Have some fun exploring beautiful, fascinating, and unique things and places by taking virtual tours. It's a nice thing to do at home or when you can't get out. There's something for everyone here, including famous and historic sites, memorials, museums, and beautiful places in nature. And you can go to space too if you want.
A virtual tour is a simulation of a place using a sequence of pictures or videos. Some virtual tours include music, sound effects, floor plans, narration, and other multimedia goodies. There are different types of virtual tours, including video tours, still picture tours, 360 degree or panoramic tours, and floor plan tours. Some virtual tours offer more than one type of tour experience.
This list showcases many interactive, self-guided virtual tours. Are you ready to virtually travel underwater, across the oceans, around the country, or to another planet? Here's your list of some of the best virtual tours out there.
Get a look inside the official residence of The Queen, Buckingham Palace. There are several rooms to see, including the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room, and the Blue Drawing Room. Click on information icons to learn more about some historical pieces along the way.
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 made it possible to preserve the Ellis Island buildings and images, primarily on the South Side. Look behind the historic structures' walls and windows to see how the construction and what they look like today. Detailed instructions for using the tour controls are available here.
Start by exploring a 360-degree view of Ford's Theatre from the stage. Next, select from pictures at the bottom to continue the tour. You'll get a view from the Presidential Box, and the tour ends at the Petersen House's bedroom, where President Lincoln tragically died hours after he was shot.
This spectacular tour includes Washington's house, outbuildings, gardens, library, and more. Use the links at the top to navigate around the grounds. Once you're inside, click on the targets and video play buttons to learn more.
This is so much more than a real estate advertising website. Go to Historical Homes of America (HHA) to tour gorgeous historical homes all across the country from the comfort of your home. You'll find jaw-dropping photo slideshows or videos and detailed descriptions. HHA is a member of The Victorian Society in America, the only national non-profit organization committed to historic preservation, protection, understanding, education, and enjoyment of our nineteenth-century heritage.
One of the most important literary sites globally, this lovely cottage in Chawton, Hampshire, was Jane Austen's final home. She lived here from 1809 to 1817. A guided tour and audio narration are available.
Take a virtual tour of the Eisenhower Theater, home to the Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This virtual tour has been made possible by Google Arts & Culture. It works like using Street View on Google Maps. Use the menu to explore different rooms, zoom in or out, and rotate the view.
Discover Anne Frank's hiding place in 3D. You'll almost feel like you're walking through it in person. Detailed navigation instructions are available at the beginning. The tour starts at the secret door disguised as a bookcase.
Treat yourself to the gorgeous views at this National Historic Landmark in Miami, Florida. Vizcaya, the former estate of businessman James Deering, includes 34 decorated rooms in the Main House, 11 acres of Formal Gardens, and 11 historic buildings. History buffs and garden lovers will savor this virtual adventure, complete with relaxing soundscapes.
Google Arts & Culture offers virtual tours of:
Click the side arrows to move forward and backward through the tour. You can get a 360-degree view of all these memorials.
On July 2, 2012, explosives were set off to sink the World War II warship USS Mohawk creating the first underwater veteran's memorial. It rests approximately 90 feet underwater, roughly 28 nautical miles off Sanibel Island on Florida's southwest coast. The artificial reef is officially named the USS. Mohawk CGC Veterans Memorial Reef. Take a virtual dive to explore the memorial. Use the map to look at locations around the ship and to get more historical information.
Google Arts & Culture lets you explore many works from the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Select a piece, and you'll go to a page with detailed information. This is a panoramic virtual tour.
The virtual Jaguar Heritage Museum includes 360-degree panoramas of seven different vantage points. All 29 cars are on display, plus other historical exhibits such as race trophies and artworks. Get a driver's eye view of the world's only Jaguar XJ13. You'll also see the 1957 Jaguar Mark Vll, the car formerly used by HRH The Queen Mother.
Navigate between panoramas using thumbnail photographs or panorama-to-panorama hotspots for a 'walkthrough tour' of the museum. Pop-up labels provide comprehensive information about all the cars. Social media links let you share the virtual tour with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.
The Louvre was originally a fortress built by the French king Philippe Auguste to reinforce the defenses constructed in 1190 to protect Paris from attack via the Seine. Online visitors can take a virtual walk around the Louvre's original parameter moat and tour galleries and special collections.
Visit the Mark Twain House as it was when the Clemens family lived there. The interactive 3D virtual tour lets you explore the entire 11‚500-square-foot house. Use the floor selector to navigate through the three-story home. The Dollhouse view gives you a bird's-eye view of the floor plan.
See how our world is connected at The Museum of the World, presented by The British Museum and Google UK. You'll find many categories to explore, such as Art and Design, Power and Belief, and Living and Dying. Fly through time and across continents to view and learn about historical artifacts. Use the visual timeline and multimedia options to zero in on things of interest. A colored dot represents each object on the timeline. The color corresponds to a continent. When you select a colored dot, you'll see an image, and from there, you can get further details, including audio, text, a map, and related objects.
Get a look inside of NASA's Glenn Research Center. Select from a list of tours. Click anywhere on the screen to start. Then use the icons to view videos and images and to see testing in action.
The "Museum on Wheels" is continually changing as cars from the classic collection serve the purpose they were made for — driving. See which ones are available on this eye-catching virtual tour. Use the menu at the top right to navigate. To stop the automatic panning, click the circular arrow button off.
Take self-guided, room-by-room tours of special exhibits at the Natural History Museum on your desktop or mobile device. Use the blue arrows on the floor or the navigation map in the upper right presentation screen to move through the rooms. Click the camera icon for a close-up view of objects or exhibit panels. Use the Zoom feature for high-resolution giga-pixel images.
You can always search using the hashtag #Thyssenmultimedia to find the latest virtual tours, videos, and other multimedia projects at Thyssen-Bornemisza. The museum houses one of the essential painting collections assembled in the 20th century from artists such as Van Eyck, Ghirlandaio, Dürer, Titian, El Greco, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Friedrich, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Morisot, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Kandinsky, O'Keeffe, Dalí, Hopper, and Rothko. Immersive virtual tours are available too. You'll need a pair of Virtual Reality goggles to use with your smartphone for this tour.
Google Arts & Culture lets you explore many works from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Select a piece, and you'll go to a page with detailed information. This virtual tour offers 360-degree views.
Numerous 360-degree tours are available of the Vatican, including The Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms, Hall of the Papyri, Gallery of Urban VIII, the New Wing, and the Pio Clementino Museum.
Take a panoramic virtual underwater tour of America's first protected marine monument, St. Croix's Buck Island Reef in the Caribbean. Filmed and presented by National Geographic, this tour is accompanied by music and narration by the diver and photographer, Brian Skerry.
Loch Lomond National Park, the Great Trossachs Forest, is one of the largest nature reserves in the United Kingdom. Using an interactive map, you can view everything "from intimate woodland scenes to loch side views to mountain vistas." Select from a list of several locations to tour. Pop-up information highlights seasonal variations in flora and fauna and historical facts. Select the seasonal icons on the panoramas to see the park as it looks in spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Treat yourself to four virtual nature walks in America's Yellowstone National Park. It's peaceful, beautiful, and relaxing. Turn up the volume if you want to listen to the sounds of nature on your virtual walk.
Four Virtual Nature Walks:
Google Arts & Culture uses Google's Street View technology to let you explore the International Space Station. Navigation is intuitive and straightforward for this 360-degree tour in space.
Use your browser to explore the surface of Mars as NASA's Curiosity rover recorded it. It's an interactive 360-degree tour made by Google in partnership with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.