Travel makes life richer. That’s the core mantra of the Virtuoso network – of which Covington is a proud member – and the steadfast belief of our dedicated vacation advisors. Unfortunately, over the past months, physical travel has been drastically curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, in the interest of travel continuing to enrich your life, I pulled together some options for virtual travel that you can enjoy until the outbreak is behind us.
10 Ways to Get Your Cultural Fix Online
Many of the world’s best museums are closed because of the pandemic but you can still get your culture fix and explore everything from the great masters to fashion to space by visiting these collections virtually.
- Louvre, Paris – Three virtual tours are available: Collections of the Pharaohs in Egyptian Antiquities, Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and Decorative Arts in the recently restored Galerie d’Apollon.
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris – Learn about the history of this former railway station and virtually travel to its collections of Impressionists’ works on the Google Arts & Culture website.
- The Paris Opera – The Paris Opera is offering its most beautiful operas and ballets from its archives online free of charge on the Opéra national de Paris Facebook page. From Don Giovanni to Swan Lake and The Tales of Hoffmann, there are many great classics to see or rediscover from home.
- Vatican Museums, Rome – Explore Michelangelo’s phenomenal artistry in the Sistine Chapel and collections of classical sculpture with 360° virtual tours of seven different areas in the Vatican.
- Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Madrid – Rembrandt aficionados, don’t miss this virtual visit of an exhibition dedicated to the portraiture of the prolific Dutch painter and his fellow Amsterdam artists.
- State Hermitage, St. Petersburg – Courtesy of Apple’s YouTube channel you can take a five-hour journey through 45 galleries, 588 masterpieces, and live performances in this iconic past palace.
- Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. – Learn about presidents and first ladies, entertainers, and activists who helped shape the course of American history and culture on these Google Arts & Culture pages.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. – Study the elegant and elaborate attire worn by American ladies in the 18th– and 19th-centuries in Fashioning a Nation, a visual archive of watercolor renderings
- High Museum of Art, Atlanta – The High’s important collection of photographs from the Civil Rights Movement including Rosa Park’s arrest and Freedom Rides document the fight against racial segregation.
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – If you can’t wait until space travel is open to regular (if wealthy) people, you’ll enjoy the virtual gallery Space City celebrating humankind’s fascination with space and exploration.
8 Movies That will Take You There
Just because we can’t go right now doesn’t mean we’re going to stop thinking about travel and dreaming of our next trip! Here’s a few of my all-time favorite movies that whisk me right to another place.
Out of Africa – This emotional love story set in Kenya during the early 1900s gives insight into the history of British colonial rule and showcases the breathtaking scenery of the country.
Doctor Zhivago – A sweeping epic set during the Bolshevik Revolution, this cinematic masterpiece goes from the grandeur of Czarist palaces to the snow-covered Siberian countryside as the star-crossed lovers are caught in the destruction.
Murder on the Orient Express – Both the original (1974) and the remake (2017) will make you want to take a glamourous long-distance train trip – except for the murder.
Under the Tuscan Sun – This female-empowering story of a woman making a new life in Italy is a favorite ‘chick-flick’ with a gorgeous Tuscan backdrop.
The Motorcycle Diaries – On a road trip past famous Latin American landmarks and through the Andes Mountains this story follows Che Guevara’s memoir as he became a political activist.
Up in the Air – You may envy your neighbor who flies all the time for work, but the poignant story of George Clooney’s road warrior character might make you think twice.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – When a handful of retired Brits meet at a run-down hotel in India, they comically learn how meaningful travel is at any age.
Crazy Rich Asians – You may not have entree into the old-money elite of Singapore, but you can see some of the city’s best sights as you watch their madcap extravagances.
5 Ways to Virtually Visit the Natural World
When schools are closed, parents need to find creative ways to keep the kids learning. These virtual tours of magnificent vistas and cute animals enrich and engage so you can stave off cabin fever.
- National Park Tours – Blogging team Totally the Bomb has curated 33 National Park tours you can take virtually from the comfort of your own home. The Google Earth interactive videos allow you to virtually visit some of America’s most treasured landscapes.
- Cincinnati Zoo – Animal lovers of all ages will love this offering, but parents homeschooling their kids will appreciate the Home Safari series published on the Zoo website. The 15-minute lessons, including activities you can do from home are fun and educational.
- Virtual Farm Tours – The American Dairy Association hosts three different farm tours on YouTube. Tours are geared to elementary, middle, and high school kids.
- Virtual Field Trips – The Nature Conservancy offers its Nature Works Everywhere collection of videos hosted by PBS Learning Media. To help engage kids, they also provide Teachers’ Guides to accompany the virtual field trips.
- Aerial Tours – Take a virtual journey around the world withAirPano’s amazing collection of 360° photos and 360° video. Discover the world from the air as you’ve never seen before.
We are all frustrated and saddened that our physical travel is on hold, but it will come back. Until then, use these online options to travel virtually and dream about your next trip. When you’re ready to put those dreams into action, Covington will be here to help. Stay healthy!