I recently moved to Washington DC. My bike is my primary form of transportation. Once a week or so I find myself travelling to a destination one to five miles from home that I've never been to before. To choose a route I use a hardcopy of the DC Bicycle Map. I try to pick streets that have bike lanes or have low traffic volumes. I pretty much memorize the route I'll take prior to getting on my bike. Sometimes I bring the map along just in case I take a wrong turn or discover a street I wanted to take turns out to be one-way.
I'm very curious to know how others choose their routes, particularly when in unfamiliar territory. Could you share the city you live in and the methods you use to reach new destinations? Thanks.