Stuck inside for a bit? Have no fear – you can travel without ever leaving home. These incredible virtual travel destinations will give you the chance to tour epic museums, explore the wilderness at national parks, and even ride some virtual theme park rides – all from the comfort of your sofa. We like to call it “armchair travel”.
Virtual Travel Ideas
Here are all the best virtual travel sites, so you can explore the wonders of the world without ever leaving your sofa.
The National Gallery of Art is committed to keeping it’s Gallery available for viewing during this time. They believe that among its many powers, art has the ability to relieve stress. You can access online galleries on their website and take a tour led by curators, gallery by gallery, each day on their Facebook page.
Experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are. Check in on the coral reef cam, watch the sharks, or see what the penguins are up to. With Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live web cams you can choose from ten different live feeds for an interesting and calming way to pass the time.
With thousands of Portraits in their online galleries, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through individuals who shaped its culture. If you’re looking for a learning experience that puts faces to its lessons, there are online exhibits to provide learning for days.
Choose one of ten live webcam feeds to keep you occupied featuring animals such as baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, koalas, elephants, and more. San Diego Zoo was at one time home to 27-year-old panda, Bai Yun, and her son, 6-year-old Xiao Liwu. Although they have been repatriated back to their ancestral homeland in China, San Diego Zoo has plenty of pre recorded footage that you can view any time you like.
During this difficult time, the Met hopes to bring some light to their audience and possibly attract a new audience. They have made their encore presentations from the company’s Live in HD series available for free on their website. Each performance will be available for streaming for 23 hours, 7:30 p.m. EDT to 6:30 p.m. the following day.
Parks are still open for the season, but Yosemite recognizes that most people won’t be able to make it there during this time. Thanks to their dedication, you can experience the park like never before. Via Yosemite’s website you can take a virtual tour of some of their most iconic landmarks. These tours -- complete with sound -- will draw you in and make you feel like you’re seeing it all in person.
Travel to the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France, right from the comfort of your home. The Louvre offers online tours along with written descriptions that take you through each of the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries. Home to the “Mona Lisa” and other priceless works of art, the Louvre offers an opportunity to dive into rich art history.
The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL is dedicated to the world of Salvador Dali and houses the largest collection of his work outside of Europe. This interactive tour was created to inspire your future visit and the museum hopes to make you feel like you’re right there within an arm’s reach of the art. It typically takes around two hours to complete a tour of the Dali Museum so you break up your tour or do it all at once.
The Vatican Museums are the public art and sculpture museums in the Vatican City. The Roman Catholic Church and the Papacy have amassed an immense collection throughout the centuries, including the most renowned Roman Sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. Their website offers seven virtual 360° tours featuring incredible works of art and architecture, including Michelangelo’s breathtaking ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Often identified as one of the largest and most influential museum of modern art in the world, The Museum of Modern Art in New York is reaching out to connect with the world through art during this difficult time. Through their website you can read, watch, and listen to passionate perspectives on art, artists, and ideas that shape culture today. You can take online art classes for free and see what art is on view “in the collection.”
You don’t have to wait for an opportunity to visit Yellowstone to start exploring. Via their virtual tours, you’ll get to see some of the main attractions around the park. Some of those attractions include the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Norris Geyser Basin. Each tour includes information about planning your future visit.
Since the temporary shutdown of parks like Disney World and Disneyland, it was exciting to find that some people have taken to the internet to provide a little vicarious excitement for your days. Thanks to these people, you and your kids can be virtually transported to the top -- and then the bottom -- of Space Mountain and other rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Frozen Ever After.
Take a 360° virtual tour of The Great Wall of China. The wall was built as a defense mechanism and is generally recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history. Such an impressive structure with its rich history is sure to spark your kid’s interest.
The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. Google Arts & Culture gives you a private tour of the former home of French royalty in three parts. You can also learn about the kings and queens who lived at Versailles.
It’s the largest museum in the United States and you can visit from anywhere. They have learning opportunities on their website as well as The Met 360° Project. This series accords and access and perspective typically not available to the public. Also available on their website is #MetKids. #MetKids features interactive maps and behind-the-scenes videos with fun facts and creative projects that feature kids.
Broadway might be dark but performers are partnering with Broadway World to bring you “Living Room Concerts.” You can subscribe to receive email updates so you don’t miss any of these living room performances by your favorite broadway stars. These “Living Room Concerts” are sure to brighten your day and get your singing a new song.
There are exhibits and online resources for science enthusiasts of all ages on the American Museum of Natural History’s website. They offer a highlight each day and plenty of resources for families and students. You can explore the museum virtually, learn the stories behind the exhibits, and watch behind-the-scenes videos. There isn’t a shortage of entertainment for the natural history lovers out there.
The Georgia Aquarium offers eight live webcam views and a gallery of photos of all the species it houses with information about each other them. This is perfect for the aquatic animal lover in your family with learning experiences and a chance to see the animals in their daily lives.
The Museum of Fine Arts contains one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas. While they are closed, they are offering a look at their collections and descriptions by curators on their youtube channel.
Known as the Blue House for it’s cobalt blue walls, the Frida Kahlo museum is a house museum dedicated to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Take a virtual trip to Mexico City to get to know this historic sight and learn more about the artist. You’ll also find a video about the life of Kahlo and a museum map to help you get acquainted with the house.
Housing one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States, the Detroit Institute of Arts covers 658,000 square feet. You can view many of their collections online thanks to Google Arts & Culture.
New York’s 92nd Street Y will live stream special performances with no audience in their concert hall. You can tune into these performances from anywhere in the world for free. You’ll also find highlights from their archives and family activities on their website.
With a collection of more than 260,000 artworks and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, early twentieth-century European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, Japanese prints, and photography. You can view some of their collections online thanks to Google Arts & Culture.
The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa in Malibu features Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities presented in a setting modeled after a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy. Explore art, videos, and learning options on their website. They offer K-12 resources and art activities for kids.
High Museum of Art houses a collection of classic to contemporary art. The Museum is one of Atlanta’s hot spots for all ages. You can view their collection of fun and informative videos on their youtube account. There are videos for adults and children, learning and entertainment.
This is Houston’s largest, most high profile museum.Their collection spans more than 6,000 years of history with approximately 64,000 works from six continents. You can view current and past exhibitions and collections at the Museum of Fine Arts’ website.
The Guggenheim Museum is a famous New York City landmark. You can tour this popular museum thanks to Google Arts & Culture. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, the art inside is icing on the cake. Enjoy this tour of current art on display.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is dedicated to the artistic legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe. Through their website you can see collections currently on view, learn about the life of Georgia O’ Keeffe, and even watch a live webcam of her garden at her home. Student interns work to plant and tend to the garden all Summer to harvest vegetables that were originally grown by Miss O’Keeffe.