Have you heard about GyPSy Guide GPS audio driving tours? Discover why GyPSy Guide is the #1 Best App for your next road trip or national park adventure…
Update (May 2023): GyPSy Guide GPS Audio Driving Tours is now GuideAlong — New Name, Same Fantastic Audio Tour Guide App!
–> Hands-down the BEST National Park Audio Tour App!!! <–
You all might know, I LOVE a great city tour! If there’s a trolley or double-decker bus at the curb in an unfamiliar city, I am on it – first thing! What a great way to experience a new place: with an overview, insider tips, and a colorful narrated tour by someone who knows and loves the destination.
A guided tour is by far the best way to explore a new place, but what if you’re not in the city? What if there is no hop-on hop-off trolley tour?
I mean, let’s face it, especially when you’re planning a long day trip or heading to more remote locations, like U.S. National Parks, you don’t necessarily want to get on a tour van or bus, on someone else’s rigid schedule, with a bunch of other people, right?
You want to be in your own car, on your own schedule, at your own pace, with your own stuff – and snacks!
- Stop whenever you want.
- Enjoy a hike or explore on your own.
- Find a bathroom without an entire bus-load of people lining up to use the facilities at the same time!
GyPSy Guide — now GuideAlong – same fantastic app! — is like having your very own tour guide in the car with you! (But not in a creepy way.)
This post is all about GyPSy Guide GPS Audio Driving Tours & National Parks [Review]
→ Introducing… GyPSy Guide — now GuideAlong – same fantastic app!
Who: Tour guide and travel companion
What: Narrated audio driving tours: National Park guides
When: ANYTIME! 24-hour tour guide – always up for a new adventure!
Where: U.S. National Parks & other fascinating locations
Why: All the info, insider tips, and behind-the-scenes – entertaining!
How: GPS-driven in your own vehicle, at your own pace
Where we’ve ventured with GuideAlong (so far):
1 – YELLOWSTONE – Montana (August 2021)
2 – GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM – Arizona (April 2022):
3 – SEDONA – Arizona (April 2022)
4 – ZION & BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARKS – Utah (April 2022)
5 – GRAND CANYON WEST, HOOVER DAM, RED ROCK CANYON, LAS VEGAS – (May 2022):
6 – ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – Colorado (August 2022)
7 – SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK – Virginia (October 2022)
8 – GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NAT’L PARK – Tennessee (October 2022)
If you are interested in more info about any of these tours, or the GuideAlong App FREE Download, at any time throughout this article, please CLICK on one of the banner images from BooksAndTravelUSA.com – Thank you!
5 Reasons You’ll Love the GuideAlong App [Review] & FAQs
1 ) Best Audio Guides For National Park Tours
Where do you want to go?
US West: (19) incredible tours including National Parks and iconic road trips
US East: (4) different tours including Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains Nat’l Park
Hawaii: (6) separate tours including Maui – Road To Hana
Canada: (12) unique tours including Canadian Rockies National Parks
Q: Is GuideAlong a free app?
GuideAlong is a free download in the iPhone App Store or on Google Play for Android phones. The free app includes, for each tour:
- Free travel planning advice
- Sample itineraries
- Highlights you’ll see along the way
As you can see above, there are more than 40 individual guided tours available. You can browse, search, and purchase one tour at a time, or in discounted bundles.*
* Tours do not expire or have limits on the number of times you can access them.
Q: How much does GuideAlong cost?
On our first adventure, we purchased the YELLOWSTONE GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK COMBO on the GyPSy App download for $14.99*.
After our amazing day trip to Yellowstone, we went back to the app and purchased the ALL US WEST TOUR BUNDLE (including 30+ National Parks & iconic road trips) for less than $75*, with a credit for the Yellowstone Grand Teton Tour we had purchased separately. (Which works out to less than $2.50 per tour — can’t beat that!) * Current prices may have increased, as Gypsy Guide / GuideAlong continually updates tours and adds brand-new tours in the bundles.
→ The Yellowstone Tour was THAT GOOD. So good, we’re now planning our full-time travels and cross-country itinerary around National Parks and popular locations where GuideAlong has tours available.🤩
Q: Is the GuideAlong app worth it?
GuideAlong Tours are worth Every. Single. Penny.
