It’s always a cool idea to do some background reading on the history of familiar places because you literally never know what has happened historically in even the most cotidian of places. I think this is something that really helps to see a familiar place in a completely different and sometimes mindblowing way and for better or worse it at least gives you an idea of the historical context of an area.
For example, I was really curious about the hidden history of where I am currently living so one day out of curiosity I used an archival news report website called "Gale Primary sources " to read old news stories about the local area. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much to come up , just some reports about the first and second world war , Blitz bombings etc. but the search results that came up were completely unexpected and really quite dark aspects of the local Victorian and Edwardian history which were both terrifying and fascinating.
Apart from that , a good idea is to look deeper into the names of places as sometimes they can be clues that hint at interesting and hidden aspects of the local history. Nowadays there are online dictionaries that can help with translation even if the name of a place is in a linguistically extinct language such as old English or a displaced or seemingly inscrutable language like Nahuatl.