When I received an invitation recently to go on a Gogobot field trip, I was completely intrigued. For one thing, I didn’t know much about Gogobot, a travel app. For another thing, I was excited to go on the actual field trip. I’ve lived in and around NYC for over 20 years, but even I know that there are still dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of places I have not yet been to!
The company arranged the trip to celebrate their 5th anniversary and the fact that its users have shared over five million photos and postcards. During its five years in business, more than 43 million people around the world have relied on Gogobot to discover great places to stay, eat and play. People have spent a total of 238 years sharing and discovering amazing places on Gogobot, and I was eager to be one of them.
Travis Katz, co-founder and CEO of Gogobot, came along for the ride. He’s a really interesting, laid back guy and was completely open with us about the company’s growth and how it makes money (via bookings, ads, content partners and investors – over $40 million to date). He started the service as a result of his own frustration looking for a tool to provide tips on where to go, eat and play when he was living in Europe with his young family a the time. He and I talked about my own experiences and how I related to that angst of not being able to find travel info for my own family ago when I started my own blog in 2010.
That search soon led him to co-find Gogobot. He has since teamed up with major brands like HomeAway, CitySearch, Owners Direct, Leonardo Hotels, Kiwi Collection and TripCase to integrate Gogobot content into their sites to build better relationships and more engagement with their customers. With Gogobot’s 19 Tribes (Adventure Travelers, Foodies, etc.), users get personalized recommendations on things to check out from other travelers who have the same travel style as they do. Gogobot encourages people of varying sets of interests to share their experiences. I’ve already joined a few including Family Travelers, obviously.
We set out on our NYC adventure, meeting in Union Square to board The Ride with front row seating on the coach, giving us a great view of the city. It was a beautiful fall day, so we had clear views and the city I love was glistening. Using Gogobot, we ventured to Williamsburg to discover a few of its best places to eat and play.
The gang at Gogobot had an interesting afternoon planned. Camion food truck provided a delicious selection of spicy tacos and actually ended up following us to Brooklyn when the trip was running late. At one point, a guy who must work for The Ride serenaded us and the result was a wonderful, real “ONLY IN NYC” surprise. Check it out above.
Our first stop was Sweethaus, an adorable cafe in Williamsburg that served us delicious mini-sized cupcakes and pumpkin latte. The owners, who hail from Virginia, created a comfortable, vintage style environment. The shop offers baked goods galore and the result is mouth-watering, particularly that pumpkin latte.
135 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249; Tel: 718-710-6627
Then we headed to Streb, an actual circus studio, where they offer classes for children and adults called Kid Action. We were given a tour of the studio and shown the space. The owners told us about their classes, which reflect the high energy, fast-paced movement that kids experience all around them everyday. Kid Action is based on POPACTION, which intertwines dance, athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus and Hollywood stunt work into bristling muscle-and-motion vocabulary! STREB’s work is of particular interest to young people who are continually testing the limits of their physical universe. Seriously, this is why kids in Brooklyn are so freaking cool! They have options like this.
51 N 1st St, Brooklyn, NY 11211; Tel: 718-384-6491
Brooklyn Winery was our next step, an urban winery in the heart of Brooklyn. I was stunned – I didn’t expect to ever encounter a winery outside Napa or the Northfork. While on a tour of the winery with owner C, we were shown barrels of wine in production and learned a little bit about distribution, while of course being treated with a glass of wine. I’d love to go back to another time to indulge in a few more glasses.
213 N. 8th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211; Tel: 347-763-1506
The last stop on the tour was Modern Pinball, taking us back into the city. Two rows of pinball machines, unlimited play for $12 and a selection of pinball games from my era – the 1970s and 1980s – pure heaven. My son is going to seriously love this place and I never would have known about it if not for Gogobot.
362 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 646-415-8440
Gogobot has a friendly sense of community where travel and dining enthusiasts enjoy sharing local treasures they’ve found with the tribes in which they are members. This trip was proof of the experience the app has to offer. Download it today and give it a whirl, then let me know what you think in the comments.
Disclosure: I was invited by Gogobot as a writer to cover the tour and was treated to a day in the city but as usual, all opinions are my own.