As warm weather approaches and outdoor COVID precautions are starting to loosen up, more and more people are thinking about ways to get outside and enjoy their summer vacation. And while travel is still a touch and go concept for some, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun while staying relatively close to home. Here are three apps that you and your family can use to ensure that you are getting off the couch and getting the most out of your summer break.
Best Apps For When You Want To Identify Something: Audubon App and Picture This
If you stumble upon an interesting plant or bird while you are out walking or hiking, it can be helpful to have an app at the ready to help you identify your new discovery. For birds, the Audubon Society’s free-to-use app is a truly comprehensive way to find out whether you are looking at an oriole or a red winged blackbird. Simply search for the bird using a wide variety of criteria, such as tail shape and behavior. Once you find the bird you are looking for, you can also use the app to keep track of all of your sightings. If you’re just curious about what types of birds live in your area, there is a field guide you can access with information on all birds local and exotic. By clicking on a type of bird, you can also see how many other sightings have been reported in your area, letting you know whether the bird you saw was common to your area or more rare. The Audubon app is available for free on iOS and Android.
If it’s not a bird, but rather a plant that you are curious about, try the app Picture This, which is designed to recognize plants and provide information about them. You can search through a list of plant types to see if you can find what you are looking for, or simply use your phone’s camera function to scan the plant. This app can also double as a handy gardening reference; if you and your family love planting flowers, veggies, or even tending to succulents in a terrarium, this app can provide you with the perfect temperature, watering schedule, and care instructions for whatever you are trying to raise. Picture this is available for subscription on iOS and Android. A seven day free trial is currently available.
Best App For Heading to the Park: National Park Service
Depending on what state you live in, you may have access to one or more National Parks. The National Park Service app uses your phone’s GPS to let you know where the closest National Parks to you are located. The app also lets you know the hours of each park as well as attractions, lodging information, event calendar, and all available amenities. The user can add parks to their Favorites list, download individual park’s information to their mobile device, and even create and share digital postcards to share with friends and family. The National Park Service app is available for free on iOS and Android.
Best App for Finding Local Trails: AllTrails
If you and your family are into taking walks or hikes together, this app can help you explore new trails whether you are staying local or traveling further afield. The app uses your GPS to determine your location and provides you with all of the trails located in your area. Clicking on a trail provides you with tons of information, including the difficulty of the terrain, user reviews, and helpful keywords. Want to know if a trail is dog friendly? Want to know if this trail would be a good place to use the Audubon bird app? Would this trail be appropriate for small children or strollers? AllTrails provides you with this information so you can decide on the trail that is best suited for you and your family. AllTrails is available for free on iOS and Android.
What apps does your family use outdoors? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!