The Ultimate Virtual Tour Guide Featuring 100s of Locations to Explore
My kids and I were out traveling when we found out that this virus really was shaping up to be something that was going to impact all of us. Little did we know that our next travel opportunities may be limited only to virtual travel.
We were in Disneyland on our Spring Break when checking the Disneyland app, we saw the announcement that the park was closing in 2 days! My first thought was this must be serious for Disneyland to close its gates!
That was when I began to check the news for what was really going on as I had only been checking times for park openings, ride waits, and character locations for the past few days.
Now, just a bit over a week after that day, we are all practicing social distancing and travel has all but come to a standstill. This is not only horrible for us travel lovers, but also for our beloved travel industry.
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The amazing thing is, many bucket list travel destinations are offering us the ability to explore them through virtual travel across the web.
Let me show you some of the most amazing spots you can travel virtually with your family while you are all spending time together at home.
Experience Art and Culture Through Virtual Tours of Museums from Around the World
View the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel with these 360 tours. Don’t forget to move your screen UP and look at the beautiful ceilings and artwork all the way up. Then meander outside and tour the Vatican City with this narrated tour of one of the tiniest countries in the world.
Google Partnered with over 2500 Museums to bring virtual tours right into your home through Google Arts and Culture. You can scroll through and pick one by name, or even better, explore the world map and choose by location what to explore with your family.
Some have 360 Virtual Tours, but not all. It is kind of like a treasure hunt explore to find the most interesting tours and museums of the world.
You will find some specific ones below but explore through all of them as you have time.
Tips on using the list of 2500 Museums…Many simply offer a look into the museum through images of the works stored there.
Some add Online Exhibits found at the top of the Museum listing. This offers a more comprehensive view of a full exhibit housed at the museum including information about the works.
Some go even further and as you scroll to the bottom of the listing; you will find the virtual tours. These are the amazing 360 tours of some of the floors of the museum. Many of these allow you to get closer to some of the exhibits than you could in real life.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has all three types of experiences. Check it out so you can see what some of the museums will have to offer as you explore.
Some others to check out include:
The J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
The Guggenheim Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain
The Natural History Museum in London, United Kingdom
The Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands, Amsterdam
The British Museum in London, United Kingdom takes its tour a step further with the Museum of the World: History Connected. This is an incredible site where the user can tour a historical timeline and click on exhibits to see a picture and learn more about it.
The National Gallery in London features 3 different virtual tours you can take including many of their exhibition halls and rooms.
Explore the Palace of Versailles This doesn’t offer a 360 tour, but you can view beautiful photographs and read the descriptions of many of the rooms and locations on the Palace Grounds.
Tour three of The Louvres exhibits including, Egyptian Antiquities.
Travel ideas to save for in-person travel:
Take a trip to enjoy the Opera at the Metropolitan Opera. According to their website, “during this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming.”
View free architectural wonders tours from around the world.
Virtual Travel to Worldwide Wonders
Take a virtual walk along the Great Wall of China
Similar to Google Arts and Culture, Google Street View offers a 360 walking tour of the outside of several iconic locations around the world that will amaze you and your kids alike.
You will feel like you are standing outside viewing these grand locations and walking around the neighborhood in these virtual walkarounds.
Enjoy some like:
Explore underground caves at The Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Even try flying through them with the bats! When you are done there, follow the guides to other natural parks around the country!
Tour Yosemite as if you are there. This virtual tour is epic. It even includes the sounds of the park as you tour it virtually, from the tourists chatting to the waterfalls roaring. What a magnificent virtual experience! (I think this is my favorite.)
Learn Science and History on Virtual Tours
Take a self-guided “walk” through The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History.
Experience NASA through both the Langley Research Center and the Glenn Research Center’s online tours. Also, check out the virtual tours and “augmented reality” experiences offered in The Space Center Houston’s app.
Other things to catch up on while at home:
Explore the history of the United States Air Force through the virtual tour offered by the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
Visit with the Animals Webcams and More
The Calgary Zoo is offering Daily Dose, a series on YouTube where employees and veterinarians from the zoo will offer behind the scenes animal content.
Take a floor-by-floor tour of the famous Baltimore National Aquarium.
Another aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has many live webcams capturing the animals swimming in the tanks at their aquarium’s Habitat exhibit.
San Diego Zoo is offering guests what may be the most live cam options of their animals, here you can visit with the elephants, penguins, and even the koala bears!
Amusement Parks Virtual Walkarounds
Even though the Magic Kingdoms are closed to guests, you can still visit them through these Disney Parks Virtual Tours.
Visit Orlando including theme parks such as Disney World, Legoland, Sea World, beaches and more. This is the most comprehensive virtual tour of an area, use the interactive map to jump from location to location and decide what you will do when you next visit Orlando!
When you are traveling for free and with the use of your internet surfing device, you may even travel to places you may not be able to in real life.
How about traveling into the human body, by way of the nose?
Let us know in the comments which your favorite tour was, or if you have found more, please add them below!