Since travel is limited or on hold due to the pandemic, we have missed those planned vacations we were looking forward to. However, there is still opportunity to discover new places and see all the sites from the comfort of your home. From museums, parks, cities and historical structures, there is a virtual way to visit and tour almost anywhere in the world and you don’t even need a passport. So grab your laptop, find a comfortable place to sit and check out some of these amazing online experiences.
Visit a new state
If you had planned to visit another part of the country, there are remote ways to explore popular attractions in every U.S state. For example, the Florida website offers a virtual experience of almost everything the state has to offer including beaches, springs, natural wonders, aerial views, animals and fish. There are videos to help you take in those moments including a number of live webcams of popular beaches and inlets across the sunshine state.
If amusements are more your speed, Orlando, the state’s popular playground, has its own website to virtually experience theme parks including action-packed roller coasters, ziplining across alligators or a relaxing ride down a lazy river.
In addition to touring the sites, you can also immerse yourself in a state’s culture. Hawaii has videos to learn Polynesian dance, the New Orleans blog has links to virtual cooking classes and cookbooks to learn how to serve up traditional NOLA fare, and if music is your beat, check out some virtual concerts from Nashville.
Explore a national park
Google has joined the National Park Service to offer virtual tours of all 31 national parks across the country from Acadia to Zion. You can view mountain tops, cliffs, trails, lakes, oceans and all that nature has to offer. The images are breathtaking and will surely make you want to add one of these parks to your bucket list. The National Parks website also has links to videos of historic sites and landmarks from Clara Barton’s house to the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.
Check out a famous building
If you long to gaze at the architecture of amazing buildings, you can explore the inside of many famous structures. Here are some notable places:
Go down under and get a 360 degree tour of the Sydney Opera House.
Explore two houses in Mexico that include the work of the famous Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo and architect Juan O’Gorman.
View the historic and ancient Great Wall of China.
Google Street View offers virtual tours of a number of noteworthy sites such as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, the Great Pyramid of Giza or the Colosseum.
Take in some art
You can get a glimpse of the history of the world through art and a great place to do that is in a museum. While some museums have recently re-opened, you may not be able to get there in person, but now you have an opportunity to explore all the great artist exhibits virtually in some of the most famous museums around the world.
Google Art and Culture has collaborated with over 2,000 museums around the world to showcase high-resolution images and videos of artwork and artifacts including the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC or the Getty museum in Los Angeles.
The British Museum has a fully interactive experience (with sound effects and narration) that brings you through time to highlight artifacts across continents from 2000 BC until the 20th century.
Watch animals at the zoo
Whether it’s a photo or video, watching animals will surely brighten your day and entertain the kids as well. The Phoenix zoo has videos of all your favorites including a monkey, tortoise, sloth, cheetah and orangutans.
The Atlanta zoo has a Panda Cam to see what these furry friends are up to. The Houston Zoo has live cameras for you to drop in on their giraffes, gorillas, elephants, rhinos, chimps and leafcutter ants.
The San Diego Zoo also has cams of your favorite animals like a koala and giraffe hanging around their habitat.
While we cannot travel the world at this moment, these virtual options are ways to bring the world to you.