Take a Virtual Vacation
Have you always dreamed about visiting exotic regions of the world – or just driving around the country – and yet you don’t have the time or money to do so? If you’re an armchair traveler, the Internet is the place for you! Thanks to digital technology, you’re not limited to reading books and travel guides. As an online tourist, you can experience the next best thing to being there. Photo galleries provide detailed views of various places. Live web cams let you see a specific location in real time. Interactive imaging allows you to explore an area using a computer and mouse. You can spin around, look up and down, and zoom in as if you were standing right there! Some virtual reality tours have “hot spots” to click on that take you to other areas or rooms. A few virtual trips come complete with accompanying audio clips. All of these features allow you to travel to foreign lands without leaving the comfort of your own home. Take a peek at some of the following virtual journeys. Think of it as a vacation for the mind. I’ve tried to include something of interest to everyone, in both the U.S. and abroad. You can even fly to Mars if you want to. Explore, discover, have fun. Bon voyage!
www.armchair-travel.com/heritage/index.htm - Take an in-depth virtual tour of the Taj Mahal, Royal Botanic Gardens, and St. Paul’s Cathedral; or take a quick look at 360° interactive panoramic views of Normandy Beach, Piccadilly Circus, Westminster Abbey, and Berlin.
www.vrtour.it/v2/en - Panoramic Virtual Tours of scenic places around the world.
www.virtuar.com/ysf2 - San Francisco Online Virtual Walking Tour. (When you enter this walk-through of the city, you can see where you are going with your own eyes and experience the sense of being there! Move forward, turn left, right, turn around, come back, look closely at items and at distant attractions, even fly and do other things. These interactive pictures and the giant maze of routes make each trip unique.)
www.mbayaq.org - Monterey Bay E-Quarium (Live web cams provide a look at marine life in the exhibits and off the oceanfront decks from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Wade into tide pools. Dive into a 3-D Kelp Forest and catch a feeding show. See sharks, rays, sea otters, and penguins. Watch marine mammals, seabirds and sailboats on Monterey Bay. Look for open ocean animals in the Outer Bay. Dive into Monterey Canyon's deep submarine canyon and encounter some of the strange creatures that live there. A wonderful virtual sea experience!)
www.vthawaii.com - Virtual Tour of Hawaii (Hundreds of virtual reality panoramas of the beautiful islands of Hawaii including 360° views and QuickTime tours in full screen!)
www.centralpark.org - Tour New York’s Central Park (This web tour allows you to head north, south, east, or west from your current position. You may also go to the Met, Bowling Green, Puppet House, or other park favorites.)
www.postcardsfrom.com/index.html - Postcards From America (Tour the 50 states!)
www.dhm.de/museen/stein/tour/toure.html - Tour an Ancient Roman Villa. (In this virtual tour, you can view the Villa from all sides and enter the inside rooms. See nearly all the places on the screen which you would see on a real tour. There is a short explanation for every picture and a small plan shows you where you are. You can visit all the stops on the tour in order, or you can choose which spots you want to stop at.)
www.castlesontheweb.com - Virtual tours of castles around the world!
www.tower-of-london.com - Tower of London Virtual Tour with audio and images.
www.toweroflondontour.com/kids/index.html - Tower of London Virtual Tour for Kids!
www.christusrex.org/www1/sistine/0-Tour.html - Tour the Sistine Chapel.
www.chinavista.com/travel/virtualtours.html - China Virtual Tours (The Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, and more.)
www.thebeijingguide.com/badaling/index.html - Great Wall of China Virtual Walking Tour.
www.saturdaymarket.com/chinaveg - China Farmer’s Market Photo Walking Tour.
http://nz.com/tour - Virtual tour of New Zealand.
http://astro.uchicago.edu/cara/vtour - Virtual Tour of Antarctica.
www.lighthouse.cc - New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide.
www.desertusa.com/qtvr/du_qtvr.html - Virtual Tours of Southwestern U.S. Deserts.
http://aeve.com/digitaldesert - Digital Desert (Virtual Tours of California’s Mojave Desert via video clips, 360° Photo Gallery, and aerial photos. See Mono Lake, Bodie Ghost Town, Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, and more.)
www.yosemite.org/vryos - Live WebCam views of Yosemite National Park.
www.geocities.com/Yosemite/2483/tour.htm - Virtual Tour of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains.
www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/index.shtml - Live VolcanoCam of Mount Saint Helens.
www.nps.gov/yell/tours/oldfaithful/index.htm - Online Tour of the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.
www.airboattours.com - Virtual Bayou Swamp Tour with video clips. (See gators, herons, and other Louisiana wildlife up close.)
www.statueoflibertyclub.com/libcam.html - Statue of Liberty Live Cam.
www.senate.gov/vtour - U.S. Capitol Virtual Tour (An interactive, user friendly, comprehensive and integrated multimedia tour of the U.S. Capitol. It includes panorama views and historical information about the rooms and about the objects found in those rooms. This tour will leave you with the feel of an actual visit to the U.S. Capitol!)
www.whitehouse.gov/history/whtour - Online Tour of the White House.
www.whitehouse.gov/history/life - Oval Office Video Tour.
www.whitehouse.gov/kids/tours - Life in the White House video tours for kids!
http://marsproject.com/tour.htm - Mars Project Virtual Reality Tour (Experience the breathtaking natural beauty of Mars as well as man’s dream to colonize the planet.)
www.md.huji.ac.il/vjt - Virtual Jerusalem Tour.
www.mustardseed.net - Virtual Tour of the Holy Land.
www.padfield.com/biblelnd.html - Virtual tours of Bible cities.
http://lluker.faculty.ltss.edu - Journey to the Holy Land.
http://terraserver.microsoft.com/famous.aspx - See close-up aerial views of 72 famous places from around the world.
www.virtualfreesites.com/museums.html - Virtual Tours of Museums and Exhibits (This site presents over 300 museums, exhibits and points of special interest which offer multimedia guided tours on the Web. Plus virtual real-time tours and virtual reality tours!)
These pages are a continuous work in progress.