Virtual tulip gardens, livestreamed ghost tours, and 26 other places around the world to visit without leaving your home

Shutterstock/Galyna Andrushko/Olena Z/Shutterstock/Travelerpix/ShutterstockVirtually explore national parks, historic landmarks, and top nature destinations.
  • People are being advised to stay home and avoid all nonessential travelling.
  • But that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore a new destination – virtually.
  • Museums, hotels, national parks, landmarks, and theme parks all offer virtual experiences for everyone to enjoy.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Flights have been cancelled, vacations are being postponed, and cruises have been rescheduled. But just because you can’t leave your home, doesn’t mean you can’t explore a new destination.

Hotels, museums, theatres, and popular landmarks are offering virtual experiences for online visitors. Whether it’s the great outdoors you’re craving, a thrilling roller coaster ride, or a relaxing tropic experience, here’s how to see the world without leaving your couch.

Celebrate spring with a virtual trip to the Netherlands’ tulip gardens.

The garden is home to over a million bulbs and 800 varieties of tulips.

Unfortunately, the famous Keukenhof Flower Exhibit has been closed. Fortunately, the garden has recreated the experience online. Open your computer, travel to Lisse, Netherlands, and enjoy the bright tulips at the world’s largest bulb-flower garden through the garden’s YouTube channel.

Take a virtual ghost tour through Charleston, South Carolina.

Guides also take viewers on regular tours every afternoon.

While you might not be able to physically stroll through Charleston right now, a virtual tour of the city is the second-best option. Bulldog Tours has pivoted to Facebook Live tours. Every Friday and Saturday evening, a tour guide takes viewers on a walk of the city’s spooky past.

Learn to scuba dive without ever putting on a bathing suit.

Scuba diving is a fun way to explore a new part of the world.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors offers the first step of diving certification online. Through the eLearning course, future divers will learn the fundamentals of diving. Once quarantine ends, divers can finish the course with pool and open water practice to be ready for their next vacation.

Visit the land where legends say that giants once roamed.

Giant’s Causeway is one of Ireland’s top attractions.

As legends state, Giants Causeway was built so two giants could meet and fight. This virtual tour debunks that myth, shows viewers the picturesque columns on Ireland’s coast, and explains how they were naturally formed.

You can explore Puerto Rico with Lin-Manuel Miranda as your tour guide.

Dennis van de Water/ShutterstockOld San Juan is home to buildings dating back to the 16th century.

Discover Puerto Rico offers a video series where Lin-Manuel Miranda travels to some of Puerto Rico’s most iconic attractions. With Miranda, you’ll explore Old San Juan, learn to salsa dance, and visit his family’s hometown, Vega Alta.

Livestream the northern lights from the warmth of your home.

Getty Images/Barcroft MediaThe best time to see the northern lights is between August and April. is casting the colourful aurora borealis from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. The colours are created when Earth’s magnetic field interacts with charged particles, and the result is a breathtaking light show.

Imagine yourself on the sandy beaches of Phuket, Thailand.

John_Walker/ShutterstockPatong Beach, Thailand.

Amari Phuket, a luxury resort, offers a virtual tour with imagery of the pristine beaches of Patong Beach.

Hold in screams on a virtual roller coaster ride at a Disney theme park.

John Raoux/APSlinky Dog Dash ride in Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World.

Although the Disney parks have temporarily closed, you can still create your own Disney adventure. YouTube channels, like CoasterForce or iThemePark, are dedicated to providing you a Disney experience without ever purchasing a ticket.

You can hang with penguins, elephants, and giraffes at the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego ZooThe zoo is home to nine elephants.

Zoos around the world have set up livestreams of their animals. At the San Diego Zoo, you can watch apes, giraffes, elephants, or penguins live.

Travel into the lush greenery of the Amazon rainforest using virtual reality.

Fotos593/ShutterstockThe Amazon rainforest spans across nine different countries in South America.

Conservation International offers a 360-degree view of the world’s largest tropical rainforest. You’ll virtually travel through trees, water, and air to get the best views of the rainforest.

Pour a piƱa colada and recreate your cancelled cruise by going on a virtual one.

