The best virtual tours to explore the world from home

Oct 8, 2020 • 5 min read

Ceiling of Sistine Chapel, Vatican City. Check permissions for this image

The Sistine Chapel is just one wonder offering a virtual museum tour ©Rajesh Gathwala/500px

We live in an age of unprecedented access to digital technology – and with it, brand new ways of exploring the world around us.

While it's not quite the same as seeing, say, the Mona Lisa or Christ the Redeemer in person, some of the world’s most popular and remote destinations have created libraries of online images and video, as well as 360 degree virtual tours that let you virtually explore museums, galleries, world wonders and even national parks.

Here a just a few of the best digital tours that let you wander the world from wherever you may be social distancing.

A woma nin a pink technical fabric top and matching pants and a black cap with a brim walks past the orange buildings and clay roofs of the Choijin Lama Museum in Ulan Bator with a green camera sphere from Google Street View strapped to her back

See the seven wonders of the world

If there’s anything capable of whetting your appetite for world travel, it is the new seven wonders of the world:  the Great Wall of China , the ancient city of Petra , the Taj Mahal , the Colosseum , Machu Picchu , Christ the Redeemer , and Chichen Itza . Thankfully there are impressive virtual tours of each from The New York Times , AirPano , Google , and Panoramas .

With modern technology, you can even see the last standing wonder of the ancient world— The Pyramids of Giza . There are a few other wonders that might not make it into to the top seven but are still worth a digital peek, like the Alhambra , Seville's La Giralda , and even Easter Island.

The Egyptian Antiquities room in the Lovure Museum is empty except for several statues of various sizes from Tanis, Karnak, and Thebes

Best virtual museum tours

In recent years, Google has partnered with over 2,5000 art museums to upload high-resolution versions of millions of pieces of art. Highlights include New York’s MoMA , DC’s National Gallery of Art , Chicago’s Art Institute , the Casa Battl ó, and Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum to name a few.

In addition, The Louvre offers a virtual tour , as do The Vatican Museums , many of the Smithsonian Museums , the Russian Museum , the top-rated British Museum , the Minneapolis  Museum of Russian Art , and the Palace Museum in Beijing.

You may not be able to kiss the Blarney Stone right now, but you can tour the Blarney Castle from afar. You can also visit the Museum of Flight,  the Museum of Science, the Museum of Natural History,  the National Women's History Museum  and Boston's History of Science Museum .

While museums are often an inherently visual experience, there's a lot to be learned from archives of past lectures and tours like the ones preserved online by Nashville's Frist Museum , the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Smithsonian American Art Museum,  the Frick , and others.

You might also like:  Broadway might be closed, but here’s how to stream the best performances from your home

Turquoise Pool in Yellowstone National Park surrounded by a contrasting blanket of fresh white snow

Explore national parks

While travel to National Parks is best avoided for the time being, you don't need to miss out on the scenery. Virtual Yosemite is absolutely stunning and one of the best, replete with audio. Both Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore offer virtual tours as well. 

Google has similar 360 degree audio-visual tours of five select national parks, including Kenai Fjords, Hawai'i Volcanos , Carlsbad Caverns, Bryce Canyon , and Dry Tortugas, as well as 31 more on Google Earth . You can also get an up-close look at almost 4,000 pieces of artwork, artifacts, and other treasures related to the history and culture of the national parks, and view online exhibits .

A penguin looks at the viewer through the glass walls of a habitat at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Digital safaris

Wildlife is a big draw for travelers, whether it's sighting some of the Big Five in Africa, glimpsing whales in North America, or introducing your children to new animals in person on a family safari . But if you're forays into the bush are grounded for now, many zoos and aquariums have created digital access to their habitats.

You can easily watch several live webcams of some of the nation’s greatest zoos and aquariums, including the  San Diego Zoo , Houston Zoo , Zoo Atlanta , the Tennessee Aquarium , and the Georgia Aquarium . Additionally you can see Canadian farm animals doing their thing , or you could watch Stella the Dog jump endlessly into huge piles of Maine leaves.

You may also like:  These nine wildlife web cams offer access to your favorite animals

A view overlooking the Wotans Throne feature at the Grand Canyon

Virtual hiking

Thanks to panoramic video, you can get a really good idea of what a hike looks like well before you arrive at the trailhead. For example, you can experience all of the following top-rated hikes right now from your computer or tablet:  Bryce Canyon , Grand Canyon , GR20 , Inca Trail , and the death-defying Angel's Landing . For even more great hikes, simply YouTube one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 treks or any other hike that suits your fancy. Bonus points if you follow along during a workout to enhance the realism.

Famous landmarks

You can visit many wonders of nature, including the Amazon Rainforest , Iguazu Falls , the Komodo Islands , or Table Mountain , using virtual tours. Or you can explore the Statue of Liberty , the Sahara Desert , Niagara Falls , or even a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower . For even more virtual tours, search your bucket list of adventures with  AirPano , Google Earth , or YouTube .

Astronatur Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. looks at the Lunar Module Pilot during the 1969 moon landing

Travel to outer space

The moon hasn't made it to Lonely Planet's Best In Travel list (yet!), and even without self-isolation and shelter-in-place measures for COVID-19, many of us may never travel to space. But thanks to technology, now is as good of a time as any to do so virtually. Before blasting off, considering touring some of NASA’s offices first. Then relive the last lunar missions and moon walks in stunning HD. Or take a virtual tour of Mars with the help of Google. 

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The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is now a global pandemic. Find out what this  means for travelers . 

This article was originally published March 2020 and was last updated October 2020.

This article was first published Mar 18, 2020 and updated Oct 8, 2020.

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Online Virtual Tours: The 69 BEST to Explore

By: Angela Robinson | Updated: November 07, 2022

You found our list of the best online virtual tours !

Virtual tours are online experiences that enable visitors to experience museums, zoos, national parks, landmarks, and attractions. These tours use methods such as 360 pictures, satellite imagery, virtual reality, or video conferencing to bring famous sites into living rooms or classrooms. The purpose of these tours is to inspire, entertain and educate audiences. These experiences are also called “online tours.”

These tours are popular virtual field trips and can be fun online classroom activities .

This post includes:

  • virtual museum tours
  • online tours of national parks
  • virtual zoo tours

So, here is the list!

List of virtual museum tours

Here is a list of online museum tours that are perfect for both adults and kids. We also have a list of virtual museum scavenger hunt templates for you to use.

