Discover Florida’s Downtowns with Free Smartphone App
Florida boasts a rich history and a free smartphone application published by the Florida Humanities Council shares some of the Sunshine State’s most intriguing stories. Called Florida Stories, users can download the free app to explore more than a dozen downtowns through self-guided audio walking tours.
The app intertwines architecture, culture and history and guides visitors through Florida’s downtowns. Because they have these tours in the palms of their hands, users can enjoy walks on their schedule at their own pace.
Each Florida story includes a digital map with starting and ending points although, the user can begin the tour anywhere they like. The audio portion can be downloaded and used without a data connection but that connection is needed to utilize GPS on your phone, street view to see what is immediately nearby and the augmented reality option displays nearby stops.
These free audio walking tours are available for Bartow, DeLand, Fernandina Beach, Fort Pierce, Key West, Lake Wales, Ormond Beach, Pensacola, St. Augustine (two tours: Colonial Tour and Gilded Age Tour), St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa’s Ybor City and Tarpon Springs. The Florida Humanities Council will soon release tours for Fort Pierce (Lincolnpark), St. Augustine (Lincolnville), and Virginia Key.
Although they each average about 10 points of interest, tours vary in duration ranging from the DeLand with about 27 minutes of audio to St. Petersburg offering 1 hour 27 minutes.
Walking tours are perfect for getting to know a downtown and seeing something you may have missed while driving, such as a gem of a café or eclectic boutique. Plus, it is an opportunity to for exercise and getting those daily steps.
The Florida Stories app is available for download for iOS and Android and comes with its own caution. The publisher advises users to have a fully-charged phone before taking the first step, watch for traffic, and before crossing the street, pause the audio. And, before stepping out don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes, watch for uneven pathways, and dress appropriately for the weather.
Learn more and download the free Florida Stories app.