Tour the World from your Home

Sat. February 12, 2000 12:00 AM by Robin Nobles

As expensive as it is to travel these days, most of us don't have the opportunity to visit places that we've always wanted to see. But did you know that you can take virtual tours of museums, exhibits, and tourist attractions in cities from around the world-all in front of your computer screen?

We'll begin at Virtual Tours, which offers a collection of over 300 tours of places worldwide. As it says at the site, "Travel and visit the Smithsonian to museums in Paris and St. Petersburg all in one day." Have you always wanted to go to Amsterdam? What about Vatican City? Would you like to tour the White House?

Have you ever thought about touring magnificent Gothic cathedrals from around the world? At, you can do just that without packing a single suitcase. View pictures of the Tympanum Cathedral of St. Lazare Autun, France, or take a tour of Westminster Abbey in London. This impressive website will keep you occupied for hours. /

Now here's an interesting site. A 6th grade class from Amman, Jordan, studied the Middle Ages and went on field trips to crusader castles in Jordan, then researched the causes and history of the crusades. At their website, Crusades: A View from Jordan, you can take virtual field trips to three castles in Aqaba, Shobak, and Ajlun. For classes that are studying the Middle Ages, this site will provide a wealth of information.

A slightly different approach to virtual tours is The Virtual Field Trips Site. Would you like to watch "fierce creatures" in their natural habitat? Would you like to see what it's really like at the bottom of the ocean? This site offers field trips that are designed to teach, while at the same time, are just plain fun!

At the World Famous San Diego Zoo, you can see the animals and take virtual tours of their featured exhibits. Visit the Giant Panda Research Station to meet Bai Yun and Shi Shi, two giant pandas. View their outdoor play area, or read fact sheets about the animals. Or, visit the Zoo's Wild Animal Park and take a cyber-safari!

Would you like to visit Le Louvre, the home of the Mona Lisa? Learn the history of this famous museum, or take a virtual tour of its facilities.

Finally, for an extensive listing of science museums, visit Yahoo! Science: Museums and Exhibits, where you can visit the Franklin Institute Science Museum, the San Francisco Exploratorium, or the Smithsonian Institute.

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