When you’re at home with your family, movies, games, and even chit-chat can get boring. So if you can’t physically take the family on vacation or even a day trip, why not do it virtually?
Here is a list of some amazing travel experiences that you and your entire family can enjoy together. There’s something here for every age and preference. So pop open your computer screen and prepare for an online family adventure!
Zoos, Aquariums, and Animal Cams
Zoos and aquariums are fun places to visit no matter how old you are. As a child, you love to watch the zany monkeys and as an adult, those fearless sharks grab your attention.
The San Diego Zoo is a great place to begin your journey. The website offers 11 live cameras to pick from, so you can watch the apes and baboons, elephants and giraffes, or pandas and polar bears.
If the animals are napping or hiding out, the San Diego Zoo website also has a collection of videos along with details on mammals, fish, birds, and reptiles.
2. Houston Zoo
If it’s rhinos, flamingos, or gorillas your family wants to see, then check out the live cameras at the Houston Zoo. With seven animal cameras to watch, you can control where the cameras go. Just click to move the camera left or right so you can capture what the animals are doing.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to wait your turn to move the camera at the Houston Zoo, but you’ll get some amazing views while you wait.
Do you and your family enjoy seeing creatures from in or near the water? If so, Monterey Bay Aquarium is the next place to visit. With 10 live cameras, you can relax as you watch jellyfish, penguins, sea otters, and sharks go about their day.
Monterey Bay Aquarium also has neat videos and interesting information for you to learn about the animals and sea creatures.
One more aquarium with live cameras to enjoy is the Aquarium of the Pacific. See what you can find in the Tropical Reef or Blue Cavern or watch the penguins and sea jellies.
Aquarium of the Pacific has a plethora of information on its wildlife. So you can read up on everything from frogs to sea lions and see some awesome photos too.
Virtual Tours of Attractions
Have you wished you could view the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu, or the Sistine Chapel? With a lot of help from technology, you can tour these attractions digitally.
5. Grand Canyon
Go on a virtual hike into the Grand Canyon or through it down the Colorado River on a virtual raft trip. Put your choice into full-screen mode and move through each part of the tour at your own pace.
With each slide, you’ll get informative details about what you see. There are several virtual tours available for the Grand Canyon and the area, so be sure to check them all out.
6. Machu Picchu
Another wonderful virtual tour to take lets you see Machu Picchu with 360-degree views. Travel to the Peruvian Andes mountains for scenes of the citadel, ruins, and llamas.
You can watch the tour as it progresses or jump to specific spots like looking over the edge or seeing Machu Picchu’s highest point. You also have a helpful narrator guide your tour.
Do your kids want to see what’s it like to live like royalty? Take them on a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace. You’ll get closeup views of the Throne Room, Grand Staircase, and White Drawing Room.
Move through the palace room by room and zoom in and out to see the gorgeous décor of this fabulous royal palace.
A tour of the spectacular Sistine Chapel might be just what mom or grandma is hoping for, and here it is in all its beauty. You can move through the tour at your own pace. Turn left, turn right, go forward, or back.
Put the tour into full-screen mode and then zoom in to capture the amazing detail, marvelous architecture, and of course, the fantastic work of Michelangelo.
Virtual Tours of Major Cities
Whether you’ve always wanted to see Chicago, New York City, or Miami, now you can right from the comfort of your couch.
Chicago has more to see than one can imagine. From attractions to entertainment to arts and culture, you’ll find it in the Windy City. Choose Chicago can help you visit this city with virtual tours of museums, attractions, and even locations you see in Chicago television shows.
There’s almost as much to explore on Choose Chicago as there is in the city itself.
10. New York City
For tours of Time Square, the Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, and other iconic attractions, head to the Big Apple. With several virtual tours of New York City, you and your family will be entertained for the whole evening.
Each tour provides information about the attraction or location and you can move around on your own if you like with 360-degree views.
When you can’t head out for a day at the beach, bring the beach to your living room. Check out Miami Beach with gorgeous views of the ocean, Coral City for underwater scenery, and even the well-known Ocean Drive.
The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau has several live cameras available. So take a tour around Miami, Florida for the day.
All-Inclusive Tours and Cameras
Not sure where you want to go today? These sites give you options for virtual tours and live cameras of nature that you must see to appreciate. See national parks in the U.S. and sandy beaches here, there, and beyond.
12. National Parks
Head to Google Earth’s National Parks of the United States section for amazing scenes. You’ll see Rocky Mountain National Park, Everglades National Park, Yosemite National Park, and many more.
Select a park and watch as you zoom in to feel like you’re right there smelling the fresh air and feeling the breeze as it blows through the trees.
And remember that Google Earth has even more to offer like the Google Earth Geography Quiz for you and the kids to test your knowledge.
13. Live Beaches
Visit a beach in Florida, California, Hawaii, the Caribbean, or around the world on the Live Beaches website. Pick from a great collection of beaches and just sit back to watch the live ocean waves.
You can also catch a camera of a boardwalk, pier, surfers, or a sunset. Plus, you can browse by U.S. state to find your favorite beach and relive some memories.
Travel Virtually Anywhere
With these awesome travel experiences, from live cameras to virtual tours, you and your family can travel anywhere in the world from your home.
And for more fun with your family, take a look at these board games you’ve never heard of or other entertainment options for when the family is stuck at home .
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