Home #WHERETONEXT Canada From Sofa to Sunshine: Experience Virtual Florida

From Sofa to Sunshine: Experience Virtual Florida


Housebound travellers looking for somewhere new to explore from the comfort of their homes are in luck – VISIT FLORIDA has a number of ways to virtually experience the Sunshine State, including a video playlist with 14 videos that bring you some of the best outdoor Florida experiences and a calendar of virtual events taking place over the next few weeks.

Virtual Video Playlist 

Armchair travellers can sit back and enjoy more than five hours’ worth of video footage on VISIT FLORIDA’s YouTube channel. Watch the sunset on the beach while sitting around a crackling wood fire, take a dip in Crystal River and swim with manatees, take a horseback ride along the beach on Hutchinson Island, and even kayak your way through Rainbow Springs State Park. 

Virtual Florida Events 

Whatever your passion, VISIT FLORIDA’s virtual calendar has something for everyone to enjoy from their home screens over the next few weeks. You can find the full calendar here, but here are a few highlights:

Frost Science at Home: The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami has a new digital platform learning series for children. It gives visitors the opportunity to explore free educational resources, videos, DIY science activities and behind-the-scenes content. It also offers a 360-degree exploration of the museum’s top exhibitions.

Diving in the Florida Keys: No swimwear is required for this virtual diving tour of Dry Tortugas National Park. Dive a shipwreck, swim through the third-largest coral reef in the world and tour a Civil War-era fort. One of the most awe-inspiring sights at the park is the historic Fort Jefferson and its natural beauty that just might inspire a trip there in the future.

Take a look around The Biltmore Hotel: A favourite amongst celebrities since its opening in 1926, the Biltmore Hotel is Miami’s most elegant National Historic Landmark. Featuring a sizable library of 360-degree panoramic views, the Biltmore’s virtual tour takes from the main lobby through to the Fontana courtyard and the iconic pool. 

Learn about the history of Florida: Enjoy virtual tours and Florida stories with history dating back centuries. From Miami to the Panhandle, you can uncover the rich history of the Sunshine State with the Florida Stories app. It features story scripts written by history experts that are designed to increase your knowledge about local communities. 

Visit the Dali Museum: Art lovers from all over the world have long enjoyed St. Petersburg’s fascinating Dali Museum, which has an astounding collection of over 2,400 Salvador Dalí works. Now, anyone can view these works through a free 360-degree tour of the museum, as well as some special online-only exhibits. 

Go Behind the Scenes at Busch Gardens: While Tampa’s famous, safari-centric theme park is closed to visitors, see and interact love with animals, rides and other favourite exhibits and areas from a new vantage point. Busch Gardens has been taking its Facebook fans along to an elephant birthday party, snack time for sloths, a flaming flock walk, a ride on Cheetah hunt and more.

Shine Mural Festival: In recent years, St. Petersburg’s colourful urban murals have become internationally revered, in part thanks to the SHINE Mural Festival, which takes visitors on several stops via foot or bike. Now, you can enjoy the 90-plus murals from the comfort of your home, complete with vivid descriptions of the artwork, info on the artists and other fun facts.

Florida Orchestra Concerts: As a special treat to classical music fans, every Thursday, the Florida Orchestra is now broadcasting live recordings. Experience Some of the most powerful moments from the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series, which includes Ravel’s Bolero, Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and Mason Bates’ Mothership

Virtual Orlando Tours: Orlando is one of the world’s top playgrounds for theme parks, water parks, entertainment and attractions, and the COVID-19 shutdown has left many craving the comfort and fun of their favourite spots. With this in mind, Visit Orlando now provides more than 100 virtual experiences including 360-degree tours, Facebook Live broadcasts, theme park thrills and more.

Live Entertainment from Flora-Bama: You can’t sip your margarita with your toes in the sand while listening to live tunes, but you can find a nice spot in your home, pop the top on the beer and join the iconic bar’s daily live stream on Facebook. During performances, give them a shout-out from where you’re listening and make song requests. 

Rocket Launches from Cape Canaveral: The rockets are still launching off of Florida’s Space Coast. Watch from your home as each rocket takes off for outer space – with the next launch scheduled to take place on Apr. 23rd at 3:16pm EST. Click here to see the full launch schedule and to download the ‘Launch Console’ app to watch it live.

For a listing of Florida events you can experience virtually, click here


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