To help alleviate the boredom, or just spark inspiration for your next trip (when that becomes possible), here are some great, free 3d virtual tours for when you can't go travel like you want to.
I've tried to curate an interesting list, and I'm always open to adding more. So send me your favorites. Also, you should bookmark this page so you can check back to see what new destinations we've added.
The titles are all clickable, so tour away! Have fun on your trip. Stay healthy. We'll see you when you get back.
- Trina and Tim aka Team Hazard Rides Again
Note: If you have trouble loading any of the webcams, you might try using a VPN. I can't say why, but I'm viewing them from Vietnam and some will only load with my VPN set to the US.
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Animal WebCams and Virtual Zoos, Aqauriums etc.
Ooh, nice fishies...oh my, is that a WHALE SHARK that just swam across the screen? The Georgia Aquarium has some crazy live webcams, like: Piranha WebCam, Beluga Whale Webcam, Southern Sea Otter WebCam, African Penguin WebCam, Underwater Puffin WebCam, Ocean Voyager Webcam (where the whale sharks are), California Sea Lion WebCam, Jelly WebCam and the Indo-Pacific Barrier Reef WebCam.
This virtual tour of Australia's Great Barrier Reef with the legendary David Attenborough has some wonderful visuals. It's a video-heavy experience with the interactivity being minimal, but it's an exceptional look at this wonder of the world over the years, and a discussion of its future. Set aside a little time for this one.
The Kid Bucket List has a listing of 8 Wildlife Webcams to brighten your day. These include: the Penguin Burrow Cam, Live Royal Albatross Cam, Reef Cam, Port Philip Bay, Koala Cam and more. Pop on over and have a look at the full list.
This site is set-up for kids, but c'mon, who doesn't love learning about animals. These are the WebCams, but click around the site and you'll learn a bunch of facts, be able to hear what the animals sound like and watch videos. The live animal webcams include: Ape Cam, Baboon Cam, Condor Cam,
You might get an off-hours pre-recorded video if the live cam isn't available, but they are beautiful and worth watching either way. Monterey Bay Aquarium's webcams are: the Sea Otter Cam, Coral Reef Cam, Aviary Cam, Jelly Cam, Penguin Cam, Moon Jelly Cam, Open Sea Cam, Shark Cam, Monterey Bay Cam and Kelp Forest Cam.
I really like the penguin cams they have here. Up top, there are a lot of penguins in a wide view, and under the water these birds just fly. The giraffe cam was empty when I looked, but I think they were out and about. These are on YouTube, so don't forget to subscribe so you can revisit them easily.
There are 3 webcams on the same page: Blacktip Reef, Jellies Invasion and Pacific Coral Reef. Take a break and set one of these cams to full screen and just relax. They're beautiful.
Note: the jellies cam is not live at this time, but the video they run is very cool.
Virtual Tours of Tourism Destinations and Tourist Sights
Nice walk-around virtual tour. Even they couldn't avoid the crowds completely. Prambanan Temple Complex is the largest temple in Indonesia dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It’s near Yogyakarta, near central Java. We visited Prambanan in December 2017 at the beginning of our world tour. Our own video and blog post is here.
Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple near Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and the world’s largest Buddhist temple. Like everything in Indonesia, there were stairs, lots of stairs. While there are a few choices on the page, I'd recommend the 360 Virtual Tour because the other views seem a bit odd, unless you're looking for measurements and such. You click on a numbered selection, then it opens a video pan with some bouncin' Indonesian music. Again, Tim and I visited here. You can see our video and blog post, too.
This is a really nice virtual tour that definitely gives you a sense of being in Yosemite. You can click around to a lot of different points within the park and get a good view of the surroundings, with sound to give you a full sense of the place. It's easy to navigate and you have full control, so if you want to mute it, or stop the auto-rotate, you can. Definitely worth a visit.
Okay, this likes a gorgeous true VR tour, where you can go up close to everything with a full 360 view. The only thing is, you have to bring your own VR equipment - a HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index. The app/game is available on Steam. The link here takes you to the main virtual tour page for the Palace of Versailles where they explain everything. It's worth watching the demo video there.
Contributed by: Snippets of Paris
The famous Gaudi basilica was gorgeous while we were there, and their virtual tour does a good job of capturing the magic. There are multiple screens to view. Just do yourself a favor and make sure you look UP.
Another wonderful example of Gaudi architecture. Awesome creativity. We loved the terrace rooftop, unfortunately the nighttime shots they use in the virtual tour don't do it justice. Just put it on your bucket list for when you can go. You won't regret it. One of the wonderful things about Gaudi is that every structure he created feels different. You won't burn out touring multiple Gaudi sights. We loved Casa Batllo and we hope you do too.
We'll go for the Gaudi trifecta since they have such great virtual tours. La Pedrera was probably my personal favorite of the sights we saw while in Barcelona. Because Tim was in a wheelchair with his broken leg, we got to ride in the original elevator that's not open to the general public (but is the only way for someone in a wheelchair to complete the tour).
The controls take a little getting used to, but this virtual tour of one of the most amazing structures ever takes you through some fantastic scenery and at least one panel where you can see snow on the Great Wall.
We visited there back in 2007 and went to one of the 'more interesting, less touristy' sections of the Wall. No one warned us that it might be too difficult for someone who was visually impaired. It was falling apart. We managed - and have the tales to tell.
Go check out the virtual tour. It'll make you want to go.
The Paris catacombs are both creepy and cool. Thousands of human skulls and bones arranged, surprisingly artfully, beneath the streets of Paris. A wonderful, cave-like experience, but with aged bricks, wall carvings and proper pathways. This virtual tour is a series of full 360 photos (don't forget you can look up and down, too. To get to the next room, click on the double arrows on the lower right or left.
