Due to rising gas prices, and a general lack of time off for extended travel, many consumers are looking for ways to get out and see the sights in their own residential areas. While the term of “staycation” is a bit played out, the idea of getting to know your city – in a unique and exciting way, of course – isn’t just savvy, it’s ideal. Save some cash on flights and hotel, and get familiar with your community via these six amazing apps!
Originally marketed as a way to find “family-friendly” activities in and around town, the Goby website and its accompanying app help you narrow down events and destinations that are suited to just your tastes. Simply answer three questions (What? Where? When?) to receive up-to-the-minute suggestions for things to keep you occupied. Choose from adventures in dining, arts, entertainment, or even sports; the only limit to your results is the number of inquiries you choose to make!
Not typically viewed as an app for city exploration, MeetUp has nuggets of info for ways to socialize and see more of the communities that thrive within an area. If you’re game for meeting new people or pursuing more time with those you already know, the newest version of the MeetUp iPhone app can help you do just that. While the most recent update has a few bugs to be worked out, the promise of finding others who enjoy nature photography or dog-walking, for example, is impressive. Assuming you’re a people-person and don’t mind some company on your next adventure, this app is a must-have travel tool.
Oh, Ranger! Park Finder
If the active and outdoor lifestyle is your thing, you might find yourself at home in your local park or campsite. Using the Oh, Ranger! App, (which is free) it’s easy to search by your favorite activity – biking or swimming, for example – and get directions to the park that suits you best. For those who find themselves a bit directionally-challenged, many of the parks’ maps are also available via the app as a PDF document. (This is good news for those who like to hike, but are never sure how to get back to the car.) Thousands of parks and public lands are listed, so there’s bound to be an exciting opportunity near you!
When sweating it out is the only way you can truly unwind, the Active.com app might be the perfect way to see your city — on foot. This handy mobile app lists all upcoming marathons, fun runs, and charity walks in your area; just search by zip code to see what ways you can get moving in your town. Found an event you want to sign up for? Registration can be done directly from your mobile device!
For the explorer with nothing but time on their hands, there is an app that lets you take a less-than-direct route to your desired destination. Serendipitor allows you to input a desired end point, then follow any of a number of routes based on how much complexity (or detouring) you want to take. Priding itself on helping users “find something by looking for something else”, the free app for iPhone encourages users to take actions as they journey. Snap pictures of clouds, document a unique find, or share your route with others; this interactive and whimsical app encourages a different kind of exploration!
When you need a basic app that gives it to you straight, you can likely get it done with AroundMe. This app shows you every business or destination within a specified radius from your current destination – handy for anyone needing to find the nearest eatery, restroom, or hospital. Have a little time before you need to get there? Search for just a specific chain store, and let AroundMe tell you how many miles before the next one (or two) will appear. Available for iPhone, iPad, and Android, this app isn’t fancy; it just works.