5 Apps That Help You Find Your City’s Hidden Gems

feet on sidewalk

After living in the same city for a few years, it’s easy to become disenchanted with the urban lifestyle that once thrilled you each and every day. You might go to the same old craft beer bar for happy hour, head to the same local cafe for your coffee in the morning, and grab dinner at the same gastropub virtually every Friday.

If you’re worried that you’ve fallen into a city-living rut, don’t: there’s an app for that. Actually, there are five apps for that. Here’s our list of the best smartphone apps to help you explore your city like as if it’s the first time you’ve set foot in it:

  1. Google Field Trip. It’s pretty rare that technology backed by Google falls flat, so it should come as no surprise that its city exploration app hits it out of the park. This cutting-edge app combines the knowledge of your city’s experts, from Zagat reviewers to local historians, and helps you find new restaurants, museums, and other spots to explore. The app is always running, surveying your surroundings and looking for cool things to do nearby or tidbits to share with you about the neighborhood’s culture. Turn on your push notifications so that Field Trip can alert you when you’re about to stumble upon something cool.
  2. Four Square. Four Square is the app to use if you already have a destination in mind, or at least a type of destination. Akin to Yelp, this mobile-friendly program can help you find the best bar nearby with a huge list of microbrews or track down vegan fare in your neighborhood. Since it’s driven by user and critic reviews, Four Square will never send you in the direction of a restaurant, bar, or neighborhood that others have deemed a dud.
  3. Serendipitor. This recently debuted app takes a slightly different approach to exploring the city. Instead of directing you to a new business, it maps out a route to any establishment you so choose. The only difference? Serendipitor creates a meandering path to take so that you can stumble upon hidden gems along the way. You can make the route more direct or more winding depending on how much time you have to spare. Serendipitor will also give you fun tasks to complete along the way if you want (e.g., stop and take a photo).
  4. Kamino. Billed as a compendium of local walking tours, Kamino reintroduces you to your city through the eyes of someone else. Its tours are curated by locals and travel experts alike, and their themes are varied. Fire up the app and head out on a food tour of the city’s Chinatown or check out the best cocktail bars nearby with some friends.
  5. Mosey. Whether you want the advice of a close friend or a native city dweller with plenty of time logged in your town, Mosey can help. This app allows you to search for the best spots to hit nearby (from coffee shops to beaches) via your connections on social media, as well as local experts. You can also follow an entire itinerary for your night or weekend as designed by a fellow city lover.