The Tour de France is happening as we speak, and aren’t you just kicking yourself for not being there to catch the action? Well, you can do more than just watch: Google’s current “Your Tour” interactive site allows users to ride along with the cyclists, exploring the trails and scenery from their perspective. Google is unveiling new routes this week as the race progresses; keep an eye out for Champs-Élysées, set to be unlocked on July 21.
For nine more newly-debuted destinations to explore on Google Street View, read on!
1. A Google Street View Trekker recently ascended to the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Obtaining access to multiple floors, (not to mention being suspended precariously from a window-washing basket), the photographer was able to capture the stunning views from the 2,717 foot-tall building.
2. Number one on most travelers’ bucket lists is Arizona’s Grand Canyon. But for those of us not willing to deal with climbing around the canyon itself, Google has beautifully documented multiple sites throughout the national park, including the Bright Angel Trail, the South Kaibab Trail, the Colorado River-spanning Black Bridge, and Phantom Ranch.
3. If it’s extreme weather conditions you’re after, Google’s shots of Ross Island in the South Pole are a treat. The images, depicting the 12 flags of the original Antarctic Treaty nations, among other things, are so crisp, you’ll be reaching for your parka in no time!
4. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer fans are sure to get a kick out of this: though the Mark Twain House & Museum is located in Hartford, Connecticut (hardly a tourist magnet), Google allows literature buffs to peek inside the very rooms where Twain and his family lived in the late 1800s.
5. High schoolers can now get a head start on touring prospective universities – thanks to a “University Campuses” category, 12 universities, ranging from Cornell to Stanford, are now fully mapped out on the site.
6. We don’t doubt that Google’s employees are a hard-working bunch, but we certainly don’t pity the Google Street Trekker who took a recent trip to Venice to map out the city’s famous canals, piazzas, footbridges, and alleyways – all on foot. Debuting in roughly two weeks, the images will offer travelers a first-hand taste of what life is like in the lagoon city.
7. No magic spells are needed to tour the real-life Harry Potter set at Warner Bros. Studio in London. Earlier this month, Google’s Street View managed to get inside the studio to capture pristine, up-close images of Diagon Alley’s various wizardry shops – from Mr. Mulpepper’s Apothecary to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
8. This past spring, Kala Patthar, a stop along the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek was one of several new destinations added to the site’s “World’s Highest Peaks” category. Though many of us will never make it to Nepal, let alone an 18,192-foot base camp, these images of weather-beaten Tibetan prayer flags flapping in the wind make us wonder if maybe one day we should try.
9. We’ve already given you suggestions on what to do for your next trip to Singapore, but if you need more convincing, simply head over to Google Maps’ comprehensive photo tour of the island. Covering everything from the Singapore Zoo to the Marina Bay promenade, you’ll be an expert faster than you can say ‘Changi Airport.’