COVID-19 Silver Linings: Virtual Tours of Your Favorite National Gems
These days when we’re all spending far more time at home than ever before, it can feel disappointing to miss out on our typical day trips and fun outdoor activities. The great news is that many of our nation’s most precious landmarks have opened their doors to be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we offer you an impressive list of places to keep your sense of adventure intact while you’re sheltering at home.
National Parks and Wildlife
Wolf Conservation Center – Salem, NY
Virtually meet the Ambassador Wolves, as well as the gray and red wolves, at the Wolf Conservation Center through three different webcams. Get a rare look into their dens and observe the daily habits of these beautiful creatures.
The American Southwest Virtual Museum includes 360-degree tours of several National Park visitor centers that allow visitors to virtually explore the exhibits and experience park trails virtually. Featuring Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Tonto National Monument, Tuzigoot National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, and Wupatki National Monument.
Google Arts and Culture partnered with the National Parks Service to provide interactive tours led by real park rangers. Featuring Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska; Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai’i; Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico; Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah; and Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida.
Landmarks and Monuments
Take your next adventure for a test-drive by launching a virtual tour of famous landmarks any time, day or night. Click around on the image to move about the area virtually while taking in a variety of magnificent viewpoints. It’s almost as good as being there in person!
Machu Picchu – Peru
Pyramids of Egypt – Giza, Egypt
Australia National Surfing Museum – Torquay, Australia
A whole new meaning of “couch surfing” is yours to explore with Australia’s National Surfing Museum. Scroll through to move about different rooms in this amazing museum. Overviews of each space area help guide you and describe the experience more fully.
Louvre – Paris, France
Launch a virtual tour of four different exhibits at the Louvre in Paris, including Egyptian Antiquities, Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, Galerie d’Apollon, and The Advent of the Artist. You can navigate the tour and click the magnifying glass to view a larger image of the piece or click the question mark icon to view the description.
Uffizi Gallery – Florence, Italy
Click on a room from the Uffizi Museum’s floor plan to be virtually transported right from your computer. Use the arrows to navigate around the room and click the links to learn more about each painting.
Walk the streets of some of the world’s most famous cities (virtually of course!) to explore street art using Google’s Street View. You can also learn the history of the artists and their work.
Rome – Italy
Melbourne – Australia
London – UK
Zoos and Aquariums
Monterey Bay Aquarium – Monterey, CA
Ten different live cams allow you to view the residents of this popular aquarium, offering a unique peek into the wonders of the ocean. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire conservation of the world’s oceans. Resources for educators and parents are also available on their comprehensive website.
New England Aquarium – Boston, MA
Live streams, presentations, and educational projects and activities normally offered on-site at the New England Aquarium are now available virtually. Almost as good as being there!
Oregon Zoo – Portland, OR
The Oregon Zoo in Portland is now offering new videos every week on Facebook Live and YouTube. At- home activities are available for parents and teachers after each video.
San Diego Zoo – San Diego, CA
Get up close and personal with your favorite critters-in-residence at the San Diego Zoo. Live animal cams include penguins, polar bears, tigers, and koalas. There are also archived panda videos.
Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott – Maui, HI
Don’t let travel restrictions keep you from living your beachy dreams! Live webcams let you virtually take a tropical vacation at Maui’s Wailea Beach Resort. Pretend you’re on your hotel balcony watching the waves rhythmically crash onshore.
Ready for a ride? You can find point-of-view videos of many of your favorite amusement park rides. Push yourself to new heights with some thrill-seeking adventures like these:
Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster – Universal Studios Islands of Adventure – Orlando, FL
Expedition Everest – Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Orlando, FL
Prefer something more mellow? Enjoy family-friendly experiences starring your favorite characters, such as these:
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coaster – Disneyworld – Orlando, FL
Frozen Ever After – Epcot – Orlando, FL
It’s a Small World – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA
We encourage you to stay safe and be well during these challenging times. Remember to be gentle with yourself and each other, and always follow the important instructions of your local Public Health Authority. We love hearing about outdoor adventures! If you’ve got a story to tell about how you enjoy the outdoors, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.