Social distancing, while very necessary, can be very boring. Personally, it has made me miss things that I clearly have been taking for granted, like the freedom of spending time at a coffee shop, going to the Harn Museum on the weekends and even going to the gym. If you are like me and need something other than your Instagram feed or your snack drawer to keep you entertained, then welcome to the world of virtual tours. Many museums, zoos, aquariums and even national parks are tourable online so that people like you and I can experience a new place from the comfort of our own homes. So, settle in and find the virtual tours that are right for you!
The Louvre Museum
This iconic Paris museum is a must-see for any museum buff, but for the time being, you can view its beauty from your computer screen. Enjoy four different tours including “Egyptian Antiquities,” “Remains of the Louvre’s Moat” and more.
Visit louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne to tour the museum!
National Museum of Natural History
Learn about the Earth and its history at the National Museum of Natural History.You can tour this popular Smithsonian museum room by room, and you can access past exhibits that are no longer up on display.
Visit naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour to tour the museum!
Take a virtual tour of the entire Guggenheim Museum in New York for free on Google. Google Street view allows you to tour the museum and glide up the iconic, white spiral staircase as if you were actually there.
Visit artsandculture.google.com/ and search “Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation” to tour the museum!
The Florida Museum of Natural History
The Florida Museum of Natural History’s website is loaded with online exhibits, YouTube videos and research related to the museum! Explore exhibits like “St. Augustine: America’s Ancient City,” “Florida’s Wildflowers & Butterflies” and “Florida Vertebrate Fossils: Fossil Species of Florida” all online.
To view these online exhibits, visit floridamuseum.ufl.edu/museum- blog/florida-museums-greatest-hits/
The Harn Museum
The Harn Museum offers a number of videos on its website that touch on its collections and exhibits in
the museum. Dive deeper into this local museum by watching these videos to better familiarize yourself with the museum and its art.
To watch these videos, visit harn.ufl.edu/explore/watch-listen.
To explore 31 U.S. National Parks, download the Google Earth app on your phone or download it to your desktop. In Google Earth, you can search through these treasured parks and explore them through guided tours with beautiful pictures.
Install Google Earth at google.com/earth/ to tour 31 U.S. National Parks.
National Park Foundation
Discover legendary places across the country and explore new sights with virtual tours from the National Park Foundation. Visit the Virgin Islands, Crater Lake, National Mall and Memorial Parks and more!
Go to nationalparks.org/connect/blog/take-virtual-visit-national-park to visit these places!
Zoos and Aquariums
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Everyday at 3 p.m., the Cincinnati Zoo hosts a “Home Safari Facebook Live” where you can watch one of the zoo’s spectacular animals.
To tune in to the daily livestream, visit facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/.
While you can’t take a tour of the whole zoo, you can spend some time with the animals virtually through the zoo’s live webcams! See giraffes, gorillas, elephants, rhinos, chimps, flamingos and even leafcutter ants living in their happy zoo homes.
Visit houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/ to tune in to the live webcams!
Here are some more webcams to keep you happily entertained! This aquarium has nine webcams for you to choose from where you can watch playful puffins, hypnotizing jellyfish, swimming sea lions and more!
Visit georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/ocean-voyager/ to view these webcams!