Many of us are stuck inside right now and itching to get out of the house. Many of us also love to be close to nature, whether that’s in a National Park, a city park, or even an aquarium. Part of what makes travel so rewarding is that each new locale has its own natural history with its own fauna and flora, things that you may not have learned about otherwise.
In a time when even our National Parks and zoos/aquariums across the world are subject to closures, we should not let that stop us from enjoying and supporting the beauty of the world around us. We’ve put together a list of national parks, aquariums, and more that you or your clients can tour virtually. Let’s get started!
Yellowstone National Park, United States
Currently, the park is open but many of its facilities are closed. Although, in the rainy months of the year many parts of the park end up closing anyway. Avoid the disappointment by taking this tour virtually! This virtual tour highlights key areas of the park – which is awesome if you have no sense of direction and don’t want to get lost in the wilderness!
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Acadia National Park, Maine
Explore the rugged beauty of Maine, its wilderness, and its coasts on this 360 degree virtual tour of Acadia National Park. Using Google Earth technology, you can scroll through the landscape taking in the views. Don’t forget to take advantage of other Google Earth virtual tours of other National Parks here.
Live Stream - Monterey Bay Aquarium, California
You don’t need to go to a national park to get up close and personal with nature. You also don’t have to leave your house to do so. The wonderful team at Monterey Bay Aquarium has put together a live stream of their aquarium, from their coral reef exhibit to their very cute penguin exhibit. Don’t forget to donate and support the aquarium!
Live stream - San Diego Zoo, California
The San Diego Zoo is such an iconic thing to do when visiting San Diego. They have a lot of live cams featuring popular animals like elephants, penguins, tigers, giraffes, and so many more. It even seems that the apes at the zoo have welcomed a new baby! Don’t forget to donate!
Webcam of Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
This virtual tour allows users to walk through the museum as it stands today, as well as past exhibits that are no longer at the museum – no in person experience can beat that! The tours are self-guided, room-by-room and can be enjoyed from a desktop or mobile device!
Belgium's Museum of Natural Sciences
We highly recommend this tour for dinosaur-enthusiasts, as the Museum of Natural Sciences in Belgium has an impressive exhibit on our prehistoric predecessors. And with the zoom functionality similar to Google Maps’ street view, you can get closer to the dinosaur fossils than you could in person without getting kicked out!
Central Park, New York
Even New Yorkers might enjoy this virtual tour. This tour is led by a conservancy guide who gives the history of the park and the types of fauna and flora one might see through a stroll of Central Park. Even better, if you’re not a New Yorker, you can take a leisurely walk through the park without catching the ire of fast-paced locals.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The Mzansi Experience: Discover South Africa on Google Maps
We saved the best for last! Through the power of Google Maps, you can take a 360 degree walk through some of South Africa’s national parks as if you were going on your own safari. Except this safari is much safer and allows you to get close to elephants without getting stampeded. We could (and have) spent hours on our own little safaris!