By Kelli Drummer-Avendano

This summer is sure to be one we’ll never forget, but most likely not because of all the exciting trips we’ll be taking. Most of us will be making the best of our vacation time in our own backyards. Luckily, through the magic of virtual travel we have the world at our fingertips. By simply clicking a link, you can be transported thousands of miles away to different time zones without the jet lag! So while there’s no substitute for a real life voyage, here are some places you can travel while lounging on your patio.

1. Machu Picchu, Peru              

One of the most famous landmarks in South America, Machu Picchu is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. On this virtual tour by youvisit.com, you’ll not only be immersed in majesty of the Andes Mountains, but you’ll learn the history behind this ancient Incan city.

2. Château of the Loire Valley, France 

https://www.airpano.com/360photo/Loire-Chateaux-France-3/

If the romance of Old World Europe is more what you’re looking for then let yourself be transported to a medieval castle in France. The Château de Langeais dates back to the 10th century, but was mostly destroyed during the Hundred Years’ War. It was rebuilt in the 15th century, and now you can appreciate this towering historic masterpiece by taking the 360-degree photographic tour.

3. The Royal Academy of Arts, London

(Image credit: Royal Academy of Arts)
https://www.techradar.com/best/virtual-tours-museums-national-parks-around-the-world

Visit

For some true art inspiration you can hop across the pond to the Royal Academy of Arts in London to see the Sensing Spaces exhibit. This amazing architectural display offers virtual visits with in-depth information and 360-degree photography to make you feel as if you’re really there surrounded by the art.

4. Iguazu Falls, Argentina-Brazil

https://www.airpano.com/360photo/Brasil-Argentina-Iguazu-Falls-2012/

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime when you visit the largest waterfall in the world. Iguazu Falls, located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, is actually made up of 275 different falls spread over several large islands. After taking this tour, which includes panoramas from a helicopter, you’ll be booking an in-person visit as soon as possible.

5. Barcelona, Spain

Can you believe that the construction of La Sagrada Familia Cathedral began in 1882 and is still not complete? Experience this ever-changing masterpiece while taking a tour of one of the most popular destinations in Europe: Barcelona, Spain. During the virtual tour of the city by Sygic Travel, you’ll see uniquely designed parks, beautiful beaches, and plazas bustling with people.

6. Congo River, Democratic Republic of Congo

Looking for something a little more exotic? Try the African rainforest of the DRC. Come along on this virtual trip produced by the BBC to get up close with critically endangered gorillas and be immersed in the lush vegetation of the jungle. You’ll also learn more about the problems and solutions found in one of the most resourcefully rich countries in the world.

7. Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

Nothing can compare to seeing the grandeur of the Sistine Chapel up close and personal, even if you’re not physically in the building. Imagine describing Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam to your friends as you brag about your personal tour of this singular example of High Renaissance.

8. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

If riding horseback through a captivating canyon is on your bucket list, you have to check out the virtual tour of Bryce Canyon National Park presented by Google Arts & Culture. Gaze up at the brilliant night sky, listen to the soothing sounds of the canyon, and learn about the colossal hoodoos that change over time.

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