Last year, when we were all planning our Spring Break getaways, we couldn’t have foreseen our current situation.
While we may not be going on the vacations we dreamt about, that doesn’t mean that we can’t find a way to bring vacay to Columbus. Having lived in Ohio for nearly all of my life, I can say with confidence that most people from this state have gone on at least one of these stereotypical vacations.
We Ohioans are creatures of habit, and once we find a vacation destination that checks all of our boxes, we tend to be return customers. These little virtual vacations won’t be the same as heading off in the real world, but they’re a great way to celebrate being at home with your family while exploring digitally.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Start your morning off in virtual Myrtle Beach with this gorgeous, 4K sunrise.
After that, head over to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach to enjoy some quality animal content, like these penguins exploring the temporarily closed aquarium.
It wouldn’t be a visit to Myrtle without a stop at the iconic Peaches Corner. Since we can’t actually stop by in person, make some coney dogs at home in true Peaches style- topped with mustard, chili, and onion on top.
Finally, play I Spy and see how many of your favorite Myrtle Beach haunts you can spot.
To best enjoy your virtual trip to Destin, plan this viewing experience for a sunny day. Head outside and start your trip with the animals at Gulfarium.
You can’t go to Destin and not schedule some time to stop by Crab Island. Everyone knows that.
Getting hungry? Follow this recipe and then enjoy a delicious, homemade donut that definitely won’t be as good as The Donut Hole, but it will get you through.
End your virtual trip with this swoon-inducing, breath taking sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.
Mammoth Cave, KY
Camping at Mammoth Cave is one of my favorite stereotypical Ohio vacations. First thing you’ll want to do is set up your tent in the backyard and get familiarize yourself with the nature of Mammoth Cave.
You can pretend you’re camping at Nolin Lake while you snuggle up in your backyard. Break out that firepit and add s’mores ingredients to your shopping list.
Finish your adventure by exploring the caverns of Mammoth Cave.
Hilton Head, SC
Sunrise over Hilton Head is the way to start every day, but especially on your virtual Hilton Head vacation. Thanks to the wonder of Youtube, you don’t even have to wake up early.
It’s almost seaturtle nesting season in South Carolina. You can learn all about the efforts being made to protect these adorable creatures through Turtle Trackers on Hilton Head Island. Before you know it, there will be tons of new baby turtles filling the shores of the island.
Speaking of incredible wildlife… you can explore the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge with this adorable family.
Finish your virtual vacation with this extremely soothing footage of Hilton Head’s gorgeous scenery.
There is no shortage of ways to explore Chicago online. Museums, zoos, theatres, and more are allowing visitors to explore their spaces virtually.
Any trip to Chicago requires some deep dish pizza. Luckily, we’ve got a Giordano’s right here in Columbus. You can order online for no-contact delivery or carry out, or you can opt for a frozen pizza to cook at your convenience.
You may not be able to travel to the SkyDeck at Willis Tower, but you can get an amazing view of Chicago at night right here.
Orlando may be the easiest destination to recreate virtually on this entire list. It probably warrants it’s own virtual guide, but I’m going to hit the highlights. Get yourself in the theme park mood with Disney’s Magic Happens Parade.
Then you can take a virtual ride down Splash Mountain. Bonus points if you spray your kids with water when applicable.
Really go full-in on this Disney-at-home experience by whipping up your own Dole Whip. Disney released the full recipe (which you can check out here) and it will totally add the tropical flare you need to really make this virtual vacay a reality.
End this little getaway with a relaxing float down the lazy river at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. I highly recommend streaming this one in the bathtub with a glass of wine, if possible.
Going to Gatlinburg was always one of my favorite vacations as a kid. Recreating the Smokey Mountains at home is no easy task, but start by remembering what it’s like to road trip through the park. It goes without saying that Dolly Parton should be on repeat all day long.
One of the best things to do while visiting Gatlinburg is to ride the Aerial Tram up to Ober Gatlinburg. The views are unreal.
Take a virtual ride on the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. It starts off slow, but when it gets going, it’s quite the experience.
Finally, snuggle up in your best cabin wear and pretend you’re nestled high in the Smokey Mountains while you watch this short film showing off the adorable wildlife and beautiful vistas.
Niagara Falls, NY & Canada
If you haven’t been photographed in a bright yellow poncho, have you even really visited Niagara Falls? Seriously though, this virtual tour of Cave of the Winds is so worth a watch.
The power of Niagara Falls could never be fully appreciated virtually, but this video does a pretty good job of showing just how misty the Maid of the Mist boatride gets.
My favorite part of going anywhere in Canada is getting some poutine. So you can bet that I’ll be ordering Poutine carry out from Little Palace (aka Columbus’ best poutine) during this little virtual getaway.
End your experience by pretending like you are on a helicopter tour of the falls.
I know there are a lot of disappointed 8th graders out there who didn’t get to take their class trip. So let me introduce you to DC at Home. You can start by checking out the stunning cherry blossoms, which just bloomed.
The museum tours don’t have to stop just because you can’t visit in person. The National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Phillips Collection, and more have partnered with Google Arts & Culture to provide online exhibitions and tours.
Thanks to Google, you can also tour The White House in all of it’s 360-degree glory.
Finally, you can check out all the sights from a bird’s eye view. It’s a breathtaking city.
You can’t go to Nashville and not experience the majesty of the Grand Ole Opry. Luckily, they’ve been streaming some amazing content throughout this lock-down. To really submerge yourself in Nashville culture, you’ll probably want to cook up some Hot Chicken. Mmmm… spicy. Visit the Jack Daniels Distillery online to learn about the whiskey making process. This step is best enjoyed with your own glass of the good stuff.
You can’t go to Nashville and not experience the majesty of the Grand Ole Opry. Luckily, they’ve been streaming some amazing content throughout this lock-down.
To really submerge yourself in Nashville culture, you’ll probably want to cook up some Hot Chicken. Mmmm… spicy.
Visit the Jack Daniels Distillery online to learn about the whiskey making process. This step is best enjoyed with your own glass of the good stuff.