I was shocked to learn how many people don't know about these!
For those heading to completely new areas, or house-shopping from afar, try out the google maps to get a sense of a location without physically being there.
Simply type in the name of a city (Chicago, IL) or an address (123 Main St, Chicago, IL), hit [enter] and click "satellite." You'll get a great satellite image of the area so you can see first hand if there are parks, golf courses, lakes, etc.
**Smaller cities will not have the satellite feature.
Wow .. 123 main St, Chicago, IL really exists