Best iPhone Tour Apps
Surrender your guidebook and let these 10 iPhone apps show you the way.
Get an iPad,
just by walking Boston’s Freedom Trail and taking pictures.
This isn’t some
spam come-on. Just fire up the iPhone app SCVNGR, which
includes hundreds of treks across the U.S. The app’s location-based challenges
can earn users on-the-spot rewards like free coffee, or points toward bigger
prizes (like that iPad).
SCVNGR is just
one of some 14,400 travel apps available to iPhone users that make it fun to
wander around not-so-aimlessly. Using GPS technology, tour-based apps sense
where you are and tell you what’s around, so you’re not restricted to predefined
routes, like those found in guidebooks. Other apps are useful in museums, where
you won’t have to fight guests to read wall descriptions or pay for audio
Of course, apps
update more often than books and are less cumbersome. They’re also often more
affordable than books—or, in many cases, free. And there’s the added bonus of
not having your nose buried in a guidebook, which helps you avoid looking like
of the iPhone’s noteworthy travel apps, covers 400,000 outdoor trails around
the world. Produced by professional writers and photographers, it also features
user-created trips, which can be equally as reliable. “The community monitors
and ranks the trips,” says Everytrail VP Katherine Bose. “People do their best when their name’s on it.” You can
create your own trip as well and, with a touch of a button on your iPhone,
share it on Facebook. It’s like an easy-to-distribute, interactive scrapbook.
You can also
find iPhone tour apps that have oldfangled roots, like Sunday
Drive, which sprang from a local newspaper column recommending leisurely
scenic road trip routes in southern California. “I’ve always been a driving
enthusiast,” says column writer and app creator Jason D. Scott, who turned his
passion into not only a job but also a source of inexpensive family outings.
“Now I love to take my three- and four-year-old kids on weekend drives.”
technological innovation, GPS, and creativity with great, often expert,
content, iPhone tour apps make exploring the unknown easier and more fun than