Virtual Tours and Events From Around the World
Explore the world from the comfort of your own home with these virtual tours and events.
Photo By: Steve Larese
Photo By: Tourism Santa Fe
Photo By: Steve Larese
Photo By: Steve Larese
Photo By: Asher Hung
Photo By: ©VisitBritain/ Stephen Spraggon
Photo By: Chris Hunter_Mammut
Photo By: Steve Larese
Photo By: Noam Chen/Israel Ministry of Tourism
Photo By: steve orr
Photo By: Saiko, Wikimedia Commons
Photo By: Boyanoo - Boyan Casper Orste
Travel the World Without Leaving Home
When so many of us are facing an uncertain travel landscape, many tour and travel professionals are working hard to bring their experiences to the virtual world. And even though these tours and events are digital, you can still get a taste of the beauty, power and even camaraderie of travel. Here are a few of our favorite armchair tours and upcoming events you can connect with from the comfort of your home.
Virtually Burn Your Gloom at the Burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe, New Mexico
One of New Mexico's most beloved traditions, the 96th Burning of Zozobra is set to take place on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, and will now be held virtually through a live stream on KOAT.com at 8 p.m. MDT. That Friday, Zozobra will burn in real time at Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe - America's oldest capital city - and although attendees are not permitted to join in-person this year, festival lovers across the nation can join in the fun by tuning into the live stream and submitting their "glooms" to the online portal.
The Burning of Zozobra is a unique cultural event created by Will Shuster, a member of the artist group known as Cinco Pintores, who made their way to New Mexico in the 1920s. Shuster's creation – the Zozobra – first appeared in his backyard in 1924 as a six-foot puppet, and over the years has evolved into a 50-foot tall marionette that attracts thousands of festival goers annually. Made of wood, wire and cotton cloth, and stuffed with hundreds of bags of shredded paper featuring peoples' "glooms," Zozobra is a dark and eerie character that is part ghost and part monster. The mythology behind this event is that Zozobra is the enemy of all that is good and is reborn annually because of the nefarious and woeful deeds done throughout the year. In order to lure Zozobra out of hiding, the city's leaders invite him to a party (the festival) that he believes is being held in his honor, which is why Zozobra is seen dressed in his finest attire. The crowd’s fervent desire to see the monster defeated is realized as the Fire Spirit sets Zozobra alight in a towering blaze of fire and smoke. Under a sky lit by celebratory fireworks, the flames consume Zozobra, and he collapses at last into a smoking pile of embers, burning away the "glooms" of the New Mexican community and participants from afar.
Explore Peru's Machu Picchu
More than a million people usually visit Peru’s Machu Picchu annually, but this year, have this UNESCO World Heritage Site all to yourself with this virtual tour by You Visit. Navigate through the perfectly carved stones of Machu Picchu as features and history are explained. After exploring Machu Picchu, discover some of Peru's many other archaeological wonders from Chan Chan, Choquequirao, and Kuélap (tours are in Spanish).
Tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Architectural Masterpieces
Learn about the architectural genius of Frank Lloyd Wright every Thursday at 10 a.m. PST with Wright Virtual Visits, a social media initiative highlighting Frank Lloyd Wright-designed public sites that are currently closed. Approximately two dozen partner sites from around the country are allowing virtual visitors to explore some of Wright's most treasured buildings through digital tours led by local experts. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has also created a 3D virtual tour of Taliesin West, the winter home and desert laboratory of Wright in Scottsdale, Arizona. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the first Wright building to be made freely available online using this technology, and can be accessed here.
Seize the Día During Cotopaxi's Virtual Questival Adventure Race June 20
Outdoor gear company Cotopaxi brings its Seize the Día Questival online June 20 for the summer solstice. In this virtual adventure race/party — and keeping social distancing in mind — teams of one to six people can sign up to participate in family-friendly adventure activities. Challenge categories include Do Good, Foodie, Quirky and All-Day Adventure. Using the Cotopaxi Questival app available on iPhone and Android, participants upload videos and pictures of completed challenges within the 18-hour and 30-minute timeframe. Teams from around the globe will not only compete against — but also judge — each other, and the top 10 teams will win prizes totalling over $6,000 from Cotopaxi. Cost is $10 per person, or $50 per person that includes a discounted Cotopaxi Luzon 18L backpack. Family entries of four or more receive a 15 percent discount. Coinciding with World Refugee Day, a portion of sales will benefit local International Red Cross programs for COVID relief in underserved communities.
Tour and Taste the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands tourism board brings the BVI to your home through a series of live culinary classes and tours throughout June on their Facebook Events page. Get your notebook and a beverage of your choice ready for these interactive classes/parties. On June 19 is Sol Y Sombra, Virgin Gorda (3 p.m. EST) paint and play with Crafty Hands at Sol Y Sombra featuring a virtual tour of The Baths, a national park in which huge granite boulders as large as 40 feet in diameter create mysterious grottos and saltwater pools, an essential destination on Virgin Gorda that blends desert climate with beach climate. On June 26 during Anegada at 12 p.m. EST, enjoy culinary artistry with Chef Neil Cline as he prepares a few Anegada favorites. The only coral island among the BVI's more than 60 islands, Anegada's natural beauty is absolutely stunning, yet overlooked. It's home to Horseshoe Reef, the third-largest barrier reef in the Caribbean and is known for its delicious, spiny lobster dishes.
