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Florida attractions and parks to tour virtually while you're stuck at home

You can visit a national park, tour the Space Coast and even experience Disney World rides -- all online.
Credit: AP
In this, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 aerial photo, Fort Jefferson on Garden Key is shown in Dry Tortugas National Park, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Thanks to the internet, being isolated at home doesn't mean you have to forgo experiencing some of Florida's natural wonders and theme parks.

As the coronavirus pandemic has much of the world stuck at home, many parks and attractions have closed their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Luckily, many of these places in Florida have ways for people to take tours virtually.

Here are just some to check out:

Dry Tortugas National Park

One of the most secluded national parks in the world is right here in Florida off the Keys. The online tour lets you see the 100-square-mile park that's normally only accessible by seaplane or boat. 

Credit: AP
In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, photo, a roseate spoonbill searches or food in a shallow wetland near Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Everglades National Park

The largest subtropical wilderness in the country is also a World Heritage Site. The Everglades is what many first think of when they think of Florida wilderness, as it is home to species like manatees, alligators, American crocodiles and rare Florida panthers. 

You can tour the famous park through Google Earth.

Credit: Natalie Ferrari

Kennedy Space Center

Head to Florida's Space Coast at Kennedy Space Center and you can get up close to rockets from historic NASA programs like Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. 

Every day, the visitor complex shares behind-the-scene educational videos at different parts of the museum. Staff at the complex also do science experiments online. And, the complex's YouTube page has dozens of interviews with current and former astronaut.

Credit: Paul Bergin
The Dali Museum in downtown St. Petersburg.

Salvador Dali Museum

The museum in St. Petersburg contains a comprehensive collection of work from surrealist master Salvador Dali. The hub also has eight of his masterpieces. You can see all of those as well as the stunning architecture of the building through a virtual tour.

Credit: AP
The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, is shown in this aerial photo Saturday Oct. 8, 2016, in St. Augustine, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

The oldest city in the U.S. also has the oldest masonry fort from the 17th century still standing. It has weathered many battles and sieges over the years since the later 1600s and was designated a national monument in 1924.

Full of rich Florida history, it also offers stunning views of St. Augustine and the Matanzas River. Take a virtual tour of the site thanks to a research grant with the University of South Florida Libraries and the National Park Service.

Credit: Matt Stroshane, photographer
Guests come face to face with Donald Duck on a busy city street during Mickey & Minnie’s Runway Railway, opening March 4, 2020, in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The first ride-through attraction in Disney history featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse brings guests into the vibrant world of “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Virtual rides at Disney World and Universal Orlando

Virtual Disney World has dozens of 360-degree videos of rides and attractions at Disney World and other Disney parks. Yes, there are even virtual rides for Epcot's Living with the Land and the Tomorrowland People Mover. There are even videos for the park's newest ride, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.

Universal Orlando offers a playlist of 360-degree ride videos. There are virtual rides for The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Krakatau Aqua Coaster at Volcano Bay and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster. If you're missing the popular Hagrid coaster at Islands of Adventure, Virtual Disney has a virtual ride for you.

Photos: Heart of the Sea exhibit at Florida Aquarium

Animal cams

There are several aquariums and a zoo in the Tampa Bay area offering live animal cams while they're closed to the public. The Florida Aquarium in Tampa has a daily Facebook live called "SEA-SPAN" that shows off what animals are doing while visitors are away.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is also doing behind-the-scenes animal visits and tours. And, African penguins Tiziri and Palmira have been helping animal care staff around the zoo.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the dolphin, has daily Facebook live videos showing off its most famous residents. Yes, there are plenty of videos of Winter and Nicholas the dolphins.

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