People in a virtual museum gallery

1. Smithsonian

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History offers a self-guided virtual tour of current and past museum exhibits. This experience includes narrated components, accessible via computer or smartphone. The Smithsonian also offers virtual experiences for its other institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Visit the Smithsonian .

2. British Museum

The British Museum hosts an online “Museum of the World” that enables visitors to browse exhibits by area of origin, era, and subject matter. For example, you can search the collection by themes like “power and identity” or “art and design.” Each digital exhibit includes a picture, description, audio file, and links to related artifacts.

Visit British Museum .

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3. Auschwitz

This virtual tour of Auschwitz offers a panoramic birds eye view of the camps, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau, along with clickable descriptions of each area. Online visitors can also switch to an illustrated map of the grounds to better understand the scope of the concentration camps. The online tour is available in both English and Polish.

Visit Auschwitz .

4. Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House welcomes visitors from around the world with digital experiences such as video, virtual reality, 360° photos of the Frank home, and translations of the diary in over 20 languages. Virtual visitors can also browse a pocket gallery by downloading the app.

Visit Anne Frank House .

5. 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum website has a learn and explore feature which includes live, guide-led panoramic virtual tours of the rebuilt center, interactive videos, and webinar stories. The site also recommends activities to do at home with children to simulate the museum’s activity stations.

Visit 9/11 Memorial & Museum .

6. Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums provides an online experience consisting of 360° high resolution photos of over a dozen features such as the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms. The website also grants web access to archaeological areas, various departments, and a searchable online catalogue.

Visit Vatican Museums .

7. Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien in Austria hosts a digital museum consisting of an online collection, artist talks and lectures, podcasts and Spotify series, and high resolution images of works and galleries. The museum also has its own app that enables online walk-throughs, including specialty tours for children.

Visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien .

8. National Museum (New Delhi)

New Delhi’s National Museum, often called the National Museum of India, displays the largest collection of art and artifacts in the country. The institution’s Museum at Home web portal consists of dozens of videos depicting sculptures, artifacts, and customs, with accompanying cultural analysis from curators. The site also links to several 360° and 3-D virtual galleries that enable online walk-throughs of the building.

Visit the National Museum (New Delhi) .

9. National Palace Museum & the Forbidden City (Beijing)

The National Palace Museum sits in the heart of Beijing and houses centuries worth of art and history. The museum building is a monument to classic Chinese architecture, as is the surrounding palace complex, the Forbidden City. Virtual visitors can tour works inside the museum and stroll through the outer courtyards by indulging in interactive and immersive virtual and VR tours. Both options give viewers the opportunity to explore the grounds up close without navigating the crowds.

Visit National Palace Museum and the Forbidden City .

10. Pergamonmuseum

Pergamonmuseum in Berlin contains a wealth of art and archaeological treasures, and curators give home viewers a glimpse into the collections through several online exhibits on Google Arts & Culture. The collection includes over 1,000 images of objects made of clay, metal, copper, and gemstone, originating in regions such as Iran, Spain, Turkey, and Germany.

Visit Pergamonmuseum .

11. National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia offers free one hour digital excursions to schools that cannot visit the museum in person. The tours are available on weekdays between 9:30-10:30 am or at other times by request, and accommodate groups of 10 to 30 students. Classes meet with museum staff via Zoom and complete missions based around themes like the fight for indigenous rights. Virtual exhibition gallery tours are also available on occasion.

Visit the National Museum of Australia and check out these Indigenous Peoples Day ideas .

The Louvre virtual tour consists of 360° panoramic views of exhibit halls such as Egyptian Antiquities and the ruins of the Louvre Moat. By downloading a special app, visitors can also experience Mona Lisa in virtual reality. The museum website hosts multimedia online exhibitions of famous works such as Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour and Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss.

Visit the Louvre .

13. Guggenheim

The Guggenheim museum offers staff facilitated online tours for students ranging from kindergarten to grade 12. Educators can book interactive, real-time tours for classes that engage students and enable question and answer sessions. Tours are no cost for New York City public schools. For other districts the tours are less than $100, and discounted rates are available. Tours have a maximum of 30 participants, meaning groups are sure to receive an intimate experience.

Visit Guggenheim .

14. Musée d’Orsay

The Google Arts tour of the Musée d’Orsay includes background and history on the museum building, as well as images, descriptions, and details of some of the museum’s most famous works. For example, the collection includes Van Gogh’s Self Portrait , James McNeill Whistler’s Whistler’s Mother , and Bartholdi’s Liberty .

Visit Musée d’Orsay .

15. Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a Dutch National Museum that hosts an impressive array of art and history. Rijksmuseum’s virtual tour, which includes a Rijksmuseum from home series, consists of high definition pictures, videos, and audio narration that details seminal works inside the museum. The experience also includes interactive components such as a “find the key” challenge and creative tutorials.

Visit Rijksmuseum .

16. Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City launched a virtual views series which enables website visitors to browse rotating online exhibits. As part of the series, the MoMA site also hosts virtual events with components such as live Q&A sessions with artists and curators, readings and theatrical performances, 3-D renderings, and interactive games.

Visit MoMA .

17. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met 360° Project is a collection of six wide-lens videos compatible with both virtual reality systems, or regular computer screens or smartphones. Virtual viewers take a point-of-view tour of museum areas such as the Great Hall, the Met Cloisters, and the Arms and Armor Gallery, set to a soundtrack of instrumental music. The Met website also hosts an Art at Home series that offers up close virtual access and analysis to famous works, as well as videos of conservation projects and instructions for art projects.

Visit the MET .

18. Paul J. Getty Museum

The Google Arts & Culture online tour of the Getty Museum spans dozens of exhibits with thousands of digital artifacts. Pieces span as far back as the eighth century until modern times, with notable pieces including The Virgin Mary with Saints Thomas Aquinas and Paul , Rembrandt Laughing , and Irises .

Visit the Getty Museum .

19. Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago facilitates online visits consisting of virtual video and audio tours, searchable online collections, digital publications, as well as online lesson plans and art projects. There is even an “Ask an Educator” form that enables parents or teachers to communicate with museum staff who hand-pick resources to assist with lessons planning.

Visit the Art Institute of Chicago .

20. National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.)

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. website hosts digital perspectives, virtual exhibitions, and digital collections. The online experience also includes streamable films visitors can watch online.

Visit the National Gallery of Art .

