Where to fly
Consider joining up if there is a club near you. You will meet fellow pilots, have access to their flying facility, as well as be able to find a good instructor.
It may be worth it to drive some distance to a flying field to get these benefits. Visit the club or clubs in your area before joining up.
Talk to several of the members, and see how welcoming they are to the idea of new members. Most rc pilots are happy to talk about their airplanes.
If the chief instructor is around, talk to that person to get an idea of what your flight lessons might be like.
Don't underestimate the people factor, as you will probably start spending a lot of time at the club :)
The club will most likely have membership dues, as well as requiring you to join the Academy of Model Aeronautics, AMA.
The AMA membership gets you insurance, which we'll talk about here. Consider these annual dues when preparing your hobby budget.
If a club is not available nearby, or is somehow not right for you, there are now slow-flying electric rc airplanes that can be flown in a large park. Please be aware of local rules and posted sign in the parks.
Observe the rules!
Most importantly, remember that parks and other public spaces have to be shared with other users.
Be courteous, and above all, be safe. If there are other people around, consider postponing your flight to another less-busy time.
On the subject of safety in parks, if you have to choose between crashing your plane on purpose, or colliding with another parkgoer, chose the crash! Airplanes can be rebuilt...
Never fly a fast or otherwise hazardous aircraft in a park.
Also, do NOT fly in a park that is close to an RC club! You will not know who is on your frequency and it's only a matter of time before a crash results.