If you’re dreaming about summer travel plans and your wanderlust is getting the best of you, take heart. Check out this cross-country itinerary for live views of some of the most relaxing and scenic spots that will whisk you away on a virtual vacation.
Get it Going in Gatlinburg
As the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, serves up views galore. Kick back, put your feet up and enjoy forever views of the mountains from the Ober Gatlinburg ski slopes or Newfound Gap in the national park.
If you’d rather do a little people-watching in the heart of the picturesque downtown, click onto the Mountain Mall webcam. You’ll get a front-row seat for festivities that take place on Gatlinburg Parkway and events at the Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza, too.
Plan Adventure in Pigeon Forge
Less than 20 miles north, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is home to Sunrise Ridge Resort, an ideal base camp to begin your journey exploring the mountain sights.
Check out webcam views of The Island in Pigeon Forge. The park lights up the night sky with its 200-foot tall Big Wheel covered in more than a million lights. By day, you can watch the clouds drifting over the Smokies beyond the park.
A drive to the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina is always well worth the day trip; alternatively, you can gaze at giraffes while still in your pajamas when you check out the zoo’s webcam. There are two cameras for watching the towering creatures, one in the barn and one in the paddock.
Breeze into Branson
Branson, Missouri, might be famous for its music scene, but it’s also a picturesque place to view via webcam.
Check out the action on the Branson Highway 76 Strip from atop Presley’s Country Jubilee. Or, gaze out over Table Rock Lake from your iOS device as you imagine pulling trophy-size bass from its waters.
Don’t worry about missing out on the live entertainment. Pull up the Branson Tourism Center’s webcam archives to enjoy shows featuring country, comedy, gospel, tribute artists, acrobats and more. With dozens of short shows to choose from, settle in with some snacks and cast your custom variety show to your TV.
Enjoy the Views of Estes Park, Colorado
Elk and other wildlife might peep into view when you tap into Rocky Mountain National Park’s webcams. Check out the tundra above the treeline at more than 11,000 feet at the Alpine Visitor Center — it’s not unusual to see snow from August through May.
Wildlife and wildflowers are stars of the show at the Kawuneeche Valley webcam. Or, get an eagle’s-eye view from the tallest and most rugged mountain in the park: Longs Peak rises more than 14,000 feet with snow-capped, jagged granite framing the dramatic views.
Surrounded by the Tonto National Forest and Mazatzal Wilderness, Payson, Arizona, rolls out a cool antidote to the Phoenix summer heat. Mogollon Airpark runway slices between the Ponderosa pine trees, providing a scenic backdrop of pastel clouds and green meadows framing small aircraft taking off and landing.
Head south to Canyon Lake, where picturesque sailboats breeze along brilliant blue waters tucked in a desert landscape. To the north of Payson, watch trains thunder live through the city of Flagstaff, peruse the historic downtown or check out the ski slopes at the Arizona Snowbowl.
Stop Off in Scottsdale
Enjoy city lights or discover local wildlife with a bevy of webcams in and around Scottsdale, Arizona. Follow the saga of nesting bald eagles at Lake Pleasant, swim underwater with desert pupfish in the Salt River or watch baby owlets snuggle in their hidden nest.
Tap into local culture on the City of Scottsdale’s livestream programming. Get tips on how to garden in the desert, see what the local wildlife is up to or take virtual hikes through the mountains. Learn about the history of the Hashknife Pony Express, which rode into the West’s Most Western Town in the 1800s, or listen to local musicians.
Settle in at Sedona
Known for its red rock scenery, the city of Sedona attracts more than 3 million visitors each year — but you don’t have to worry about rubbing elbows with the crowds when you’re visiting virtually. Several city attractions maintain live webcams that make it easy to enjoy vistas of the canyonlands throughout the day.
Watch the sunrise or sunset from Airport Mesa, one of the city’s most popular viewpoints. Expansive views over the city let you watch fluffy white clouds sailing across the blue skies and witness dramatic summer storms in real-time.
Delve into the heart of Uptown Sedona with a live cam from Gateway Cottage Wellness Center. The stone building was once the sales office for one of the founding family’s apple orchards and offers views of famous canyon formations like Snoopy Rock and Giant’s Thumb.
Imagine what it would be like to gaze out at the red rocks once enjoyed by Lucille Ball. The live webcam located at the House of Seven Arches — once owned by Ball and now the home of Doublemint Twin Terri Frankel and her husband Fred — roll out views of Oak Creek, Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village and Diamond Resort’s Los Abrigados Resort and Spa.
Even when physical travel is out of reach, you can still venture to faraway places and take in stunning scenery — and maybe even score a few ideas for your next dream getaway.
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