Finally! Spring is upon us, and we are fast approaching the summer months.

If you’re anything like us, you are looking for any excuse to get outside. After a long winter (made worse by continued lockdowns and the overall impact of the pandemic), we are itching to get out of the house.

While we’re the first to admit that sometimes it’s best to ditch all your technology and just head outdoors, we also think that mobile devices can assist with finding new ways to get out of the house and enjoy the warm weather that’s finally upon us.

With spring in full swing, and summer nearing quickly, here are 4 apps we recommend as you look for new ways to take advantage of this great season:

  • OutdooractiveOutdooractive, available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, gives you a helpful database of trails around the world with options for hiking and cycling. It also lets you plan outdoor routes, and syncs with Apple Health, so you can save workouts as desired. Hiking is one of our team’s favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors, and this app is great for finding new places to go.
  • UV Index WidgetUV Index Widget replaces WolframAlpha’s Sun Exposure app on our list of recommendations (the latter hasn’t been updated in some time now, so we no longer recommend it). It’s pretty simple: the app shows your the current UV Index based on your current location, and even provides personalized safety (sunscreen and sun exposure) recommendations by skin type. Of course, no one knows your body better than you, but this app is a helpful tool for knowing how long you can be exposured to the sun before running into problems.
  • Mixel: What goes together better than time out on the patio and an ice-cold cocktail? Not much, if you ask us. For those times when you want to think outside the box and try something new, Mixel allows you to browse cocktail ideas. You can also input ingredients from your bar at home and Mixel will give you drink recommendations based on your preferences. We’re always looking for new ideas!
  • Geocaching: Along the lines of Outdooractive, the official geocaching app is a great tool for getting outside. If you aren’t familiar with geocaching, it’s a global system for hiding and finding hidden containers (mostly for the thrill of the chase). Part hiking, part exploring, and part hide-and-seek, geocaching is a fun excuse to get outside end have fun. The app is great, and the easiest way to try the activity out.
  • Bonus: CareFull: This one gets a special bonus mention. CareFull, which is currently active only in Boston and parts of NYC (with plans for a nationwide rollout some time this year), gives you the scoop on COVID-safe restaurants near you, including restaurants’ masking and sanitization policies, as well as outdoor dining options. If you’re still hesitant to get out and enjoy a meal out of the house, CareFull is a great way to discover new options.

Whether you choose to seek guidance from your smartphone or not, we hope you find some time in the coming weeks to step outside and enjoy a breath of fresh air. We’re thrilled to be out of the house after a long winter.

Happy spring!

Photo by Robert Garcia on Unsplash