Despite everything going on in the world, many of us still yearn to get out and explore. Virtual experiences are proving to be a great way to stay connected with the sights and sounds of far-flung places.
We’ve gone wild exploring the great outdoors, from African savannahs to deep blue straits, dived into history and art visiting some of the world’s best museums and enjoyed front row seats for some of the world’s best live performances too – all without ever leaving home.
But if you’re looking to really get to know a city, why not spend a perfect day exploring from the comfort of your own armchair? Here’s how to virtually experience the best New York City has to offer, from its hip neighborhoods and mouthwatering delis, to its award-winning theatre scene and expansive city parks.
New York City: a 24-hour virtual tour
Start your virtual day with breakfast and coffee at a New York City institution. Sandwiches don’t come much better than those served at the famous Katz’s Delicatessen. With delivery services on offer, you can put in an order for a breakfast omelet, and grab a sandwich to enjoy for lunch later on – the pastrami sandwich is a local favorite. Can’t get delivery? Try making your own Katz’s imitation recipes with a little inspirational help from their social media channels. Your mouth will be watering in no time.
If you’re not primarily a meat-eater, check for delivery from NYC’s best spots for vegans and vegetarians.
After devouring your classic NYC breakfast, it’s time to explore an iconic sight: Central Park.
If you don’t have the luxury of stretching your legs through this expansive city park in real life, fear not! Grab your mobile device, pop on some exercise music, and jump on the treadmill or jog in place to a virtual park run around Central Park’s lower loop. You can run alongside your virtual friends on YouTube while seeing the park in all its springtime beauty.
NYC is packed full of galleries and museums, and a few of them have embraced technology to share some of their collections online. A tour of New York City wouldn’t be the same without visiting at least one of them, virtually, of course
The world-famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has made its current collection available to view online. Take time to browse through the expansive digital collection, from paintings and photography to sculptures and more.
The David Zwirner gallery is a small but renowned NYC gallery that champions contemporary art. You can ‘step into’ virtual viewing rooms from wherever you are in the world and experience these immersive artworks yourself.
From high brow to the High Line, once you’ve had your fill of art, ascend to NYC’s beloved elevated walking route. Here you can virtually walk along the disused high-rise railway line, which was transformed into an urban oasis connecting Hudson Yards to the West Village.
If you haven’t already indulged in your leftover Katz’s Deli pastrami sandwich, take the time to enjoy it as you take in the High Line virtual views. Already polished it off at breakfast? Culinary wonderland Chelsea Market has recipes available online so that you can rummage together a delicious NYC-style lunch right from your own kitchen.
When the lights go down in the city, the lights come up at the opera! Watch an encore opera performance by the Metropolitan Opera, available to stream for free on the Met website or its Met Opera On Demand app. Put on your finest and truly immerse yourself in the experience for a night of black-tie revelry at home.
If the opera isn’t your thing, perhaps Broadway is more to your liking. Broadway HD is offering a free 7-day trial of its subscription streaming service, giving you complete access to its vast array of classic and contemporary Broadway productions.
After an evening of performances, explore Times Square at night with the help of another virtual walking experience. Turn the audio up, and it’ll feel so real you may forget you haven’t even stepped out your door.
As the hours tick by, you may want to take in a classic New York City late-night show as one of the last virtual tour stops. Even though The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has closed its doors at Rockefeller Plaza, that hasn’t stopped presenter and stand up comedian Jimmy Fallon from making episodes from his home. Grab your popcorn and get cozy for some innovative entertainment.
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The journey doesn’t have to end there. Take a virtual tour of Brooklyn Bridge, which spans the East River to connect the Manhattan and Brooklyn boroughs. Or make your way to the hipster haven of Williamsburg to catch a live show at Baby’s All Right.
Have kids to entertain? Dive into educational games and courses from the American Museum of Natural History. If you’re in the mood for a few laughs, Magnet Theater hosts several comedy nights each week.
And finally, if just a couple more NYC classics is what you’re after, take an audio tour to the top of the Empire State Building or check out the Statue of Liberty in HD. With seemingly endless options for virtual entertainment, it really is quite easy to see why this city never sleeps.
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