Whether connecting the weary traveler to their surroundings, or adding perspective to the cultured native, useful and fun mobile apps help to unlock the secrets of the Awesome Mitten experience. This month’s back-pocket gems from the beginning of the “Accessing the Mitten Through Your Thumbs Series” will enable you to identify the wildlife surrounding you, engage in a self-guided walking tour, and effortlessly locate and learn about Michigan craft breweries in town.
Accessing the Mitten Through Your Thumbs Series, Part 1:
App No. 1: Michigan Travel Guide by Triposo, Inc. (FREE!)
Toss out that Lonely Planet travel guide book and quickly tap for an interactive and easily navigable application that helps provide a unique Michigan experience based on personal desires (available on iOS or Android). Michigan Travel Guide (MTG) suggests almost 200 Mitten cities to tour for the urban explorer, seven National Parks, and over 60 sightseeing hot spots outside of the cities for the more rugged adventurer (of which the majority are State Parks). Built into each City Guide is an interactive walking tour with map and route noting historical facts about each landmark along the way. Background photos are shown of each landmark from the viewpoint of the passing traveler along the route. Each city menu offers suggested options for sightseeing, food and drink, nightlife, hotels, shopping, activities, background information, as well as events taking place nearby each day. These options each have a category tag (e.g. museum for the Heidelberg Project or sandwich for Mudgie’s Deli), Yelp reviews, price ranges, hours of operation, and “Good to Know” suggestions (e.g. good for wine, breakfast, kid-friendly, etc.).
The National Parks and Sightseeing Menus offer a list of wildlife species to look out for at each location. The Travelpedia section offers anything from waterfalls to scope out and climbing dunes, to an Activities section which provides beaches, hiking trail and campgrounds to visit. Your compass is now the Practicalities section, which provides instructions for traveling to each point of interest via car, bus, or plane. Each and every location provides a historical summary of the place that you are visiting.
App No. 2: Michigan Micro Caps by Fusionary Media (FREE!)
Step aside, Candy Crush! We’ve got a crush with bottle caps! Yes, this interactive mobile app allows you to rack up points by matching up two or more bottle caps from Michigan breweries on an 8 x 8 board (available on iOS or Android). Master the ability to match iconic logos of Michigan craft beers as you learn the name of each brewing company. Each level introduces three new bottle caps representing MI brewing companies not seen in prior levels (which become progressively more difficult to match). The app allows you to preview your point total associated with a grouping of bottle caps as you strategize the best pairing to boost a top score, level by level! As with all good things, the game ends when you are left with two non-matching bottle caps at the bottom of the grid. Just a heads up: look out for the 5,000 point keg barrels!
Once you are ready to take a break, check out the Menu to navigate through the hundreds of breweries listed by proximity from major cities across the state. The app lets the user call ahead, pinpoint the exact location on a map, pull up each brewery website, and follow social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the “Accessing the Mitten Through Your Thumbs Series” as we guide you through the Awesome Mitten, one mobile app at a time! What apps are your favorite?