Some of the best-loved attractions are opening again, as the planet searches for the “new normal.” Others are still closed or have restrictions in place. Thanks to modern technology, you can take a virtual visit to all 50 US states. So without further ado, here is every US state’s top virtual attraction.
Every US State’s Top Virtual Attraction
Alabama: The Birmingham Zoo
Birmingham Zoo’s Virtual Zoo is great for kids (of all ages.) The selection of behind-the-scenes videos offered here is entertaining and educational. From training red pandas and a sheep weigh-in to a typical day in the life of a veterinarian, you’ll learn lots of fun facts. There are also accompanying activities and curriculum for different grade levels.
Alaska: Kenai Fjords National Park Tour
Take a virtual tour of popular Kenai Fjords National Park. It’s an exceptional and obviously inexpensive way to explore this rather remote area of the US from the comfort of your very own couch. Watch a great glacier recede, go kayaking through icebergs, and rappel into a crevasse as you get to know this national park.
Arizona: The Grand Canyon
The great Grand Canyon is Arizona’s biggest tourist attraction. While not everyone can hike the canyon from rim to rim as yours truly once did, anyone can take a virtual field trip here. You can choose between exploring this incredible natural wonder without a guide, discover different unique locations along the mighty Colorado River or find out more about the various layers of this stunning canyon.
Arkansas: The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
No need to leave home to immerse yourself in art. You can step into the artwork and enjoy a 360-degree view thanks to this museum in Bentonville. Gallop through galleries and soar over rooftops to ogle architecture amidst 120 acres of the well-known Ozarks. Don’t miss Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room either!
California: El Capitan
Scale incredible El Capitan in Yosemite National Park as part of an adventurous virtual journey. You can visit this lofty landmark in the company of a trio of professional mountain climbers. Experience the view from one of the most famous summits in the world. If Muhammad can’t go to the mountain, the mountain must go to Muhammad.
Colorado: The Rocky Mountains National Park
Take a digital trek through the Rocky Mountains and take in a virtual breath of fresh mountain air right in your living room. Your hike will take you to such scenic sites, Chasm Lake, Milner Pass, and several super overlooks. You can even stop anywhere along the way and explore the area on your own.
Connecticut: Mystic Seaport Museum
The Mystic Seaport Museum’s YouTube channel is great for those into maritime history. You can choose from several different videos including boat building demonstrations, tying knots, and lessons on how to read the night sky. Be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes tours too and see such non-public museum areas as the Watercraft Hall.
Delaware: The Winterthur Museum, Garden And Library
Situated in the former residence of Henry Francis du Pont, this place features a number of artifacts and antiques connected to the cultural heritage and history of the USA. You get a look at this attraction via a noteworthy series of four-minute Facebook videos in which curators lead you throughout the property.
Florida: Dry Tortugas National Park
Take a virtual dive on an imaginary tropical trip where you can swim in the world’s third-largest barrier reef and a shipwreck in Dry Tortugas. Since most of this national park is underwater, you’ll spend most of this virtual visit under the sea. Later, you can tour the Civil War fortress, Fort Jefferson.
Georgia: The Georgia Aquarium
Everyone enjoys observing animals. Does it ever get old? We think not! This is not only educational but downright fun too.
So settle back and choose between the funny African penguins, the cute California sea lions, or the nasty piranhas. (Got time? See them all!) You can check out the aquarium’s informative animal album as well.
Hawaii: The Volcanoes National Park
Even when enjoyed virtually, this remote US destination in the island state of Hawaii offers a unique experience when it comes to the wonders of nature. Here you can get a gander at the unspoiled beauty that still exists here. Explore a lava tube, fly over an actual active volcano, and gaze out over the various volcanic cliffs too.
Idaho: A Wild Adventure
Idaho actually includes an assortment of natural attractions. Look at their handy playlist of hits one can experience in the Gem State. Here you can go base jumping, rafting on the Payette River, zip-lining through the famous Snake River Canyon, and kayaking to shining Shoshone Falls all from the relative safety of your own living room.
Illinois: The Art Institute Of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the country’s largest and oldest art museums. You can explore the collection of incredible exhibits and artworks virtually. Whether it’s Monet’s Water Lilies, the iconic American Gothic, or other works by Cézanne, Dali, and even Warhol. You can also take the popular tour of the El Greco exhibition.
Indiana: The French Lick Resort
Experience a spa weekend getaway with the French Lick Resort’s virtual tours and be taken away like Calgon to the West Baden Springs. You arrive at one of the nation’s most historic hotels through the attractive atrium then check-in in the lobby. Check out the library and relax at the indoor pool.
Iowa: The Museum Of Danish America
Iowa is home to several historic Danish settlements. In the village of Elk Horn, you’ll find the Museum of Danish America. This museum offers online observers what some have called one of the country’s “best and most comprehensive virtual tours.” It covers everything from the original Danish settlers to LEGO and the new Nordic cuisine.
If you love beautiful flowers, the people at Wichita Gardens can certainly deliver. Marty Miller, the executive director, has uploaded a full arrangement of online videos, featuring the beautiful blooms of the cherry trees, a tiptoe through the tulips, the striking yellow magnolias, and more. You can also take tours of the garden, and watch their live feed.