21. The National Gallery (London)

The National Gallery of London offers immersive virtual tours accessible via smartphone, computer, or virtual reality headset. Through three different remote tours, virtual visitors can explore multiple wings of the museum, 18+ rooms, and 300+ paintings. The Gallery’s robust social media presence promotes further interaction with online art.

Visit The National Gallery .

22. Uffizi Gallery

The Google Arts & Culture Tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence explores four online exhibitions and hundreds of pieces of arts and artifacts, many in the Renaissance style. Notable pieces include Birth of Venus by Botecelli, Portraits of the Duke & Duchess of Urbino by Piero Della Francesca, and Madonna of the Goldfinch by Raphael.

Visit Uffizi Gallery .

23. Frida Kahlo Museum

The virtual tour of the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City is one of the most colorful museum tours online. Virtual visitors tour various areas of the grounds in a 360°, up close experience. The colors of the architecture and artifacts are works of art in themselves, and are sure to brighten viewers’ days. The website offers additional resources including downloadable photos, videos, quotes, and even recipes.

Visit Frida Kahlo Museum .

24. Russian Museum

The Virtual Russian Museum is a web portal consisting of several digital resources such as online lectures, virtual 3-D walk through tours of the museum complex with accompanying audio, and a multimedia center. The multimedia component of the virtual branch includes digital content and displays, broadcasts and video conferencing, and interactive web workshops.

Visit Russian Museum .

25. Tokyo National Museum

The Tokyo National Museum contains artworks and antiquities dating back several centuries, and displays over 100 digital images of textiles, clay-ware, ceramics, and similar artifacts on its Google Arts & Culture tour. During this remote museum tour, virtual visitors peruse Asian art and conduct Google Earth walk-throughs of museum galleries.

Visit Tokyo National Museum .

26. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

This online tour of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea enables web visitors to explore the country’s unique culture and heritage. The tour includes multiple online exhibits, hundreds of pieces of modern artwork, and several floors of the building, including sections of the outdoor sculpture garden.

Visit the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art .

27. MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo has an impressive online presence with over 1,000 images of paintings, photographs, and objects in its Google Arts & Culture collection. Online visitors can delve into South American art and culture by exploring online exhibits and browsing through digital collections. The Google App also enables virtual reality tours of the museum via smartphone.

Visit MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo .

28. Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston offers free interactive virtual learning experiences like an online Apollo 13 exhibit, video series, and an app that offers mobile tours plus augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. The center also occasionally hosts virtual stargazing camp-outs and suggests at home science experiments and games. Plus, the website is a wealth of online outer space resources.

Visit Space Center Houston .

29. American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History suggests several options for virtual visits. These options include virtual field trips, an “inside the museum” high resolution picture tour, guided tours on Facebook live, and an expedition app experience that includes quizzes and exhibit highlights.

Visit American Museum of Natural History .

30. Oxford University’s History of Science Museum

The Oxford History of Science Museum website displays past exhibits so virtual visitors can learn more about concepts such as antibiotics, the human brain, and the Transit of Venus. The format of each online exhibit varies, but most contain, at minimum, sample images and descriptions.

Visit Oxford University’s History of Science Museum .

31. The National Museum of the United States Air Force

The National Museum of the United States Air Force provides digital resources such as 360° photo cockpit tours, podcasts, and videos. The site also supplies lesson plans broken down by grade level, with extras like aircraft coloring pages and word searches.

Visit The National Museum of the United States Air Force .

32. The National Museum of Computing

The National Museum of Computing offers a comprehensive 3D virtual tour of the entire museum, with multiple touch-points explaining the significance of fixtures. The online walk-through enables a point-of-view, clickable dollhouse tour of the entire building, with a wealth of supplemental materials like videos, audio files, and documents. For a fee, the museum also arranges curated virtual tours that form a more personalized experience.

Visit The National Museum of Computing .

33. Boston Museum of Science

Boston’s premier science museum presents a Museum of Science at Home experience consisting of virtual exhibits, daily live streams, podcasts, town halls, and family STEM activities. The museum provides digital programs for both adults and children, with highlights including live social events, an ant colony webcam, and stimulating multimedia content.

Visit the Boston Museum of Science .

34. Glazer Children’s Museum

The Glazer Children’s Museum website hosts virtual experiences such as digital field trips and weekly facilitated live Zoom play sessions. These sessions have educational themes like music and movement or STEM. The site also publishes content designed for anytime learning, such as instructional videos and blog posts that lead visitors through at-home art projects, science experiments, and story-time.

Visit Glazer Children’s Museum .

35. Children’s Museum Houston

The Children’s Museum Houston advertises an ongoing all-time access program. This program provides regular content such as 3-D digital field trips, virtual adventure camps, daily broadcasted project tutorials, webinar workshops, and video call-in shows. The museum also has a free smartphone app for additional at-home adventures.

Visit Children’s Museum Houston .

36. Children’s Museum Indianapolis

Children’s Museum Indianapolis provides a museum at home experience including ongoing virtual events, digital museum programs, follow-along hands-on activities, and virtual birthday parties. The museum also creates holiday-themed downloadable activity bundles and resources for teachers.

Visit Children’s Museum Indianapolis .

37. The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong museum in Rochester, NY, examines the history of playtime throughout recent history. Its online exhibits follow fun themes such as “Pinball in America”, “The History of Valentines”, and the Oregon Trail computer games. The online collection hosts a staggering 77,000+ images, many of which are designs for games throughout the decades.

Visit The Strong National Museum of Play .

38. Boston Children’s Museum

The Boston Children’s Museum website provides learning resources including weekly activitiy emails, Mad Libs, and links to mini digital museums and interactive apps. This section of the museum’s website has many tools to keep kids occupied for hours.

Visit Boston Children’s Museum .

List of online national park tours

Here is a list of national parks to visit online.

A simple interface for a virtual national park tour

39. Joshua Tree

A virtual tour to Joshua Tree includes video, readable web content, photos and other multimedia. To captivate younger visitors, the park posts digital scavenger hunts, a junior ranger program, and guest speaker series. Educators can schedule virtual field trips with park rangers centered around topics such as plants and animals, rocks and minerals, and weather and erosion.

Visit Joshua Tree .

40. Zion National Park

An online visit to Zion National Park includes virtual hikes and shuttle tours, along with a free app that launches a historical exploration of the region. Web visitors explore the canyons in virtual reality from multiple vantage points, exploring the terrain from the comfort of the couch.

