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Virtual Vacations, seeing the world for free

There may too many places you want to still visit but you can tour many of them over the Web.

First off, take advantage of Google’s Street View taken around the world. Now, you can “vacation” in such spots as Saint Brendan’s Cathedral in Ireland, Shark Bay in Australia, or even the Historic District of Quebec City. Google has excerpted many wonders into their World Wonders Project, a part of Google Cultural Institute, google.com/culturalinstitute.

If you were going to spend time in art museums, view the Google Art Project at googleartproject.com where you can “stroll” through different galleries and just like with street view, zoom in and pan about. You just can’t pick it up, but then you can’t do that in the real museum either.

Another places to check out is flickr.com/places. You can search their Places project to find images from around the world. At times it can feel like a travel slide show, but many of the photos are amazing.

Don’t forget the venerable National Geographic. I can’t point you to just one part of their site to explore, just click around and enjoy.

The TravelChannel.com has a destinations section where you explore pictures and videos, but it does feel a little bit like an infomercial at times.

And, then, just try searching on terms like travel “name of place” video, maybe even put in panorama if you would like to pan around 360 degrees.