Culture / Travel

Virtual Travel for These Coronavirus Times — Tour Museums and Stunning Sites Without Leaving Home

Vacationing From the Couch

BY // 03.17.20

For students, whose spring break just got extended again (indefinitely in some cases), staying in and social distancing will be a challenge. For parents trying to navigate a new reality of no childcare, working from home and trying to make the most of your groceries and toilet paper stock ― life seems equally unfair this week.

But just because discretionary travel is being discouraged, and much of the world seems closed for business, doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to explore. You can take a virtual trip and “visit” some the biggest tourist attractions right from your laptop. Satisfy your wanderlust with these virtual vacations ― there are lots of interactive and 360 degree looks to enjoy.

Consider a quick trip to New York City and the American Museum of Natural History. There’s a lot to view, from video series like Shelf Life ― which opens up some of the greatest discoveries housed at the museum and offers fascinating looks at the work scientist do in exploring Greenland’s icy waters.

Head to George Washington’s family home, Mount Vernon and take yourself on a tour of the iconic grounds. This 360 degree virtual tour is completely immersive, allowing you wander at your own pace and focus your attention on what interests you. You can even zoom in on fine details, like china patterns and architectural moldings.

Anyone who has been to any of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C., knows you can spend hours at any one of them. The Natural History Museum is full of wonders. Spend some time on the first floor, where you’ll come face to face with T-Rex, or head up to the second floor, to the hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals to catch a glimpse of the world famous Hope Diamond.

360 Cities is a fascinating tour guide. You can enjoy endless adventures traveling to the Spanish Steps in Rome, across London’s Westminster Bridge, or even across the surface of Mars. With the exception of, perhaps, Mars… it’s a fun way to gather info to plan your next real-life vacation. Check out some of the world’s greatest cathedrals like Cologne Cathedral in Germany, or even take in the splendor of Norte Dame de Paris before the fire consumed it last year. Just type your area of interest in the search bar, and you’ll be astounded by all the views, and places to visit.

FERN FREEMAN

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If England is calling your name, check out englishheritage.org.uk where you’ll find a full list and links to every historic site worth visiting. You can even take a virtual tour of Stonehenge.

Even if it’s not your first trip to The Louvre in Paris, you can stroll through the halls and soak up centuries of art and culture from Egyptian antiquities to the architectural underpinnings of the nearly century old fortification. And, you can even explore Machu Picchu in Peru. Look around stunning vistas surrounded by clouds, high in the Andes Mountains.

The virtual travel world is waiting for you ― it’s just a few clicks away.

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