I am an amateur, and shoot local scenes. If I see something that I might like to shoot when the light isn't right, I shoot anyway for a reminder of that location. Scouting new locations? Resources include "60 hikes within 60 miles of St. Louis" book (a series with at least 10 cities) and other local and state trail and camping guides; state Department of Natural Resources websites and other state info; National Parks, Forests, Rivers, Wildlife Refuges; word of mouth and hiking/paddling/biking club; tourism guides. I try to drive to sites using unfamiliar roads if possible and if I am not too pressed for time. I am also out for hiking and for wildlife photography, so if I don't find the interesting site at a time with interesting light, I haven't "wasted" time, I have merely taken a photographic "note" of that site.
I note the trail or road, location on trail (on trail map) with mental note on approximate length of time from trailhead and difficulty of terrain, direction of photo if not obvious. iPhone "compass" is a handy thing. I do carry the old-fashioned needle compass too. If appropriate, I may download and print a USGS map.
I am not too productive at the moment. Time and logistics are issues for more distant sites. Thankfully, transportation is less of an issue due to purchase of a reliable Landscape Photography Support Vehicle (aka Subaru Forester).