Even though COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions are beginning to ease throughout the Southeast, there is no shortage of virtual tours and resources for you to explore without leaving home.
In an April article on TSNN.com, Lisa Plummer Savas shared some of the virtual resources being provided by convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) throughout the United States. Here are just a few of the offerings in the Southeast.
Explore Asheville has offerings that allow you explore the outside world as well as your own inner world.
The categories of virtual fun include outdoors, wellness, culture, enrichment, music and more. You can enjoy virtual museum tours and art strolls, including the Appalachian Mural Trail; learn new things in classes offered by LEAF Global Arts Center or The Magnetic Theatre; and share or find cooking inspiration with a crowdsourced pandemic cookbook started by Asheville’s Sarah Ubertaccio to raise funds for Feeding America.
Wellness is a priority in Asheville, and this page provides access to free online yoga videos set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, tea breaks with the Asheville Tea Company and wellness resources from Asheville Salt Cave.
If you’re missing the outdoors, you can explore Asheville mountain trails or a 360-degree tour of the Biltmore grounds and gardens. There’s also an interactive online explorer’s guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile roadway known as “America’s Favorite Scenic Drive.” You can also get real-time access to 20 iconic area hikes and destination using Google Street View.
Get up close views of Atlanta’s most famous sites and attractions through the Atlanta CVB’s 360ATL virtual tour.
You can click on where you want to go from overhead shots throughout the city and suburbs. Popular destinations downtown include Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Head over to Midtown to get familiar with Piedmont Park or take a virtual walk on The BeltLine, which stretches from Midtown through Eastside Atlanta.
If you really want to up your technology game, download the 360ATL virtual reality app tools for a guided tour of the city.
Music City would never deprive the world of its claim to fame, so there are ongoing livestream concerts featuring Nashville artists in their homes and, in some cases, with social distancing in place, from the town’s most famous venue, The Grand Ole Opry.
You can even dedicate a “gratitune” and share a playlist with health care workers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and various clinics.
In addition to keeping the music flowing, there is a page on the site dedicated to entire “virtual vacation packages.”
Attractions include building your own adventure at The Adventure Park, virtual tours of Andrew Jackson’s home, the Frist Art Museum and the Jack Daniel Distillery as well as live streams from the Nashville Zoo, virtual cooking and painting classes and so much more.
Orlando, Florida, is known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” and you can get an in-depth view of what the city has to offer on Visit Orlando’s virtual tour page.
Virtual experiences include virtual access to Orlando’s premiere theme park, Walt Disney World Resort, as well as Universal Orlando Resort (Harry Potter, anyone?) and LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Animal lovers can get close to the penguin colony at SeaWorld and stunning reptiles in Gatorland. You can even join a virtual race on the Andretti Indoor Karting & Games site or dare to skydive online on the iFLY Orlando site.
But it’s not all about thrill rides, fairy tale characters and wildlife. The virtual arts and culture page features links to various ways to experience events and exhibitions at Orlando’s museums and performing arts venues, such as the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Central Florida Community Arts, Phantasmagoria and SAK Comedy Lab.
There are also myriad links to virtual education opportunities for students of all ages.