Who says you can’t see the world if you stay home? Virtual reality (VR) tourism experiences let you see places all over the world without ever leaving your couch. These aren’t games; they’re experiences, so the pace may be slower than you expect, but they are worth your patience. Here are some of the best VR tourist destinations to help you decide on your next virtual adventure.

What We Like

  • Very relaxing experience.

  • Excellent visual and sound quality.

  • Impressive attention to detail.

In The Grand Canyon VR Experience (by Immersive Entertainment), you sit in a virtual motorized kayak ride through the Grand Canyon. Tailor the tour to your preferences by selecting either a sunlit or moonlit experience and controlling the ride’s speed.

While you cruise along, you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of procedurally generated, artificially intelligent wildlife. Attract and feed the virtual fish as you navigate the waterways.

The ride is on rails, so you can’t steer the kayak. However, you can stop at various points and enjoy the scenery by using the throttle speed controls of your motorized kayak or by exiting at scenic rest stops.

The tour is short, and there’s no historical background information for history buffs. Still, it is a fun ride perfect for someone new to VR.

What We Like

  • Explore amazing places.

  • Impressively detailed.

  • Good for beginners.

Realities is a VR travel app that allows you to explore scanned and modeled real-world environments. The environments aren’t just 360-degree photos; these locations were captured with specialized scanning equipment, allowing for immersive rendering in virtual reality.

The user interface is a giant globe you rotate with your VR controllers. Once you decide on the place you want to visit, tap the area on the virtual globe, and you are instantly whisked away to the exotic locale.

One interesting destination is a cell in the infamous Alcatraz prison. When you arrive, you’re greeted by an unseen narrator, presumably a former prisoner in the cell next to you, who recalls their experiences. It’s museum-like and an educational adventure worth having.

There are other destinations of varying size and complexity which still hold up despite no recent updates with new realities.

Do you like planetariums? Have you always wished they were more realistic? If you’ve ever dreamed of riding in a spaceship and exploring the solar system and beyond, Titans of Space PLUS (by DrashVR LLC) helps make this a reality—at least a virtual one).

The original Titans of Space was one of the first polished virtual reality experiences available; it created a lot of buzz about all the potential VR had to offer.

This app provides a theme park-style ride through the solar system and beyond, allowing you to control the pace of the experience. Factoids about the planets and moons appear throughout your journey, as do distances and other measurements of interest.

The sense of scale of the planets and moons is truly awe-inspiring and gives a unique perspective only astronauts usually get to have.

This title runs in both standard and VR modes; it doesn’t require a VR headset.

Everest VR (from Sólfar Studios) is an interactive Mount Everest VR tourism experience.

This game takes you through the journey toward summiting Mount Everest by making five key stops. First, start by preparing for the expedition at Basecamp. From there, experiences at Khumbu Icefalls, Camp 4, and Hillary Step await before reaching Everest’s summit.

You can unlock God Mode after you complete your first ascent. This mode gives you a breathtaking view of the Himalayas, almost as if you’re there in person overlooking the scene.

EVEREST VR is a must if you’re into mountain climbing, adventuring, or if you’re a VR newbie who wants to ease in to the experience.

If you’ve ever wanted to peruse a museum at your own pace with no limits on how close you can get to the artwork, then The VR Museum of Fine Art (free from Finn Sinclair) is for you.

This free app holds amazing educational value with incredibly detailed scans of some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures. Look at the brushstrokes of Monet’s Water Lilies or take a 360-degree tour of Michelangelo’s David. This experience is an art lover’s delight.  

The VR Museum of Fine Art makes you feel as if you’re visiting a museum, complete with a pamphlet map to help you navigate your way around the exhibits, an elevator, and a cafe.

What We Like

  • Amazing street view VR.

  • Travel the world virtually.

  • Impressive, vast experience.

When Google Earth was released many years ago, everyone marveled at the novelty of finding and viewing their house from satellite imagery. Now, Google Earth VR (free from Google) lets you see your house from space and virtually fly to it and stand in your front yard or on your rooftop.

Change the sun’s position, scale objects to any size you like, and fly around the world. The detail levels depend on what you’re trying to view. For example, tourist destinations are likely to have more detailed geospatial imagery than rural areas. There is so much to see, and Google offers virtual tours to help you get started.

Google has even added several comfort features to prevent virtual travel sickness in this must-see virtual reality app.

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