When traveling, one of my favorite things to do is simply explore the local area and see what's going on. I do enjoy guided tours on some occassions, but I'm more interested in finding cool local markets/restaurants/historical sites, photography opportunities, or nearby nature walks/hikes that are hidden gems.
For example, when in Sydney, a relative pointed us to a small nature reserve (one of hundreds or thousands when simply looking at a map) that turned out to be a deep, beautiful forest in the middle of a neighborhood.
Before a trip, I usually search online for reviews of "things to do" but mostly I just come up with tourist traps. So how do I find the opposite of tourist traps once I'm actually on site?