Kentucky: Kentucky Derby Museum
The famous Kentucky Derby is one of the world’s most historic horse races. Its racy story is best documented at the well-known Kentucky Derby Museum. (It’s the perfect place for the horsey set.) So saddle up and get ready to virtually saunter through the museum online, and watch videos that come complete with expert equine commentary.
Louisiana: New Orleans
Have you had to cancel a recent trip to New Orleans? Don’t stress. You can still experience the Big Easy virtually. You can tour the world-famous city’s most popular sites, including bustling Bourbon Street and the friendly French Market. There’s even a special tour that’s perfect for kids that focuses on the city’s relationship with voodoo.
Maine: Acadia National Park
Take a digital hike through attractive Acadia National Park. The journey begins at pretty Precipice Trailhead. Then explore some of the most scenic sections of this national park. See Cadillac Mountain, and watch waves crash upon the rocks at Thunder Hole. End your virtual visit with a serene seaside stroll along the Ocean Path Trailhead.
Maryland: Baltimore’s National Aquarium
Enjoy a virtual tour of one of the state’s most popular attractions. It offers eight individual areas to explore from Pacific Coral Reef to Shark Alley. Find out more about numerous individual animals and their natural habitats recreated. Be sure to see the live exhibit cams which focus on jellyfish, rays, reef fish, and sharks.
Massachusetts: The Museum Of Fine Arts
Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts holds over 450,000 works. It is one of the country’s most comprehensive art museums. Google Arts & Culture allows you to tour this massive museum from home. Be sure to browse a bit through its distinctive digitalized collection before you virtually enter the popular museum itself.
Michigan: Detroit’s Michigan History Museum
The immersive virtual tour of this museum will take you through five floors of exhibits. You will also learn more about the history of the state from its first residents, the Anishinaabe, to some time in the 1950s. Topics include the Civil War, Michigan mining, and the birth and growth of the automotive industry here.
Minnesota: Glensheen Historic Estate
Before taking the tour of gorgeous Glensheen Historic Estate in Duluth, you can enhance the virtual experience through the luxurious rooms by printing out the accompanying informative book or downloading the Glensheen app which will help you learn some of the more distinctive details about the rooms here in this historic home.
Mississippi: Virtual River Cruise
Have you ever been on a river cruise? If you’re considering doing so, try taking this virtual trip first. See the scenery from the sunny sun deck, down a drink in the popular sky lounge, then rest in a suite. Just imagine yourself navigating the Mississippi River from your sofa. Mark Twain would be so jealous.
Missouri: Kansas City’s Fountains
If you didn’t know that this city is nicknamed The City of Fountains, then you should definitely take this virtual tour. It has over 200 fountains, and this tour focuses on seven of these watery landmarks. Perhaps the highlight here is the impressive Henry Wollman Bloch Fountain, designed by the folks who built Las Vegas’ Bellagio fountains.
Montana: The Glacier National Park
Google Earth can provide you with the escape you just might be so desperately craving. Indeed, some say that there is no better place to virtually go than this remote national park. Go hiking amongst the tall red cedar trees, kayak on lovely Lake McDonald, take in the view at the difficult-to-reach Bird Woman Falls.
Nebraska: State Capitol And Governor’s Residence
You can choose between two virtual tours on two historic landmarks found in the state capital of Lincoln. Take the comprehensive tour of the state capitol building complete with infoboxes, then move on to the Governor’s Residence and see all the exquisite interiors.
Nevada: Las Vegas
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what about what happens when you visit SIn City and the surrounding areas virtually? On this virtual tour, you’ll see many of the Strip’s most famous sights. Don’t forget that there’s a lot for non-gamblers to do too. There are even family-friendly attractions there. After Vegas, you can see the Red Rock Canyonlands.
New Hampshire: The Children’s Museum Of New Hampshire
Looking for things to do with your kids? Take a virtual tour of the popular Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and mix fun with at-home learning. The tour covers several different subjects from puzzles to dinosaurs and you’ll also have access to a lot of online learning resources.
New Jersey: Virtual Zoo School
The people at the Cape May County Zoo now have a virtual zoo school where you can learn about a new animal every single day. Thus far this zoo has included African lions, American bison, cheetahs, owls, and more. You can go to the zoo’s Facebook page or website and see videos there as well.
New Mexico: The Carlsbad Caverns
Are you a little claustrophobic but have always wondered above caves? Now, you can explore them virtually. Take this tour of Carlsbad Caverns and get a glimpse deep inside both the caverns. See the fantastic formations covering the walls and ceilings of the caves. Put on a virtual headlamp and hike through one of the caves after you go flying with the thousands of bats that call the place home.
New York: American Museum Of Natural History
This virtual tour is not only educational but also, exciting, and eye-opening. After all, this museum is one of the planet’s leading educational and scientific institutions. On your trip through 45 exhibition halls, you will meet a blue whale, a T-Rex, and see a cross-section of a giant sequoia.