Visit Zion National Park .

41. Yosemite

Virtual Yosemite provides an aerial view of the park with zoomable scenic spots. The remote park tour also features a panoramic index for easy navigation to various locales within the preservation, but visitors can also click through and rotate the views to explore more organically. Virtual Yosemite presents high resolution images of a variety of landscapes, highlighting the geographical diversity of the land.

Visit Yosemite .

42. Bryce Canyon

While not an immersive experience, the Bryce Canyon virtual tour provides pictures and descriptions of locations along the trail so that virtual visitors can imagine hikes and plan future trips. The points of the online tour outline the landscape variety of the canyon, describing sights like Mossy Cave, Swamp Canyon, and Natural Bridge.

Visit Bryce Canyon .

43. Death Valley

This 360° online tour of California’s Death Valley National Park allows visitors to pan around the attraction’s various landscapes, from dunes to craters to canyons. Each spot contains a short description of the geography. The high resolution images create a virtual reality experience that immerses viewers in the environment.

Visit Death Valley .

44. Grand Canyon

This virtual tour of the Grand Canyon consists of 3D satellite images via Google Earth. Virtual visitors can rotate or click through trails, view the canyon from above, and navigate to photos of notable landmarks like Yavapai Point and The Abyss. High resolution pictures enable cyber sightseers to take in the views without the fear of falling.

Visit the Grand Canyon .

45. Redwood National Forest

Redwood National Forest facilitates virtual reality experiences via smartphone or computer, where online visitors take in 360° canopy tours for a panoramic view of the forest. The site also hosts multimedia presentations that include narrated videos, documentaries, songs, and other educational materials.

Visit Redwood National Forest .

46. Hot Springs National Park

Exploring Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park from home is possible thanks to a collection of photography, suggested readings, and an aerial digital map. The latter presents a birds eye view of the bath house district with clickable panoramic views inside the buildings. These resources enable virtual visitors to learn about the region’s rich cultural past and recent scientific research.

Visit Hot Springs National Park.

47. Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis provides a series of short pre-recorded videos exploring the history of the region and the exhibitions within the park, along with livestream webcam views from the top of the arch. The park website features historical analysis and photo galleries too, along with a virtual stamp for visitor’s National Park Passport books.

Visit the Gateway Arch.

48. Niagara Falls

This panoramic tour of Niagara Falls presents rotating 360° photos of park vistas such as the Cave of the Winds, Prospect Point, and the river rapids. A short description accompanies each photograph, outlining background information about the scenic spots.

Visit Niagara Falls .

49. Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park provides a robust selection of virtual experiences. The options include a 24/7 live wildlife webcam, short documentaries and educational videos, audio narrated virtual tours, and an official digital photography collection. The park website offers a free curriculum for distance learning programs as well.

Visit the Everglades .

50. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

This online multimedia presentation guides virtual viewers through the islands and volcanoes of Hawaii. The experience includes audio, video, and panoramic photography of volcanic cliffs, caverns, and rainforests. Web visitors can also explore an active volcano by joining a digital helicopter flyover and watching an eruption from the 1950s.

Visit Hawai’i Volcanoes .

51. Table Mountain and Kruger National Park

South Africa has stunning national parks. Discover Africa enables visitors to explore the sights of South Africa via immersive video and interactive panoramic photography accompanied by narration. Virtual visitors choose from five attractions, including Cape Town’s Table Mountain and Northern South Africa’s epic Kruger nature preserve. The digital experience constitutes a virtual safari that lets viewers experience the country’s diverse landscapes.

Visit Table Mountain and Kruger National Park .

52. Mount Everest

This digital rendering allows website visitors to scale the peaks of Mount Everest from behind a screen. The website is a 3D geographic model of the mountain with clickable descriptions for key peaks. While many folks will never climb Everest in person, they can explore the range through this immersive cyber expedition.

Visit Mount Everest .

53. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang in Vietnam contains one of the world’s largest caves alongside lush rainforests. Digital visitors trek through caves, viewing high resolution images and listening to realistic background sounds. The result is an immersive experience that simulates the sensation of navigating the caves in person.

Visit Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park .

54. Zhāngjiājiè National Forest Park

For much of the world, Zhāngjiājiè National Forest Park in China is more recognizable by sight than by name. The park’s steep, wooded cliffs appear in movies like Avatar, and the landscape looks more like a film set than a natural occurrence. Website visitors navigate between explorable panoramic views to the sounds of instrumental music for a simultaneously captivating and calming web experience.

Visit Zhāngjiājiè National Forest Park .

55. Namib Desert

This digital tour of the Namib Desert in Southern Africa gives viewers birds eye perspectives of dunes, parched plains, and rolling mist, plus vast starry skies. The high quality, panoramic images constitute virtual hikes through the vast landscape, without the scorching heat of day or the freezing chill of night.

Visit Namib Desert .

56. Banff National Park

A remote tour of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada consists of dozens of 360* videos showing scenes like snowy canyons, serene lakes at sunset, and mountainous trails. Though short, the videos enable you to pause and take in the scenery, and watching the playlist gives online visitors the benefit of viewing the park during multiple seasons.

Visit Banff National Park .

57. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a coastal region of Italy renowned for its colorful hillside houses. In this experience, online visitors take a panoramic photo tour of the coastline at various angles and times of days, set to a backdrop of calming music. The site also includes educational descriptions and an additional photo gallery.

Visit Cinque Terre .

List of virtual zoo tours

Here is a list of virtual zoos and aquariums that enable up-close online animal encounters.

Three girafes representing an online zoo tour

58. San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo streams live cams of animals including polar bears, tigers, penguins, baboons, and koalas, and as well as hosting highlight archive footage of past panda cams. For a fee, the zoo also offers virtual programs that enable private online encounters with animals. The website also hosts an online directory of zoo animals and plants so that virtual visitors can learn more about the zoo’s exhibits from home.

Visit the San Diego Zoo .

59. San Antonio Zoo

The San Antonio Zoo arranges online meetings between virtual visitors and animals like hippos, giraffes, and rhinos for $100. For an additional $50 fee, guests can add a question and answer session with a zookeeper. Experiences are available Tuesday through Saturday. The zoo also offers online educational workshops.

Visit the San Antonio Zoo .

60. Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo website includes a variety of live webcams with stars such as rhinos, gorillas, flamingos, and elephants. Cameras are live between 7AM and 7PM CT. The zoo also advertises live virtual experiences including web conference meet and greets with animals and virtual scavenger hunts. Notable digital offerings include an animal painting experience where guests watch a creature create art and receive a copy in the mail afterwards, and a Cameo video greeting to send to a friend.

Visit the Houston Zoo .

61. Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo offers a home safari consisting of videos recorded during Facebook Live streams. Website visitors can browse through over 50 animal encounters and learn facts about creatures like red pandas, parrots, zebras, and orangutans. Online modules also include activities such as homemade birdfeeders and balancing exercises so kids can participate more fully in the virtual experience.

Visit the Cincinnati Zoo .

62. Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo streams live between 10AM and 4PM ET, showing off visitor favorites such as sea lions and lemurs. The zoo also books out virtual wild encounters with creatures like cheetahs, alpacas, sloths, and warthogs, for prices ranging from $80 to $150. Each session takes place over Zoom and allows virtual visitors to get up close to animals while asking caretakers questions.

Visit the Bronx Zoo .

63. Alaska Zoo

The Alaska Zoo presents a distance learning experience through its virtual animal encounters and arctic discovery programs. Each session lasts approximately 45 minutes and costs $150. These experiences include interactive presentations and virtual visits with animals such as tigers, gray wolves, polar bears, or seals. A scheduled visit ensures the animals are unlikely to be camera-shy, creating a memorable and intimate online experience for students.

Visit the Alaska Zoo .

64. Singapore Zoo

The Singapore Zoo proposes a variety of e-learning options designed to enrich virtual classrooms. The website modules sort experiences by grade level, making it easy to choose an experience appropriate for your classroom. Students can explore topics such as zoology careers, reptile habitats, and African wildlife.

Visit the Singapore Zoo .

65. Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo offers virtual encounters on platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and GoToMeeting. During these sessions, caregivers and animals such as armadillos, giraffes, elephants, sloths, and lemurs join virtual visitors for a 15 minute meet and greet. The two available daily time slots are at 10AM and 2PM PT.

Visit the Oregon Zoo .

66. Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts ten live webcams featuring critters such as penguins, jellyfish, sharks, and sea otters. The variety of exhibits means that teachers can switch between streams when a particular camera is not live. The aquarium also facilitates narrated feeding times on certain webcams during weekdays, with the feeding schedule posted on the site.

Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium .

67. National Aquarium (Baltimore)

The National Aquarium in Baltimore offers an interactive virtual map folks can navigate for an online tour. Virtual visitors can follow the arrows for a walk-through experience, or can click a menu of creatures like dolphins and sharks to instantly view anticipated animals. The aquarium website also hosts three 24/7 webcam livestreams , and offers guided virtual programs too.

Visit the National Aquarium .

68. Georgia Virtual Aquarium

The Georgia Virtual Aquarium allows visitors to book a 10 to 20 minute guided online tour. Participants select a tour, receive viewing instructions via email, then enjoy up-close views of animals with educational insight. Participants get to view oceans, rivers, or sea creatures within an immersive virtual environment.

Visit Georgia Virtual Aquarium .

You may not be able to jet around the world at a moment’s notice. However, you can still visit famous parks, zoos, or museums by taking an engaging, interactive online virtual tour.

These online experiences enable you to stare as long as you like, avoid crowds, learn more about a subject or piece instantly, and enjoy other benefits. Not to mention, at home experiences are a great way to educate and teach children, coworkers, and yourself!

Next, check out our list of virtual family reunion activities and this one with online volunteering ideas .

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FAQ: Virtual Tours

Here are some of the common questions we see about virtual tours of museums, zoos and parks.

What are virtual tours?

Virtual tours are online galleries of famous attractions such as zoos, national parks, and museums. These experiences often consist of online exhibitions, videos, 360 degree and satellite photography, and virtual reality elements. Some tours may also include a facilitated live experience with a guide.

What are the best virtual tours?

The best virtual tours tend to include an interactive element. For example, the tour could be a live experience led by a guide and include trivia, polls, or other forms of engagement. These online tours are the best because they focus on the visitor experience.

How much do virtual tours cost?

Virtual tours are available at a variety of costs, ranging from free to $5 per person, $50 per person and upwards. We recommend starting with some of the free tours to see what your group likes and benefits most from. Then, you can invest in one of the paid options.

How do virtual tours work?

Virtual tours take place on online platforms such as Zoom, Google Street View, or custom software. Users login solo or as a group, and follow along with either a live or automated guide to learn about the tour stops.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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21 Sites Offering Virtual Tours and Live Streams for Travelers Stuck at Home

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Sarah Schlichter

Deputy Executive Editor Sarah Schlichter's idea of a perfect trip includes spotting exotic animals, hiking through pristine landscapes, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, and soaking up as much art as she can. She often attempts to recreate recipes from her international travels after she gets home (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires—no humans or animals were harmed).

Sarah joined the SmarterTravel team in 2017 after more than a decade at the helm of IndependentTraveler.com. Sarah's practical travel advice has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Budget Travel, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor .

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A journal. Even years later, reading my notes from a trip can bring back incredibly vivid memories."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Road tripping and hiking through the rugged mountains of Patagonia."

Travel Motto: "'To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.'—Freya Stark"

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle. I get restless on long flights and like to be able to move around without disturbing anyone else."

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As the world grinds to a halt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic , many would-be travelers find themselves stuck at home, dreaming of their next trip. Fortunately, the internet is here to help. You can take a virtual tour of the world’s great art museums, watch live streams of adorable animals in aquariums and zoos, and even catch a Broadway show, all from the comfort of your couch.

Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

Though Italy remains in lockdown, the Vatican Museums have put a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel on their website so you can explore its magnificent artwork without the crowds.

Google Arts & Culture

Use the Street View section of Google Arts & Culture for a peek inside dozens of museums and landmarks, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the Australian National Surfing Museum in Torquay, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

6 Ways to Feel Like You’re on Vacation at Home

Broadway HD

Broadway may be dark right now, but you can stream shows like Kinky Boots , Miss Saigon , and Macbeth through subscription service Broadway HD . You can start with a seven-day free trial, then pay a monthly or yearly fee.

Zoos Victoria, Australia

Two zoos in Victoria, Australia, are bringing some of their most popular critters visible through live cams . Tune in for a glimpse at penguins, baby snow leopards, giraffes, and lions.

