local.google.com - the Emperor's new clothes
Google has got a lot of hype ablut their so-called local search.
But--leaving Google's rock solid reputation for result integrity behind--this search seems to return paid submissions only. That makes the
local search just one more yellow pages wannabe. Here in Scandinavia, the Yellow Pages markes is solidly owned by the telephone companies, Google's entry into this market will only makes searching for a business more difficult.
As long as the integrity of the old Google is intact, I'd recommend searching for the ZIP code there. I also recommend free directories like (the now dead) http://hoppa.com/us/nw/wa/sanjua/orcas/Canoeing/index.en.pl.gz and DMOZ.
2004-09-15: Results seem more complete now, e.g. kayak Eastsound. Still US only, probably because it still doesn't use WGS84 meta data.