15 Virtual Walking Trails Around the World That You Can Experience from Home
There's a new way to travel without ever leaving your house. These immersive videos deliver new landscapes and a fresh perspective, all while transporting you to iconic destinations: Canadian glacier lakes, the Pyramids of Egypt, bustling international cities, and the tropical shores of Hawaii.
If there's one thing 2020 has taught us, it's to expect the unexpected. For people around the world, that means embracing a new kind of summer vacation. With social distancing regulations still in effect, camps have gone virtual and the vast majority of travelers have had to think outside the box to come up with safe, family-friendly destinations. No matter where you live, chances are, there are local options, from beaches and lakefronts to hiking trails and bike paths, to satisfy your desire to do something a little different. But what if you want to expand your horizons the way you might have if travel restrictions were never put in place?
Traveling isn't just fun—numerous studies tout the many proven health benefits of jetting off to see the world. In one study, researchers found that even a long weekend away had positive effects on stress levels for as long as 45 days. Interestingly, studies suggest that even just the act of planning a vacation can promote happiness.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to—safely—step outside of those four walls that have been providing your refuge and experience something truly unique. These virtual walking trails and tours, all available for streaming on YouTube, can be viewed in a variety of ways—from an exercise machine, from your phone, or on the big screen while lounging on your couch—but all have one thing in common: They'll transport you to majestic new locales, from the pyramids of Egypt to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, and satisfy your wanderlust (at least for the time being) and maybe help inform your next real trip.
Hawaiian Kuliouou Ridge Trail in Hawaii
Take a nearly two-hour stroll through the Hawaiian forest past lush vegetation, including sweeping trees and moss-covered rocks, while taking in the ambient sounds of leaves rustling and birds chirping.
Moraine Lake in Banff, Canada
Witness some of what Banff National Park has to offer, including steel blue glacier lakes, towering evergreens, and larger-than-life mountain ranges as far as the eye can see.
Mannlichen Switzerland Mountains in Switzerland
Enjoy an easy, but beautiful stroll through the Swiss Alps, high above the village of Grindelwald. You'll spot three famous peaks, including Eiger, Monche, and Jungfrau, plus take in environmental sounds, like Alpen cows.
New York City, New York
If you've never been to the Big Apple, now is your chance to see all five boroughs in one afternoon. Through this 3 1/2-hour tour, you'll get to take in all the biggest sights, including Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, and more.
Tunnel of Love in Klevan, Ukraine
Soak in a hefty dose of greenery in a three-hour tour of one of the most romantic locales in the world. During this unique experience, you'll be enveloped in a corridor of entwined trees and shrubs that line an old railway track.
The Pyramids of Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt
Take a walking tour through some of the most famous pyramids in Egypt. The nearly two-hour journey takes you from the Mortuary Temple of Khafre, passing other iconic landmarks, such as the pyramids of Khafre, Khufu, and Menkaure, before ending at the Sphinx.
For a different kind of experience, take a walk through one of the most famous parts of Tokyo under the night sky. You'll be mesmerized by the architecture and the bustling metropolitan area.
Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru
Hike one of the wonders of the world in a shortened version of the typically four-day trek. As you ascend to the historic site via the Incan Trail, you'll take in sweeping views of the mountain range and vistas below, all while exploring ancient ruins.
South Kaibab Trail at the Grand Canyon, Arizona
Hike one of the signature walking paths at one of America's most awe-inspiring sites. The walk, which takes you through the south rim of the canyon, offers sweeping vistas of red rock and mountainous landscape at every twist and turn.
Nambung National Park in Nambung, Australia
Experience what looks like an entirely different planet as you walk through the desert down under. This unique locale, called the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park (an area just northwest of Perth), is full of red sand and otherworldly limestone formations everywhere you look.
Hoover Dam in Boulder City, Nevada
History buffs will enjoy a leisurely stroll through the tunnels that made it possible to construct this massive feat of human ingenuity. You'll also enjoy reservoir views and traditional aspects of the Nevada desert, including red sandstone.
Appalachian Trail in North Carolina
In this 60-minute virtual walk, you'll tour two scenic sections of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina. Highlights include lush greenery, towering boulders, and quick pit stops through quaint Americana towns.
Godrevy Lighthouse in Cornwall, England
Take in the beautiful coastal scenery of Cornwall as you walk 3 1/2 miles from the North Cliffs to the main attraction: the Godrevy Lighthouse. Along the way, you'll stop in at Mutton Cove to catch a glimpse of a natural seal colony.
The Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah
Experience one of the most popular hikes at Zion National Park. It'll take you along the Virgin River at the bottom of a sandstone canyon that's walls tower thousands of feet above.
If you have an hour to spare, see all that this magical city on water has to offer, from the canals at sunset to famous plazas and bustling marketplaces. It's a relaxing and romantic cultural immersion.