We’re live! It’s been a lot of work, and we’re all so excited to finally be bringing you the finished product. Or mostly finished, at least…
Alocato is launching in beta, which is typically an annoying way to release buggy software to the general public. In our case, it should all work (please let us know if something unsightly happens), but it may not be as feature rich as we see it becoming over time.
We’re hoping to use this beta period to get feedback from you, which will ultimately determine what Alocato ends up being.
So what can you expect to see as time goes on?
- Destinations outside of the United States. We would love to see Alocato expand across cultural and geographic borders, inspiring travelers all over the world. With time, we hope to start by adding multi-language support.
- Mobile trip-building. Right now you can build a trip on the website, save it, and take everything with you using the Alocato app for iOS 7+ and Android 4.4+. However, in the future, you will also be able to build trips right from your mobile device. There are a lot of moving parts, and we want to be sure the interface makes sense.
- More destinations. It’s our goal to compile a living Atlas of all the best places to visit. We’re working on adding amazing new destinations every day, but we’re also looking for fellow travelers who want to join in. Is that you? Apply to be a Contributor!
- Fun new ways to explore. Can’t give away everything we’re working on, but we think you’ll love what we’ve got in store.
Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey. We hope to return the favor by sending you to incredible new places – whether it’s for a quick weekend getaway, or a special occasion, or anything that inspires you to explore your surroundings.
Our Bucket List
Working on Alocato we’ve come across an endless list of great travel destinations and if we could, we’d just hit the road and visit them all.
But for now, here are our some of our personal favorites!
1. Block Island, Rhode Island
Check it out
When I was a kid we’d spend summers on a car-free island that required first a ferry ride and then a trip on a little steam-engine train through the marshes to get to the island’s only town. Block Island brings me back to those memories. It fulfills my childhood expectations of what an island should be – no bridges connecting it to the mainland, quaint little cottages and restaurants, and a slower pace of life with beautiful nature and wildlife to cleanse the soul.
2. Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Check it out
So this is an odd one, but there is something so wonderfully unique about a town in the middle of the desert that has the London Bridge (yes, the real thing! bought and shipped over when London built a new one) and 18 lighthouse replicas around the lake, that I just have to go!
3. Assateague Island, Maryland
Check it out
From the first photo you see of Assateague, you can tell right away how beautiful it is. And of course this is part of why we want to go. But we also can’t wait to see wild horses running in the surf. Add camping on the beach and you’ve got one amazing getaway.
4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Check it out
Ever since our time living in Chicago, I have a soft spot in my heart for a city on a lake. But there’s more to Milwaukee than that: There are beergardens, the Third Ward District’s Public Market, beergardens, the MillerCoors Caves, and also beergardens!
As you can see, I’m ready for summer ?
5. Durango, Colorado
Check it out
We’re pretty excited about the Cowboy Poetry Gathering and the Durango Blues Train, but if that’s not your speed there’s also a scenic railroad ride through the mountains and just about every outdoor activity imaginable.
6. Yosemite, California
Check it out
Last year we visited Yosemite for the first time and we know we’ll be back. Nothing beats sitting by the bubbling Merced River with a cold drink in hand, looking up at the giant granite rock faces and waterfalls all around.
10 Great Events Coming Up in July
Summer is finally here and it’s the perfect time to get out of town for a weekend.
From Barbeque Competitions and Music Festivals to a Pow Wow and even a Pony Swim, there’s no shortage of events to inspire a road trip.
1. Urban Adventure Games
From South Bend, IN (Held annually in July)
July 25, 2015 Touting itself a “scavenger hunt on steroids,” Urban Adventure Games is an action-packed race incorporating athletic activities like running, biking, and rafting.
2. Buffalo Bill Days
From Golden, CO (Held annually in July)
July 22-26, 2015 Golden’s biggest annual event, dating back to the ’40s. Festivities include a “Best of the West” parade, a golf tournament, live music, a classic car show, and lots of yummy food.
3. National Cherry Festival
From Traverse City, MI (Held annually in July)
July 4-11, 2015 As the Cherry Capital of the World, Traverse City pulls out all the stops for the National Cherry Festival. US Air Force Thunderbirds take to the skies, there’s two fireworks shows, two parades, everything from a 5k to a half marathon, a cherry pie eating contest, and more than 50 live music acts.
4. Taos Pueblo Pow Wow
From Taos, NM (Held annually in July)
July 10-12, 2015 This three day event draws members of Native American tribes from around the country to compete in traditional dance competitions.
5. Pony Penning Day
From Assateague Island, MD (Held annually in July)
July 29, 2015 In order to keep Assateague Island’s horse population under control, “Saltwater Cowboys” swim a group of ponies from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island where they are auctioned off.
6. Viva Big Bend Music Festival
From Big Bend National Park, TX (Held annually in July)
July 23-26, 2015 More than 75 live music acts in West Texas, showcasing the creative culture of Marfa, Fort Davis, Alpine, and Marathon.
