Is your goose cooked on Turkey Day? Never fear, Google Maps is here!

Monday, November 24, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Thanksgiving dinner is the meal we look forward to all year. And chances are...all of your family and friends agree! So if you’re hosting and not exactly a whiz in the kitchen, making the meal can be daunting. Good news: if you burn that Thanksgiving turkey, all is not lost. Here’s a go-to guide to keep your family festive (and fed).

Our friends over at have made it easy to find top-rated restaurants for Thanksgiving. With city spotlights in Austin, Denver, NYC and San Francisco (to name a few!), you can check out top-notch Thanksgiving dinner options -- whether you want a traditional Thanksgiving meal or would rather try tacos or sushi.

If your family is a fan of Italian, Zagat recommends Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria in NYC. You can make sure the ambiance is right with the Google Maps “See Inside” feature and check out the info card to see diners' ratings and reviews as well as the Zagat summary. Once you decide where you want to go, Google Maps’ turn-by-turn directions will get you there as quickly as possible.

If you’re up for a feast, EDGE Restaurant and Bar in Denver has what you need. Zagat recommends the three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving meal, including turkey, veal sausage-and-sage stuffing and an herb-rubbed beef tenderloin with sweet potato gratin and porcini mushrooms. Check out the gorgeous dining room to get you in the mood!

Or if you have a sweet tooth, skip straight to dessert in San Francisco. Just in time for Thanksgiving, one of Zagat’s top ice cream shops is creating sugary confections that are sure to please you and your family. Save yourself the time (and stress!) of baking and pick up some pies and sweet treats at Ice Cream Bar on Cole Street.

Whatever--and wherever--you decide to feed yourself, Google Maps and Zagat wish you a Happy Turkey (or sushi or pasta) Day!

7 traffic tips to get you to the Thanksgiving table

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 3:00 AM

Thanksgiving means gearing up for a turkey feast, Thanksgiving Day parades, local Turkey Trots and annual football showdowns. It also means braving some of the worst holiday traffic conditions of the year.

You’ve got enough on your plate this Thanksgiving without having to worry about traffic, too. So, Google Maps looked at Thanksgiving traffic conditions over the last two years for 21 cities across the U.S.1 to find the most useful information to make your holiday trip a little easier.

Whether you’re traveling near or far, Google Maps’ traffic tips will help you navigate the roads like a pro, so you’ll be feasting on Turkey Day delights with friends and family in no time. Here are seven tips in pictures to guide you through the holiday:

1. Avoid traveling on Wednesday:

2. But if you must leave on Wednesday:

3. Good news for local travelers — Thanksgiving Day traffic is a breeze:

4. Travel back home on Sunday, not Saturday:

5. Expect to spend more time in traffic than average if you live in these three cities: Philadelphia, Austin and Washington, D.C. saw the three biggest increases in traffic during Thanksgiving week.

6. Get these three items ahead of time: Last-minute runs to the corner store can be unavoidable as you prep for the big day, but not all last minute trips are created equal.

7. Leave extra time for Christmas shopping:

Your biggest worry this Thanksgiving should be whether to go for the cranberry sauce or gravy. And with these traffic tips in hand, plus real-time traffic info provided by Google Maps on Android or iOS, you’ll be spending less time in traffic and more time with the people you care about this Thanksgiving. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

1 Google Maps looked at 21 cities across the U.S. from the Monday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after Thanksgiving for both 2012 & 2013: Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, D.C.

Explore U.S. landmarks in honor of Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 6:00 AM

In 1919, after the World War I armistice, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 a day dedicated to honor and remember the servicemen of the armed forces:

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

Today, whether you recognize Veterans Day, Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, you can now celebrate servicemen and women by touring some significant U.S. historical places in Street View in Google Maps.

Visit West Point Cemetery and explore the historic burial ground of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Overlooking the Hudson River, some of the cemetery’s tombs date back to the American Revolutionary War. To walk further back in time, travel to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, the site of the infamous 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.

On the Gulf Coast of Texas, stand on the runway of the USS Lexington, nicknamed "The Blue Ghost," an Essex-class aircraft carrier built during World War II for the United States Navy, and the Battleship North Carolina, the most highly decorated American battleship of World War II.

You can also explore historical collections of U.S. leaders and military personnel, like the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, the West Point Museum and the Museum of the Confederacy. Here explore photos, uniforms and tokens from past events throughout American history.

This U.S. Highlights gallery is our small way of thanking veterans for their service. We hope you’ll take a few minutes today to honor and and recognize servicemen and women both past and present.

Google Maps: Your best accessory this season

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Bold colors and textures are in—and Google Maps is on trend, with a slick new style to make traveling with Maps even easier. Over the next few days, when you open up Google Maps on your Android or iPhone, you’ll be greeted by bright colors and a fresh new design. This new look is all about creating surfaces and shadows that echo the real world; with Google Maps’ new material feel, layers and buttons come to life so you know just where to touch to get directions, recommendations and imagery.
Getting around with Google Maps is even easier with the new design 

By tapping on a place’s info sheet at the bottom of your screen, you’ll send an info layer gliding up to the top, showing you photos, reviews, and more. And for the adventurous souls looking for a new place to dine or visit, you’ll see more to Explore at the bottom of your map.
Fluid transitions guide you through Google Maps

There’s more to this app than good looks—we also make it easier for you to get on with your day. Need to make a last-minute dinner reservation? You can now reserve a table right from the Google Maps app for restaurants found on OpenTable (U.S. only).
Make a restaurant reservation from Google Maps

On a cool winter day, a chilly walk or train ride may not always be the most appealing choice. Travelers deciding whether they should take an Uber or brave the frosty winds can now see estimates for Uber’s pickup time and price for their route in walking and transit directions in Google Maps. This option will appear if you have the Uber app installed, where available.
Wait time and price estimates for Google Maps’ Uber card

For Google Maps, giving you useful options and information is always in vogue. So as you’re traveling this holiday season, don’t forget to open up your Maps app for all the navigation help we have to offer—now with a fun new look.

Explore the haunted corners of the world... if you dare

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Something wicked this way comes… Whether you’re a trio of witches back from the dead or just a trick-or-treater, chances are you’re hitting the streets (or riding a broom!) on Halloween night. For those looking for an extra fright, take a tour of spooky places from around the world on Google Maps.

Start in 19th century Paris. While cheery guests listen to the beautiful arias at the Opéra Garnier, a dreary lake lies beneath the streets. Floating above the silent water, a phantom lurks. Are your eyes playing tricks on you... or is that a cloaked figure looming in the shadows?

Standing at the steps of Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, BC, you might believe you’ve found the perfect home away from home. Think again… listen closely for the sounds of a piano playing softly throughout the house. The spirit of a ghastly pianist is said to linger in the corridors and windows.

If you’re feeling ill, the abandoned Xinglin hospital in Taiwan is not the place to go. For years, passersby have sighted now-deceased patients, both young and old, in the treacherous fourth- and fifth-floor windows. To this day, people claim to hear wailing in the night from inside the hospital’s haunted walls.

Not all spooky stories are made up. For three decades, the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was home to some 1,500 of the world’s most infamous prisoners. Surrounded by bone-chilling waters, “the Rock” was notorious as the toughest prison in America.

If these spooky spots whet your appetite for fear, get up close with some of the most frightful locations in Google Maps Gallery and find ghouls and goblins in haunted houses around the world. If you’re looking for a laugh instead of a scream, take a hayride through your local corn maze, find the perfect jack-o-lantern at your neighboring pumpkin patch, and scout the best trick-or-treat routes near you.

Now get your cauldrons bubbling and monsters mashing because after all, this is Halloween!