With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic plans for vacations, family reunions and just “getting away” have been put on hold.  However; with everyone home it doesn’t mean our wanderlust stops and there are innovative ways we can still see the world from home. From Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher to Peru’s Machu Picchu to virtually climbing El Capitan in Yosemite, keep reading for 9 virtual vacations you can take right now. Bon voyage!

Visit Ireland

If you’ve ever wanted to go to Ireland, now is your chance. Take a virtual tour of the Cliffs of Moher on their website. Choose from one of the many virtual location options that offer different vantage points, like from the Blarney Castle Gardens or O’Brien’s Tower. You can catch a glimpse of what the cliffs look like at twilight!

Hike through Yosemite National Park

Whether you’re just a nature buff or a full-on adrenaline junkie, this virtual tour of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park is for you. This 3,000-foot interactive hike will take you to the nose of one of the most iconic rock formations in the US. Even if you hate hiking, this is the perfect opportunity to soak in those views without any of the sweat and blisters.

View the Taj Mahal crowd free

As one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal virtual tour should be on the top of your list. While in person you can’t get a view of the very top of the building, this virtual tour offers a 360-degree view of the breathtaking architecture.

See Machu Pichu without altitude sickness

Machu Picchu isn’t for the faint of heart with its steep incline and high altitude, so touring it in person might not be for everyone. Luckily, a virtual tour of Machu Picchu exists so you can get a glimpse of one of the most incredible landmarks in the world.

Look out for bears and bison in Yellowstone National Park

If you’re a national park newbie or looking to broaden your adventure horizons, start by watching the Yellowstone National Park virtual tours. The website has over seven virtual tours available, ranging from hot springs to the Upper Geyser Basin to mud volcanoes. Honestly, binging these videos is a great way to plan your next visit!

Saunter through Milan

Go on a virtual tour of the Milan Cathedral and the piazza (or town square) that surrounds it. From restaurants to tourists to even parked bikes, you’ll quickly see why the beautiful city of Milan is such a popular tourist destination.

Be an armchair Art Critic in the Louvre

Dreaming of Paris, but want to avoid the crowds and lines? The Louvre Museum offers virtual tours of three exhibits, including Egyptian Antiquities, Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and Galerie d’Apollon.

Have virtual tea with the Queen of England

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea and go on a virtual tour of Queen Elizabeth II’s home, Buckingham Palace. Brush up on your British history with one of the virtual tours the site offers. On the website you can explore the Grand Staircase, the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room, and the Blue Drawing Room. Remember, pinkies up!

Ride a roller coaster (motion sickness optional)

Love them or hate them, watching roller coasters in motion can be really fun. From the point of view of the front rider, you’ll quickly be screaming with your hands in the air and completely forgetting you’re at home. Available virtual roller coaster rides include Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Jurassic World The Ride, and Ghost Rider Wooden Roller Coaster at Universal Studios. A quick search through YouTube will also find other videos for rides at Disney World, Six Flags and other theme parks.

The above list is a fraction of the available virtual tours, photo logs, live web cams and video tours available for famous tourist sites and cities across the globe. Google Arts and Culture has 360 views of dozens of famous sites including tours inside museums, cathedrals and parks. Even though we can’t travel right now; we can still explore our world (and make future plans for vacations) from the safety and comfort of our homes. It is a great way to learn about a new country or allow you and your family some time to “play tourist”.