The British Museum, London

Take a virtual tour through time and space as you explore the British Museum’s wide-ranging collections , from Japanese porcelain to ancient Egyptian artifacts.

The Metropolitan Opera, New York

Need a culture fix? The Met is streaming archived opera performances each night through March 29 while the opera house is closed, including works from Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and more.

7 Travel Decor Ideas to Make Your Home Feel Like Your Favorite Place

Monterey Bay Aquarium, California

Be mesmerized by tropical fish, sharks, jellyfish, penguins, and birds on the live cams of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.

The Frick Collection, New York

Survey the works of Old Masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer in a Gilded Age mansion with a virtual visit to the Frick Collection .

Skyline Webcams

What’s happening at the Roman Colosseum or at the Zocalo in Mexico City? Spoiler alert: Right now, not much. But there’s something soothing about being able to look out over famous landmarks and beautiful beaches , even if they’re eerily deserted at the moment. Check out the full lineup of destinations at Skyline Webcams .

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

Madrid’s Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, currently closed, is offering a virtual tour of its Rembrandt and Amsterdam Portraiture exhibition , scheduled to run through May 24.

National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.

Get your fill of dinosaur fossils, minerals, Egyptian artifacts, and more with a virtual tour of this Smithsonian institution , including past and current exhibits.

Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin

The Berlin Philharmonic is making the performances in its Digital Concert Hall free for everyone who signs up by March 31.

Recreate Your Favorite Travel Meal at Home: The Best Kitchen and Dining Gadgets

San Diego Zoo, California

Let cute furry animals ease your cabin fever by tuning into the live cams from the San Diego Zoo , featuring koalas, pandas, polar bears, elephants, and more.

Providing 360-degree views of cities and natural areas across the globe, 360Cities offers a fun way to virtually visit rainforests , monasteries , and geysers . Check out the site’s curated collections or search on a world map .

Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle

Need a moment of Zen? This conservatory is posting daily live streams of plants and flowers on its Instagram account .

Yosemite National Park, California

Explore Yosemite’s waterfalls, lakes, and rugged rocks through the imagery at Virtual Yosemite .

The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Peek around the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II.

Google Earth

Take in 360-degree views of the Matterhorn, the Hoover Dam, the Florence Duomo, and more on Google Earth .

Florida Beaches

Give yourself a virtual vacation with rolling waves and sunshine from live cams across the Fort Myers and Sanibel areas of Florida.

How to Make Your Home Smell Like a Hotel Spa

Tenerife, Spain

See spectacular aerial views of beaches, mountains, parks, and rocky coast in Spain’s Canary Islands chain.

National Palace Museum, Taiwan

Navigate your way through the serene gardens and priceless exhibits of Taiwan’s National Palace Museum via this virtual tour.

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The 5 Best Websites to Create Virtual Tours

If you want to showcase your space, you can use these powerful websites to quickly and easily create virtual tours.

If you’re looking for virtual reality tools to showcase your space, there are many websites to choose from.

Virtual tours have made a considerable impact in creating a real life element to spaces online. Instead of merely using a group of gallery photos, you’re able to get a realistic feel of a place without having to physically be there.

Here are five websites you can use to create virtual tours.

If you're looking for an easy way to create a virtual tour, this is a great place to start. Kuula allows you to provide an experience of your space. Instead of a boring slide show, Kuula helps you create a 360-degree tour.

Creating a virtual tour on Kuula is simple. All you have to do is create an account, and you're good to go. You can upload and arrange your panoramic shots and have your virtual tour ready in minutes.

Kuula offers a free plan where you can share up to 100 uploads per month. If you’ll need unlimited uploads or advanced features, you can opt for the Pro plan for $16/month.

Related: Outdoor Virtual Tours to Get Back to Nature With Hikes, Dives, and Spelunking

2. Matterport

Matterport is one of the largest 3D platforms for virtual tours. This tool can be used by anyone, whether you want to share your space with friends and family or you might want to create a tour of your professional property. This tool doesn’t only capture a 360 view, it captures the depth of your space by combining a 360 view with 3D data.

Matterport can help you capture your space professionally through a 3D capture technician, starting at $129. But, you don't have to use an advanced technician to create your virtual tour. You can also do it yourself using your iPhone.

Matterport offers a free plan, a starter plan for $9.99/month, and a Pro plan for $69/month.

3. Metareal Stage

With Metareal Stage, you can use 360 images to create your virtual tour. Metareal Stage lets you create more than a 3D tour, you can also create a 3D model and model view.

A unique feature on Metareal Stage is “Build It For Me”, which basically does the job for you. All you have to do is upload your panorama shots and your virtual tour is created. This feature costs $4 per panorama.

Metareal Stage works well with a 360 camera, a DSLR, or if you have a rotator, you can use your phone camera. You can build your virtual tours for free. However, if you're looking for more features, you'll pay between $9.95 to $39 per month.

4. CloudPano

While CloudPano is used by multiple brands across industries, it’s not restricted to marketers and business owners. CloudPano is an easy to use 360 virtual tour software that can be used by anyone.

To use this tool, you simply have to sign up for an account. You can upload an unlimited amount of 360 photos under a free plan. However, your tours will expire after 120 days. If you're using this tool for your business and need additional features, you can pay $10 per tour or choose the Pro Plus plan for $33 per month.

If you want to create aerial virtual tours for large spaces such as a golf course, Roundme is the tool for you.

With Roundme, you can use portals to allow people to easily navigate across your panoramic tour. You can also get inspired by a community of 360 photographers and contributors on the website.

Roundme offers a free account with up to 15 uploads per week. If you want access to unlimited uploads, the Pro account costs $8.25/month.

Related: The Best Free Virtual Travel Experiences Worth Checking Out

Use Virtual Tours to See the World

The above websites are all amazing and will surely help you create virtual tours. But, virtual tours aren't only useful for showcasing your space.

With virtual tours, you don't have to worry about distance. If you want to view some of the world’s most desired places, you can use virtual tours to do that.

The website that lets you experience the world from home!

Walk Around 100+ Cities Around The Globe! Admire the beautiful scenery and street sounds.

Guess your location from your surroundings and walk around & admire the beautiful scenery!

Drive around and view the scenery from 100+ cities around the globe. Admire the beautiful sights!

Explore the world by walking, driving, flying, and viewing live footage of different locations around the world.

View LIVE Footage from different cities around the world. Enjoy!