This detailed map of Blarney Castle and virtual tour of the gardens, grounds and interior of the castle are very nice. Of course, the page I landed on was in the 'Poison Garden' so that's intriguing. I mean, a whole garden full of poisons? I'm sure there's an innocent explanation... Have fun!
Contributed by: Nils from Let's Go Ireland
Okay, so they're calling these virtual tours, but they're really just interactive maps with some photos and info. So don't go in expecting a true, mind-blowing virtual tour of Yellowstone. Some cool stuff, though, and easy to do some trip planning when that becomes a reasonable thing to do.
Hey, we visited here! I love the giant monster-faced guardians at the entrance - both in person and on this virtual tour. If you poke around the different spaces, you can see the gold Buddha statue. However, I don't think they actually show you the inside of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, their pride and joy. Nice visuals here, though.
The Stonehenge tour is a nice 360. The cool part is the little pulsing circles. Click on one and a video pops up and you can have a historian explain to you the significant features of this mysterious structure. Worth a visit.
Not quite a full virtual tour, you still get to pick spots on the map and 'visit' a 360 photo. For those of us planning on going there one day, it's enough. For now.
Historic Virtual Tours
Want to see what the inside of the White House looks like? There are multiple tours available here via Google Arts and Culture. They're not as smooth as the Smithsonian Museum Tour, but you'll be able to see plenty. The tours are: Virtual Tour of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Virtual Tour of the Art and Decor of The White House: The State Floor, Virtual Tour of the Art and Decor of The White House: The Ground Floor, The White House, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, The White House - Indoors and The White House - Outdoors.
This is really just a Google view of the inside and outside of Scott's Hut, but it's one of those cool, quirky things where you get an interesting peek into the life of an Arctic explorer in the early 1900's.
Winchester Mystery House (limited time)
This is actually a video tour, and not a virtual one, but it's something that's not usually available and it's a bit different, so we're including it here. Spooky stories abound at the Winchester Mystery House, and they'll tell you the tales online. Only available while the property is closed to the public, so check this one out quick.
Virtual Tours of Museums
Thank you again to The Kid Bucket List for providing this list of 14 Australian museums with virtual tours. They've got some great ones, like: Australian National Surfing Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Motor Museum and the National Sports Museum. Have a look at their site to see all the options.
This is magnificent for art lovers who can't make it to London right now. Using Google Street View (2016), the National Gallery in London is sharing 360 viewing of Rooms 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, and Central Hall, which focus on Renaissance masterpieces from Northern Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany. There's a 2011 virtual tour that covers 18 rooms, but you need Flash Player installed to view them.
This is one of the coolest virtual tours we've seen yet. First, you have this timeline, and world regions, and various blobs of color. You click on one, only knowing the time and region, but not what's under the blob. A museum item pops up and if it intrigues you, you can Learn More. Then info comes up PLUS an audio guide (optional) that is an expert speaking about the item, not just someone reading the text.
Contributed by: Laura at Quizzy Kid
Have a look around the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. This is a Google-style walk-through so there's no extra info on the artwork, but there is some really nice stuff to look at. Thumbnails across the bottom allow you to jump from one place to another.
This is a Top 17 list from Families Magazine, covering an interesting selection of walk-through tours from locations around the globe via Google Arts and Culture. These are fun to have a look and the visuals are usually pretty good, but if you're looking for additional information about a piece, you won't find it here. Great for having a look around, though.
Clicking the title above gets you the multimedia page which includes videos of interviews and behind-the-scenes at the museum. Just scroll down to find the virtual tours where you can walk through the galleries, or click on these links: Rembrandt and Amsterdan Portraiture 1590-1670, The Impressionists and Photography, Balenciaga and Spanish Painting, Balthus, Dali and Surrealism in the ABANCA Art Collection Part 1 (immersive) and Part 2, Beckmann Exile Figures Part 1 (immersive) and Part 2.
Contributed by: Mindful Travel by Sara
This is more of an 'Explore the Collection' page than a virtual tour, but we're on a Madrid roll so I thought we'd stay on it. Besides, when you're talking about museums, you can't ignore the Prado.
Ooh, all sorts of cool flying machines. Make sure to note the drop down menu on the upper right so you can see everything easily. A few of the info blocks came up 404 Not Found, but some extra info is there. Really excellent exhibits with environment included.
This listing and several others, contributed by: Heather at Embracing Chaos with Love
Space WebCams, Science Skulduggery, Sci-fi and Fantasy Fun
Honestly, this isn't a virtual tour, but a bunch of science projects for kids to mess around with. The site also has tons of image galleries, information about missions, Hubble images and even NASA career aspirations. Great for space geeks of all ages. We would have loved this when we were kids, so we're including it in the list - and because NASA is super cool.
Thanks to NASA, JPL and Google, you get to wander around the real surface of Mars, following the path of the Mars Curiousity rover. Make sure to check the different spots on the map, and listen to the info tags that appear in the landscape. Fun stuff.
Yes, you can enter the Tardis and have a virtual look around. It's a good, full rendering. I just expected it to be a bit bigger on the inside.
Okay, not quite a virtual tour, but a fun activity for Harry Potter fans of any age. We figured if we have some sci-fi, we should have a little fantasy, too.
Virtual Tours of Theme Parks and Amusement Parks
Avoid the crowds, check out Disney World from the comfort of your living room. Explore the Magic Kingdom Park, the Disney Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the various resorts, and The Blizzard Beach Water Park. Honestly, the site is a little annoying, with videos that are hard to close and an impatient camera that likes to move. But if you're a Disney fan, this could be fun.
This looks like a really fun amusement park in Sydney, Australia. Makes me want to ride the rooster on that merry-go-round and play some carnival games. Standard Google street view tour, but with plenty to look at. A fun visit.
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