Pricing is by the download — once and done — not by the person like when you take a bus or trolley tour.
–> Note: You easily pay more than $75 for two tickets on one city sightseeing tour.
With GuideAlong, you own that purchased tour or bundle — with updates! — forever:
- As many times as you want to visit or re-visit the tour.
- As many people as you want to take along with you.
- As many dogs or animals as you want to bring along — your pets can enjoy the tour in the car with you, too! (Normally, pets are not allowed on trolley, van, or bus tours.🐶)
Scenic drives & helpful tips
One of the best things about GuideAlong Tours is they tell you, for each tour, all the places Where The Tour Starts. Usually there are several entrances to National Parks. GuideAlong audio tours begin well outside of the National Park entry points, so you learn about the area, towns, and local points of interest surrounding the parks.
Although this is a given for all of the GuideAlong Tours, a couple of memorable notes and photos from our visit to Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks:
→ The Zion & Bryce Canyon Tour in Southern Utah was an extraordinary adventure because of this additional guide information! We stayed in the area for two weeks and were able to explore many unique areas of interest outside of the parks, inside both parks (of course), and in-between the parks, on the way to-and-from all entry points.
Ghost Towns & Graveyard Adventures
On the road to Zion, GuideAlong suggested a side trip to Grafton Ghost Town and Cemetery.
Grafton is a long-abandoned Mormon settlement and graveyard dating from the 1860s. The small cluster of restored buildings was later used as a movie set for Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.
Near every ghost town, there is usually a cemetery, which often whispers an even more tragic tale than the abandoned buildings. In Grafton, the gravestones were a fascinating record of hardship, tragedy, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and Indian attacks.
We would never have found this amazing side trip on our own.
Q: Is the GuideAlong App the BEST audio tour app?
GuideAlong is absolutely the best GPS audio driving tours app — keep reading!
Another side trip suggestion on the road to Zion & Bryce led us to the La Verkin Overlook, a mile and a half down a dirt road above town. It was amazing to see the valley and town spread out below.
Even better, looking over the other side, into the beautiful canyons of the Virgin River all the way to Zion…
This tip and photo opp inspired our first review of GuideAlong (formerly GyPSy Guide!) App:
2) GPS-Driven & Directional – Your Tour Follows You!
GuideAlong uses your smart phone’s GPS location and tour guide points to narrate your tour, according to your location.
You can listen to the tour on your phone’s speaker or through your car’s audio system:
“The tours are quite chatty but you can listen to your own playlist as the app operates in background mode.”
–> Or take GuideAlong with you (GG encourages using headphones or earbuds while out in public). Whether you’re in your vehicle or outside: biking, hiking, riding on park transportation (when it’s required)– Your GuideAlong Tour follows you.
The tour is based on your location and direction: Whichever way you’re driving or wherever you start the tour, you’ll hear different stories and points of interest when you go back the opposite direction.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Your GuideAlong GPS Audio Driving Tour is a different adventure, coming and going, even if it’s the same stretch of road: Clever!
You’ll see there are a LOT of audio points along every which way. The screenshots below show just a portion of the Grand Canyon South Rim Tour, from Williams, Arizona (the green flag at the bottom left) to the park’s south entrance at the top. The green flag on the bottom right is alternate start location in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The red arrows indicate audio points (stories & info) you’ll hear on the way to the Grand Canyon.
The yellow arrows indicate different audio points you’ll hear traveling in the opposite direction.
As just one example:
GuideAlong: Grand Canyon South Rim Tour starts in Williams, Arizona, as you head North to the Grand Canyon.
On the way to Grand Canyon, GuideAlong is all about the geology and animals of the Grand Canyon: how it was formed, the different eco-systems of the canyon, and what wildlife to look for, where and when in the park.
On the way back to Williams, after fun commentary all along the main road and side trips through the park, GuideAlong talks about the people, history, and politics involved in the development of tourism in the National Park — completely different stories and info!
Q: Can you use GuideAlong without internet?
Yes! In fact, it’s recommended:
“Tour Offline – Download content for offline use. Tours use gps to determine location, not cell signal or wifi.”
With GPS technology, you’re not tied to cellular service or proximity to cell towers. This is great for touring National Parks, which are usually located in remote areas, without reliable cell service or internets.
–> Simply download the tour before you go.
