TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 24, 2020): Housebound travelers looking for somewhere new to explore from the comfort of their sofa 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, a calendar of virtual events taking place throughout April and May, and the Beach Finder Tool that allows you to virtually roam 825 miles of Florida’s coastline.
Virtual Video Playlist
Armchair travelers 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 whilst 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 in April and May
Whatever your passion, VISIT FLORIDA’s virtual calendar has something for everyone to enjoy from their home screens throughout April and May. You can find the full calendar here, but here are a few of our 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 degrees exploration of a 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 favorite 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 favorite 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 colorful 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, each 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 favorite 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 shoutout from where you’re listening and make song requests.
Virtually Roam 825 miles of Florida’s Beaches
VISIT FLORIDA’s Florida Beach Finder allows you to virtually explore Florida’s much-loved beaches from the comfort of your home.
In a landmark partnership with Google in 2014, VISIT FLORIDA completed a four-month odyssey to capture stunning images along the Sunshine State’s 825 miles of beaches using Google’s Street View Trekker technology. These 360-degree images, captured one footstep at a time, are integrated into Google Maps, enabling potential visitors from around the globe to experience interactive views of Florida’s world-renowned beaches.
Users simply “tune” their preferences, choosing from adventurous or laid back, family friendly or romantic, action-packed or secluded and manicured or au naturel. The Florida Beach Finder immediately delivers visual choices that best match desires. With every tweak of the tuner, the options change before your eyes. Once users have picked their favorite beach, they can opt for Street View, which drops them into each location, allowing them to take a look around and to explore.
For more information on the Sunshine State or to plan a 2020 vacation to Florida, visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com.
High-resolution images for media use are available at this link: https://bit.ly/2rx76nu.
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 124.7 million visitors in 2018. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $85.9 billion to Florida's economy and supported 1.5 million Florida jobs in 2017. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 13,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, Hilton, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort.
To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, follow us on our industry social media channels: Facebook and Twitter @FloridaTourism