How I Scout a Location
I first start finding new locations by pulling up all the local parks in the city I am scouting. I google, I put it in google maps and look around that way.
I will then email someone from the city and ask about their rules for photography in their parks. Always respect the rules!
If it is looking promising I will pass through the park with my camera in the morning and once in the evening around the times that I usually will do my sessions. I will see where the light hits the best and try to find as many cute little spots as I can.
I make a list of each part that is to my liking and the times it will look the best. I will then offer one or two sessions there for example pictures and then that location will go into my location guide.
As far as non-park options. When I am driving around town I always keep my eye out for cool doors and random fun walls. I ALWAYS ask the owner if I can use that space for a session and I ask for their fee.