Meet Autio: A collection of location-based stories perfect for your road trip

Video may have killed the radio star, but Autio? It’s got ‘em both beat.

A cellphone is nestled in a car phone holder. On the phone's screen is a photo of downtown Memphis and a screen that says "Memphis, TN" with a play button in the center.

Taking a road trip to Memphis, TN? Listen to a story about the Mississippi River Museum or the Beale Street Blues while driving.

Image via Autio

Boy, do we have a story for you — 11,000+ of them, actually — all conveniently located within one app that can serve as your new travel buddy. And just like your favorite local newsletter, each story comes in at ~five minutes + will leave you more informed about the cities you travel through.

Meet Autio, a location-based storytelling app. Let’s say you were taking a road trip across New England. With Autio, you could listen as Academy Award-winning actor (and Autio co-founder) Kevin Costner regales you with the history of New England’s beginnings while driving through Chatham, NH, and later hear about the Boston pub made famous by “Cheers” while passing Beantown.

Here’s how it works: Boot up the app, connect to Bluetooth, and hit the road. If you allow the app to know your location, it will automatically play stories based on where you are.

Take a look at five episodes you might hear while road tripping through different US regions. (PS, five is the number of free stories you get when you make an account, so you can decide if an Autio subscription is for you.)

South

South Atlantic

  • “The Ghost of Lavinia Fisher” | Charleston, SC | Legend has it, Lavinia Fisher was the first female serial killer in the US — it’s said that her ghost haunts a local jail.
  • “Birthplace of NASCAR” | North Wilkesboro, NC | It was in the backwoods of Appalachia that this sport had its “thrilling and illicit conception.”
  • “Tightsqueeze” | Chatham, VA | Familiarize yourself with the narrow passage between buildings that forced buggy and wagon drivers to slow to a walking pace just to squeeze through.
  • “Mary Reeser’s Spontaneous Combustion” | St. Petersburg, FL | Hear one of Tampa Bay’s strangest, most mysterious true crime cases of a 67-year-old woman whose scorched remains were found surrounded by unburned items in the same room.
  • “Plant City’s Depot Was Their Hub” | Plant City, FL | Learn how Plant City got its name — not from vegetation, but a man named Plant.

East South Central

  • “Creelsboro: Kentucky Ghost Town” | Jamestown, KY | Now a ghost town, Creelsboro was once a thriving port on the Cumberland River when Elijah Creel settled there.
  • “Kentucky’s Celebrity Mini Horse” | Shepherdsville, KY | Meet one of Kentucky’s big celebrities — who’s actually not very big at all.
  • “He Invented An Entire Language” | Birchwood, TN | Learn about the man who invented an entire language to preserve history.
  • “The Bell Witch” | Adams, TN | Dive into a tale that’s been passed down for more than 200 years in Tennessee.
  • “Former Mill Town, Cordova” | Cordova, AL | Hear about the Alabama city that was one a textile mill town.

West South Central

  • “Willie’s Devil Drummer” | Fort Worth, TX | Meet Paul English, the drummer with a devilish persona who played in Willie Nelson’s band for 50+ years.
  • “Quiet Yet Effective, Sam Tasby” | Dallas, TX | Hear the story of Sam Tasby, a man who was at the center of the lawsuit that ended segregation in Dallas public schools.
  • “The Archives War” | Austin, TX | Learn about the war that was started over old government documents.
  • “Hot Wells Resort” | San Antonio, TX | A resort that once greeted movie stars and presidents now sits in ruins.
  • “The Stringtown Shootout” | Stringtown, OK | Listen to this tale of a dance that ended with the first lawman killed by Clyde Barrow.

Northeast

Middle Atlantic

  • “First-ever College Football Game” | Piscataway, NJ | Drive through this New Jersey town as you learn about its history as the home of “the gridiron, American soccer, and college rivalries.”
  • “Muscle Power on Wheels: The Road Runner’s Tale” | Union, NJ | Listen to the story of the Plymouth Road Runner.
  • “Three Mile Island Accident” | Middletown, PA | In 1979, a partial core nuclear meltdown was followed by a stuck valve that released radioactive gases in this county.
  • “The Archbald Pothole” | Archbald, PA | Learn about the discovery of a 38-ft-deep pothole.
  • “NY’s Anti-Rent Wars” | Delhi, NY | Hear all about the Helderberg War, a deadly tenants’ revolt.

