When you can’t get away to your favorite beach, cottage or far-flung destination across the world, you can still leave the comfort of your own home, in virtual reality-style. Armchair vacations are certainly sustainable ways to travel these days, so why not take advantage of these 11 virtual vacations to transport you around the world, with a simple touch of a mouse or click on your smartphone.
Virtual Vacations Tour Tips
So what is a virtual vacation and how do you take a virtual vacation? It’s essentially a holiday you take in virtual form. Think of it as an escape to an oasis that you can visit without leaving your home or travelling on an airplane, car or ship. You can enjoy virtual vacations in short segments as needed, or take a longer time to really get into a destination or place that transports you away from where you are.
You can take a virtual vacation by watching inspiring destination videos, or taking virtual tours of arts and cultural institutions. Here are some virtual tour tips for those sites that you have to ‘walk through’ to visit, such as museums and art galleries.
- To navigate between adjoining rooms in the tours, click on the arrow links on the floor or use the navigation map in the upper right (usually) of most presentation screens.
- Look for the camera icon which gives you a close-up view of a particular object or exhibit panel.
- Try zooming in as some of the images are stitched together from individual pictures in order to create high resolution giga-pixel images.
11 Virtual Vacations Around the World
1. British Columbia, Canada
For natural beauty, few places in the world compare to my home province of British Columbia, Canada.
But hey, I’m biased and proudly so.
The wild west coast of mountains, lakes, and oceans combined with the cultural diversity, food offerings and urban lifestyle make it a unique place worthy of your travel dreams and plans. But I’ll let the video show you instead of my blathering on.
2. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Canada
Canada’s impressive Museum of History offers virtual tours of exhibits like First Nations carvings, Confederation-era dress codes, a virtual Museum of New France, and Making Medicare: the History of Health Care in Canada. You can also view the circular painting, “Morning Star,” by Alex Janvier, which decorates the ceiling of the dome of the Haida Gwaii Salon within the museum, towering above a bright white staircase.
Other exhibits listed in the museum’s “Online Exhibitions” section include a dedicated website explaining Inuit prints from Cape Dorset in Nunavut (with videos, interviews, pictures and interactive puzzle games to recreate prints yourself), and a clickable playhouse that has different “rooms” that lead viewers to different children’s toys from Canada’s past.
3. Horse Country Farms, Kentucky, USA
If you can’t travel or visit your own horses or just need an equine animal fix, HorseCountry Virtual Tours has you covered. Horse Country Farms in Kentucky, USA, has got some unique social distance-friendly experiences for horse lovers everywhere. You can tune in to their social channels for LIVE tours, new videos and virtual experiences.
4. London Natural History Museum, London, England
London’s Natural History Museum’s vast collection has long been a favourite of both Londoners and tourists. It’s got dinosaurs, butterflies, insects, specimens in jars, and so much more. Get lost in the corridors and gallery spaces. And don’t miss Dippy the dino, who makes an appearance in the entrance hall in this interactive online guide.
5. The Louvre, Paris, France
The Louvre’s virtual tours showcase its Petite Gallerie, a space dedicated to art and cultural education where you can discover ‘The Advent of the Artist’ including artworks from Delacroix, Rembrandt and Tintoretto. You can also virtually tour Egyptian Antiquities, the remains of the museums’ Moat (very cool), and the Galerie d’Apollon.
6. The Metropolitan Museum, New York City, USA
The award-winning Met 360 Project is a series of six short videos that invites viewers around the world to virtually visit New York City’s The Met’s art and architecture in an immersive way. Created using spherical 360° technology, it allows viewers to explore some of the Museum’s iconic spaces from the comfort of their living rooms on a virtual vacation.
Experience the magic of standing in an empty gallery after-hours, witnessing a bustling museum space in time-lapse, or floating high above The Met Cloisters for a bird’s-eye view of its garden setting. Located in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, the Met Cloisters is dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe, and a personal museum favorite.
7. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea
Since opening its doors in 1969, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Korea has showcased the history of Korean art forms. The Museum’s virtual tour allows visitors from around the world to wander through six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.
8. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France
In the former Gare d’Orsay Paris railway station and hotel, the magnificent Musée is home to Cézanne, Monet and other French masters. Under the spectacular 138m-long curved glass roof sits the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist works in the world. The virtual tour also includes an online exhibition charting the history of the building, which is nearly as intriguing as the artworks within.
9. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada
Through the power of Google Streetview, enter directly inside the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and wander through several exhibits as if you were physically there. Virtually walk through the spacious entrance of the museum past dinosaur skeletons, peek into the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada and wander through the Canada: First Peoples exhibit.
10. Uffizi Gallery, Florence
The Uffizi was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de’Medici to house the Granducal Magistratures of Tuscany. Over time, the top floor loggia became an exhibition of the dynastic collection of ancient sculpture, artwork and artifacts This virtual gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence, Italy’s most famous families, the de’Medicis. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de’Medici, but anyone can wander its halls from anywhere in the world.
11. Vatican Museums, Vatican City
With soaring vaulted ceilings, world-renowned murals, paintings, and tapestries, the Vatican Museums are overwhelming and incredible arts, cultural and religious sites. The virtual Vatican Museums tour offers the chance to glimpse seven sacred spaces in the Museum, in a series of 360-degree images, including the magnificent Sistine Chapel. Wander around the rest of Vatican City with a You Visit tour that takes in Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square, complete with a tour guide narrating each interactive space.
Pin for Later
Photo Credits: Shutterstock