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It’s a big world out there, full of natural wonders, incredible monuments and fascinating culture. Much as we’d like to be out exploring it every day, very few of us can. It’s a good thing we have the Internet. Do you want to explore the world’s most famous locations, take a virtual safari, visit the zoo, tour a famous museum or travel almost anywhere? You can do it right from your web browser.
Whether you’re on your lunch break or relaxing at home, you can be out taking a virtual adventure around the world without ever standing up. Sure, seeing the sights in person would be a much more rewarding experience, but better a virtual adventure than no adventure at all.
Explore Famous Locations
The Google Maps Gallery site provides an overview of the most amazing locations you can visit using Street View on Google Maps. You’ll find a huge variety of locations on offer, everything from the snows of Antarctica to Times Square in New York City. Each location allows you to take a virtual walk around.
You could go full-screen and take a virtual ski down the slopes of Whistler, British Columbia,
walk down tropical beaches in Hawaii,
visit SeaWorld and be part of the crowd,
or take a moment alone to explore some of the world’s most beautiful parks.
This is just a small sampling of the many locations on offer. You’ll also find everything from world heritage sites, landmarks and university campuses.
Visit The Zoo
The San Diego Zoo’s website offers a variety of live cameras pointed at the animals in its enclosures. Pick your favorite camera and watch the pandas, elephants, polar bears, apes or condors.
There’s no sound, but maybe that’s for the best. Zoos can be quite crowded and noisy. This won’t be too interesting when it’s night time in San Diego, though.
Tour A Museum
With the Google Art Project website, which we’ve mentioned before, you can explore 17 different museums from all around the world. Whether you’re interested in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Palace of Versailles in France or the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, you’ll find it here.
This isn’t your typical museum website containing a collection of images — far from it. Using the same technology that powers Google Street View, you can take a virtual walk through the museum of your choice and zoom in on anything that interests you.
Want to examine a piece of art? You’re not looking at a low-quality image. You can zoom in and scroll around to view the art in minute detail.
Go On A Virtual Safari
Africam offers live webcams from Africa, 24/7. You’ll have to watch an advertisement, but once you have, you’ll get a high-quality video with sound.
Stumbling onto a quiet, nighttime scene isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When I first visited, it was night time in Africa. The sound of the crickets and the wind blowing was the most relaxing thing I’ve heard in a long time. The live, streaming audio here is just amazing.
Sure, you could watch animal videos on YouTube, but that’s not much of a virtual adventure.
Travel Almost Anywhere
Street View isn’t just for famous locations. Google’s Street View cars have driven through many of the world’s cities and towns, photographing everything they’ve seen along the way. Perhaps the biggest adventure you could have is going off the beaten path. On the Google Maps website, search for a city or a place you want to visit, then drag and drop the little orange man onto the map to get started. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, pick him up and drop him anywhere.
Why not walk the streets of Tokyo?
Or stroll through Paris? You can be there in seconds.
Go off the beaten path and explore the little-known side streets and nooks and crannies you’ll find along the way. It’s not a slideshow – it’s your adventure.
You don’t even have to go alone. Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or just apart for the night, why not invite your partner along with you and have a virtual adventure date? Screen-sharing software can help with this; you’ll both be seeing the same sights and going on the same adventure together. While you’re at it, be sure to check out our lists of unique live webcam feeds and StreetView sightseeing websites.
What did you think of these virtual adventure websites? Do you know any other amazing websites we should have included? Leave a comment and let us know.