Visit the Great Outdoors from the Comfort of your Bed!
With the whole world taking shelter indoors, working their way through their Netflix watch lists and figuring out how long their stash of Fettucine pasta will last for, ideas of sunshine, mountains and long hikes all seem like a distant memory. Well, for all of you nature lovers (and all you cabin-fever sufferers) your luck is about to change, as we list 5 lovely National Parks offering virtual reality tours of their grounds, all of which can be accessed from home!
This miracle of technology and the great outdoors teaming up comes courtesy of Google Arts and Culture, who have teamed up with five of America’s most breathtaking national parks, to remind us of the amazing expanses that lie beyond our doors.
Kenai Fjords, National Park
First up on your itinerary is the winter wonderland world of Kenai Fjords National Park, coming to you all the way from Alaska. Rug up and pour yourself a steaming cup of hot chocolate, as this icy tour takes you on a thrilling ride, abseiling into the depths of a glacial crevasse and kayaking through a softly flowing field of icebergs. And there will be no need to worry about who will be Jack and who will be Rose if you hit one of those icebergs, there’s nothing but smooth sailing ahead for this virtual boat ride. Start the tour.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
If chilly climates aren’t really your style, move on over to sunny Hawaii, and the thrilling experiences Hawai’i’s famous volcanoes have to offer. Ever wondered what an active volcano looks like? Well now with some digital assistance, you can find out! Soar high over a bubbling whirlpool of lava and ash in a virtual ‘flight’, then dive underground through a lava tube, coming up finally to stare for as long as you want, out across the stoic volcanic cliffs. After this, it will be perfectly obvious to you why this park is one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist spots. Start the tour.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Next up is Carlsbad Caverns National Park, down in New Mexico. From water, to fire, now comes the earth, or more specifically, underneath it. Carlsbad Caverns, as its name would suggest, is home to an entire labyrinth of tunnels and caves, stalactites and stalagmites, all of which have been waiting patiently, in the dark, for you to come and discover their beauty. Start the tour.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Next, we head a little bit North, up to the state of Utah, and its beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park. There, you will be able to stargaze to your heart’s content and take a beautifully peaceful virtual ‘horse ride’ down through the winding slopes and paths of the canyon itself. Also, thanks to the power of technology, you will be able to get up close and personal with the canyon’s awe-inspiring hoodoos (those long, thin spires of rock that you always see in old cowboy movies). Start the tour.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Now don’t let the word ‘dry’ fool you, at this Floridian National Park, ‘water’ is definitely the name of the game. At Dry Tortugas, history and nature strongly combine. Here, you will have the opportunity to explore a Civil War-era fort, and dive under the sea to take a look at a shipwreck, and who knows, maybe you’ll find some buried treasure! Finally, take a swim and bask in the magnificence of the world’s third-largest coral reef. So go on, take a mini-vacation and get back in touch with nature! Start the tour.