As a traveler, I've always been delighted by age-old traditions that take place here in…
Your next vacation may be on hold, but that doesn’t mean you can’t scratch that travel itch from home. Here are a few ways to virtually explore some of the most incredible places on earth (and beyond).
It’s no secret I love the National Parks. What I wouldn’t give to hike in the Grand Canyon, experience sunrise atop Cadillac Mountain, or paddle boarding in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Good news though—you can explore some of the parks virtually!
Check out the webcams from Yellowstone. Nine cameras—one live-streaming and eight static—provide views of the current conditions around the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs, Mount Washburn, the West Entrance, and the Upper Geyser Basin. You can even watch Old Faithful erupt in real time.
Experience the Canadian Rockies by Train
I’m so sad my May train trip on the Rocky Mountaineer is postponed. I’ve been dreaming of this trip for so long– threading through the Canadian Rockies on glass covered train. Until I can take the actual trip, I’ll be returning to this video from their First Passage to the West itinerary. How beautiful is this place?!
Hit up the Rides at Disney
It’s the most magical place on earth. And while you can’t currently snap photos with Elsa, or visit the haunted mansion, you can pretend! SoCal Attractions 360, which features hundreds of attractions from a rider’s point of view. If you have littles, they’ll love perching on your lap while you follow the bumpy turns, ups and downs of Thunder Mountain. And it’s not just Disney rides—they showcase attractions from parks all over the globe.
Explore the Danube by River Boat
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are no restrictions when it comes to dreaming and planning about your next trip. I had the great pleasure of floating down the Danube on the AmaMagna, one of the most luxurious river boats in the world. Let’s take a tour of this impressive vessel, boasting five bars, four distinctive restaurants, an expansive Zen Wellness Studio and ultra-spacious balcony suites.
Put yourself in Paris (or Machu Picchu)
Is there anything Google can’t do? There are so many fun adventures available on their Arts and Culture site—from virtual tours of famous stages around the world; to Paris’ best rooftop views; and even exploring Machu Picchu! You could spend hours on this site.
Take a Mission to Mars
When the travel is virtual, why limit yourself to planet earth? Access Mars allows you to explore the real surface of mars, using photos and data recorded by NASA’s Curiosity rover. And for wannabe astronauts, you can take virtual tours of NASA Glenn Research Center’s facilities. Think supersonic wind tunnels, the Glenn Hangar, labs and more.
Enjoy the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Moment of Zen
So many zoos and aquariums offer live streams, but Monterey Bay’s jellyfish cam really does it for me. It’s soothing and meditative! If you need an instant moment of zen, look no further.
Other fun animal cams include the Georgia Aquarium’s beluga whale cam, and their ocean voyager cam (find Dory! Plus, lots of sharks and rays!). The San Diego Zoo has loads of live streaming animal cams online.
And oh my goodness have you ever seen anything cuter than these polar bear cubs at Ouwehand Park in Rhenen, Netherlands?!
Visit America’s Most Famous Museums
You aren’t able to visit the Smithsonian, or the National Museum of Natural History at the moment. At least not in person. I’m thrilled these magical places offer virtual tours, allow visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum.
Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave
National Geographic is known for their incredible photography, but visuals are taken to the next level in this interactive exploration of Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave. Journey through the world’s largest cave, where you will not soak up the incredible sites but the sounds! It’s a full immersive experience.
What virtual experiences have helped you feel more connected to the world? Share in the comments!