10 best U.S. city travel apps

10 best U.S. city travel apps

Our favorite trip-worthy apps will make you feel like you never left the United States
NileGuide
The smartest ways to travel.

There’s a world of difference between visiting someplace where you have friends, versus a town where you don’t know anyone.

Travel apps, at their best, are like companions who can serve as unofficial tour guides: they can tell you the city’s ins and outs, its points of interest and its pitfalls.

With a growing list of more than 20,000 apps dedicated to travel, there are plenty to choose from.

Here, we’ve focused on some of the coolest, most useful U.S. city-themed ones -- all designed to make your life easier whether you're a first-time visitor or a hometown product. 

1) Nashville Live Music Guide

Music City is known for being a place where you can discover the Next Big Thing in the music world on any given night, at any number of venues. This helps you find them.

Compatible with: iOS; Android Market

Cost: Free

2) Cabsense New York

By rating every street corner in the city, the GPS-fueled Cabsense eliminates the guesswork involved in hailing a cab, and makes you look good in the process. Even if you can’t whistle like a Manhattan doorman.

Compatible with: iOS; Android Market

Cost: Free

3) Visit Napa Valley

Put out by Napa Valley Tourism, this official guide helps vineyard-goers soak in the best of wine country, and includes choice spa and tasting information.

Compatible with: iOS

Cost: Free

4) Cocktail Compass

Find the best after-five drink deals in town. And, using the “Happy Hour Countdown” feature, determine whether you need to walk or run to cash in on them. Lastly, use its cab-dialing feature to get home safely.

Compatible with: iOS; Android (coming soon)

Cost: Free

*Available for Seattle, Portland, Boise, New York, Pittsburg, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, and Little Rock

5) Beat The Traffic

Made with cities like Los Angeles in mind, this features real-time accident and construction reports, plus traffic camera images from more than 30 cities. The “speed dot” option allows drivers to gauge how fast cars are moving in a given location.

Compatible with: iOS

Cost: Free

6) Ness Dining Guide

An alternative to more popular options such as Urbanspoon and Open Table, Ness is the Pandora of restaurant apps. It builds up your “taste” for a place based on your likes, but it can also incorporate friend recommendations.

Compatible with: iOS

Cost: Free

7)  Beanhunter

Coffee shops provide the lifeblood of a town. Because they’re not all as ubiquitous as Starbucks, we have Beanhunter. Filter through café reviews from around the world and follow the aroma to the “Coffee Worth Traveling For.”

Compatible with: iOS

Cost: Free

8) Chicago Nearest Transit

OK, let’s forget that the city is a grid and it’s impossible to get lost for a moment. That’s not important. What is important is finding that “El” stop so you can board the train.

Compatible with: iOS

Cost: $1.99

9) Scoutmob

Join the mob to avoid the mob. Consider this the ultimate bargain-finder -- not only for exclusive deals at local retail businesses and restaurants, but also can’t-miss city happenings. It also features the non-travel-related “Stache-Cam,” which lets you add facial hair to photos of friends.

Compatible with: iOS; Android Market; Blackberry

Cost: Free

*Also available in: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.

10) What’s Next?

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been,” writes Paul Theroux, “travelers don’t know where they’re going.” This app uses local expertise to provide you with dining, activity, or lodging suggestions but does so in a way that encourages spontaneity.

Compatible with: iOS 

Cost: Free

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