While we collectively endure and recover from the current global health crisis from, we can take advantage of some downtime and current technology to virtually transport ourselves to destinations near and far through our mobile, computer, and television screens. As long as you have ample internet or data connections, it can be simple to tune into couch tours - travel edition. And you don't even need travel insurance!
From cities and countries around the world, many organizations are presenting their content for free. National parks, museums, zoos, monuments, theaters, amusement parks, and more are inviting you to escape to their unique spaces, environments, and experiences. Are you seeking a change of scenery, some doses of peacefulness, and some cultural and ecological enrichment? Wanderwell has been gathering some wonderful online resources to travel at home.
Parks & Nature
- National Parks Virtual Tours Enjoy the ecological diversity of our lands through a collaboration between Google Arts & Culture and five US national parks (Hawaiʻi Volcanoes, Alaska's Kenai Fjords, New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns, Utah's Bryce Canyon, and Florida's Dry Tortugas).
- Yellowstone National Park - Virtual Tours - Are you itching to explore Yellowstone from your living room? Begin here by virtually touring some of the main attractions around the park. Included with each tour is additional information about visiting in person.
- Explore Livecams - Nests and reefs and back yards and beaches...OH, MY! Enjoy livecam streams from some of your favorite and bucket list destinations. Some exhilarating examples are the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), African Wildlife, Birder's Paradise, and Zen Cams.
- Fullscreen 360 - "360-degree images let you virtually travel to some of the most beautiful sites in the world, and the ability to look in any direction gives you the feeling of standing at on Mars, in Machu Picchu, on top Mt. St. Helens, or any of the other destinations we feature. The beautifully detailed, full screen panoramic photos give travelers a perspective unlike any other form of photograph."
- YouVisit - 360-degree images and videos that take you virtually to travel to some of the most beautiful sites in the world.
- Africam Virtual Safari – Always Live, Always Wild - "Watch wild animals in the beautiful African bush LIVE and unscripted. Elephants, Lions, Leopards and many more make appearances every day in the remotest of Africa’s locations."
- Tropical Reef Camera powered by EXPLORE.org - Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific's tropical reef exhibit modeled after the coast of Palau.
Museums & Theater
- Google Arts & Culture also collaborated with over 2500 museums and galleries in over fifty countries around the world to present virtual tours exhibits. Here's your ticket!
- Fast Company published a piece earlier in March to help us get our art and design fix from our couches.
- Travel + Leisure published a piece earlier in March with links to virtual museum tours.
- Broadway HD Livestream - Broadway HD is now offering a 7-day free trial for new viewers to experience the classic musicals and new hit musicals online.
- Royal Opera House Livestreams - Via its Facebook and YouTube channels, the iconic London theater will be streaming opera and ballet performances, as well as behind-the-scenes looks behind its closed doors.
- The Kennedy Center Digital Stage - Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opens it's digital doors so we can watch "extraordinary performances" from their stages and beyond. Featured will be original works, new clips, and the best of their vast archive for us to explore on our own.
- NASA At Home Digital Resources - Stare into the cosmos with NASA's media library of over 140,000 images, sounds, and videos. 3...2...1...blast off!
Zoos & Amusement Parks
- San Diego Zoo Live Cam - A dozen of the hundreds of animal exhibits and habitats can be seen in real time. Most notably - apes, baboons, butterflies, condors, elephants, giraffes, koalas, owls, pandas, polar bears, penguins, tigers, and more.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium - "Experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are." Visit the aquarium through a webcam to hang with sea otters, jellies, sharks and more.
- Houston Zoo Livestream - Enjoy a live look at animals that call the Houston Zoo home! Giraffes, gorillas, elephants, ants, rhinos, chimps, and more - with very few humans around!
- Virtual Disneyland Rides - Please keep your hands and legs inside the living room at all times. Virtually experience Space Mountain, the wildest ride in the wilderness, and other classic Disneyland rides in 4K. Thank you to the riders who have experienced them for reals.*