With the majority of the world now sheltering at home—and suddenly finding themselves in the market for more online content—everywhere from museums and libraries to wildlife sanctuaries are offering virtual tours and live streams to help connect the home-bound with the world at large. Not to be outdone, many destinations are also getting into the act by offering digital windows onto major tourist sites, iconic natural locations and even just daily street life (back before social distancing.) From the famous Berlin nightclub scene to the beaches and temples of Thailand, here are six places to look in on when you need a break from your four walls.
California: Rocks and Redwoods
Harness the healing power of nature (if only through your screen) with a virtual visit to Yosemite National Park, in which you can scroll around for 360-degree views of sites like Swinging Bridge and Nevada Fall. In this short VR video series, Ranger Greg leads you on an informative walk through Redwood National and State Park, while these Google Earth tours of the Channel Islands and Joshua Tree National Park offering a look at some of the state’s signature natural wonders.
Chile: A 360-degree Tour
Download the free Chile 360º app (available for iPhone and Android) to discover some of Chile’s most breathtaking sites, from the majestic Torres del Paine park in Patagonia to the Atacama Desert and the mysterious Easter Island. The app works vie both mobile devices and VR glasses.
Berlin: Keep Dancing
Berlin’s legendary nightlife may also be currently shut down, but that’s no reason not to keep dancing. As a show of support for the industry, United We Stream and ARTE Concert have teamed up to bring a diverse array of live DJ sets, music and performances to your home for the ultimate party. It may feel like you’re dancing alone, but chances are countless people around the world are right there with you.
Washington, DC: Blossoms in Bloom
Add some spring color to quarantine life with the National Mall’s Bloom Cam, which offers a 24/7, live, real-time look at the cherry blossoms in the nation’s capital. The camera readjusts itself every so often so you can enjoy different views.
Thailand: From North to South
Some of Thailand’s top tourist hubs—from the cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai to islands like Phuket and Krabi—are featured on the multi-camera live streams being offered on the tourism board’s YouTube channel. Who would have thought that there would be something comforting in watching scooters whiz by?
Hvar: Adriatic Sunshine
The Croatian island of Hvar sees more hours of sun per year than any other European island—which is just part of its breezy appeal. Transport yourself to this idyllic spot via a livestream of the central port, which looks out at some of the historic buildings, and this panoramic stream from atop a hill showcasing both a town and the Pakleni islands in the distance. Nothing much happens in the videos, but they work as soothing distractions.