Historic Virtual Tours Across the U.S.
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31 Historic Places Across America That You Can Tour Virtually

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Historic Virtual Tours Across the U.S.
SeanPavonePhoto/istockphoto

Historic Virtual Tours Across the U.S.

While most of us in the U.S. are sheltering in place at home, travel seems like a distant memory (or wishful thinking) these days. But social distancing doesn't mean you can't explore historic places across the country and discover something new about our nation's incredible history and culture along the way. Experience virtual tours of cultural institutions, history museums, landmark music venues, beautiful national parks, space shuttles, and more from the comfort of your own couch right now.

Ellis Island
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Ellis Island

New York
Embark on an interactive virtual tour of New York's Ellis Island, where many families started their adventure in America as immigrants. Scholastic's virtual field trip and interactive tour will even walk you through the immigration process with historic photographs and videos, so you can hear the stories of people who've passed through the former immigration inspection station and learn about the many challenges they faced while coming to America.

The Alamo
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The Alamo

San Antonio
The Battle of the Alamo (Feb. 23 - March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Take a 360-degree virtual tour of The Alamo Shrine and grounds in San Antonio to learn about the history behind Texas' war for independence from Mexico. You can also check out a digital version of The Alamo Battlefield as it looked in 1836 and tour the nearby riverwalk and other attractions in San Antonio.

Alcatraz Island
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Alcatraz Island

San Francisco
Explore Alcatraz Island through a virtual tour of the island and infamous federal penitentiary. You can browse objects made by notorious inmates of "The Rock" like gangster Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz," historic photographs and documents, escape materials, and inmate artwork as well as military prison and federal penitentiary correctional materials used by officers, and learn about the American Indian occupation of 1969 to 1971.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Cleveland
Music fans can connect with Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and tap into the history of rock music and their favorite songs and musicians from their own living rooms. Take a virtual tour of the museum, watch induction ceremonies, and browse artists who've been inducted into the Rock Hall vault. There's even a special section for teachers and students, Rock Hall EDU, for access to lesson plans, videos, and other activities.

To round out the experience, music lovers can also find virtual tours of landmark music venues like Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Gettysburg National Battlefield
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Gettysburg National Battlefield

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Take an interactive tour of Gettysburg National Battlefield home to some of the most historic and scenic Civil War sites. Follow in the footsteps of soldiers who fought at such iconic places as Culp's Hill, The Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Devil's Den, Little Round Top, and Cemetery Ridge to learn more about the battlefield. You can visit more American battlefields and historic sites through the American Battlefield Trust's array of virtual tours.

The Museum of Flight
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The Museum of Flight

Seattle
Explore one of the world's largest air and space museums, The Museum of Flight, from home through digital photos, history lessons, and 360-degree tours. Step inside the Seattle museum's famed aircraft like Air Force One, Concorde, B-17, Boeing 747, a NASA space shuttle trainer, and other rare aircraft. Complete your history lesson with flight facts, podcasts, and STEM activities.

Want even more aviation action? Aircraft aficionados should also check out virtual tours of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Space Center Houston, and NASA's Langley Research Center, and Glenn Research Center.

Library of Congress
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Library of Congress

Washington, D.C.
Tour the Library of Congress, our nation's oldest federal cultural institution. You can visit the Thomas Jefferson Building, James Madison Memorial Building, and John Adams Building via online tours. Virtual visitors can discover the rich history behind each by browsing through exterior and interior photos of the buildings, accompanied by informative descriptions.

U.S. National Parks
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U.S. National Parks

Nationwide
Experience our incredible national parks through the U.S.National Park System's crowd-free virtual tours. Follow rangers to hidden pockets of many parks and explore panoramic views of astounding landscapes. You can roam around Yosemite and discover the history of America's first national park, kayak through Alaska's glaciers and fjords, fly over an active volcano and explore a lava tube in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, trek through cave formations in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, ride horseback through Bryce Canyon, and dive into the underwater world of Florida's Dry Tortugas National Park.

Related: 18 National Park Webcams Where You Can See the Wilderness from Home

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
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Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Dearborn, Michigan
What started as Henry Ford's personal collection of historic objects has expanded into themed collections and interactive exhibits paying homage to some of our nation's most innovative thinkers and doers. Visit the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation's iconic collection of artifacts online, including the Rosa Parks Bus and the Lincoln Chair, automobiles, locomotives, aircraft, antique machinery, pop culture items, and more. Explore online exhibits, visit the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, and take your own virtual Model T tour on the road past the many historic structures in Greenfield Village.