Enjoy the view from above for over 80+ cities from around the globe/world.

Explore different famous & not famous monuments from around the world.

Click on cities on a map to view videos from that city!

Experience window views from hundreds of different cities.

Experience road trips by virtually driving between cities.

Guessing Game

Can you recognize where a city is just my walking around it? If so, give this game a go!

Want to help Virtual Vacation out? Give us a share and give others the gift of travel!

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Top 10 virtual tours: see museums and the world without leaving home

Stuck at home? You can still enjoy amazing sights and experiences

Machu Picchu virtual tour

Many of the world’s most iconic locations now offer virtual tours, meaning you can visit museums, world heritage sites and other attractions from the comfort of your couch. You don’t need a VR headset , either, although some attractions do support virtual reality for a more immersive experience.

So if you’re looking for things to do at home, and in need of a change of scenery, simply grab your laptop, tablet or phone, and join us on a world tour filled with history, nature and – of course – technology.

1. Machu Picchu, Andes Mountains, Peru

Machu Picchu

A simply stunning UNESCO World Heritage site, Machu Picchu is a visual wonder that just has to be seen. You no longer need to fly all the way to Peru to see it in all its glory, however, as the virtual tour is comprehensive, immersive, and filled with fascinating insights.

With 360-degree views of the ruins of Inca settlements and lush green landscapes, you can visit every popular vantage point and learn more about the history of the famous site thanks to a helpful voice narrator. OK, you can’t feel the warm breeze around you, but if you turn on the heat and have a handy desk fan set to low, it’s almost as good as the real thing. Almost.

Behold the marvel : Machu Picchu

2. The Louvre Museum, Paris

The Lourve virtual tour

An attraction visited by millions of tourists in person every year, the Louvre Museum has also created a selection of virtual tours based on its permanent collections. Explore Egyptian antiquities, the Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and the decorative arts of the Galerie d’Apollon. 

The tour is easy to navigate, with an expandable minimap that lets you highlight exhibits to view with just a couple of clicks. You can also find out more about each room in The Louvre, with detailed descriptions that will probably make the room you’re actually sitting in feel frightfully dull in comparison. 

Take a trip: Louvre Museum

3. The National Museum of Computing, Milton Keynes, UK

National Museum of Computing virtual tour

The National Museum of Computing contains the world’s largest collection of working historic computers. That means one of them probably runs Microsoft Vista and is still working...

The museum features a fantastic, intuitive, virtual 3D tour. You can zoom in on each exhibit’s details, and find out more about every aspect of computing history, such as the world’s oldest working digital computer. Impressive stuff.

Discover a digital treasure trove: The National Museum of Computing

4. Georgia Aquarium, Georgia, USA

Georgia Aquarium virtual tours

Nothing beats the beauty of nature, so it’s good to know you can still get your daily dose of “aww” from the safety of your sofa. The Georgia Aquarium has over 50 species ranging from sea lions to underwater puffins, with many available to view via webcam. There’s also a daily and weekly livestream that’s aimed at piquing children’s interest in animals, and a great at-home educational tool if you want to entertain the little ones. 

Ever wondered what a Beluga Whale gets up to in its spare time? Just click on the link below and find out. Water-way to have a good time. 

Sea more: Georgia Aquarium

5. A 3-Minute Tour, Tokyo

What if we told you that you could ride in a Tuk Tuk, walk across the famous Shibuya crossing, win a Pikachu from a claw machine, and make friends with a robot… all in under three minutes. That might be physically impossible, but with VR it’s a breeze.

If you’ve ever wanted to take a whistle-stop tour of Japan, the Japan National Tourism Organization has created a 360-degree virtual reality video that lets you do all of the above, and lots more. 

Simply put on a VR headset to experience a surreal thrill ride, where you’ll go from feeding a deer to facing off against a sumo wrestler in a matter of seconds. The video is also viewable in 2D, and well worth a look. 

Check it out below.

6. The British Museum, London

British Museum virtual tour

Home to a remarkable collection that spans over two million years of human history and culture, The British Museum has nearly 50 online exhibits to view. From Bonaparte and the Battle of Waterloo to exploring the history of LGBTQ, there’s plenty of informative content to delve into.

For a more interactive experience, check out the Museum of the World tour . You can browse through a large selection of exhibits that are dated by century, continent and category – such as trade and conflict or art and design. Each exhibit offers a detailed description as well as accompanying audio, which helps provide a fascinating backstory to each piece. 

Browse the exhibits: The British Museum

7. The Vatican, Rome

The Vatican virtual tour

Filled with spectacular architecture and historic monuments, The Vatican is within your virtual reach, with a host of museums providing online tours. Step into the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms, which are adorned with simply sensational artwork. 

The tour is compatible with WebVR, so you can pop on a VR headset to get an even closer look at some of mankind’s most memorable creations. It’s truly breathtaking, even when viewed through a screen.  

When in Rome, visit: The Vatican

 8. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Musee d'Orsey virtual tour

Located in the center of Paris, this historic museum was installed in the former Orsay railway station. It was originally built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, and displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914.

Take a leisurely virtual stroll through the opulent hallways and witness works from dozens of famous French artists, including Monet, Gauguin and Van Gogh. With no other visitors to contend with, you can soak up all the culture on display to your heart’s content – and there’s a lot to soak up. 

Take the tour: Musée d’Orsay

9. Athens Acropolis, Athens

Acropolis virtual tour

A must-visit destination for history buffs, the Athens Acropolis includes the world-famous Parthenon, and is a cultural hotspot for tourists. Choose between popular sites such as the Theatre of Dionysus and enjoy in-depth videos that provide a fascinating and educational insight into ancient Greece. 

There are plenty of photographs to view and engrossing facts to learn, so don’t be surprised if you become an armchair expert in no time. Now, where’d you put that amphora of wine? 

Get to the Greek: Athens Acropolis

10. The Royal Academy of Arts, London

Royal Academy of Arts virtual tour

If you’re amazed by architecture, the Royal Academy of Arts has a virtual tour that will make you go “ooo” and “ahh” for hours. The Sensing Spaces exhibition uses high-quality 360-degree photography to give visitors a taste of its structures and remarkable exhibitions – it really does feel as if you’re actually there. 

Each exhibition is complemented by further information for users to read through, but you’re encouraged to come to your own conclusions, and think about what each space means to you.

