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3 Google Maps features you never knew existed

3 Google Maps features you never knew existed
© Dennizn | Dreamstime

I recently went to San Diego for a long, relaxing weekend. While driving, it almost felt like I was on autopilot.

That's because I had plugged my destination into Google Maps and it was doing all the navigating for me. This amazing technology knew every exit that I needed to take, every corner to turn at, and even gave me an alternative route to bypass a patch of road construction before safely leading me to my destination.

How did we ever find our own way around cities we'd never visited prior to this technology?

You've probably used Google Maps when traveling before. However, there are many features that you might not even know exist. Let's look at three of them now.

1. Save your favorite locations

One great feature of Google Maps is being able to save favorite locations. This will help speed up the process when you are looking for a specific place.

Here are the steps to save a location:

  • Open Google Maps.
  • Find the location you want to save.
  • Drop a pin - This is accomplished by doing what's known as a "long press" on the map. That just means pressing a specific spot on the map long enough for a red pin to appear.
  • Swipe up - Once you have "pinned" a location, a menu will appear at the bottom of the screen. Swipe up on that menu.
  • Select Save.
  • Select the list that you want to save this location to or create a new one.

2. Search for nearby restaurants

If you are out driving and don't know where the nearest place to eat is, Google Maps can help. Follow these steps:

  • Open Google Maps.
  • Tap on the "Explore food & drinks near you" search bar at the bottom.
  • Tap the breakfast, lunch, coffee, dinner or drinks tab at the top to select what meal you're in the mood for.
  • Tap a category from the list and then swipe left to scroll through your nearby options.
  • Tap Read more and then the car icon to get directions.

3. Select your route

Google Maps by default will show you the fastest route available. If you want to select a different route for any reason, like you are in an area that collects tolls, that's an option. You can avoid ferries, highways and tolls completely.

  • Open Google Maps.
  • Select your starting location and destination.
  • Tap the 3 vertical dots - This is found in the upper-right corner, it opens a menu.
  • Tap Route Options - Slide the toggle to the right next to the option you want to avoid. You can select a route that avoids one or all of the following: highways, tolls and ferries.

Using these features will make your experience more enjoyable and efficient. (PssT! Click here to learn even more Google Maps features.)

The Google Maps app is free and available for both Android and Apple gadgets. Simply click on the appropriate link that we've provided below inside the blue boxes to download the app.

Or, click here to download for Android. Click here to download for iOS.

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