Skip to main content

Have you ever been on a road trip across the U.S. and wanted to stop at some of the landmarks along the way? Learning the history of this great country is fun and interesting, however, it can be time-consuming to take detours during a long trip. In that case, the HearHere app, co-founded by actor Kevin Costner, can fill you in on the history of the land around you while you drive through it.

The HearHere app can open up a new world through oral history

A 35mm film photo shows a gray automobile driving on a road.
A 35mm film photo shows a gray automobile driving on a road. | Jim Heimann Collection/Getty Images

The HearHere app allows you to listen to the history of certain landmarks as you drive by them. There’s no need to stop and read the land markers in order to learn some history about that specific location. All you need to do is open up the HearHere app and tap on that specific location on the map.

The app then plays a recording that tells you a story about the history of the landscape around you. According to CNBC, the HearHere app has “more than 9,000 stories to date, with topics ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Janis Joplin, and from Kentucky’s National Corvette Museum to Nashville’s music scene.”

How does Kevin Costner play into this app?

Kevin Costner attends the premiere of Disney's "McFarland, USA."
Kevin Costner attends the premiere of Disney’s “McFarland, USA.” | Getty Images

As stated before, Kevin Costner is a co-founder of the app along with entrepreneur Woody Sears. Costner joined the company when the app was in its preliminary stages and even agreed to narrate some of the stories. The app was launched in 2020, right when the pandemic hit and Americans were forced to stay indoors.

The good thing was that despite those “stay at home” orders, many Americans took the open road, which was a good thing for the creators of HearHere.

“The idea of travel changed for a lot of people,” Sears told CNBC. “We happened to open our doors at the same time as the shift.”

There are plenty of stories to be told about our nation’s history

In addition to some of the major landmarks across the U.S., there are plenty of stories about this nation’s history on the HearHere app – including some of the harder stories to tell.

“Our story is not always a great one. There was so much violence in America. We’re watching violence play out now across the globe…to think that didn’t occur here… it did,” Costner told CNBC.

Some of those stories include those about America’s Founding Fathers, the Civil War, and slavery. “We don’t have to be ashamed about it,” Costner said. “We can be a little embarrassed, but it’s more embarrassing to not know.”

The HearHere app is easy to use

The HearHere app has been downloaded more than 400,000 times and you can download it too for free. Setting up the app is easy and you can listen to any stories on the map and you listen to them as fast or slow as you want. When initially signing up on the app, you get five free stories.

But if you would like to subscribe, then it costs $35 per year or $69.99 for three years. That’s a pretty good investment if you’re planning to take a few road trips this year. After all, learning about our nation’s history could be a lot more fun and informational than listening to the same songs over and over.


How Often Should You Stop On Road Trips?