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The Wanderlist: Best virtual tours to explore the world

Staying home doesn't mean cancelling our sense of adventure – get up close-ish to some of the world's most remarkable sites and attractions with these virtual tours. 

the best virtual tours around the world

If you’ve finished Netflix and are looking for something to do other than an infinite Instagram scroll, the World Wide Web has a plethora of ways to get wonderfully lost.

We may not be able to physically go to places on our bucket list, but that doesn’t mean we have to torch the list and forget it ever existed like a bad breakup. We can still have a relationship with the world, it’s just going to be long distance for a while.

In a weird 2020 plot twist, virtual reality has become our new reality. It’s not the same as the real thing, but there’s no crowds or long lines to push through, so little victories, right? Here’s a list of some virtual tours and activities you can do without having to put on pants. Sit back, relax and always stay curious. 

The Great Outdoors

Remember this place? It hasn’t gone anywhere, we’re just on a little break from each other. In the meantime, experiment with new places or re-visit an old flame you can’t stop thinking about. Either way, these views will get your heart beating, no cardio required.

Take a hike through Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park where you’ll find snow covered peaks and clear alpine lakes. 

Fall for Niagara Falls with this live cam that captures 75,750 gallons of water flowing over the roaring (yet soothing) waterfall every second. 

Attend wine o’clock in Sonoma County, the birthplace of California's commercial wine industry. Every Sunday at 5 p.m. PST, Belden Barns Winery hosts a free virtual wine tasting with a pre-set schedule so you can plan ahead and BYOW (bring your own wine) to the party. 

Go on a guided tour with your own personal park ranger through some of mother nature’s most spectacular Hidden Worlds of National Parks.

Escape Toronto's spring/winter (and crack a cold one) at sunny Hampton Beach in New Hampshire, Miami's South Beach and Pebbles Beach in Barbados. 

Hungry for more? Read the full Culinary Issue here 

Museums 

There's no need to keep quiet or watch out for umbrella-poking guides on one of these tours. Follow along at your own pace, get up close and personal with exhibits and, if it feels right, take a piece of art home.

Get artsy with the Google Arts & Culture app, which curates multiple tours of some of the most prestigious museums and historic sites around the world. From a journey through the world’s oldest art gallery to contemporary collections at the Museum of Modern Art.

Also, snapping selfies and touching the art is heavily encouraged in these fun features

Be moved by the birthplace of the street art movement in Puerto Rico and feast your eyes on the abandoned spaces of Los Muros Hablan rescued by artists. 

Connect the dots of antiquity and transcend time with over 2 million years of history at the British Museum in London.

Squint your eyes on a tour through a neon graveyard where famous signs of Sin City go to rest.

Have a blinking competition with the Mona Lisa or get face to face with a pharaoh on a virtual hike (it big) through the Louvre.

The first of its kind, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is set to open in Colorado Springs later this year. In the meantime, check out their online exhibits like the history of Olympic torches and their StoryCorps series of interviews with Olympians, Paralympians, their families and coaches.

Attractions 

The best part about this whole thing is having space (literally, outer space) all to yourself. Be your own astronaut, leading role or zoologist – choose your own adventure. 

Forget about physical distancing with close-up views of four-legged friends at the San Diego Zoo.

Catch feelings for cuddly sea otters or get mesmerized by jellyfish dancing across your screen at the Vancouver Aquarium

Score the best seats in the house at the Stratford Festival, North America’s largest classical theatre company, from Shakespeare’s greatest hits to contemporary works more dramatic than high school.

Watch the sunrise (East view) and sunset (West view) from the top of Toronto with the CN Tower's live cams. 

Get lost in space at NASA's International Space Station with an out of this world, live stream space cam

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