Pay a (virtual) visit to the world's great museums while avoiding COVID-19

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Stuck inside the house because of the COVID-19 coronavirus?  Now’s the perfect time to pay a visit to the British Museum in London.  Or how about the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam?

We are, of course, talking about online virtual tours.  Websites for many of the world’s finest museums offer surprisingly satisfying online access to their catalogs of the greatest works of art and historical artifacts from all of human history.  Some of the websites allow you to browse images of their artworks and other objects, while some go so far as to offer virtual walk-through tours of their exhibits, where you move through the halls and rooms as if you were actually there, then click on anything about which you want to know more.

Travel and Leisure magazine has complied a roster of a dozen museums worth checking out, with links to each — the British Museum, Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, and others.  And if there’s a museum not on their list that you’d like to check out, many museums, such as New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, offer at least limited online access to their catalogs.  It’s always worth a check.

What’s more, because of the coronavirus, many of these museums are themselves closed to the public.  So even if you did dare to venture out for a visit, you’d discover their doors locked.

If you’ve really had enough of being cooped up and are jonesing for more of an outdoor experience, Travel and Leisure also notes many U.S. national parks offer virtual tours as well, from Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park to the Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.

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