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Tuesday, July 7, 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!

AAA’s Online Travel Events & Webinars

United States Adventures
May 26, 2020 7pm
Join AAA Travel and Trafalgar for a FREE online event to unlock the infinite possibilities to see and explore the United States! With all the spectacular mountains, forests, beaches and desert in between, the United States is an endless playground waiting to be discovered! Register here to attend:

An African Adventure
May 28, 2020 3pm & 7pm
Join AAA Travel and African Travel for a FREE armchair journey to the magical continent of Africa! We will have the opportunity to discover some of the amazing sights and wonders of this fascinating continent and inspire you to travel on the experience of a lifetime! Register here to attend:

The River Cruise Experience
June 2, 2020 3pm & 7pm
Join AAA Travel and AmaWaterways for a FREE online event to find inspiration for your dream river cruise vacation! Join us from the comfort of your home by registering through the link!

Discover the World
June 4, 2020 3pm & 7pm
Join AAA Travel and Member Choice Vacations as we discover the world! With over 125 programs that visit all seven continents, let us take you on an adventure of intimate explorations, amazing spotlight stays, and exclusive tours of some amazing national parks! Join us by registering through the link:

Alaska – Americas Last Frontier
June 9, 2020 3pm & 7pm
Join AAA Travel and Royal Caribbean for a FREE online event about exploring a place like no other! Take an adventure with us and enjoy a day in the life of traveling by land and sea! Attend from the comfort of your home by registering here:

The Untamed Beauty of Alaska
June 11, 2020 3pm & 7pm
Join AAA Travel and Princess Cruise Line for a FREE online event as we voyage through the untamed beauty of the Last Frontier from the comfort of our homes! Enjoy exploring the Great Land’s glaciers, wildlife and national parks by registering here:

Voyage along the Great Mississippi River
June 16, 2020 10am, 3pm & 7pm
Join AAA Travel and Viking River Cruises for a FREE online event as we share the rare opportunity to sail through America’s heartland, the Mississippi! Explore picturesque towns and boom cities; take in views of pastoral farms and towering bluffs; and immerse yourself in region’s rich history and culture! Register here to attend:

Exclusive USA Vacations
June 18, 2020 3pm & 7pm
Join AAA Travel and Insight Vacations for a FREE online event as we gain exclusive insight in to the diverse scenery, culture and history that make up all this magnificent country has to offer! Join us from the comfort of your home as we travel across America. To attend register here:

Choose Fun with Carnival
June 23, 2020 3pm
Join AAA Travel and Carnival Cruise Line for a FREE online event as we explore the incredible ports and the fun things to do, both on the ship and ashore! To attend please register here:

Luxury River Cruise Voyage
June 23, 2020 7pm
Join AAA Travel and Azamara for a FREE online event to explore immersive and intimate voyages aboard a small luxury ship! Learn to cruise with confidence from the comfort of your home by registering through the link:

Adventure Like a Local
June 25, 2020 3pm & 7pm
Join AAA Travel and Cub Adventures for a FREE online event about exploring the world with a local lens! Learn about the small group sizes and local tour leaders that can turn your trip into an exclusive adventure! Attend from the comfort of your home by registering here:

Article provided by AAA Northeast

(March 2020)


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