Just because you’re online doesn’t mean that you can’t experience the world first-hand — or as close to first-hand as possible. Here are websites that feature virtual learning experiences, exposing online visitors to everything from history to geography, astronomy to anatomy, literature to government.
7 Wonders Panoramas – 360-degree views of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Frissiras Museum – A virtual art gallery from Athens, Greece that allows you to explore paintings by clicking through their entire collection.
Google Earth – Explore the geography of both land and sea (free download).
Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Vital Signs: Understanding Cardiovascular Diseases – A virtual gallery teaching about heart disease.
Louvre Virtual Tour – Virtual tour of the world-famous Louvre museum in Paris.
Mount St. Helens 360 – See how the volcano Mount St. Helens changed in the three-year span between 2003 and 2006 with these 360-degree panoramas.
Mount Vernon Virtual Mansion Tour – Virtual tour of George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon.
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago – Enjoy 360-degree views of galleries showcasing Egyptian, Assyrian, Mesopotamian and Persian cultures
Rare Book Room – A virtual library that allows you to not only view but read hundreds of rare and historical copies of books, from Shakespeare to Galileo.
Smithsonian National Museum of National History Virtual Tour – Take a virtual walking tour of the entire Smithsonian National Museum of National History.
Smithsonian National Museum of National History Dinosaur Tour – A virtual tour of dinosaur fossils.
Smithsonian National Museum of National History Dinosaur Dig – An interactive virtual paleontological dig for dinosaur bones.
Supreme Court Tour – A 360-degree exploration of the U.S. Supreme Court building.
Taj Mahal Virtual Tour – Virtual tour of the Taj Mahal, featuring 360-degree panoramas.
Tour of Colonial Williamsburg – A virtual tour of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.
UAE Interact Virtual Museum – A virtual museum exploring the history of the United Arab Emirates through ancient artifacts like stoneware, jewelry, weapons, tools and coins.
US Capitol Virtual Tour – Virtual tour of the US Capitol, with clickable areas to learn more about the building’s history.
A Virtual Journey into the Universe – Explore our solar system with a variety of interactive tools (no jokes about what lies in the interior of Uranus).
Virtual Museum of Iraq – Discover the history of Iraq through eight museum halls full of artifacts.
The Virtual Museum of Traditional Japanese Arts – Wander down virtual hallways to explore traditional Japanese arts, from fine arts to martial arts.
Virtual Tour of Rio de Janeiro – An amazing 3-D aerial virtual tour of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Visible Body – Detailed, dynamic 3-D views of all the systems in the human body (7-day free trial).
Virtual Worlds Almanac – A guide to online “virtual worlds,” most with educational value.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society Life-Size Blue Whale – Feel what it’s like to swim alongside a blue whale.