Visit the exhibition: Sensing Spaces

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Best virtual tours that you can take without leaving home

Need to get out of the house and go on vacation, but finances, health, or other circumstances have you staying at home? Virtual tours are the next best thing. They allow you to travel to exotic locations, including space, without ever leaving home. Here are some of the best ways to take a staycation getaway using virtual tours.

Best virtual tour app for Android

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The Seven Wonders app allows you to travel to the seven wonders of the world from your phone. The app supports the use of Google Cardboard but you don’t have to use it. You can just hold your phone up to your face — as you move the phone, you’ll see a 360-degree view of whatever location you’re visiting.

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With the Sites in VR app, you can take tours around the world using a virtual reality headset or just your phone or iPad. You can choose from cities or countries to visit, or you can go inside famous landmarks, like the pyramids. There are even space panoramas for a little out-of-this-world entertainment.

AirPano is a free site that allows you to wander beautiful locations all over the world. The best features of these virtual tours are choosing to take a helicopter view over the landscape or a walking trail through the area. The site also has articles about the location you are visiting and allows visitors to leave comments. If you really like a tour, you can choose to buy it as a download.

Sometimes you just want to leave this planet behind. That’s where virtual space tours come in handy. The Exoplanet Travel Bureau , powered by NASA, is here for you. You can choose an exoplanet and travel around its alien surface. Of course, the planets are artist renderings, since we haven’t actually traveled there yet, but they’re fascinating just the same. NASA at Home has many more space-themed virtual and augmented reality tours, too.

The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks is a Google project that lets you explore five different U.S. parks, including Florida’s Dry Tortugas, Hawaiian volcanoes, the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, and Utah’s Bryce Canyon. Each tour starts with a little history lesson about the area, and then you can dive into the 360-degree landscape. There are also audio tour guides that help you along your journey, explaining what you’re looking at and a little of its history.

Sometimes you don’t know where you want to go, and that’s OK. The Random Street View generator (powered by Google Maps ) is the answer. It will take you on a virtual stroll down a random street somewhere in the world. Be careful, though. Exploring random locations is a bit addicting. One minute you may be virtually walking down a highway in Michigan, and then with a click, you could be in an alleyway in Romania. The best part is that you get to see places that other virtual tour sites and apps don’t offer.

With Google Earth , you can go anywhere on our planet, from your hometown to the other side of the earth. You can use the website to take your journey, or use the app together with VR equipment to enhance your experience. Other than the awesome street views and ability to travel just about anywhere, you can also enhance Google Earth with your own videos and photos of places you have been in person.

If you’re an animal lover, there are many great virtual zoo exhibits that you can visit from your home. The San Diego Live Cams , for example, let you watch live footage of a wide range of animals, from baboons to penguins. Some other great animal cams can be found at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute , The Houston Zoo , and EarthCam .

There are plenty of ways to visit our fishy friends, too. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Georgia Aquarium, and The National Aquarium all have fantastic live webcams that allow you to watch sharks, jellyfish, stingrays, and much more.

When it comes to fine art, it’s hard to do better than a virtual tour of the Louvre . The website has a variety of tours you can take throughout the gallery, including The Galerie d’Apollon, Louvre’s Petite Galerie, and the east side of the Sully wing. When you’re finished at the Louvre, check out the virtual tours of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea , the Musée d’Orsay in Paris , and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil .

There are also virtual tours that can take you back in time, sort of. You can see amazing exhibits of curiosities from the past, like dinosaurs, Egyptian relics, Stone Age tools, and more at The Natural History Museum in London ,  The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History , and The British Museum .

Longing for a walk in the woods or a tour through habitats that rarely see a human? No problem. There are plenty of virtual tours to satisfy you. Conservation International, for example, has a 360-degree tour through the Amazon that is narrated by an indigenous guide. Other virtual hikes you might enjoy include a trip through the redwoods at Muir Woods National Park , a stroll through the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, and a tour of New Zealand’s Great Walks .

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As rival Apple is rumored to be eyeing an entrance into the metaverse, Microsoft, an early proponent of mixed and augmented reality applications, is criticized for its blurry vision behind the company's own HoloLens strategy. While HoloLens notched big early wins, including scoring a U.S. Department of Defense contract, subsequent delays, project cancellations, and high-profile executive departures may have resulted in the death of the HoloLens 3. Still, despite a scathing profile by Business Insider, it appears that Microsoft remains, at least publicly, committed to its HoloLens endeavors for now. The company has gone on record to refute the publication's reporting that HoloLens 3 has been killed.

There are a number of factors that may be causing Microsoft to pivot from its early bet on HoloLens, but the Microsoft profile cited internal divisions and the lack of a unified strategy among the top reasons for concern. As a result of the chaos, it appears that the largest collateral damage to Microsoft's infighting is the cancellation of its next-generation HoloLens 3 hardware.

Actronika, a startup company known for its HD haptics technology has a futuristic new product. Expected to be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2022 is Skinetic, a haptic vest that should make virtual reality experiences feel a lot more realistic.

Skinetic works much as you'd expect. The wearable vest makes VR feel more immersive by bringing life-like sensations and touch-like experiences to areas of the body like the chest when paired with a compatible headset. As reported by Business Wire, the technology "works with 20 patented vibrotactile voice-coil motors, capable of generating a wide range of vibrations that cover 100% of human vibrotactile perception."

It seems that virtual reality may be about to become even more real than ever before -- all thanks to a new VR headset. Pimax, a company that manufactures VR equipment, announced the upcoming release of a new 12K QLED VR headset that will feature technologies such as eye tracking, full-body tracking, and refresh rates of up to 200Hz. The headset, dubbed Pimax Reality 12K QLED, is part of the company's venture into the metaverse and a step toward bringing true realism to using VR.

During today's Pimax Frontier event, the company's representatives talked at length about the goals behind the product -- naturalness, self-awareness, and freedom. Pimax wants to bring these qualities into virtual reality and the metaverse, allowing people from all over the world to interact and explore virtual worlds together. While VR technology already allows for some of that to happen, Pimax wants to take it to the next level with its new invention -- the Reality 12K QLED VR headset.

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    21 Sites Offering Virtual Tours and Live Streams for Travelers Stuck at Home. Sarah Schlichter. Travel Smarter! Sign up for our free newsletter. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy...

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    AirPano is a free site that allows you to wander beautiful locations all over the world. The best features of these virtual tours are choosing to take a helicopter view over the landscape or...