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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Take a Virtual Vacation!

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Covid-19 might have us homebound right now, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t “escape!”

There’s no shortage of TV shows, movies, FaceTime and mobile apps to help pass the time while we wait out the Coronavirus. However, why not spend your day at museums, zoos, theme parks and international landmarks all over the world?

Here are 17 virtual tours you can enjoy from the safe social distance of your own couch.

For the Traveler


Disney's Pirates of Caribbean ride
Pirates of Caribbean ride


  1. Walt Disney World

Put on your ears and let’s go! There’s plenty of sunshine coming your way on a VisitOrlando virtual tour of the Walt Disney World Resort parks. Then, stop by YouTube channels Fun Family Florida and Virtual Disney World to ride the rides like Expedition Everest, Star War’s Rise of The Resistance and Pirates of the Caribbean.


Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park


2. National Parks

Google Earth put together a collection of virtual tours, guiding you through 31 of the country’s most beautiful national parks. Google Arts & Culture also includes a digital exhibit called The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks that brings five national parks to life, including Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska.

3. Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture can take you around the world. Explore the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, the pyramids of Egypt or visit the final frontier and step aboard the International Space Station. The options are endless.

For the History Buff


Rendering of the Titanic ship
A virtual tour lets you explore the Titanic


4. Titanic

At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank into the Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. This virtual tour lets you explore the luxurious ship and watch it “sink” in real time.


Anne Frank House in Amsterdam
Anne Frank House in Amsterdam


5. Anne Frank House:

Go to Amsterdam and discover the secret annex where Anne Frank hid for more than two years and wrote her famous diary entries during World War II. You can also take a look around the house where Anne and her family lived before going into hiding and visit an online exhibition about her life and legacy.

6. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History:

Discover presidential portrait collections, explore the engineering marvels of the Inca Empire or remix one of the 2.8 million images available through Smithsonian Open Access. You could easily spend all day here.

7. Buckingham Palace

The official residence of Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace has served as the London home of the royal family since 1837. Explore the grand staircase, featuring a magnificent gilded bronze balustrade, and take a tour around the white drawing room, featuring Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s famous grand piano.

For the Animal Lover


Orangutan at the Cincinnati Zoo
Orangutan at the Cincinnati Zoo


8. Cincinnati Zoo

Did you know the Cincinnati Zoo is the second-oldest zoo in the United States? Be sure to check in around 3 p.m., because that’s when the zoo holds a daily home safari on its Facebook Live Feed.

9. The Dublin Zoo

Tune in live to the African savanna, Dublin Zoo’s largest habitat that houses giraffes, rhinos, ostriches and zebras. Keep your eyes peeled for a herd of Asian elephants on the Kaziranga Forest Trail and watch penguins swim, waddle, hop and play.

10. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Can’t wait for Shark Week? You don’t have to, thanks to live online footage of Monterey Bay’s shark cam.


Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium


11. The Shedd Aquarium

This Chicago aquarium shares some pretty adorable behind-the-scenes footage of its residents on Facebook. Our personal favorite is Yaku the sea otter!

For the Artist


Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum


12. Van Gogh Museum

Wander through the Amsterdam museum free from fellow visitors and search for your favorite painting without being disturbed. You can also find a selection of things to do online, like check out stories about Van Gogh’s life, the Unravel Van Gogh app and more.

13. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Even though the Met Gala was canceled this year, you can still explore The Costume Institute Conservation Lab, just one of the museum’s 26 online exhibits.

14. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Madrid’s famous art museum features works from celebrated artists like Rembrandt and Dali, all available online.

For the Musician

15. Country Music Hall of Fame

Tune in to live and prerecorded programs that complement the stories of artists, songwriters, master musicians, producers, record executives, scholars and more captured in conversation and performance.


Night view of the Metropolitan Opera House
Metropolitan Opera House


16. The Metropolitan Opera

16. Cozy up and watch the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers. Each day a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming.

17. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The museums newest exhibit, “Play It Loud: The Instruments of Rock & Roll,” will not leave fans disappointed. You may have to wait it out to see Bruce Springsteen’s guitar or extravagant costumes worn by Prince, but you can watch the “Play It Loud” opening party, featuring a special performance from Metallica.


Many musicians have been offering mini-concerts via their social media accounts. If you don’t already, make sure to follow your favorite artists for their latest updates and pop-up virtual performances!

Know someone who might need a little virtual vacation? Send this article to them or share it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!


Enjoying a virtual coaste at homer
Enjoying a virtual roller coaster at home


Article provided by AAA Northeast

(March 2020)


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