8 Apps for Exploring the City This Independence Day Weekend

July 4, 2013

1:00 pm

For most (or, at least, me), Independence Day is the official marker of summer’s arrival. There’s nothing like a good barbecue and some time outdoors with friends and family to remind us of good ol’ American ideals. Plus, fireworks are pretty cool. But how are you going to fill the rest of your time? Whether you’re in DC, Boston, or Philadelphia this Fourth of July weekend, you can use these eight apps to explore other interesting things to do while you’re in town.

Google Field Trip

Google’s Field Trip app runs in your phone’s background and will automatically show you information about nearby businesses, attractions, and deals/offers, based on your selected interests. It uses information from publications like Thrillist, Cool Hunting, and Zagat to help you find the most interesting things.

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wrote about Sooligan earlier this month, and it should come in useful this weekend. It’s a real-time social search platform that allows you to find local treasures (as well as read raves and rants about aspects of the local culture) by engaging in digital dialogue with members of the community.

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Need to be somewhere specific today, but can spare time for some adventure? Wanderous is a navigation app that shows you interesting spots (parks, landmarks, historical sites, public attractions, etc.) located somewhere between your starting point and endpoint for the day’s journey.

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Time to Enjoy

Time to Enjoy is an all-encompassing, location-based event search, calendar, and alerts app that provides you a list of events based on how far you’re willing to travel and when you’re free. The events shown are customized per your category preferences (from festivals and live theater, to free food and kids/family).

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Wander Wheel

For those looking into exploring their own city this weekend, Wander Wheel aims to help you discover new places and experiences by gamifying your day’s itinerary. It sets up an assortment of places for you to check out and a specific activity to perform while at each checkpoint (e.g., buy a fancy drink; high-five the barista).

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It Happened Here

For history buffs and those wanting to relive moments from America’s past, there’s It Happened Here. The app shows users interesting factoids or events (“Thomas Jefferson peed here on March 1, 1801”) that have taken place at/near their current location.

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Gravy is an event discovery platform that finds activities based on your location and the kind of activity for which you’re in the mood. Moods include: “whatever,” “lively,” “class,” “brainy,” and “playtime.” If, say, you’re feeling “classy,” Gravy will only show you events and activities that take place in museums, concert halls, and other elegant environments.

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Find Stuff to Do

Personalization sets Find Stuff to Do apart from the other apps on this list. Preferences can be as precise (e.g., the kind of pubs you like to your favorite kind of food – French or Moroccan?) or as broad as you want, and will show you places or events based on your preferred location (current or otherwise) and for what time.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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