Andrea Friedrich/Getty ImagesA cruise ship in the Caribbean.

Cruise lines like Viking Ocean Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line offer virtual tours of the ships.

You can go whale watching on Oregon’s coast.

Sam Chadwick / Shutterstock.comTourists watch whales migrate up North America’s coast.

Oregon State Parks is hosting a livestream every day to celebrate its Spring Whale Watch Week event. Watch as grey whales travel thousands of miles to their summer feeding grounds in Alaska.

Discover the Grand Canyon without ever lacing up your sneakers.

Shutterstock/Galyna AndrushkoThe Grand Canyon is one of 419 national park sites in the US.

You can virtually roam one of the most popular national parks in the US thanks to Google Earth.

Immerse yourself in Italian cuisine with this Italian grandmother.

AirbnbThis grandmother will teach you how to cook a traditional Italian meal.

With the help of this Italian grandmother, you can learn 100-year-old recipes from the comfort of your own kitchen. Between the food, hospitality, and history, you’ll feel transported to Rome, Italy.

Digitally step inside the Louvre in Paris, France.

Thierry Thorel/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesThe Louvre is the largest art museum in the world. It expands over 780,000 square feet.

You’ve likely heard of Paris’ famous art museum, and now is your chance to explore it online. Art curators and lecturers will walk you through some of the museum’s most important treasures.

Virtually traverse deep into the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Doug Meek/ShutterstockThe national park features over 100 caves.

A park ranger will virtually guide you through the caverns in New Mexico.

If you love Shakespeare, watch a play from the famous Globe Theatre in London.

cowardlion / ShutterstockShakespeare was part owner of the theatre.

The Globe Theatre offers recordings of Shakespeare’s plays for a small fee.

You can travel virtually to the Taj Mahal in New Delhi, India.

Marco Taliani de Marchio/ShutterstockThe Taj Mahal is India’s most popular tourist attraction.

Using Google Earth, head to the “crown of palaces,” where millions of people visit each year.

Sip a tropical drink as you virtually visit this picturesque Hawaiian resort.

Eva Browning/ShutterstockKaanapali Beach is one of Maui’s most iconic beaches.

Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa’s webcam streams a beautiful expanse of Kaanapali Beach in Maui, Hawaii, 24 hours a day. If there’s a different island you want to “visit,” Marriott Bonvoy has live webcams on four of Hawaii’s islands.

Check out the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Andrew Harnik/APObama with the two portraits that hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Load up on history and art through this virtual tour.

Jump into spring with a virtual visit to Seattle’s Volunteer Park Conservatory.

Getty/John ElkThe Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle.

We could all use a little sunshine, so check out these lush botanical gardens.

Virtually walk the Great Wall of China.

Edi Chen/ShutterstockThe Great Wall of China typically has about 10 million visitors a year.

Although a section of the Great Wall of China reopened Tuesday, you can still visit the country’s most popular landmark virtually through this online guide.

Wander through centuries-old art and relics on the Vatican Museum’s website.

Eric Vandeville-Vatican Pool/Getty ImagesThe Sistine Chapel’s renaissance ceilings were painted by Michelangelo.

Tour the iconic Sistine Chapel from the comfort of your couch.

Take in a 360-degree view of Antarctica.

Volodymyr Goinyk/ShutterstockMost travellers visit Antarctica on cruise ships.

The destination might not be high on your bucket list, but these breathtaking views from AirPano might change your mind.

Explore outer space with NASA.

Tricia Daniel / ShutterstockThe space shuttle at NASA in Houston, Texas.

NASA’s Space Centre Houston app offers virtual reality experiences and a tour of its educational facility.

Virtually trek the Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderBryce Canyon is one of five national parks in Utah.

Google Earth provides breathtaking views of the park’s spire-shaped rock formations and deep, red-coloured rocks.

You can watch the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, bloom from anywhere.

Sean Pavone/ShutterstcokSpring sparks cherry blossom season in Washington, DC.

The Trust for the National Mall set up a BloomCam for everyone to enjoy.

Virtually splash and swim with the otters at the Tennessee Aquarium.

ShutterstockThe aquarium is home to North American River Otters.

The aquarium has live feeds of otters, penguins, and aquatic reefs.

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