Argo Travel News decided to make every Sunday into a new series, “Service Sunday” in honor of all those great travel services out there worth checking out. Today, we spotlight Smart Destinations, one of the world’s top sightseeing portals online.
This Boston startup, funded by New Spring Capital and other investors, addresses the point of pain existing where tours and events booking is concerned. Their Go City Cards and Explorer Passes give not only access, but convenience and deals to travelers for hundreds of attractions across North America. We found Founders Kevin McLaughlin’s and Cecilia Dahl’s development to be one of the best in the industry, here’s why.
By way of example of the strength of Smart Destinations, say you always wanted to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains. Smart Destinations has essentially done all your homework for you, and packaged the best attractions, at the best prices, for you and your mate or group. Using the “Go Blue Ridge Card” users can get all their desired attractions bundled into one convenient ticket/price. The Google map below from Smart Destinations shows one tool for checking out what’s out there.
Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock (right from Fotolia – hint) , The Biltmore, Lake Lure Tours, Chimney Rock, and 20 more Blue Ridge Mountain legends costs less than $85 bucks. Just swipe your card, and go have fun in them thar hills. The reason I selected the Blue Ridge Mountain Card is because I used to live in the mountains there. Take it from a former local, even without the convenience, I doubt you could get all the admissions cheaper one-at-a-time. Maybe? Toss in a money back guarantee, the easy and surety you’re in, and the “discovery” aspect, this is where Smart Destinations rules.
Don’t like the idea of “cookie cutter” passes? Feel like blazing your own trail? No problem, Smart Destinations allows users to build their own custom passes too, Go Select Passes for Asheville and the surrounding area also helps user familiarize themselves with this part of the Blue Ridge. The Smart Destinations Map App lets you pinpoint your hotel, then interact with the various destinations and attractions nearby. Obviously, when they named this startup Smart, they meant business. Check out the Google Map app below.
We like Smart Destinations a lot, for a score of reasons. Is it perfected yet? Not much is in the startup world, but there is very little wrong where user ease, value, and satisfaction are concerned. The site could work on aesthetics some more, improve some navigation circuits, be less “salesman-like” – but these are my own preferences (and about 50 million other peeps:). Overall, Smart Destinations hits the mark for allowing people who like to travel an easy button for attractions.
This is another one of those online travel tools that needs only – add more cities and shake – 1,2,3 GO – a very nice take on venue offerings. Our only question is; “When does Smart Destinations land in the UK and Europe?”
We leave you with a video from Explore Asheville, which shows off some of the Blue Ridge too.