Related: Muscle Memories: 15 Ford Cars That Defined a Generation

Salem Witch Museum Witch Trial Sites
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Salem Witch Museum Witch Trial Sites

Salem, Massachusetts
The Salem Witch Museum in Massachusetts chronicles a time in American history in which a series of accusations, investigations, and prosecutions ultimately led to more than 200 people being accused of practicing witchcraft — the Devil's magic — and the execution of 20 convicted "witches" in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. Those fascinated by this witch-hunt period plagued by paranoia and injustice can explore key Salem witch trial sites online, including original houses, foundations, grave sites, and sites marked by historic markers.

Walt Disney World Resort
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Walt Disney World Resort

Orlando, Florida
For many Americans and others around the world, Disney symbolizes childhood fun and entertainment. Experience some of the ultimate vacation destination's magic from home through Visit Orlando's interactive virtual tour of Walt Disney World Resort to explore the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, waterpark, and more. Disney Parks also previously launched a series of 360-degree panoramas featuring Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, and you can experience some of the rides virtually with Theme Park Insider.

Route 66
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Route 66

Illinois to California
You don't have to hop in the car to travel along the historic Route 66, America's first all-weather highway which covers more than 2,400 miles across eight different states in the U.S. Thanks to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, you can experience "The Mother Road" from Illinois to California. Photos and descriptions of landmarks from the old route like motels, service stations, food stops, and other roadside attractions in towns along the way will transport you back to a bygone era.

Related: Route 66: Then and Now

National Museum of African American History and Culture
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National Museum of African American History and Culture

Washington, D.C.
National Museum of African American History and Culture — the first major museum to open online before completing a physical structure — made history when it finally opened its doors to the public in 2016 with a ceremony led by President Barack Obama. Today, visitors can scour the museum's vast open-source collections of historical artifacts, archival documents, and works of art online — and absorb American history and culture through the lens of the African-American experience.

Colonial Williamsburg
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Colonial Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Virginia
Immerse yourself in the sites of Colonial Williamsburg from anywhere in the world through virtual tours and webcams highlighting the historic district. You'll learn how the buildings were reconstructed and what artifacts adorn their walls as you explore the living-history museum in 360-degree virtual tours. Go on a virtual tour of the Governor's Palace or watch a series of webcams overlooking sites like Merchants Square.

National Baseball Hall of Fame America
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National Baseball Hall of Fame America

Cooperstown, New York
Baseball fans can explore the National Baseball Hall of Fame America's online exhibits and virtual tours of the museum's unparalleled collection of photographs, documents, posters, signed baseballs, videos, and more — all dedicated to America's favorite pastime. Online exhibits include a snapshot of the museum's photograph collection, a colorful history of the baseball uniform, and the history of the single-season home run record.

Castillo De San Marcos
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Castillo De San Marcos

St. Augustine, Florida
Go on a virtual tour of Castillo De San Marcos, the oldest masonry and only remaining 17th century fort in North America. Located in St. Augustine, the U.S.' oldest city, this tour leads visitors through the exterior features from the City Gates to the seawall of the best-preserved example of a Spanish colonial fortification. Walk through the structure's interior rooms with 3D models to explore along the way, and upstairs to the upper gun deck for a bird's-eye view of the surrounding landscape and grounds.

National Women's History Museum
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National Women's History Museum

Online
Explore a wide array of virtual exhibits through the National Women's History Museum, the largest online cultural institution sharing the stories of trailblazing women who helped shape American history. For two decades, the museum has documented women making waves in politics, sports, civil rights, science and technology, and more through its impressive collection of online exhibits, biographics, oral histories, and digital classroom resources.

While it's not a bricks-and-mortar landmark just yet, the House of Representatives recently voted to establish a comprehensive national women's history museum under the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site
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Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Springfield, Illinois
Lincoln's home in Springfield has drawn crowds of visitors since it first opened to the public in 1887. Constructed in 1839 and restored to its 1860 appearance, the 12-room, Greek Revival house was Abraham and Mary Lincoln's home before he departed to serve as president of a nation on the verge of Civil War. Tour the house and artifacts that tell the story of the Lincoln family through the virtual Lincoln Home National Historic Site, which focuses on Abraham Lincoln's political and legal careers, his home, and his family.

Museum of the American Revolution
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Museum of the American Revolution

Philadelphia
Take an immersive 360-degree virtual tour of the Museum of the American Revolution, located in Philadelphia's Old City area, for the fascinating story of the bloody revolution that gave birth to the United States more than 200 years ago. Highlights include George Washington's Headquarters Tent, the replica of the Boston Liberty Tree, and nearly 500 artifacts from the earliest days of America's independence.

Educators and parents can also take Scholastic's virtual field trip to the museum and download a Beyond the Battlefield classroom kit for young students. Additionally, virtual trips to many historic Philly spots like the Liberty Bell Center, Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and even the "Rocky Steps" at Philadelphia Museum of Art are possible through You Visit.

