Phone apps for exploring California

Phone apps for exploring California
A screen shot of the California Farmers' Market Finder app. (

Here are apps that do more than explore


; several may help alleviate travel stress. Apps that work on


also work on



iPod Touch

, and Android apps work on multiple phones and tablets, including those from Motorola, Samsung and Archos.

Getting fresh:

California Farmers' Market Finder details farmers markets throughout the state with links to


Maps and to market websites. Free for iPhone.

Picture this, California:

California Photo Scout Premium puts a photo coach in your pocket. It details top scenic spots (with pictures) in Southern and Northern California from San Diego to Yosemite and or Sutter's Fort or Daffodil Hill in Sacramento. Directions with GPS coordinates, best time to shoot and equipment required, such as a tripod, a telephoto lens or mosquito repellent. $6.99 for iPhone.

Phil 'er up:


In case you get lonely for home, Bravo Gustavo transforms your iPhone into Gustavo Dudamel's baton. You wave your phone to play excerpts from the L.A. Philharmonic conductor's performances; when your phone doesn't move, the music stops, and you feel powerful and musically gifted. Free for iPhone.

Fuel for thought:

If you're struggling with our gas prices, Gas Buddy reduces pain at the pump by using GPS to find the cheapest nearby gas (including Costco fuel prices). Free for iPhone, Android and Windows phones.

Parking karma:

Mobile Parking Apps for Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco help find parking meters, garages, gas stations and more. $1.99 each for iPhone.

Play time:

L.A. Phil and Hollywood Bowl apps include maps, performance videos and concert dates for Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, respectively. Free for iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

Great outdoors:

CalParks, the California State Parks Foundation's official app, includes hiking maps, points of interest and pictures. Hikes can be shared using EveryTrail,


and Twitter. Free for iPhone.

Park places:

California Parks lacks some details offered by CalParks, but it includes more state parks along with maps, pictures, weather info, etc. $1.99 for iPhone.

West Side story:

Santa Monica GeoGuide helps you find food, lodging, happy hours and attractions by spinning its carousel of information. Free for iPhone.

Fish tales:

Aquarium of the Pacific Visitor Guide provides maps and show schedules for the Long Beach Aquarium along with animal puzzles and species information. Free for iPhone.

O.C. insider:

Newport Beach Insider serves up the O.C. when you interact with its map, slideshow or lists. Attractions range from


to Santa Catalina. My favorite filter, "Nowhere but Here," made me want to visit Barney's Barkery on Balboa Island to see dogs guzzle Wet Snout Stouts (beef-flavored nutritional drinks). $1.99 for iPhone.

Wine time:

Santa Barbara Sip & Savor — because Californians cannot live on apps alone — lists wining and dining options in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Santa Ynez Valley, etc. Free for iPhone.

Steinbeck country:

Cannery Row uses archival photos and your phone's GPS to reveal Monterey as described in

John Steinbeck

's "Cannery Row" when it was the sardine capital of the world. Info and pix provide food, lodging and attraction tips. $2.99 for iPhone.

National level:

Hiking Yosemite National Park (TUA Outdoors) provides trail maps, hike ratings (from easy to strenuous), a weather link and more. $1.99 for iPhone. Chimani Yosemite National Park offers hiking, swimming hole, shuttle and restroom info along with a GPS-enabled map. $9.99 for iPhone; $4.99 or free (lite version) for Android.

Golden moments:

Golden Gate Park Field Guide from the California Academy of Science connects you with nature in San Francisco's thousand-acre urban sanctuary. Free for iPhone.

City by the Bay:

From Sutro Media come several Bay Area apps. San Francisco Families details kid-friendly attractions, including the Bay Area Discovery Museum ($1.99 for iPhone). San Francisco Travel Photo Guide supplies tips for photographing landmarks ($1.99 for iPhone). San Fran Waterfront provides neighborhood secrets for the 10-mile waterfront stretch from the Golden Gate Bridge to AT&T Park ($2.99 for iPhone). SF Explorer reveals the entire city, including a nightlife spot called the Makeout room on Mission Street ($2.99 for iPhone).

What you like:

San Francisco Guide includes app maker mTrip's signature Genius that will generate an itinerary for you based on your preferences. You use sliders to emphasize attractions such as parks versus museums. $5.99 for iPhone and $6.97 for Android.

Bike it:

Davis Routes provides popular bike routes for the Davis area. Free (with ads) and 99 cents (without advertising) for iPhone.