7 mins

12 immersive virtual travel experiences in North America

With North America also on lockdown due to COVID-19, many attractions are now coming to us. Enjoy this diverse selection of USA and Canadian virtual tours and experiences from the comfort of your home...

Virtual tours of North America to take during the COVID-19 lockdown (Shutterstock)

North America offers an eclectic mix of travel experiences, from history and culture to outdoor adventure and wildlife. And the fun hasn't stopped because of the coronavirus lockdown. 

These virtual tours across North America allow you to fully immerse yourself in this part of the world. Soak up its history, watch its rare wildlife and get up close to incredible paintings in various art galleries. 

Search based on your interests, or keep scrolling for the full guide...

 

 

Top virtual experiences for culture seekers

Top virtual experiences for wildlife enthusiasts

Top virtual experiences for foodies

5 top virtual tours for culture seekers

1. Walk around art galleries in New York 

Troy Michie, Jimmy's Blues, 2019 (Daniel Terna, courtesy the artist and Company)

Troy Michie, Jimmy's Blues, 2019 (Daniel Terna, courtesy the artist and Company)

New York’s art galleries have been closed due to COVID-19, but virtually, many of their doors remain open. Platform: New York is a new online viewing room featuring 12 of the Big Apples' most interesting galleries. 

Featuring the work of many artists – some of which were due to exhibit their work in the museums in spring – the online viewing gallery allows you to study each work of art, and learn about their creators.

Take the tour

2. Vancouver Art Gallery

Virtually visit Vancouver Art Gallery (Shutterstock)

Virtually visit Vancouver Art Gallery (Shutterstock)

In Vancouver, Canada, life is also on hold. But you can still take a walk around Vancouver Art Gallery. This virtual hub simulates walking around Douglas Coupland’s exhibition within the museum.

Walk from room to room, admire the art from every angle, and if something catches your eye, click on it to read about the work, the story behind it and what inspired it.

Take the tour

3. Tour colourful murals in St. Pete Clearwater, Florida

Virtually explore the urban art murals of Downtown St Petersburg, Florida (Visit St. Pete Clearwater)

Virtually explore the urban art murals of Downtown St Petersburg, Florida (Visit St. Pete Clearwater)

The streets of St Petersburg, Florida are certainly not boring. Practically every colour of the rainbow is splashed across the walls of this gulf coast city, depicting local stories in over 500 vibrant murals.

You can’t walk the streets in real life, but you can still get a taste of the colourful art on display here. This dedicated online gallery allows you to see the murals in all their eye-popping glory.

Click ‘learn more’ on a particular piece to delve into the background of the mural, its story, and find out who it is dedicated to.

Take the tour

4. Take a closer look at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Take a virtual tour of Mount Rushmore (Shutterstock)

Take a virtual tour of Mount Rushmore (Shutterstock)

With portrait-like faces of past US presidents cut into the sandy stone of the cliffs, Mount Rushmore is one of the most iconic and certainly most recognisable sites in North America.

Now, this virtual tour takes you closer to the cliff-cut faces than ever before. The online platform features a ‘3D Explorer’ where you can click the cliff to see it at every angle.

The virtual tour puts your feet on the ground, allowing you to walk through the site at your own pace, taking in the history of this fascinating place, pulling out significant sections and important moments in history.

Take the tour

5. Virtually learn the story of Apollo 13 at Space Center Houston, Texas

Enjoy Space Center Houston's virtual exhibits (Shutterstock)

Enjoy Space Center Houston's virtual exhibits (Shutterstock)

The July 1969 Apollo 11 mission saw the first man walk on the moon, and that would not have been possible without the work inside NASA’s Mission Control in Houston.

But Space Center Houston tells the story of another mission, the less successful Apollo 13. Due to COVID-19, Space Center Houston has take then story online, bringing the Apollo 13 mission to life with videos, photos and models.

Take the tour

4 top nature and wildlife virtual tours

1. Explore the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Virtually explore the Grand Canyon (Shutterstock)

Virtually explore the Grand Canyon (Shutterstock)

Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking down at the expanse of copper-coloured rock, carved out over hundreds of years by the winding river far below, is an unforgettable travel experience. This virtual tour takes you pretty close to the real thing.

Whether you choose to virtually hike the Phantom Ranch Tour by flicking through photo galleries of the key sites you’ll see en route, or would rather take a geological tour by rafting down the mighty Colorado River, this online hub will help you understand why the Grand Canyon is on plenty of bucket lists.

Take the tour

2. Go on a cherry blossom walk, Vancouver

Go on a virtual walk to see Vancouver's cherry blossom (Shutterstock)

Go on a virtual walk to see Vancouver's cherry blossom (Shutterstock)

In Vancouver, the start of spring is signalled by pink and white blossom bursting into life on trees across the city.

With lockdown in place, the city didn’t want people to miss out on walking by such natural beauty, so they've brought the blossoms to us. These virtual tree walks feature blossom walks from six neighbourhoods, allowing you to admire the prettiest spots, and bringing a breath of fresh air into your home.

Take the tour

3. Watch Canada’s wildlife

Livestream Canada's polar bears (Shutterstock)

Livestream Canada's polar bears (Shutterstock)

Canada has a huge array of wildlife - big and small - across its many national parks, and is one of the main reasons so many visitors take a trip to Canada. Don’t let coronavirus stop you from seeking out these incredible creatures.

Luckily, Canada’s national parks are speckled with many hidden webcams, meaning you can bring Canadian wildlife into your home. From spotting bison in Grassland National Park to getting up close to polar bears in Northern Manitoba, it's a dream for wildlife watchers.

Take the tour

4. See orcas in British Columbia's Johnstone Strait

Livestream orcas in British Columbia's Johnstone Strait (Shutterstock)

Livestream orcas in British Columbia's Johnstone Strait (Shutterstock)

Dive into the Johnstone Strait to see majestic orcas swish past your computer screen, by accessing these strategically-placed underwater webcams.

Take the tour

3 top virtual experiences for foodies

1. Make your own burger, Florida style 

Burgers are an icon of North America in their own right. And perhaps the most accessible given the current COVID-19 lockdown.

Try this mouth-watering recipe, which comes straight from the beachside burger bar of Frenchy's Rockaway Grill in Clearwater Beach. This stacked fish sandwich is bursting with flavour, and will transport you to Florida with just one bite.

See the recipe

2. Sip wine in Napa Valley, California

Virtually sip wine in Napa Valley (Shutterstock)

Virtually sip wine in Napa Valley (Shutterstock)

California’s Napa Valley is famous for its vineyards, and is a popular spot with travellers. To make up for the fact that COVID-19 has paused all travel plans for the time being, one vineyard and winery is offering virtual tasting sessions.

St. Supéry Estate Vineyard and Winery is running an immersive experience allowing you to quite literally get a taste of Napa. Simply head over to their website to order your home tasting kit, and log into their Zoom tasting class to learn about and sample the wine.

Take the tour

3. Join British Columbia for happy hour 

Join British Columbia for happy hour (Shutterstock)

Join British Columbia for happy hour (Shutterstock)

British Columbia has a lively and eclectic craft beer scene, and the BC Ale Trail is a popular pub crawl with locals and tourists alike.

Now, the breweries along the trail have teamed up to bring the experience online. Tune in each week with your own beer to be a part of the virtual happy hour. Each week is hosted by a different person and features guests from the craft beer community.

Join the virtual happy hour

Related Articles