15 Amazing Places You Can Tour Virtually

If you can’t check out these places in person, you can at least visit them virtually—no flights or road trips required.

1. The National Museum of Natural History

Learn where we’ve been by taking a look around the stunning exhibits at this Smithsonian museum in the nation’s capital.

2. Taj Mahal

This look at the the famous Indian mausoleum is one of several Airpano flying 360 tours on this list.

3. U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol was completed in 1800, but it still seems to be in a constant state of construction. This virtual tour is a great way to see the landmark, and it's always scaffolding-free.

4. Eiffel Tower

Getting to the top of the iconic Parisian landmark has never been so simple. Click on the different vantage points at the bottom of the page to get a killer view—then click on numbered buildings in the distance to learn more.

5. Louvre

From this page you can choose several different areas of the world-famous museum to explore.

6. Vatican

This page on the Vatican’s website allows you to click on any of several different locations and quickly go inside for a look around. Make sure your computer is muted if you don’t want to hear music.

7. Sistine Chapel

One place the tour of the Vatican doesn't include is the Sistine Chapel. Click here and look skyward to see Michelangelo’s handiwork.

8. Route 66

Get your kicks on Google Street View of Route 66.

9. The Colosseum

Are you not entertained? You will be as you click around this virtual tour of this ancient arena.

10. The White House

This one isn’t a full 360-degree experience, but it still allows you to click on different levels and rooms of the Executive Mansion to learn more and watch videos about them.

11. The Ancient City of Petra

This aerial tour of Petra, Jordan starts at Al Khazneh, the stunning temple carved into a sandstone cliff. Fans of Indiana Jones will instantly recognize it as the location where Indy chose wisely. Drag the mouse around to get a full view of your surroundings.

12. Stonehenge

Click on one of the four Street View options to take a look around this ancient stone, uh, calendar? Jungle gym? Graveyard? Whatever it is, it’s interesting.

13. 9/11 Memorial

If you can’t make it to New York City, you can pay your respects in the meantime by taking the virtual tour here.

14. Yosemite National Park

If you’re sitting in an office, do yourself a favor and take a minute to roam around Yosemite National Park. You can almost smell the grass. As 30 Rock's Liz Lemon would say, “I want to go to there.”

15. The Pyramids

Survey the awe-inspiring achievement of the Great Pyramids at Giza from above.

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Ralph Gatti, AFP/Getty Images
The 'David Bowie Is' Exhibition Is Coming to Your Smartphone
 Ralph Gatti, AFP/Getty Images
Ralph Gatti, AFP/Getty Images

"David Bowie is," an exhibition dedicated to the life, work, and legacy of the pop icon, concluded its six-year world tour on July 15. If you didn't get a chance to see it in person at its final stop at New York City's Brooklyn Museum, you can still experience the exhibit at home. As engadget reports, the artifacts displayed in the collection will be recreated in virtual and augmented reality.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, the curator of the exhibit, and the David Bowie Archive are collaborating with Sony Music Entertainment and the sound and media studio Planeta on the new project, "David Bowie is Virtual." Like the physical exhibition, the digital experience will integrate visual scenes with the music of David Bowie: 3D scans will bring the musician's costumes and personal items into the virtual sphere, allowing viewers to examine them up close, and possibly in the case of the outfits, try them on.

"These new digital versions of ‘David Bowie is’ will add unprecedented depth and intimacy to the exhibition experience, allowing the viewer to engage with the work of one of the world’s most popular and influential artists as never before," the announcement of the project reads. "Both the visual richness of this show and the visionary nature of Bowie and his art makes this a particularly ideal candidate for a VR/AR adaptation."

"David Bowie is Virtual" will be released for smartphones and all major VR and AR platforms sometimes this fall. Like the museum exhibition, it will come with an admission price, with a portion of the proceeds going toward the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Brooklyn Museum.

[h/t engadget]

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Your New York City Library Card Now Gets You Free Admission to 33 Museums and Cultural Sites
iStock
iStock

Your New York City library card is good for more than checking out books and downloading music. Starting this summer, your card will get you free admission to 33 cultural institutions around the city, The New York Times reports.

New York's public library system is rolling out its Culture Pass program in an effort to make the city's world-renowned museums and cultural centers more accessible to residents. As long as you have a card from the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, or the Queens Library systems, you can visit Culturepass.nyc and use your card number to reserve a ticket. Participating organizations include the the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Intrepid Air & Space Museum, Wave Hill, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Some of the locations on the list are already free without the suggested donation, but others can get pricey. The Museum of Modern Art, for example, costs $25 for adults. Using Culture Pass does come with a few catches: Passes are limited, so if you wait until the last minute you may not be able to reserve one for your preferred day. Cardholders also can only use Culture Pass once per year at each institution, but depending on where they go they can make the most of it: At some organizations like the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, a pass is good for entry for up to four guests.

New York isn't the only area that offers free museum tickets to anyone with a library card. Members of public library systems in SeattleNew Jersey, and Los Angeles County, and kids in Chicago, can take advantage of similar programs. And even if your library card can't get you into cultural institutions, it can likely get you other perks you may not be aware of.

[h/t The New York Times]

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