In case you were wondering what to do instead of shopping when Black Friday hits later this month (or any day of the year really), REI is here to help. As part of their ongoing #OptOutside campaign, the retailer created a site where you can search for new places to explore around you or new activities to try.
The #OptOutside site is basically one big Instagram search engine that let you search by location, activities, or specific hashtags. The results pull from all the photos tagged #optoutside on Instagram and return them in a nice Pinterest like display for you to browse through.
If you need help figuring out what to search for, REI created a listed of hashtag groups that you might find interesting such as #adventures and #hawaii. I wouldn’t mind going to Hawaii for Black Friday.
When I do a search for San Francisco, the photos bring up ideas for hiking on Angel Island or heading to Vernal Falls in Yosemite. When you click on a photo, REI smartly ties in other information you might be interested in such as mountain biking trails near San Francisco pulled from their MTB project database, classes and events in an REI store near you, as well as expert advice and bike related stories form their blogs.
I personally found some mountain bike trails near Santa Cruz that might be fun to try over the weekend. Some photos in the results are more helpful than others, specifically the ones that tell you exactly where the photo was taken. Others either aren’t labeled or use a location other than the one in the photo.
If anything, REI’s #OptOutside site is a great source of outdoor inspiration, so head on over and check it out yourself. Let me know if you find something good!