Matt Dirksen/ E+ via Getty Images
Matt Dirksen/ E+ via Getty Images
Matt Dirksen/ E+ via Getty Images
Social distancing might be easier in some states than others, however, these practices are important to maintain as the pandemic continues. Coronavirus etiquette such as wearing masks and continuing to social distance will keep flattening the curve. If you and your family are getting restless at home, this is the perfect time to explore all the virtual tours that have been made available across the country. No matter where you live, one of your state’s top attractions has a virtual tour for you.
If you or your family members are animal lovers, visit the Birmingham Zoo for behind-the-scenes tours and animal lessons from staff members.
On the Travel Alaska website, there are plenty of interactive ways to tour the state without actually visiting. Set up your lawn chairs and get ready for a staycation while visiting places like the Katmai National Park or seeing the Pacific walruses on Round Island.
You can take a vintage photo tour through national parks in days gone by — or you can take a virtual hike or raft trip through the Grand Canyon.
Traveling while sitting on the couch is one way to save money during coronavirus quarantine. Take off on a trip through Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park via Google Earth.
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If you’ve been dreaming of beautiful beaches, a virtual escape to Delaware’s coastal towns will be just the getaway you need. The Visit Delaware homepage has different beaches for you to explore with 360-degree views.
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If your Florida vacation was canceled due to the coronavirus, there are still virtual ways to enjoy the magic of Disney World as well as the state’s art and culture. You can even explore museums you might not have visited on your trip, like the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, which is offering virtual online tours.
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You might not know that the U.S. is home to many active volcanoes — there are over 160 that are potentially active, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior. Tour the volcanoes of Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park via Google Arts & Culture. You’ll see incredible up-close views and learn about the park’s history from national park rangers.
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If you want an adrenaline rush without the rapid heartbeat, take Idaho’s 360-degree virtual adventure tours to experience activities like canyon exploration, whitewater rafting and BASE jumping off amazing bridges.
There is so much incredible artwork in the Art Institute of Chicago, but due to the lauded museum’s temporary closure, its exhibits are now on virtual display. Don’t miss famous paintings like “American Gothic,” “Nighthawks” or “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet.
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum/Yelp
Browse the galleries and exhibits online at Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center, in Decorah, Iowa. Here, you’ll learn about the traditions, art, culture and history of Norwegian Americans.
Even though the Kentucky Derby was postponed until September, many people are still missing the excitement of the races just before summer really kicks off. Sit back, make your favorite Kentucky Derby cocktail and tour the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington to learn about the stars of the show.
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If you’re missing the feeling of the ocean breeze in your hair or the views from a gorgeous coastline, perhaps a virtual tour of Acadia National Park will suffice. On the tour, you’ll stop by islands, listen to the wildlife and take in the seaside scenery you’ve been missing.
Taking a tour of a museum is one thing, but taking a tour with curators and artists is a next-level experience. Along with virtually touring exhibits, you can listen to stories from curators and artists at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as they talk about creative processes, how collections are connected to the world and how art conservation works.
For kids and families who have been spending time doing summer activities at home, learning about innovation and technology might be the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day. Take a virtual tour of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn to browse through iconic cars, engines and locomotives.
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Just as there are stunning temples around the world, there are also really beautiful cathedrals to admire. Walk through the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and take in the beautiful architecture right from your couch.
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The start of summer often brings with it thoughts of beach towns and seaside vacations. Don’t miss out on beautiful coastal views — explore Mississippi life at the water’s edge by using Google Street View.
If you’ve found more ways to save money during quarantine and become more financially savvy during the pandemic, you may be more curious about how money works. Take a self-guided virtual tour through the Economy Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to learn about currency and the American economy.
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Virtually walk through the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in Arlee, Montana, for an enlightening and serene experience. This garden is three things at once: a public park, a botanical garden and a Buddhist center.
For writers, a tour of the National Willa Cather Center is an enchanting way to spend time while social distancing. It will take you through Red Cloud, Nebraska, a town that looks stuck in time, and you’ll learn all about Cather’s life and legacy.
Pour your favorite cocktail and bake some pastries — the best part of virtual tours is that you can eat and drink your way through them. The Newark Museum of Art in New Jersey has a collections catalogue for you to browse at your leisure. Don’t miss collections like Historic American Photographs or the Arts of Africa. If you’re curious about a specific artist, you can click the people tab and find them by last name.
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Summer festivals may have been postponed or canceled, but you don’t have to miss out on all of them. Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta can be explored online this year.
Scholastic has set up a virtual tour of Ellis Island in New York for online tourists to explore the spot where more than 12 million immigrants first landed in America. Taking this tour gives you a great opening to talk about your family’s history and cultivate closer relationships with your loved ones.
You’ve probably seen some jaw-droppingly beautiful photos of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway before, but now you can go on a virtual adventure along with professional photographers, accomplished hikers, birding experts and more as they share their perspective on one of the most beautiful drives in the country.
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If you started your own indoor garden during quarantine, then you’ll love walking, virtually of course, through the International Peace Garden in Dunseith, North Dakota.
Music is a powerful tool, and with so much going on in the world, it can be a great way to manage your anxiety. Take some time to dive into music history with a virtual tour at Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Perhaps one of the best-known landmarks in the U.S., Mount Rushmore was carved into South Dakota’s Black Hills from 1927 to 1941. You can tour the four faces of American leaders through a 3D explorer or a virtual tour.
If you’re a big fan of country music, then a video tour through the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville is the virtual tour for you. Watch for upcoming live-streamed events and strum through the museum’s archives.
With all this extra time spent at home, it’s important to find creative ways to keep kids entertained. Space Center Houston has a few virtual learning experiences online as well as a free app to download with interactive augmented reality.
Beautiful street murals from around the world are one thing, but beautiful rock formations in Bryce Canyon National Park are like a painting done by Mother Nature. Explore 360 degrees of this national park through the Google Arts & Culture series “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks.”
Virginia Museum of History & Culture/Yelp
There are lots of free virtual museum tours online to choose from, but don’t overlook the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond. Through online exhibits, learn about the history and landscape of the state, the 400-year struggle for black equality and female activism in the state.
The nation’s capital is a place every American should see in their lifetime — even virtually. Thankfully, many of Washington’s iconic museums have virtual tours, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Explore past and current exhibits as well as permanent collections and enjoy narrated virtual tours.
When you think of American national parks, you might think of iconic landmarks like Old Faithful. However, many historic battlefields are also part of the National Park System, including Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Enjoy a virtual video tour of the park on YouTube courtesy of the American Battlefield Trust.
Whether you’re looking up how to make popular quarantine cocktails or you’re more of a beer person, pour yourself a drink and experience a brewery tour like the one at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee while sitting on the couch. This kind of tour would even make for a great social distancing date night idea.
Ever wonder what it’s like to summit a mountain? Well, you can feel like you did virtually. Experience life at the 13,770-foot peak of the Grand Teton in Wyoming on a virtual climb with the National Park Service. Still looking for more educational content for curious children? Here are the best free learning apps for kids.
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