Planning to escape to the great outdoors for a socially distant summer? There are a few apps you may want to download before you go. After all, the tools below won’t just help you travel from here to there, they’ll help you get off the beaten paths in national parks, learn about road and trail closures, discover nearby preserves and beaches, find scenic rest stops, satisfy cravings for takeaway food and keep you up-to-date on the latest travel and health information.

To be sure, there are many practical apps for outdoor adventure and road tripping, like Waze (for navigation), GasBuddy (for finding affordable gas stations) and Flush (for locating public bathrooms). And planning and booking apps, like TripAdvisor Hotels & Vacation, have been updated with notices and guidance about travel amid Covid-19. But the following apps may prove to be particularly useful by helping travelers stay socially distant yet still savor the timeless pleasures of summer — hiking, biking, camping and dinners under the stars in wide open spaces.


Wondering what lies just around the bend? Roadtrippers uses your location to show you beaches, parks, lakes, nature preserves, farms, botanical gardens, public art, monuments, vacation photo-ops, camping and RV spots, to name but a few. You can easily search for attractions near you, or along a route you set, then navigate there with turn-by-turn driving directions.

Roadtrippers is especially handy because you can filter for the types of places you want to see, outdoor activities and destinations. Tap an attraction for more information and photos, and select “add to trip” to include in your itinerary, which you can save and export to a PDF if you like.

Check out the full article from the New York Times here.