The 10 Best Virtual Reality Travel Destinations

Virtual reality (VR) technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, allowing people to visit captivating destinations across the globe and even other worlds, all without leaving home. Modern VR headsets can provide an incredible sense of immersion and realism that makes these virtual travel experiences truly memorable.

From exploring majestic natural wonders to walking through historically preserved sites, VR developers continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible. Highly detailed 3D scans, volumetric video captures, advanced graphics and clever programming combine to put users right in the middle of the action.

For this list, we’ve handpicked 10 of the most impressive VR travel experiences available today. Whether you’re looking to summit Mt. Everest or dive to the lost wreckage of the Titanic, strap on a headset and let your imagination wander to breathtaking locales near and far.

10. The Grand Canyon VR Experience

Developer: River Valley Technologies
Release Date: January 2017
Platforms: Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, SteamVR
Price: $2.99

Drift down the mighty Colorado River winding through one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Procedural generation ensures a constantly changing array of sights as you navigate class III and IV rapids in a kayak or on a paddleboard. Marvel at the vibrant display of plants and wildlife populating the canyon. When night falls, gaze up at an impressively accurate star-filled sky. It‘s an adventure accessible to most ages and VR comfort levels.

9. Ecosphere

Developer: PHORIA x WWF x Oculus x Silverback Films

Release Date: June 2020
Platforms: Oculus Quest, Oculus Go
Price: Free

Produced by the World Wildlife Fund, Ecosphere‘s three episodes showcase efforts to protect extraordinary environments in Kenya, Malaysia and Indonesia. Observe conservation initiatives up-close through the eyes of rangers working to safeguard endangered species like orangutans and African elephants. Beyond raising awareness, the series aims to inspire viewers to support similar protection programs worldwide.

8. Patagonia VR

Developer: Specterras
Release Date: March 2019

Platforms: Oculus Quest, Oculus Go
Price: $3.99

Soar over South America’s stunning Patagonia region and experience sights few witness in real life. Glide alongside expert climbers as they ascend the breathtaking Towers of Paine. Float weightlessly over the brilliant Laguna Sucia, fed by azure glacial waters. Specterras‘ custom ‘‘Pterovision‘‘ filming process creates an exhilarating and intuitive sense of flight through the towering Andes mountains.

7. The Anne Frank House VR

Developers: Force Field x Oculus
Release Date: June 2018

Platforms: Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, Gear VR

Price: Free

A sobering yet essential VR experience. Walk through the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and seven others hid from Nazi persecution for 25 tense months during World War 2. The richly detailed environment draws directly from Frank’s diaries and utilizes 3D scans of the Annex itself, now a museum in Amsterdam. Beyond being educational, it serves as an impactful reminder of the horrors of violence and intolerance.

6. When We Stayed Home

Developers: CityLights x Oculus
Release Date: September 2020
Platforms: Oculus Quest, Oculus Go

Price: Free

This four-part VR documentary examines the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on typically bustling urban hubs like Venice, Jerusalem, Tokyo and Paris. Users can explore these Turner Prize-nominated cities during lockdowns to better understand residents‘ experiences. Haunting first-person accounts underscore how the crisis fundamentally altered daily lives and perceptions of home.

5. Titanic VR

Developers: Immersive VR Education

Release Date: December 2018
Platforms: SteamVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, PS VR
Price: $19.99

Dive over 12,500 feet below the Atlantic‘s surface to the wreck of the RMS Titanic. Players assume the role of a submarine pilot exploring the legendary ship’s remains over a century after its fateful 1912 sinking. Alternatively, you can relive its final hours from the perspective of a passenger fleeing the slowly submerging vessel. Titanic VR balances entertainment with somber reverence for the over 1,500 lives lost.

4. Everest VR

Developers: Sólfar Studios x RVX

Release Date: August 2016
Platforms: Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, SteamVR
Price: $9.99

Attempt the ultimate mountain climb from the safety of your living room. Everest VR captures views from the summit rarely witnessed by the few thousand yearly climbers braving 29,000 ft ascents. Brief but visually stunning scenes showcase key waypoints encountered on the Nepalese side during typical multi-week treks. Feel dizzyingly small against sheer precipices and sweeping vistas of the entire Himalayan mountain range.

3. Chernobyl VR Project

Developers: Farm 51 x The Farm 51 Reality Experience

Release Date: September 2017

Platforms: Oculus Quest, PSVR, HTC Vive, SteamVR

Price: $9.99

Explore Prypiat, Ukraine, the city established to house workers operating the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the site of the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. Walk the abandoned city streets and venture within sealed areas to learn more about the 1986 catastrophe. An integrated Geiger counter augments the eerie atmosphere by tracking lingering radiation levels still dangerously high.

2. BRINK Traveler

Developers: Brink XR
Release Date: September 2021

Platforms: Oculus Quest, SteamVR, iOS/Android mobile
Price: $9.99

BRINK Traveler excels at delivering breathtaking sights with incredible scale. Stand atop massive rock formations like Horseshoe Bend and Delicate Arch that showcase the immensity and splendor of natural settings in the American West. For added convenience, unlocked mobile device compatibility lets you enjoy adventures on phones or tablets too. As BRINK travelers document these stops, 1% of proceeds aid conservation initiatives.

1. National Geographic Explore VR

Developers: Force Field VR x Felix & Paul Studios x Oculus

Release Date: November 2019
Platforms: Oculus Quest, Oculus Go
Price: $9.99

Our top pick takes users to Antarctica where they can kneel down and gaze eye-to-laser-scanned-eye with curious Emperor penguins. An additional series episode whisks you away to majestic 15th century Incan citadels tucked amid Peruvian mountain paradises. National Geographic‘s beloved brand of storytelling mixed with stunning volumetric video capture makes this a can‘t-miss VR travel production.

Unlock a World of Possibilities with VR Travel

As this roundup shows, today‘s virtual reality experiences can truly transport and engross audiences. While the technology and content continue to progress in exciting ways, there’s already an amazingly diverse array of high-quality VR travel adventures to enjoy right now.

When investing in these digital field trips, first check that your target VR headset or mobile device matches stated compatibility. Also set proper expectations relative to runtimes, which may feel short for some narrative-based experiences compared to expansive gameplay-focused worlds. But with presence and production values reaching impressive new heights year after year, even brief visits through well-crafted VR travel portals produce lasting memories.

For more perspectives on the growth of immersive technologies and related recommendations, check out these additional History-Computer guides:

The 10 Best Virtual Reality (VR) Games on the Market Today

The 10 Largest Virtual Reality Companies in the World and What They Do

The Best Gaming PCs for VR (Virtual Reality) Today

The Oculus Quest Pro vs. Sony PlayStation VR: How Do They Compare?

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