Following Your Virtual GPS: Traveling America from the Comfort of Your Home

With each day bringing new closures and cancellations as we work together as a nation to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s natural to feel a little anxious. If you had to cancel a long-awaited vacation, school trip or spring break getaway, you might even feel angry or disappointed. And if you’re one of the many parents now schooling their children at home, the prospect of hunkering down for weeks on end may be, quite frankly, rather daunting.

Although none of us can control much of what’s going on right now, we do have the choice to move beyond our initial worries and woes to make the best of a not-so-great situation. We can choose to look at this an opportunity to slow down, reconnect as a family, discover new things – and maybe even some new places!

Thanks to the wonder that is the Internet, there’s a whole world out there just waiting for you to explore, right in the comfort of your own home. In recent years, hundreds of museums, national parks, zoos and other attractions have made virtual tours, videos, live cams and other discovery resources available online. Now is a great time to tap into these free resources, whether it’s to stave off boredom, satisfy your cravings for adventure, or keep kids learning while school is out. A virtual visit to Yellowstone National Park, for example, offers not only great views but also the opportunity to learn about history, geology and geography.

This roundup of virtual attractions will allow you to follow your virtual GPS across the U.S. There’s no need to pack a bag, but you might want to bring some snacks. Let’s get started!

TRAVEL

Attractions

From historic villages and world-famous zoos, to smaller regional and local sights, there’s a wealth of attractions to explore across the U.S.

Cities & Towns

Ever wonder what it’s like to stand in the middle of Times Square, visit New Orleans or explore a tiny town that boasts a population of just 489? These virtual resources can help you discover a diverse slice of America.

Historic

Take a step back in time and learn more about America’s storied past, from its earliest beginnings to the
not-so-distant past.

Museums

Skip the lines and the ticket booth with these virtual visits to museums featuring world-famous art collections, immersive national history displays, in-depth science and space exhibits and more.

National & State Parks

From getting up close and personal with geysers, to uncovering archeological treasures, to talking a guided walk through ancient forests, these virtual park tours deliver on the call for adventure.

Outdoors

Feeling cooped up? These resources will help you reconnect with nature as you virtually explore environments and landscapes both familiar and new. Perhaps even another planet?


LIFESTYLE

Architecture

Unique buildings and structures are a feast for the eyes – and can also help you learn about design, history and more.

Cultural

Explore a new-to-you aspect of America’s culture or get back to your own roots with these virtual resources.

Events & Festivals

While many events and festivals have been canceled or postponed for the next few weeks (or in some cases, months), you can still view plenty of performances – past and present – online.

Transportation

Get your gearhead fix with these inside looks at trains, planes, automobiles and more!

About The Authors: It is a team effort to bring you this article and it is a small example of the growing FMG community. Introductory text, topic intros and seed links provided by writer Amber Gabrenas a self-proclaimed word nerd with a passion for travel. In the coming weeks, I (Alleyn) will continue to gather links to amazing virtual travel and exploration opportunities around American and update this article.

Would You Like To Help Others To Enjoy Virtual Travel?
You can help by letting us know about the awesome resources around the internet to experience America; at least virtually for now. We know we have barely scratched the surface, so please share your favorite links so that we can share them with everyone. You can send us your links through our contact form. Thank you for your contribution!

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