VIRTUAL VACATIONS AROUND THE WORLD
Although some locals and would-be travelers around the country may be confined to their homes due to nationwide restrictions, it is still possible for them to experience what they love about their favorite destinations from the comfort of their living room thanks to a range of digital tours, live streaming classes, and more. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to enjoy those destinations below:
- Virtual Drag Brunch – Every Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT, the “ladies” of “The View” – Haley Star, Jennie Talia, Ladiva Jonz and Jacqueline Dimera – in Providence discuss the week’s hot topics live on Facebook. Tipping is greatly appreciated and split between all the hosts — Venmo @MsHaleyStar.
- Virtual Street Art Tours – Visitors can still explore the city’s incredible street art scene from the comfort of their home. Viewers can learn about various murals and art installations throughout Providence on The Avenue Concept’s website while looking at them firsthand with the help of google earth. Guests can randomly wander the city in search of “The revolution starts in the earth with the self” or plan a ‘walk’ past “Still Here” and “Somnium,” among others.
- Virtual Performing Arts – Although Trinity Rep stages and classrooms are temporarily shuttered to protect public health and safety, Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater is generating digital content and creating virtual events and classes, so that “the show goes on.” Free digital content includes clips from past productions like Ragtime, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Mountaintop; members of the resident acting company reciting Shakespearean sonnets; blog posts; and episodes of Trinity Rep Radio Theater from 2009. Online classes are offered for students in grades K-5 and a class for adults and older teens provides an opportunity to read and discuss plays with artistic director Curt Columbus. These classes are held online for a modest fee. Free events include a monthly virtual knitting circle, with other classes and events coming soon. Additionally, Trinity Rep has free educational resources available, including print and video study guides. Content is being delivered through Trinity Rep’s social media channels and is aggregated on their website. http://www.trinityrep.com/theshowgoeson
- Virtual Zoo School – The Roger Williams Park Zoo itself may be temporarily closed, but fans can still enjoy all of the furry animal fun through “Zoo School” – which broadcasts live on Facebook every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Whether it’s educational and behind-the-scenes access to Stanley the Skunk or step-by-step instructions on how to make a pinecone bird feeder for our feathery friends, the staff at the historic Roger Williams Park Zoo is (virtually) here to spread the animal word. Videos are available on Facebook & YouTube.
- Virtual Art Gallery Tour – Take a tour of the renowned Yale University Art Gallery with the museum’s mobile app, now available as a free download for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch from the App Store. This engaging audio guide lets you explore the museum and learn about our collection from curators, scholars, conservators, students, and artists. There is also a web-based app available for non-Apple devices. https://artgallery.yale.edu/visit/app & https://web-app.cuseum.com/?YUAG
- Virtual Art Gallery Tour – The Yale Center For British Art mobile app offers users the opportunity to visit the museum remotely and provides an in-depth guide to works in the Center’s collection as well as detailed information about its landmark building, designed by Louis I. Kahn. There is also a web-based app available for non-Apple devices. https://britishart.yale.edu/app & https://web-app.cuseum.com/?YCBA
- Virtual Fitness Classes – Shana Schneider, founder of Fitstyle by Shana, is offering livestream classes such as “How to Work From Home + Stay Fit Q&A,” weekly Zuma classes and more. Through her classes she helps viewers find some easy ways to start moving more at home and get the motivation they need to feel accomplished and energized even at the end of the day. www.fitstylebyshana.com/livestream-classes-events
- Virtual Wine Tasting – Seven Birches Winery has introduced a very creative way for folks to safely partake in a wine tasting. After all, the fun must go on. Wine samples are mailed via UPS accompanied by winemakers’ written and video tasting notes. Customers will also receive an invitation to join a live interactive tasting online with Seven Birches Winemaker Mark LaClair. Each tasting flight is $25 & includes, 5 x 2oz. wine samples, free shipping, written and video tasting notes, live interactive wine tastings online with the winemaker, and a 15 percent discount on the next wine order.
- Virtual History Tour – Guests can take a virtual tour of Portsmouth’s famous Strawbery Banke Museum, its gardens and the historic landscape. Viewers can also use a smartphone or mouse to discover images that illustrate the rich history of this waterfront neighborhood. The voices, sights, and sounds from the past will transport guests and help them find their place in the unfolding story of an American landscape. https://sbm.oncell.com/en/home-30678.html
- Virtual Lakes Experience – The Lakes Region Tour Videos are a digital series allowing viewers to experience and explore the beautiful Lakes Region of New Hampshire. It’s the perfect way for guests to get inspired and start planning your next getaway. https://www.lakesregion.org/new-hampshire-info/regional-information-nh/the-lakes-videos/
- Virtual Mass – St. Patrick’s Cathedral With the canceling of mass at all New York churches, one of the city’s most famous Catholic Churches is turning to technology to support parishioners during this difficult time. St. Patrick’s Cathedral will live stream mass at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday. All masses will be placed in their online archives for those who wish to access them at any time. More details here.
