Visit the places you’ve always wanted (and some you’ve never thought of). It’s all right here waiting for you with the click of a mouse (or the swipe of a screen).
Thanks to the internet and a little invention called VR (virtual reality) the days of lazing on the sofa watching mindless TV—although we’re all for the occasional Netflix binge-watching session—have taken on an entirely new meaning. Today you can experience the world in your own home, on your own time schedule, at your own pace. Here are some virtual travel experiences to add to your bucket list. Check these out on your computer and be sure to “grab” the screen with your mouse and rotate it all around for 360-degree views!
Travel … Anywhere
From exotic locales to the exotically cold—you probably never imagined you could experience Antarctica without ever donning gloves or a scarf—VR travel destinations abound.
Walk right into the center of the stone circle in Avebury without garnering the attention of the local constables or fly into Australia’s Hamilton Island. (Stick around so you don’t miss the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.)
Must-Try: VeeR VR City Videos
The library of user-created 360 videos is filled with tours of destinations from around the world. Make sure to click the Scenery tab for additional experiences. VeeR also offers a mobile app which you can download on your smart device, taking your travels with you wherever you go.
Discover How “Fine” Fine Art Is
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stand on the stage at the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia?
If music is more your style, try a stage-eye view of the Philadelphia Orchestra rehearsing at Carnegie Hall.
Must-Try: Google Arts & Culture
It’s no surprise Google is at the forefront of VR experiences and the number of person-hours put into these “Collections,” as they’re called, is staggering.
Explore America’s Best Idea
Environmentalist and historian Wallace Stegner said, “National parks are the best idea we ever had.” To make the best even better: add 360-degree virtual tours to the mix. Again, our friends at Google take charge, utilizing their already amazing Street View technology.
Must-Try: The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks
View the wonders of several national parks from a forest ranger’s perspective. These narrated tours include on-screen icons, providing interactive and educational aspects you don’t normally get when walking park trails on your own.
You can also take your pick from 113 other national parks, national monuments, and historic sites.
NOTE: Feel free to take a bathroom break and refill your water bottle (or wine glass). That’s the beauty of virtual tours—simply hit pause and you won’t miss a sight or get left behind by the tour bus!
See the Museums of the World
History and culture. Invention and innovation. Myths and legends. Science and nature. Whatever your interests you can now roam the halls of some of the most awe-inspiring museums of the world (without competing with the crowds for a better view).
Our Top 3 Must Try’s:
Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the incredible collection of experiences allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the history, culture, and ruins of the Maya civilization. To really be wowed by the latest in technological advances scroll down to “Examine ancient Maya artefacts in 3D.” Amazing!
As VR technology continues to evolve the “sky’s the limit” becomes the “universe is the limit.” In fact, once more the folks at Google are on the cutting-edge. A collaboration between NASA and Google Arts & Culture resulted in a virtual reality experience that is truly out of this world.