Have you got a great reason to do some armchair tourism? Maybe you’re researching your next holiday destination, or looking to educate your kids, or you’re unable to travel for real and looking to see the world anyway. Maybe you’re just too comfy on your couch and prefer to do your sight-seeing this way for now. We know, we do it too.
So, you want to find the most beautiful places on earth and take a look? You’re keen to see landscapes, exotic animals and other amazing nature views? Well, here’s a great list of places to get started. You’ll have a blast checking out the world’s great wonders, national parks and oceans as well as some cool man-made stuff. Take a look now!
Check Out The Street View Gallery
Firstly, you should definitely take a look at Google’s Street View Gallery. They’ve gone out of their way to make this armchair travel easy for you and set up convenient galleries for many collections of number of great places in the world. For instance, you can browse some of the more interesting countries, like Israel and Thailand, take in some art galleries via the Google Art Project, check out NASA’s collection, or check out the collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The UNESCO sites collection already feature shrines in Japan, historic city centres and walled towns, Stonehenge and Avebury, Versailles Palace and lots more. Plus, it will only get bigger as time goes by.
Google has done all of the work – all you do is click, browse and click. It’s a lazy person’s dream, really.
View National Parks
For the lovers of national parks, Google has several collections you should pay attention to. You can browse a collection of the parks of the world, such as High Line Park, Koganei Park, and Knuthenborg Safari Park. You can view an entire collection of the Grand Canyon, which highlights the best view points on the various trails and notable landmarks, such as the Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab, Black Bridge and the Meteor Crater.
Another collection highlights the best national parks of California, with highlights from Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park and Redwood National Park. There’s even a collection dedicated to the Amazon Rainforest, with plenty of views from the Rio Negro river, forest views and a few community areas.
A relatively new addition to Google Street View’s nature collections is that of ocean views. In a partnership with Seaview, Google launched its ocean views with a comprehensive look at some of the highlights of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s now been joined by ocean views from Hawaii and the Apo Islands. This includes some of the best diving spots in the world, such as the Molokini Crater.
See The World Wonders
Google’s World Wonders project is another great collection of fantastic views. Some of the locations overlap a little with the UNESCO World Heritage collection, but there are plenty more things to look at too. Highlights not previously mentioned in the UNESCO list include Pompeii, Antarctica, the aqueduct of Segovia, three castles in Bellinzona, and the banks of the Seine in Paris.
Again, this list will only get bigger with time and already it features some breathtaking scenery.
Because the Google World Wonders project is somewhat separate from the general Street View galleries, there is also a neat page dedicated to featuring the top world wonders. It rotates through the collection and pinpoints the locations on a globe for you.
Virtual Tourism Links
It’s time to highlight another gallery of fantastic locations in Google Street View. This incredible list features sites such as Chernobyl, Victoria Falls, Mount Rushmore, Dover castle, Mount Everest, the rock of Gibraltar and more. The list is separated into countries, but still has a great number of great things to view. They have also created a slideshow of “Street View Safari“, which will rotate through some of the top park views found in Google Street View.
Get A Regular Fix On Google+
If you love seeing random views from around the world, follow Google Maps on Google+. Each Friday they’ll show you a new scenic location, plus the occasional other place of interest during the week. This will keep your wanderlust active, for sure.
Jigokudani Monkey Park
There are some very fascinating nature sites which use Google Maps to keep track of their maps. Here’s one that tracks a bunch of cuckoos from England as they visit Africa in the winter. You can see the path of each individual bird, which is quite interesting. There’s also other tracking studies for different birds.
More To See
If you want to check out some similar things we’ve written about previously on MakeUseOf, take a look at railway trips you can take online (which includes a Google Maps partnership with the Trans Siberian Railway), ways to check your holiday destinations before you book and a bunch of travel videos to let you do some virtual sightseeing.
What are your favourite wildlife and nature locations in Google Maps? Share them in the comments!