Off the top of my head I can’t remember the frequency but there’s a few that NOAA etc are always broadcasting on so you should be able to tune into that and receive to test your equipment
Most frequencies you’ll want your antenna to clear the roof of your house if you live in the suburbs. I live in a dense area and can get the NOAA channel with the antenna inside my house.
Me and some of my friends tried to get into the hobby. Met a couple people who were welcoming. The more diehard folks are very unwelcoming to noobs. I posted a funny and lengthy post about this on another HAM thread on pinside.
If you listen to some of your local simplex bands you’ll find out you aren’t missing out on anything. Mostly talk about what’s local to where they live like looking at reviews on google or yelp. Basically it would be like you and I talking on the phone for a couple hours and we need to remind each other what our phone numbers are because it’s the law.
There’s a thing called Field Day. Think of it like Pinball Expo for Ham except you don’t meet anywhere. Some people have parties at their house and bring their own radios like it’s a LAN party. The goal is to talk to as many people as you can remotely.
Fun fact you CAN legally transmit without any license in a crisis (that part not so fun).
For $250 or a little more you can get a much more up to date system than the one you have if you truly decide to get into the hobby if you want some more of the digital features. A lot of the repeater offsets (I think I have that right) are preprogrammed for you.