Virtual Tours to Entertain Would-be Travelers During Lockdown

Due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, we realize now is not the time to travel. With many countries’ borders shut down and much of the population under stay at home orders, going on vacation is out of the questions and even getting out for a local excursion may be difficult.

Thankfully, many of the world’s finest cultural institutions have stepped up, bringing their content to the world while the world is stuck inside. Here are some of the most fascinating places you can visit from the comfort of your living room for a limited time.

1. The Louvre—Paris, France

The world’s most famous art museum closed its doors to the public in early March due to crowds, but art enthusiasts looking to admire the iconic collection are now able to enjoy some of the museum’s most famous
galleries online. Some galleries virtual guests can explore include the Egyptian Antiquities Wing, the remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and the Galerie d’Apollon.

2. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History—Washington, D.C.

During the Smithsonian’s closing, the museum campus which sprawls around the U.S. Capitol has made opened one of its most popular sites to the internet. The National Museum of Natural History, home of the largest natural history in the world, has made a series of virtual tours available including its permanent exhibits, its current temporary exhibits, and photo galleries of its past special exhibits. See dinosaurs, mammals, insects, and gemstones, as well its current special collections and galleries of previous special exhibits. Check out the entire collection in addition to a selection of other
Smithsonian exhibits at https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour.

3. Yellowstone National Park—Wyoming

Missing the great outdoors while you shelter in place? Manyof the U.S. National Parks, including Yellowstone, have provided extensive galleries of their most famous sites to allow visitors to experience their
natural beauty from home. Yellowstone’s website offers links to some of the park’s most majestic sites including the Fountain Paint Pot, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs, and the Upper
Geyser Basin featuring Old Faithful, the park’s most recognizable landmark.

4. The Alamo—San Antonio, TX

While looking for historic sites to explore online remember the Alamo! A landmark of the lone star state from before it was even a state, the former mission and fortress is now part of the San Antonio Missions World
Heritage Site. Although the building is currently closed cyber tourists can still take an extensive tour of the building including the famous exterior facade, the interior of the original shrine, the courtyards, the back gardens, and even the gift shop (unfortunately no tour of the basement is available).

5. The Metropolitan Opera House—New York, NY

Even while theatres are closed, the show must go on! Theatre buffs looking for a night at the opera can enjoy encore performances of some of the Metropolitan Opera House’s most iconic performances nightly. Don your best opera cape or simply kick back in your pajamas while you enjoy breathtaking performances of classic productions at https://www.metopera.org/.

6. The Art Institute of Chicago—Chicago, IL

One of the largest art museums in the U.S., The Art Institute of Chicago is regularly named the city’s top tourist destination. Now, with virtually all tourism halted, the AIC is allowing visitors to explore its galleries virtually. Featuring extensive photo galleries of its expansive collections, access to the museum’s audio tours, and a video tour of its now-truncated special exhibit on El Greco, the Art Institute’s website now offers hours of artistic exploration for those seeking an afternoon of cultural entertainment.

7. The San Diego Zoo—San Diego, CA

Whether you’re a die-hard animal lover or just need an extra dose of cuteness in your life the San Diego Zoo has you covered. The number one zoo in the world has set up live stream cams of all its furry and
feathered residents so you can check in on them even while they aren’t taking visitors. Adults and kids alike will delight in taking a peek in on tigers, elephants, polar bears and more. As a bonus, the zoo has almost posted archived cam footage of its giant pandas who returned home to China last year.

8. The British Museum—London, UK

For those of you longing to take a trip across the pond to England, Google Arts and Culture has partnered with the British Museum to allow online guests the chance to do a complete walkthrough of the world’s largest and first public national museum. Featuring over 8 million pieces, the British Museum’s collection is one of the largest of any museum in the world. In addition to the digital walk through the museum’s website
also features photo galleries and videos of over two million of its collection pieces and galleries.

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