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This is How You Can Virtually Tour National Parks & Historic Sites

This is How You Can Virtually Tour National Parks & Historic Sites

The National Parks Service and Google Earth provide access to national parks virtual tours

If you’ve already watched live streams of zoos and aquariums, virtually visited museums in NYC and around the world, found your way out of some virtual escape rooms, and ridden some virtual roller coasters, there’s even more virtual fun you can have: national parks virtual tours. That’s right. You can now hike through the Rocky Mountains, watch brown bears hunt for food, and deep-sea dive the coral reefs all from the comfort of your own home. Virtual tours and online resources like Google Earth have made it possible for people to learn about and explore the country’s most beautiful national parks while still maintaining social distancing measures.  

These are just some of the coolest virtual tours of national parks and historic sites that are available with just the click of a button. 

National Historic Site Virtual Tours

Clara Barton National Historic Site - Glen Echo, MD
As the founder and first president of the Red Cross, Clara Barton is one of the most honored women in U.S history. In this interactive experience, you will explore what was Barton’s home for the last 15 years of her life, the national headquarters of the American Red Cross, a dormitory for staff, and a warehouse for relief supplies, all while hearing Barton narrate in her own words. 

Hamilton Grange National Memorial - New York, NY 
Join actor Jordan Fisher, who was in Hamilton on Broadway as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in 2016, on a prerecorded tour of Hamilton Grange, the final home of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Get an inside look at the rooms of Hamilton Grange, from Hamilton’s dining room to his personal study. 

National Parks Virtual Tours

Channel Islands National Park - Ventura, CA
Not the best swimmer? You can still watch the marine life live and up close from the landing cove on Anacapa Island. Dive in the sea and explore the rich and diverse marine life of five remote islands off the coast of California. There are nearly 1,000 different documented species in the Channel Islands so far…see how many you can find! 

Crater Lake National Park - Klamath County, OR
This national park was created by a volcanic eruption, and is now home to the deepest lake in the U.S. In this interactive 360 degree video, you can experience a guided tour of the park from your own computer or mobile phone. 

Katmai National Park and Preserve - King Salmon, AK
Covering millions of acres, Katmai National Park and Preserve protects the vast habitat of salmon and thousands of brown bears. Take your pick between three bear cams, and watch as brown bears hunt for salmon on The Riffles cam. 

Statue of Liberty National Monument - New York, NY
Do you find yourself missing overcrowded New York City tourist attractions? While you may not be able to tour the symbolic monument with 100 people by your side, visit Lady Liberty and enjoy the view of the New York City skyline with this live webcam.

Yellowstone National Park - runs through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
Watch a livestream of Yellowstone’s famous Old Faithful Geyser, in addition to eight other static webcams of the park, from home. You can also take a closer look at the park’s other geysers with an overview of the Geyser Basin and 3-D Models.

National Parks Virtual Tours on Google Earth

Google Earth gives access to over 30 virtual tours, allowing you to travel between various national parks with ease. You can use your cursor to adjust the images and travel interactively, as if you are walking through the parks yourself. While there are several parks to choose from, here are a few of the most unique online touring opportunities available. 

Canyonlands National Park - Moab, UT
Overlook the scenic Colorado River and watch the sunrise through the famous Mesa Arch with this virtual experience. 

Death Valley National Park - Death Valley, CA
This virtual tour gives you a closer look at Rhyolite, Death Valley’s most popular ghost town, which has been popularly used as a Hollywood movie set. Visit the park’s most notable landmarks, including Badwater Basin, North America’s lowest point, and Titus Canyon, a ghost town with vibrant rocks. 

Joshua Tree National Park - Twentynine Palms, CA
Travel through the rugged rocks and vast desert landscapes of Joshua Tree National park on Google Maps. Hike through the Cholla Cactus Garden, peruse the Barker Dam and enjoy the breathtaking Key’s View, all without breaking a sweat. 

Rocky Mountain National Park - Estes Park, CO
Explore the Colorado park that includes protected mountains, forests, and alpine tundras. This Google Earth tour enables you to visit high altitudes, no hike necessary! 

Virgin Islands National Park - St John, U.S Virgin Islands
Trek through the 3-mile Reef Bay Trail and visit Trunk Bay’s gorgeous white sand beaches at this Virgin Islands landmark. 

Main image: A screenshot of the Hamilton Grange National Memorial virtual tour, hosted by actor Jordan Fisher

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Jamie Fischer

Author: Jamie Fischer is an editorial intern for Davler Media Group/NYMetroParents. She is a rising sophomore at Lehigh University, and enjoys playing tennis and spending time outdoors with her friends. See More

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