North Carolina: Wilmington
Are you overdue for a seaside escape? Check out virtually. This immersive 360°-journey provides viewers with a real bird’s eye view of the city and includes numerous tour videos of such attractions as the historic downtown area and the battleship, North Carolina. Then fly over Kur Beach or the Carolina Beach boardwalk.
North Dakota: The Great Plains In Jamestown
Jamestown is the home of the largest buffalo monument in the world. You can see the National Buffalo Museum, the Frontier Village, and both the 1883 Historic Stutsman Courtroom and Courthouse. You can even see everything on this tour in 3D if you own a VR headset.
Ohio: National Museum Of The United States Air Force
This virtual tour is reportedly well-designed. Here you will walk through the front doors of the National Museum of the USAF and be able to see the whole museum. Arrows lead you to all the exhibits including multiple planes utilized during the Korean War and a decommissioned Air Force One.
Oklahoma: The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
See this museum’s impressive collection online. Prior to taking the tour, be sure to see the various virtual exhibits. Two favorites of online travel writers are the American Rodeo Gallery and the exhibit on the American artist Charles M. Russell. Then check out the museum itself.
Oregon: The Oregon State Capitol
Your exploration of this breathtaking building and its distinctive décor. Learn about the state seal at the rotunda. The interesting accompanying audio guide will take you to both the House and the Senate chambers and explain what goes on there. There are videos about the legislative process as well.
Pennsylvania: The Battle Of Gettysburg
Gettysburg is one of the most important historical landmarks in the country. This virtual tour allows you to follow in the footsteps of different Civil War soldiers and discover more about different historic spots including Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, and Culp’s Hill. The tour even includes info boxes that help to guide you.
Rhode Island: The Historic Newport Mansions
This well-known seaside city nestled in Narragansett Bay is famous for its sailing history, and its historic mansions. Go to the Newport Mansions website – a site run by a preservation society that protects the local architectural history – and take the virtual tours of a few of the luxurious local mansions.
South Carolina: The Governor’s Mansion
This mansion harkens back to the 1850s. The Palmetto State’s official first family has lived on this memorable property since the year 1869. You can virtually walk through this beautiful manse and see the silverware, the paintings, and more. Be sure to pay attention to the general historic detail.
South Dakota: The Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Have you seen Mount Rushmore yet? If not, this virtual experience is perfect for you. On this tour, you can visit its lookouts, and pathways and, more importantly, get up close and personal with these carved portraits of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
Thanks to Google Earth, you can enjoy a virtual visit to the famous Music City. Your trip begins in the downtown area. See the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Tennessee State Capitol. Learn about the city’s relationship to honky-tonk music and stroll through both Midtown and Southern Nashville.
Texas: Johnson Space Center Houston
Arguably one of the country’s top space museums, it now offers an impressive virtual exhibition on Apollo 13. It features historic pictures, videos, and even stories from the actual crew. You can learn about the mission that is now known as a “successful failure”, and see actual artifacts from Apollo 13.
Utah: Bryce Canyon
Take an exhilarating virtual journey in Bryce Canyon and see more than its red rock formations. Enjoy a virtual horseback ride through this stone jungle and all its hoodoos. Be sure to look into the night sky too. You might see the Milky Way. This trek is highly recommended by those in the know.
Vermont: The Vermont State House
The virtual tour of the Vermont State House will let you explore all of its important places. It was erected in 1833 and was carefully and caringly restored in the 1980s. Veteran virtual visitors confirm that the building’s Greek Revival exterior is quite impressive and that the structure’s interiors are nothing short of opulent.
Virginia: Mount Vernon
This was the home of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Today it’s a museum where one can learn of the life of Washington and to a lesser extent, how Americans lived in the late 1700s. The virtual tour not only leads you through the estate’s buildings but also shows you the interiors.
Washington: Olympic National Park
Explore the great outdoors of Olympic National Park virtually! The impressive scenery might make you forget you’re still home. See serene Rialto Beach, complete with pieces of driftwood and random rocks. Next, go hiking on the trails that run through the Hoh Rain Forest. Finally, end your imaginative adventure at magnificent Marymere Falls.
West Virginia: Blenko Glass
Blenko Glass is well-known for its unique hand-blown glass. The business gained its fame when it was chosen to work on the stunning stained-glass windows of New York City’s renowned St Patrick’s Cathedral. You can check out the informative video resource, that outlines how the company designs, creates and shapes the glass into numerous objects.
Wisconsin: The Wisconsin State Capitol
Be sure to take the virtual tour of this stunning state capitol too. It focuses mainly on the memorable rotunda and includes interesting information on the superb central mural as well as other artistic tidbits about this beautiful building in the lovely lakeside metropolis of Madison.
Wyoming: The Upper Geyser Basin
Last but not least, we have Wyoming’s top virtual attraction. Virtually hike through the Upper Geyser Basin in one of the most famous US national parks, Yellowstone. On this tour, you will learn more about the geology, wildlife, and overall make-up of the park. You’ll even get a closer look at a few of Yellowstone’s most popular landmarks, such as Old Faithful.