friends and I’m not looking to make new ones. At this point it is too much effort. But our group was awesome!).

We each got passports with clues and R200 for food and souvenirs. We checked out 27 Boxes and I made a faux pa about turmeric as a face mask because I was certain it stains your face (because really you can’t take me anywhere). We headed to an antique store and saw the best bar in a globe ever (one day I will own one of these, Bold & the Beautiful style). We then headed to Bread & Roses and had the best juices ever. 

We then walked up the street to the Melt Bar but being 11am it wasn’t open yet, so we took the opportunity to take a photo against a wall that was made for taking photos.

We then went to one of the biggest thrift store I’ve ever been in. It never ended and there were just more and more rooms. I got to see some old school tins,  creepy AF dolls and heard the best phrase I’ve ever heard in a thrift store.

Do you think they’ll sell me these glass bottles? Why would you want so many? I want these bottle for my kombucha.

Of course you do.

I used my souvenir money to get these awesome concrete button coasters.

We ended off at Hell’s Kitchen with the best sliders I have ever tasted in my life.

Sign up for Local Guides here and start adding images, videos and tips to places you visit.

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I really like that Local Guides encourages you to explore your city. Of course I’d been to Melville before, but I got to experience places I usually wouldn’t with an awesome group of people. So the next time you want a day out, explore a part of your area with Local Guides.

Out and about with @googleafrica today for #LocalGuidesZA in Melville. ? Found the coolest iced zoo and star wars magnets at the Ceramic Factory. I also became the proud owner of cement button coasters (made me think of @joface_morrison), went into the creepiest second hand store where they had old school kids toys wrapped in plastic and where I overheard this: I wonder if they’d sell me those glass bottles? What for? My kumbacha. #shityouhearinthriftstores ? had the most amazing green juice at a place called Bread & Roses (which I think Bon Jovi would approve of), took an album cover esque photo at the melt bar, ventured into a second hand bookstore and ended up at hell’s kitchen where we stuffed our faces with possibly the best sliders ever. Good times.

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