All Places have flavor.
While you do not have to visit a place that the characters in your book are travelling to, you should have a sense of the flavor of that place.
San Francisco has a different feel to it from New York and Chicago, for example, even though all three are large cities.
Just as you want your diverse characters to be authentic, you also want your places to feel authentic. If rely heavily on stereotypes of a place, your place is going to feel as flat as characters that are full of tropes.
San Francisco is known for its Chinatown, Market District, and Lumbar Street. However, if you’ve never been to the city, you might not know about the pastel flamboyance that peeks out of business windows, or the unique experience you’ll have as you walk from point A to point B.
On a larger scale, each state and country has its own flavor as well. You might know about California’s Hollywood or Maine’s beaches, but you couldn’t truly capture the casual way Californians dress and talk or the special way people from Maine speak, unless you know someone who’s been there.
So, what is special about where you live? What flavors make it unique? Try to capture that as you write and build your setting in books.
And now, here’s the next installment of my story which takes place in the pages of an alphabet book.