The White House
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The White House

Washington, D.C.
Take a peek inside the White House, the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge. The Google Arts & Culture virtual tour lets the curious explore the elegant rooms, offices, art and decor, and manicured grounds of the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. There's also a tour of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the castle-like building next to the White House that houses many staff offices.

Frank Lloyd Wright Sites
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Frank Lloyd Wright Sites

Chicago and across the U.S.
You can now video tour historic sites designed by America's most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Step inside the iconic architect's most influential works in the Chicagoland area — home to his largest collection of designed structures — and across America. Video tours include Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois, and even two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the beautifully restored Unity Temple and the Robie House. The virtual classroom also offers free lessons and educational activities for K-12 students.

Plimoth Plantation
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Freedom Trail
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Freedom Trail

Boston
Take a photographic tour of the 16 official stops along Boston's Freedom Trail. Learn about historic sites like the Old State House, the oldest surviving public building in the city; the Boston Massacre site; Faneuil Hall, which hosted America's first Town Meeting; the Paul Revere House; Old North Church (the site that launched the American Revolution); the USS Constitution; Bunker Hill Monument; and the Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States. If you're pressed for time, this video tour will breeze through all the sites in five minutes.

Biltmore Estate and Gardens
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Biltmore Estate and Gardens

Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, has created a series of virtual tours on YouTube showcasing the timeless architecture of America's largest home, renowned gardens and grounds, breathtaking views, and the 8,000-acre estate's storied history in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

New York Public Library
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New York Public Library

New York
Uncover the hidden details of the massive New York Public Library's spectacular interior via a guided video tour by Architectural Digest and scour the stacks and other iconic rooms through a 360-degree panoramic tour. The public library has digitized more than 890,000 items from its collections — from old New York City prints and scrapbooks to scanned vintage children's books. For families in need of a little educational entertainment, NYPL also hosts an online storytime for kids.

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
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Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Santa Fe and Abiquiú, New Mexico
The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum preserves the artistic legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe — one of the most significant artists of the 20th century and one who was inspired by the New Mexico landscape — through the Santa Fe museum's art and archival collections and her historic home and studio in nearby Abiquiú. Learn more about her life and career, homes in New Mexico, and specific artworks through free gallery tours via the museum tour app. Dig into online collections featuring her art, photographs, archives, homes and belongings, and artist's library, and catch a live view of Georgia O'Keeffe's garden through the Abiquiú garden webcam.

Mount Vernon Mansion
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Mount Vernon Mansion

Mount Vernon, Virginia
Stroll the plantation grounds and rooms of Mount Vernon Mansion, the estate of George Washington and his wife, Martha, situated on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia. Inside the first U.S. president's mansion, you can experience 360-degree views of each room and even select objects in the room to learn more about their history.

Related: 19 Virtual Tours of Famous Homes

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Washington, D.C.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in showcases dynamic and deeply moving online exhibits. Visitors can virtually tour themed galleries filled with photographs, videos, timelines, and backgrounds: Americans and the Holocaust; State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propoganda; Anne Frank The Writer: An Unfinished Story; Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936; Life Reborn: Jewish Displaced Persons 1945-1951; and more. You can also listen to Holocaust survivors who've shared their personal stories.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
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Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Appomattox, Virginia
Take a 360-degree virtual tour of Virginia's Appomattox Court House buildings and grounds, where Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865, ending the Civil War. Stay connected to the historic park from your home through social media, podcasts that tell in-depth park stories, photos of the historic village, and a variety of digital resources for engaging young people with history.

The Museum of Modern Art
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The Museum of Modern Art

New York
As one of the world's largest and most influential art museums, The Museum of Modern Art 's ever-evolving modern and contemporary art collection includes almost 200,000 works — and more than 86,000 works are currently available online. Virtual art highlights include Claude Monet's "Water Lilies," Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night," and Pablo Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," as well as more recent works by Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Murray, and others. MoMA's YouTube channel also offers a peek inside exhibits and live events.

Field Museum
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Field Museum

Chicago
Chicago's Field Museum annually draws 2 million visitors as one of the world's largest natural history museums, but you can satisfy your curiosity from the comfort of your own home. The museum and its collections, which originated from the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, has swelled to 40 million artifacts and specimens — with exhibits featuring the earliest fossils and current world cultures. Follow the museum on Twitter for more ways to engage with the museum from home — from shenanigans with SUE the human-sized T-Rex to online learning and games.

Washington D.C.'s world-class National Museum of Natural History also offers a 360-degree virtual tour, allowing you to see its amazing exhibits like the Hall of Mammals, Insect Zoo, and Dinosaurs and Hall of Palaeobiology from the comfort of your own home.