Experience the extraordinary by virtual escapism
Travel might be on hold but the chances are your curiosity about the world is not. While we’re not able to discover the USA in person, it’s a good time to explore with a little help from online escapism. The USA is full of spectacular natural wonders. In part #1 of a series Visit USA provides you with a selection of extraordinary natural phenomena so you can start to build a future bucket list of must visit destinations:
The rainbow hot spring in Wyoming
This extraordinary rainbow-coloured Grand Prismatic pool in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, is the third largest spring in the world. It’s deeper than a 10-storey building and bigger than a football field. Bright rings of orange, yellow and green radiate out from the deep blue in the centre; the colours are created by the different bacteria that are adapted to different temperatures and pH. The blue centre of the spring is about 87C - too hot for any microbes to survive - the hot spring's water cools as it radiates outwards from the source and the changing temperature encourages different types of bacterial growth (and therefore colours). Over the years, these special thermal microbes have led to crimes being solved, helped NASA search for extraterrestrial life on seemingly inhospitable planets and led to major medical and scientific advances, including the sequencing of the entire human genome.
Virtually visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of America’s greatest natural spectacles and a little-known fact is that you don’t need to leave the comfort of home to experience its vast landscape. With a river archaeology Grand Canyon National Park VR tour, travellers can delve deeper into the history behind the Grand Canyon and its incredible formations. Visitors begin their adventure at Lipan point on the South Rim, where they can overlook the canyon and explore the history of the ancestral homelands of the Native American people. After the South Rim, the tour travels to Hilltop Ruin, an archaeological site located just above the Colorado River, providing a view of the inner canyon. Click through the breath-taking 360-degree panoramic photos and discover the intricacies of the first major excavation along the Colorado River in 40 years.
Then settle back and enjoy a virtual Maverick Helicopter flight, taking in the Grand Canyon from the sky, and view one of the world’s most breathtaking locations. The virtual tour includes over 75 interactive, 360 degree panoramic views of more than 400 miles of trails and the Colorado River corridor!
A lake in the desert in Utah
The state of Utah is full of extraordinary inspirational landscapes. Feel the energy as a ranger takes a horseride through Bryce Canyon, and marvel at the sight of Lake Powell, a stunning pool of water that’s set in the bone-dry desert of southwestern Utah. Lake Powell, on the Colorado River, is the second largest reservoir in the country. The sparkling body of water sits in the heart of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and has almost 2,000 miles of shoreline from beaches to canyons and is home to walleye, sunfish, and many types of bass and other wildlife. (Photo credit: Kane County of Tourism)
Mystical trees in California
The extraordinary Joshua Tree National Park in the California desert is peppered with curious trees that look like they could have been invented by Dr Seuss. Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes here in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. You can explore it from the comfort of your sofa with the help of a rancher .
Visit USA and its members hope this gives you a small taste of just a few of the natural experiences hidden amongst the vast array of USA states and destinations. Inspiration for your bucket list of ‘must see’ places in the not too distant future.
For more information to feed your imagination from the comfort of your own device visit any of our destination members and linked Blog content.
Or download the Visit USA Travel Planner HERE
Photo credit: Cover image Murray Foubister