Has spending weeks of being cooped-up at home increased your wanderlust? That’s the case for many of us in the COVID-era. And while some local restrictions are beginning to ease, most travel remains difficult at the least, and in most cases prohibited. Luckily, many locations worldwide have webcams offering views of locations that provide a refreshing change of (virtual!) scenery.
U.S. National Parks
Most of the parks in the National Park Service system offer at least one webcam location. The NPS website offers a complete webcam listing, along with search capabilities. In many cases, you are able to get up close and personal with wildlife in ways that would not be possible in person. One personal favorite is the underwater Live Ocean Webcam at the Channel Islands, offering not just beautiful marine life, but also cool ocean sounds.
If you (or the kiddos) have an interest in animal cuteness, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo has several vantage points offering live webcams. Don’t miss the “ahh-worthy” Black-Footed Ferret Cam where you can see 24-hour footage of mommy Potpie and her litter of newborn kits. The zookeepers themselves use this cam to monitor the adorable new family.
The wind in your hair and toes in the sand might sound like the perfect prescription to lift your ailing spirits. And there aren’t more places better for a beach-break than the Hawaiian Islands. For a little peace and tranquility, Poipu Beach in Kauai might be just the spot. And if the cost of an ocean view room at the Grand Wailea in Maui would normally break the vacay budget, enjoy the same view of stunning Wailea Beach from the hotel’s perfectly-positioned webcam. Mai-Tai optional!
Are the mountains more your vibe? Your favorite ski resort most likely has cameras positioned both on mountain and in village. You can glimpse the expansive views of the Canadian Rockies in a fun interactive way from the Banff Gondola. Travel from spot to spot with the mere click of a mouse.
If spring has not fully sprung in your location (or even if it has!), check out the beautiful Cambridge University Botanic Gardens in the UK. Of special interest is their weekly Wellness Wander, where you will be led on an up-close and personal tour by one of the garden’s resident experts. You can almost smell the blooms yourself!
Even while you cannot roam far from home, your fingers can definitely do the walking. Give your stay-at-home itchiness some new scenery or, better yet, start to compile a list of vacation locales to explore once the travel restrictions lift. And don’t forget to share some of your favorite spots and cool finds in the comments below. Bon Voyage!