7. Cheyenne Frontier Days
From Cheyenne, WY (Held annually in July)
July 17-26, 2015 The world’s largest outdoor rodeo and Western celebration, first held in 1897. Includes behind-the-chutes tours, a wild horse race, an old frontier town, pancake breakfasts, a carnival, an air show, and big-name entertainment like Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, and Blake Shelton.
8. I Love BBQ Festival
From Lake Placid, NY (Held annually in July)
July 3-5, 2015 Teams come from around the country to compete in various grilling contests while visitors sample the many barbecue delicacies and enjoy an array of food demonstrations, entertainment, live music, kids rides, and more.
9. Bragg Jam Festival
From Macon, GA (Held annually in July)
July 25, 2015 Bands spanning all genres perform at venues throughout town in Macon’s signature music festival.
10. Mendocino Music Festival
From Mendocino, CA (Held annually in July)
July 11-25, 2015 Evenings offer orchestra concerts, Big Band, chamber music ensembles, dance, blues, jazz, world, folk, bluegrass and popular contemporary music. Daytime concerts feature lecture/recitals at the Piano Series and small concerts in intimate venues throughout the historic towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg.
8 Awesome Memorial Day Weekend Festivals
Memorial Day Weekend is here and it’s time to get out and celebrate the start of good weather and summer fun.
Don’t have any plans yet? There’s lots of great festivals and events out there to fill a couple of hours or even the whole weekend. We’ve put together a few of our favorites from across the country.
1. Kinetic Grand Championship
From Arcata, CA (Held annually in May)
Referred to as the “Triathlon of the Art World,” this is not just any old bicycle race. Over the course of three days, participants and their “Kinetic Sculptures” cover 42 miles of land, mud, water, and sand. Spectators are encouraged to bring their bikes and follow along as the kinetic sculpture pilots traverse streets, sand dunes, and even the cold water of the Humboldt Bay.
From Providence, RI (Held annually May to October)
Watch 80 fires light up the night in downtown Providence. The braziers are lit just around sundown and stay ablaze until after midnight several times over the course of the summer, but Memorial Day Weekend is the first full lighting of the season and the event is accompanied by an arts festival, food vendors, living statues and gargoyles, and fire dancers.
3. Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament
From Callaway Gardens, GA (Held annually in May)
A weekend package for Callaway Gardens’ Memorial Day Weekend Festival includes a farmers market, beach activities, and a kids zone, but the most exciting part is the Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament, an invitation-only competition for the greatest water sports athletes. And best of all, visitors can take in all the action from the beach right on Lake Robin.
4. Asian Festival
From Columbus, OH (Held annually in May)
If you dream of a long-haul escape but a weekend trip has got to do for now, Columbus’ Asian Festival brings far away cultures to Central Ohio. Since it was first held in 1995, it has grown steadily – this year’s festival, with a focus on China and India, is expecting to attract 150,000 visitors. In addition to a Children’s Area (with a new anime exhibit this year!) and delicious Asian food, the festival’s highlights are without a doubt the numerous dance performances and various tournaments featuring games and sports unfamiliar to most Americans. Like Sepak Takraw, sort of like a cross between volleyball and soccer with a little gymnastics mixed in, where players volley the ball over a net using only their feet.
5. Air Museum Annual Flower Drop
From Palm Springs, CA (Held annually in May)
Each year the Palm Springs Air Museum honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country with a day packed full of history, patriotic celebrations, a memorial service, and its famous flower drop. Various fighters will fly overhead throughout the day. After a color guard, a vintage B-25 will drop 3,000 red and white carnations over the museum’s tarmac. There will also be live music, activities for the kids, delicious food, beer, living history reenactors, as well as the opportunity to sign up for plane rides on a PT-17 Stearman. Bring a picnic chair and make it a patriotic day in Palm Springs’ unending sun.
6. California Festival of Beers
From San Luis Obispo, CA (Held annually in May)
What was once a small gathering in the parking lot behind a local pub is now one of the nation’s oldest and largest regional beer festivals. Spend the weekend sampling beer from over six dozen craft brewers, while enjoying the beautiful setting, local food, and live music. Make sure to buy tickets in advance – this festival is known to sell out.
7. Paseo Arts Festival
From Oklahoma City, OK (Held annually in May)
Every year, OKC’s Paseo Arts District (known for its Spanish Mission Revival style houses) fills with stands featuring over 80 artists selling their original artwork. The streets come to life, with three stages offering ongoing live music, a food court, a kids’ area with fun activities to bring out their inner artists, and a beer garden that’s a brand new addition this year.
8. Mountain Sports Festival
From Asheville, NC (Held annually in May)
Sports, games, music, and food come together in this celebration of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Festivities include a lineup of 10 different artists ranging from jazz and bluegrass to rock and funk, and sporting activities like a 10k race, SUP yoga, a mountain bike race, a climbing wall, kids yoga, and more – all in the South’s favorite mountain town.