New England

  • “The Sacred Cod” | Boston, MA | Learn why a nearly 5-ft-long wooden fish hangs over the House of Representatives in the Massachusetts State House.
  • “Lynn Among New England’s Oldest” | Lynn, MA | Once called the City of Sin, discover how Lynn has become known for its art, historic downtown, and vast public parks.
  • “The Town that Refused to Die” | Sanford, ME | Hear why this town depicted in a 1955 TV movie is one that truly refused to die.
  • “The lure of Mount Monadnock” | Jaffrey, NH | Listen in on a feature about Mount Monadnock, which has been featured in the writings of Emerson and Thoreau.
  • “The Longest Pro Game” | Pawtucket, RI | Hear about the 32+ innings of baseball the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings played in 1981.

Midwest

East North Central

  • “National Mustard Museum - Spicy!” | Middleton, WI | Take a whirlwind audio tour of the museum that boasts 5,600+ mustard flavors.
  • “City West Ghost Town” | Chesterton, IN | Discover the story of a 19th century town that almost rivaled Chicago before being devoured by the Indiana Sand Dunes.
  • “Home of the 4th of July Roach Races” | Roachdale, IN | Your skin may tingle while listening to this story of an Indiana town’s Fourth of July festivities.
  • “A Short Snorter” | Riverside, OH | Learn about a tradition that started as a way to get out of trouble + is now a “worldwide fellowship of aviation servicemen.”
  • “The Great Dayton Flood” | Dayton, OH | Catch the story of “the greatest natural disaster in the history of Ohio.”

West North Central

  • “President for the Day!” | Plattsburg, MO | Learn how a Plattsburg, MO man once became President of the United States for just a day — unofficially, of course.
  • “The Who’s Who of An Old Jail” | Jefferson City, MO | This story tells about one of three maximum security prisons that can be toured today — and is allegedly haunted.
  • “A Misnomer Names a State” | Topeka, KS | Learn about The Kaw Peoples, who have had several names including the “People of Water,” the “People of the South Wind,” and the Cansez or Kansa.
  • “World’s Largest Truckstop” | Walcott, IA | Hear all about the largest truckstop in the world — then make a pit stop yourself.
  • “Sears Founder’s Birthplace” | Stewartville, MN | Meet the founder of this iconic department store.

West

Mountain

  • “Female Apache Warrior ‘Lozen’” | Roswell, NM | Learn about the woman who earned the nickname “the Apache Joan of Arc.”
  • “Verdi: The Great Train Robbery” | Verdi, NV | Hear about the first train robbery in the American West.
  • “The Bloody Espinosas” | Broomfield, CO | Listen to this ghastly tale of three family members who orchestrated a murderous spree across south central Colorado territory.
  • “Emmett” | Emmett, ID | Discover the only city located in Gem County.
  • “The Apache Trail” | Apache Junction, AZ | Learn about the Anasazi footpath stagecoach trail that is now popular among motorcyclists.

Pacific

  • “The Williamette Stone” | Portland, OR | Discover this stone that may have impacted the way the Pacific Northwest is laid out.
  • “The Sisters of the Cascades” | Sisters, OR | This story delves into three sisters who “fight for the love of a bachelor.”
  • “A Sweet and Chocolatey Tacoma Aroma” | Tacoma, WA | Now filled with a rotten egg smell known as the Aroma of Tacoma, the city was once filled with the scent of candy and chocolate.
  • “Lester” | Enumclaw, WA | Learn about this town whose last resident died in 2002.
  • “Mount Shasta Legends” | Mount Shasta, CA | Listen to mythology and legends that date back to the dawn of man.

Interested in going beyond five episodes? Check out Autio’s membership options + let us know how you prefer to fill the time while road tripping.

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