Five gorgeous US National Parks are just a click away…
Where would we be without virtual tours right now? Lockdown boredom has been at least partially alleviated with the help of online explorations, which have let us wander the paths of the stunning city of Petra, see the sights of London, explore famous art galleries of the world, and mosey around Greenwich’s mesmerising Painted Hall. Now, there’s even more to explore, as you can virtually sightsee at some of the most breathtaking US National Parks. (Featured image: @brycecanyonnps_gov)
Five National Parks from across the USA are now ripe for exploration on Google Arts & Culture, who’ve created 360-degree video tours of each park. It’s high-production stuff, too, with a swish video intro setting the scene, and a park ranger on hand to walk you through the most dramatic landscapes, historical landmarks, and beautiful bits of each park. Here’s where you can explore!
1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Ancient, subterranean Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a glorious quirk of geology, and easy to explore from the comfort of your armchair. Maybe one to avoid if you’re not a fan of bats, though. You can join the tour here.
2. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Mountains, glaciers, lagoons – all can be found on a tour of Kenai Fjords National Park, tucked up near the Arctic Circle. It’s dramatic stuff, and will probably have you itching to explore crevasses and mountain peaks by the end. Take the tour here.
3. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
The explosive option! Hawaii is quite unlike anywhere else in the US, especially since Kilauea – the world’s most active volcano – can be found here. From lush vegetation to bare volcanic rock, the sweeping landscapes are a must-see. Join a tour here.
4. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Towering red rock pillars are the hallmark of Bryce Canyon National Park, so you won’t be short of dramatic landscapes here. The intrigue continues when the sun goes down, too, as the park is home to some of the darkest skies in the US, making it perfect for stargazing. Take part in the tour here.
5. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Bit of a misnomer, is this one – for only about 1% of Dry Tortugas National Park is on dry land, part of an old Civil War fort built in the far south of the US. The rest lies beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and happily you’ll be able to explore it without the need for a bathing suit! Join the tour here.
Feeling inspired? Why not plan a post-pandemic trip to the UK’s National Parks, with our handy roundup of all fifteen spots.
Also published on Medium.