Several areas are loosening stay-at-home restrictions, but for many of us, staying home is still the safest thing to do. And traveling far away for fun and adventure may seem a long way off. So how about some virtual journeys? This is just a sampling of sites I’ve encountered which caught my eye. Some feature videos, some still photos, some simply ambient sounds.
For some armchair traveling to unusual and little-known places, try Atlas Obscura.
There are a tremendous number of museums and historical sites generously offering virtual tours.
For history buffs, you can visit:
The Museum of the American Revolution
Valley Forge National Historic Park
The Peabody Museum at Harvard University, among the oldest anthropology museums in the world.
For more ancient history, you can get a taste of the collections of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
At The Penn Museum, you can get 3-minute curated views of individual artifacts.
Not exactly a museum, but you can pay a virtual visit to and learn the history of Highclere Castle, known as the place where Downton Abbey was filmed.
For fans of science and nature:
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The Franklin Institute
For something like a virtual safari, Explore.org features live cameras on everything from African watering holes to eagles’ nests to kitten rescues.
You can also virtually visit some lovely gardens:
This country’s oldest garden, the U.S. Botanical Garden
Mt. Cuba Center
Jenkins Arboretum at Home
For some great international museums:
The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and New York is temporarily closed, but you can choose a multitude of exhibits to view.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
The Van Gogh Museum
The Louvre in Paris
The Vatican Museums in Rome
The National Gallery in London
The British Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
For more art museums in the U.S.:
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Brandywine River Museum of Art, where you can view not only virtual tours and gallery talks, but views of nature
You can view pieces from the Barnes Foundation Collection sorted by color, lines, light, and space.
The Walters Art Museum
San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art
Also in San Francisco, The Asian Art Museum
The Morgan Library and Museum
Woodmere Art Museum
Would you care for a taste of other worlds? Consider a visit to these:
From the Bodleian Libraries, Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth
Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibit at the British Library
You can also visit a Harry Potter Digital Escape Room
Want to travel through space and time? Try the Tardis Escape Room!
Or try a Star Wars Escape Room.
If you simply want a wordless audio experience, you can hear what it sounds like in the Bodleian Libraries or perhaps what it might sound like in the worlds of Hogwarts or Middle Earth.
Many of these sites I found through my local library’s amazing efforts to keep our community connected, informed, and inspired during this time. Don’t forget to check what your local library offers online.
Speaking of libraries, you can tour some of the world’s first-class libraries.
For pages of more links:
And The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections:
Enjoy your travel adventures!