App-solutely Perfect Travel Planning
Mobile apps put your dream vacation at your fingertips.
BY CARRIE ROUSSEL
For many of us, the days of maps and travel brochures sprawled across the table while we scribble on a notepad are gone. Replaced by websites, mobile maps, and travel apps, a new selection of on-the-go providers are ready to pave the way to your next adventure.
While Nevada’s territories and rural communities still produce printed travel guides and brochures, most also offer online access to itineraries and interesting information. From websites to mobile applications, we present a collection of options to help plan your Nevada wanderings. Keep in mind that cell service in the remote areas of the state may be spotty and relying on access to Wi-Fi alone is never a good idea. Plan ahead, download pertinent information, and get ready for your Nevada adventure.
The Nevada Division of Tourism (Travel Nevada) website is sure to whet your whistle and get the creative travel juices flowing. Discover roadtrips, things to do, places to go, hotels and lodging, and first-person travel experiences. You’re sure to find inspiration with ideas ranging from seasons and saloons to stargazing and Strip trips, and so many things in between. The “Discover Your Nevada” campaign hosts pages of itineraries, some of which are broken down further into different locations and by season. For those with enough things to plan already, Travel Nevada has done the work for you, and offers excitement and adventure ready for the taking.
GRAB THAT CELLPHONE
From big cities to rural communities and the six Nevada territories, and from museums to maps and education as well as dining, mobile apps provide information to assist in any way you can imagine.
Head to your cellphone’s app store (Google Play, or Apple App Store), punch in Boulder City Chamber Nevada, Everything Elko, Go Mesquite, Virginia City Nevada, or City of Henderson Nevada, download the corresponding app and you’re ready to explore those communities via your fingertips. Some apps are traveler-specific but even the ones built for residents list events, services, tips, and sometimes even coupons and deals. While the best trips steer clear of automotive emergencies, they sneak in occasionally and a ready-made list of repair shops could save you time and energy.
The Mob Museum in Downtown Las Vegas has an app that offers the chance to find your “Doppelgangster” by uploading a photo to match you with your lookalike bad boy or girl. I was a 67% match with Bryan Cranston and a more-appealing Naomi Watts once I selected “show female lookalikes.” The app allows you to view a map of the building, get tickets, see the exhibits, view the event calendar, or become a member. This app is super user-friendly, and even has a self-guided audio tour.
Speaking of audio tours, the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum in Carson City allows visitors the opportunity to download a brochure from its website that includes a numbered trail map with corresponding podcasts that showcase stories told by alumni and employees from the school. Alternately, you can visit the trail and call in on your cellphone and enter the audio story number followed by the pound key. These touching recollections provide a tangible view of what growing up and working at Stewart was really like.
The California Trail Interpretive Center in Elko has a great app where you can view both indoor and outdoor exhibits, explore nearby wagon trail sites, view hours, admission fees, maps, videos, photos, and guides for other locations along the California Trail.
Reno Historical app is a community-based project by local historians, students, and teachers that provides an incredible interpretive look at the city’s history. Using a GPS-enabled map, the self-guided tours include historical information about the sites with historic images. Standing in front of historic buildings and seeing what they looked like many years ago truly brings history to life. Many sites include audio clips and short documentary videos based on the University of Nevada Oral History Program’s collection of interviews.
The big-draw tourism destinations like Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas supply visitors with many great options. View the Tahoe South trip planning app as well as the Tahoe Boating app, and ski resort apps. All will certainly fuel the need for a Lake Tahoe trip and make memories the whole family will enjoy. Like Las Vegas, the apps available run the gamut from your basic city travel guide to Las Vegas Gay Pride and the Raiders + Allegiant Stadium. Whatever you’re looking for in Las Vegas, your app store is bound to have something to make your trip more enjoyable.
From events like Reno Rodeo to Yerington’s Night in the Country Festival, the Pony Express Territory audio tour that can be downloaded on mobile devices, and from Nevada wildflowers to dining options in almost every city and town, planning the perfect vacation is easier than ever.