Building the Perfect City Guide

So, you want to create your own city guide but you don’t know where to start. By creating your own city guide, you are giving travelers the opportunity to become a local while they explore all your city has to offer. Your city guide app can become the go-to tour guide that tourists keep in their back pocket.

But how do you turn your idea into reality? The best way to create a great city guide is by focusing on these three areas: Content, Research, and Photos.

Here a few things to remember while creating the perfect city guide.

Find & Create Great Content

When choosing your topic, make sure it is interesting and that people want it. Don’t create your city guide around local tea shops if there are only two in your town. Find a subject that has a lot of content in it, like hiking trails and walking paths, wineries & vineyards, museums and art galleries. City guides that encourage visitors to explore win!

Add Tips & Trivia

Next, add tips and trivia that only a locals would know to make your app more appealing. Travelers want to get away from the crowds of tourists and your app will give them that opportunity.

Make it Fun & Intuitive

When creating your content you want to be meticulously organized. Separate your content into categories and then subcategories that make sense. You want your app users to be able to find everything without a problem. The key is to make your city guide easy to navigate and intuitive to your users.

Start Broad & Zoom In

When you organize your content into categories and subcategories, be sure they make sense. Always start broad in topic and then narrow in. Foe example, start by making broad categories such as Restaurants, Lodging, and Shopping. From here you can create specific subcategories which go into further detail. You can then get even more specific when add your listings into each of these categories.


• French Cuisine
• Italian Cuisine
• Thai Cuisine

• Bed & Breakfast
• Camping
• Hotels

• Clothing
• Jewelry
• Toys

Once you get into a routine of finding and organizing great content for your local city guide app, you won’t want to stop, so keep going until you’ve covered all the bases. App consumers will be very impressed with the high-quality information your app holds, and you might even want to consider selling some information as in-app purchases.

Research Your App Content

Once you’ve chosen your topic, it’s time to jump into research. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but you can do it! When it comes to research, you need to pick out the most interesting facts and only the most interesting. Your app consumers want quick information at their fingertips, and that’s what you need to give them. Your job is to be the guide, so that means doing the required research to keep your users on track.

When doing your research, double check to make sure that your information is correct. Also, check outside sources to make sure that all information is consistent. Sometimes this might require a phone call to business to inquire about summer or holiday hours. Often times, local business owners become overwhelmed with their day-to-day work and forget to keep their websites up-to-date.

Finally, make sure to include all essential contact information, addresses, directions and details that help your app users in making the most of your guide.

Phone: +01 541-482-4713
Address: P.O. Box 3088 Ashland Oregon 97520 – USA


Include Locals’ Tips

If you feel inspired, take your app a step further and include a selection of great local tips.

Local Guide Tip: Consider renting a moped to get downtown. Traffic can be heavy and parking difficult.

Local Guide Tip: This cafe tends to be a favorite of local school students. Going in the early morning is the best time to frequent if you are wanting to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.

You want to include the types of things that only a local would know. Draw from your own experience or talk to other locals to get great ideas.

Use Government & Nonprofit Websites

Government and nonprofit websites are a great resource for finding local guide information. Most government information is public domain, so you can use it freely. Read through their websites and collect the most interesting facts.

These websites usually have great tips and trivia questions.

If your app is on wildlife and you are having a hard time finding information, Wikipedia works for basic descriptions and behaviors. If you’re doing a birding app, you could research local birding resorts or talk to birders in your area.

Have Great Photos

Photos are going to make your app stand out from the others. Therefore you want to be very particular about what photos you use. If you have specific shots in mind or you don’t want to pay for photos, we recommend that you take the photos yourself. However, if you don’t have the right camera or the necessary skills, consider hiring a photographer or buying photos off the Internet. You can find good deals on stock photo websites, and you can use most pictures off of government websites without having to pay.

Recommended Stock Photo Site:

Consider taking the photos yourself, if you have the means. This will be more cost-effective and way more fun. Another option is to connect with your community and find locals who have photos they’re willing to donate or sell for a reasonable price.

Once you’ve collected your photos, be sure that they are of the highest quality possible. Otherwise the photos will come out pixelated or squashed, which looks very unprofessional.

Remember, you want your app to stand out, so keep that in mind when you choose your photos. Pick pictures that are professional and appealing; you want consumers to be drawn into your app and the photos you choose will help.

With the right amount of planning and hard work, you can create the perfect city guide for your town or city. If have any questions, please post them below.

Sign up for our free 16 day e-course. How To Create an Awesome City Guide and receive even more tips and tricks on how to create great guides!

Don’t Destroy Your City Guide With Boring Content

One of the most important things to remember when creating content for your mobile city guide is that you need to keep it interesting. A nicely designed city guide app can quickly fail if it is filled when boring content. Remember, you are not writing a research paper on the history of your town, you are providing cool and interesting local information. It’s also important to keep in mind that people are reading this information on their smartphones or tablets. No one is going to take the time to read a 10 page bio about a historical fountain. App users are are thirsty for the highly useful and highly relevant local information.

Doing the Research

So how do you go about creating great content for your city guide app? Let’s start with the research. Read as much as you can about the topic at hand and then pick out the most interesting facts and leave it at that. Your mobile app has the potential to become the spark of interest that will motivate people to check out that historical fountain.

Find The Coolest Stuff

Next, you need to decided what type of information you will include in your mobile guide. To begin with, make sure to cover all the basic information such as where it is, when it was founded or made, and a few interesting facts about it. You can also include local history, trivia, or insider tips that share something with your reader which they might not know unless you told them. Sometimes including tips or insight that only a local might know will make your app even more interesting and intriguing. For example, “sunset can offer visitors a scenic view and a great photo opportunity.” Your goal is to keep the app short and sweet. You don’t want people to wade through paragraphs of irrelevant information in order to find the cool facts… that’s your job. Find all of the coolest and most interesting stuff and then put that into your app.

Think Long Term

Last but not least, when creating content for your app, make sure that content will remain valuable and interesting for years to come. Boring and outdated content will award your app with negative reviews and poor download rates. If your app does offers time sensitive information, be sure to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. Keep track and schedule routine app updates. We also encourage you to go out and visit, and become personally engaged with the topics you are promoting.



Toothpick Trail

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Directions: From the center of town, head southeast down Siskiyou Blvd to Tolman Creek Rd (the intersection has a blinking yellow light). Take a right on Tolman Creek Rd. After 1.2 miles the road turns to a one lane road with turnouts. At 1.7 miles the road will fork, be sure to take a hard right. After 3 miles from turning onto Tolman Creek Rd. you will arrive to the trailhead.

Background: Toothpick Trail, the third and last trail discussed here that is part of the Ashland Watershed Trail system, is a well- known spot just a short drive from town that is quite popular with hikers, mountain bikers and dog owners. The trail is about 4 miles round-trip and has an elevation gain of roughly 300 feet. The trail starts off with some incline for about 15 minutes, but then flattens out for a large majority of the trail. About half way along the trail there is a bench and an opening in the forest for a beautiful view of the higher reaches of Mt. McLoughlin. There is a trail map at the top of the trail in the event you’d like to continue your hike along either Lamb Mine (rec- ommended for beautiful views) or Caterpillar Trail. The latter could lead you all the way back into town via either the White Rabbit (this will drop you south of town to Park St.) and Alice in Wonderland (this would lead you towards downtown) trails.


Anyone can create a city guide but can you actually make it cool? Creating highly relevant and interesting local city guide apps take time.  Not only should it be engaging to your audience, it should also act and serve as valuable resource which will turn your guide into a go-to resource.

Building a great city guide is easy and you can do it!