- Virtual Beaches – With nearly 40 different options to choose from, web users can bring the beach into the comfort of their homes whenever they want with continuous live feeds of various Jersey Shore beaches. The live streaming options can be accessed at njbeachcams.com/live-beach-cams
- Virtual Cooking Class – With locations in Hoboken, Jersey City, Long Branch, and Atlantic City, Tony Baloney’s is looking to reach further into the New Jersey community and beyond by offering its own “Tony Baloney’s Crazy Virtual Cooking Class” available on Instagram Live every Sunday at 5 p.m. Known for its delectable Italian fare, Tony Baloney’s has offered classes on mozzarella making, meatball feasts and, of course, pizza. With each cooking class kit purchased, the restaurant is using the funds to pay its staff and will be donating pizzas to local essential employees such as nurses, doctors, cops and more. To find out more on the virtual cooking classes, please visit the Tony Baloney’s Instagram.
- Virtual Zoo School, Tour & Selfie Station – Viewers can unleash their wild side by joining the staff of The Virginia Zoo for “Virtual Voyages,” which are held every day at 2:00 p.m. on the zoo’s social media channels. The voyages feature behind-the-scenes access to animal enclosures, e-tours and educational sessions. The zoo is also offering augmented reality tours to virtual visitors that feature insider information about the animals and their counterparts in the wild. The tour features 12 stops around the zoo and offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the animal residents, conservation efforts for the species, behind-the-scenes videos and more. E-visitors can also take advantage of the zoo’s Selfie Station and turn themselves into tigers, lions or orangutans with the Zappar app.
- Virtual Museum Tour – Museum patrons now can (virtually) wander the halls of the renowned Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk. With 50 galleries and 30,000 objects to explore, virtual visitors can keep entertained for hours touring the gallery’s digital collections that consists of European and American paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and works from African, Egyptian, Pre-Columbian, Islamic and Asian cultures.
- Virtual Battleship Tour – Each #WiskyWednesday, the Battleship Wisconsin will be releasing a new series showcasing behind-the-scenes tours of never seen before spaces on the ship. Viewers can follow along with Battleship Operations Manager Keith Nitka as he teaches the ins-and-outs of the historic Battleship Wisconsin. Nauticus’s daily educational videos air every day at 11:00 a.m. on their Facebook page, when knowledgeable staff teach interesting facts about sea creatures, offer tips on sailing and more.
- Virtual Lamb Cam – Springtime means baby animals and Mount Vernon’s Lamb Cam brings cuteness straight from their farm to peoples browsers.
- Virtual Tour of Mount Vernon – George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate continues its mission to educate people around the world through its robust digital presence. Individuals can virtually visit the historic home and plantation in vivid detail through an online virtual tour. At the heart of the virtual tour is a set of beautiful 360-degree panoramic images where viewers can fully control the view. People can tour every major room within the Mount Vernon Mansion and see the upper garden, kitchen, the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington and George Washington’s Gristmill & Distillery. Infused in the Mount Vernon Virtual Tour are videos from character interpreters, curators and other Mount Vernon experts for 24/7 access to those who know most about the objects, architecture, and landscapes featured on the tour.
- Virtual Zoo Cams – Wake up or spend your afternoon with some of your favorite animals from Naples Zoo. With daily live streams on the zoo’s Facebook page, e-visitors are welcome to check in on a variety of the zoo’s inhabitants. Swim with the gators or fly with the birds all from your couch!
- Virtual Web Cams – For those in need of some time at the beach, 10 live beach cams spanning Naples and Marco Island, are available for people to stop by and relax as they take in the sounds of the Gulf of Mexico. Visit the Paradise in Place webpage and scroll down to the “Area Webcams” section for a collection of live streams of various beaches throughout the region. Insider tip: sunset in Naples is between 7:45 and 7:50 this time of year.
- Virtual Happy Hour – Many wineries in Sonoma County are offering virtual tastings, winemaker meet and greets and happy hours. Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery and Three Sticks Wine is presenting an interactive virtual wine and food experience called Sip & Savor Through Sonoma: A Virtual Exploration. This collaboration, offered to guests via Zoom, includes hosted tours of each winery, tutored tastings of top-rated wines and food pairing segments with recipes from chefs Charlie Palmer.
- Virtual Cooking Demos – J Vineyards is offering Instagram lives every Sunday at 3 pm PST for live cooking demonstrations featuring winery Executive Chef Carl Shelton.
- Virtual Margarita Making – The iconic Santa Fe Margarita Trail, a year-round program connecting 45 different bars and restaurants around the city, offers a variety of signature margarita cocktails. Now, visitors are inspired to “Make Your Own Margarita Trail” at home by partaking in bartender instructional videos and recipes for margaritas found on the trail. To experience how these specialty-crafted margaritas are made, individuals are encouraged to view TOURISM Santa Fe’s YouTube page to see unique recipes and bartender how-to videos from some of the best restaurants and bars in The City Different. In addition, their Instagram has videos on how to make the specialty margarita’s.
- Virtual Cooking Class – Learn firsthand how to cook some of New Mexico’s most famous southwestern dishes from the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Choose recipes ranging from red chile, pork tamales, green chile cheese enchiladas, corn tortillas and much more. Videos and tutorials can all be found on the cooking school’s recipe page.
- At-Home Watch Care: Geneva is known as the watchmaking capital around the world and Initium, a luxury watchmaking company, has outlined several tips and tricks for at-home watch care while shops are closed. From cleaning to safely adjusting the time and date, this guide will occupy curious watch enthusiasts of all levels.
- Drawing for Hospital Décor: Geneva University Hospital’s Nikita Brunner, Resident Doctor, is encouraging kids from around the world to complete drawings that can add color to the walls and bring brightness and joy to the patients at the hospital. Drawings can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.