Welcome Summer at Stonehenge June 21
Welcome the rays of summer in the Northern Hemisphere at England's Stonehenge with a livestream from the site provided by English Heritage. This iconic, 5,000-year-old Neolithic structure is usually open on the summer solstice to allow tourists, druids, neo-pagans and others to witness the rising of the sun though its Heel Stone, surrounded by 13-foot high, 25-ton standing stones. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is closed this season, but for the first time ever a livestream of the rising sun will be broadcast on the morning of June 21. The event will be livestreamed starting at 8:30 p.m. London time the evening of June 20 for sunset, and will continue through the morning of June 21 for the first sunrise of summer 2020. To find out when to watch the sunrise and sunset from your location, use this world clock calculator.
Learn New Outdoor Skills With Mammut and The Lady Alliance June 29
Virtually get outside and learn some new skills June 29. With a focus on wilderness first-aid, climbing, and community, The Lady Alliance x Mammut Adventure Safety event is a 2.5-hour online experience that goes live at 8 a.m. on June 29 in each time zone of The Lady Alliance’s 29 chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada. Members can tune in to enjoy a plethora of skill-building, community focused immersive experiences, including the thrill of climbing through immersive content from Mammut pro-athlete Steph Davis and wilderness first-aid from Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine Inc.’s wilderness first aid instructor, Alanna Thompson. Guest host Azzah Ahmad, host of the Az I Know It podcast and partner of The Lady Alliance, will moderate the event and facilitate an interview with guest Steph Davis to share experiences and inspire the viewers through community and connection. This event is open free to all Lady Alliance members, which requires signing up at The Lady Alliance website or Facebook group and is donation-based for those who are not part of the community. All donations go to the non-profit Power To Be, an organization that empowers people living with a disability or barrier to access adventures rooted in nature. Register on Facebook at the Mammut x The Lady Alliance virtual event, which will go live on Monday June 29th at 8:00AM EST, CT, MT and PST.
Celebrate Sealaska 2020 Celebration June 10-13
Sealaska’s 2020 Celebration through the Sealaska Heritage Institute will be holding its 2020 Celebration, the largest gathering of indigenous people in Alaska, from June 10-13. This event showcases the importance of coming together as a community and celebrating cultural achievements and heritage. This three-day virtual event will consist of live watch parties with previous performances intercut with new song and dance performances. These will be a mix of performances from Celebration in 2018, combined with new dance footage from various Southeast Alaska dance groups. You can watch the virtual event on SHI's YouTube and interact with others who also share a passion for learning about Juneau's cultures. The broadcast will also have live moderators to elaborate on the cultural background behind the performances.
Stroll Through Jerusalem
Sygic Travel's virtual tour of Jerusalem takes viewers through the ancient alleys of the Holy City as a narrator explains the history and significance of the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock Al-Aqsa Mosque and other significant religious and cultural sites. Scroll through the 360-degree scenes, use a VR viewer or move your phone to take in the scenes.
Take a (Virtual) Hike
The Conservation Fund has teamed up with Google Maps to create 14 virtual hikes on such public lands as Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, portions of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in Oregon, Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area in Georgia and Chimney Rock State Park in North Carolina. Click here to choose your adventure, and enjoy exploring some of the United States' most beautiful public lands.
Take a Tour to Nowhere at the Winchester Mystery House
After the 1881 death of William Wirt Winchester, founder of Winchester Firearms, his widow, Sarah, used her huge inheritance to construct a bizarre home now called the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. She hired workers to install doors that went nowhere, stairs that led to the ceiling, secret rooms and other oddities in her home, until she died in 1922. Today, the house is a maze of 160 rooms. It is thought that she was trying to confuse the angry ghosts of those killed by her husband's guns. The Winchester Mystery House offers a virtual tour for $8.99 here.
Go Wreck Diving in the Mediterranean
You don't have to be scuba certified to experience diving on one of the world's best shipwrecks. Called the Titanic of the Mediterranean, the Zenobia sank on its maiden voyage in 1980 with nearly $300 million worth of goods. This 11-minute virtual dive by GlobetrotterVR allows you the thrill of diving into the clear water of the Mediterranean and exploring this almost 1,000-foot long ferry and its expensive cargo, and the marine life that now call it home, at a depth of 120 feet.
Contemplate the Cliffs of Moher From Your Couch
Ride Your Bike Wherever You Like
Want to bike across the country? Or escape to Disney World (while it's closed)? How about a ride down the streets of Amsterdam? VirZOOM allows users to go on virtual road bike rides almost anywhere in the world using any cadence sensor that attaches to any stationary bike in seconds, all through the Oculus Quest. Through its VZfit Explorer App, users can download any map from Google, bike the world and travel to any country, theme park, historical site, hometown or even somewhere you've never had the chance to go. Whether you choose to bike over 550 miles through the countryside of Japan, or revisit the crowded streets of New York City, VZfit is helping people stay active and entertained.
Get Cozy in the Uffizi
The renowned Uffizi museum in Florence, Italy, has put its Hall of the Dynasties and the Galleries of Sixteenth-Century Venetian Painting online for 360-degree virtual exploration. In its Jewels of the Uffizi: The Secrets of Depicted Gems, view masterpieces from the 15th to 18th centuries with in-depth descriptions.
Meander Malta's Many Heritage Sites
Heritage Malta has put 25 Virtual Tours online, including one for each of its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which includes the city of Valletta, the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum and the Megalithic Temples. The sunny islands of Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea are home to the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any island-nation and the nation's history dates back to 5900 B.C.