7 Entertaining—and Unique—Virtual Experiences to Try Right Now
Running out of things to do? The world is right at your fingertips.
Got a bad case of wanderlust? Yeah, us too. The crippling boredom might be starting to sink in, but don't worry, because there's a whole world out there to explore. You won’t get to venture to new places in the physical sense, but virtual tours let you get pretty close—without the extensive fees and scheduling nightmares that usually come with travel. If you’ve already exhausted all the virtual workouts and concert options out there, here are seven of the most unusual offerings out there that you can mentally teleport to—all from the comfort of your own couch.
We can all use a happy hour (or two) right now. Luckily, Buttonwood Grove Winery (which won the 2017 Governor’s Cup for Best Wine in New York) is bringing its tasting room straight to your house every Friday at 4 p.m. with its “Virtual Happy Hour” on Facebook Live. Every episode will feature guided tastings of different Buttonwood Grove wines. So you can share the experience, the winery is encouraging viewers to taste along by offering a 10 percent discount on flat rate shipping for six or more bottles, along with the standard 10 percent off bottles discount.
If exploring is more your speed, Buffalo Trace Distillery has also launched a virtual distillery tour (with trivia!) for at-home viewers to experience the world’s most award-winning distillery. There will be four different tours for people to choose from, including an inside look at how whiskey is made and warehouses packed with aging bourbon barrels.
Winchester Mystery House
The notorious Winchester mansion, formerly owned by Sarah Winchester, is allegedly one of the most haunted sites in the world. That being said, no spirits can be seen in this virtual tour. However, people who partake will certainly feel the spooky vibe with its over 200 dizzying rooms, 10,000 windows, trap doors, spy holes, and a whole host of other architectural oddities.
Japanese cherry blossom garden
Got the indoor blues? Try a dose of nature immersion to lift your spirits. The four-hundred year old Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima is allowing people to take a virtual stroll inside their intricately designed space, filled with lush greenery, winding paths, and quaint bridges. Walk across the Koko-kyo Bridge, medidate next to bonsais and koi ponds, explore the picturesque cherry blossoms, and “sit” on tatami flooring inside the Seifukan Tea House with sprawling floor-to-ceiling views.
Walk through tropical waters and the icy tundra in this floor-by-floor tour of the National Baltimore Aquarium. The famous aquarium will be live-streaming its Blacktip Reef, Jellies Invasion, and Pacific Coral Reef exhibits. Viewers can zoom in, zoom out, and toggle the cameras around as they experience the vast waters.
The White House
Thanks to Google Arts and Culture, you can enjoy a walk through the most famous residence in the U.S. online. Yep, the White House is offering a peek inside its walls, including the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office, the Secretary of War suite, and the library. Once you’re done perusing the historical artwork housed inside (coupled with interesting historical facts about everything you see), wrap up your experience by standing outside on the White House lawn.
Art museum tour
A handful of museums are offering virtual tours of their halls during this time (see: Musée d’Orsay, Vatican Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History). One of the most memorable walkthroughs comes from the Louvre, which is providing free online tours of some of its most important and popular exhibits (including Egyptian Antiquities and works from Michelangelo). Take a gander through the iconic halls through the 360-degree function, and click around the rare artifacts to get additional information on their histories.
The infamous catacombs have been the inspiration for many horror movies, and it’s not hard to see why. The network of subterranean tunnels are lined with human corpses from over six million Parisians. If your Europe trip was canceled—or you haven’t been able to pluck up the courage to go underground—this virtual tour is a good way to ease into the mysterious territory. Fair warning: even if it’s virtual, this experience is not for the squeamish.