Even though the tours are GPS-driven and location-specific, you can browse, review and enjoy your individual tours anytime, anywhere you are.
3) Interactive: Humor & Engagement
Q: Who is the voice on GuideAlong?
We call him “Guy” – The GuideAlong Guy. He goes by any number of names on the Internet (Ranger Bob? Jeff?). All the tours are narrated by a Canadian voice-over actor named Dave Pettitt. He’s got a great voice!
GuideAlong Guy (er, Dave) – or whatever you want to call him – is incredibly talented: always engaging, funny, knowledgeable, and interactive!
How did he know??? Oh, right… GPS!
We were surprised on our first GuideAlong tour in Yellowstone, after turning onto a suggested side route, only to have GuideAlong Guy immediately respond, with enthusiasm:
“Oh, good choice! Looks like we’re stopping at… “
It’s happened many times since, on every tour… affirmations, encouragement, cautions, advice, dad jokes, even honest wave-offs: i.e. “No real need to stop here…” after mentioning one possible turn out along the tour.
And once (so far), GuideAlong Guy actually serenaded us with a truly terrible rendition of the song Rocky Top (on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Tour), which was hilarious and a little embarrassing (for Guy).
Sometimes it really does seem like he’s right there in the car with us…
“Yep, that’s right. Hours of listening to ME describe all the must-do stops, must-see sights, and every once in a while… singing you an unnecessary and thoroughly captivating song. By most reviews, I’m a pretty fun guy to travel with.” — quote from www.davepettitt.com/southern-accent/
4) Educational Guided Experience That’s Actually Fun!
National Park Service Guides – the ones they give you at the gate – are very helpful, in terms of facts, figures, and directions. They usually have a good fold-out map with all the mile marker locations: Visitor’s Centers, Picnic Areas, Trailheads, and well-known scenic spots.
The maps identify the geographic elements: rivers, lakes, and mountains. They often talk about the geological information of the region, and the plants, trees and wildlife that inhabit the protected areas.
National Park brochures can be… well, kinda boring. 😴
And hard to read and follow while you’re driving and trying to look at all the things.
GuideAlong gives you all the facts, information, and mile-by-mile guidance– and so much more! Well beyond the basic facts, ma’am:
- Interesting stories & behind-the-scenes info for greater enjoyment.
- Informative notes about geography, science, geology and discovery.
- Fascinating history about the people and politics of creating the national parks.
- Controversies, mysteries, myths, legends, ghost stories, and gossip, too!
“Without any classroom study of ecology, geology or animal husbandry that we know of, Dave has become the best loved guide in National Parks around North America. Good work Ranger Bob!” – Quote from Rick Bulich – CEO and Founder – GuideAlong / Formerly GyPSy Guide
5) Bonus Info & Secret Side Tours 🤫
Listening to GuideAlong Guy recount all the facts, info & SO MUCH MORE throughout each of the tours, we were surprised time and again, by EVEN MORE insider info, tips, and tidbits.
Beyond the educational guided experience: the science, geography, geology, history, and literature, too…
There are turns and adventures not everyone knows about, making your road trips with GuideAlong even that much more fun and special.
Hoodoos of Yellowstone
One of these secret side tours came up shortly after we entered Yellowstone National Park through the Roosevelt Arch from Gardiner, Montana on the north side. Just beyond the Mammoth Hot Springs area, GuideAlong Guy started talking about the Hoodoos of Yellowstone (whaat?!?)…
And suddenly encouraged us to turn off the main road:
“It’s an unsigned small entrance right after a bend, so slow down and be ready for a quick turn.”
Of course we turned! This secret side tour turned out to be a 150-yard loop — a tiny little road — through a massive boulder field from a rock slide long ago. The huge boulders were out of place and kind of spooky. It was like stumbling through a land of giants. Weird formations — faces. Shadows.
When GuideAlong tells us there is something worth stopping to see or explore: We do it!
It really is like having an interesting, knowledgeable friend riding along, telling you exactly where to go.
If you are going anywhere that GuideAlong offers an audio tour… PURCHASE THE TOUR!!!
I guarantee you won’t regret the adventure.
This post was all about GyPSy Guide — now GuideAlong! — GPS Audio Driving Tours & National Parks [Review]
Thank you for reading! 😘
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