With both domestic and international travel off the table, you may be wondering when you'll get to see other parts of the world again. Luckily, Google's invaluable Street View is here to help. You may be used to using the service to see exactly where a house or business is, but it can be an excellent tool for planning vacations or checking out a particular neighborhood you were thinking of staying in. Beyond that, Google's camera-equipped cars have photographed some exciting and breathtaking roads in their quest to map out the planet. Below are a few unique mini-road trips you can take using Street View from the comfort of your couch—and hey, they just may inspire your next vacation.
Located in southwest France, Bordeaux is home to some of the greatest winemakers in the world, from Château Margaux to Château Haut-Brion. Given their status (and the wines' prices), these vineyards and chateau are immaculately kept, making a drive through this French wine country a fascinating look at just how many different, fantastic wines are grown in such proximity to one another. Starting on Route des Châteaux, you can "drive" south and see Château Latour, Château Pichon Longueville Baron, Château Léoville-Las Cases, and more, while passing through charming French villages.
On the opposite side of the country from Bordeaux sits Monaco, the second-smallest country in the world after Vatican City. There are very few roads in Monaco, so you can see the entire country in just a matter of minutes. The best place to begin is Avenue de la Porte Neuve, with a view of the Port of Monaco and pretty much the entire country in front of you. The street twists and turns, at times, becoming quaint and secluded, while other times opening up to that expansive view. As you go along, you'll see the famed Saint Nicholas Cathedral and the Prince's Palace of Monaco.
Featuring some of the steepest stretches of road in the country, you’ll have a much easier time traversing this stunning road from the comfort of your home. Located within Glacier National Park in Montana, Going-to-the-Sun Road looks out onto vast sections of the park. The road is both a National Historic Landmark and a civil engineering landmark, passing through everything from glacial lakes and waterfalls to forests.
Explore the coastline of Victoria along this 150-mile stretch, which was built by returning soldiers between 1919 and 1932. Dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, it also serves as the world's largest war memorial. The Great Ocean Road traverses everything from rainforests to beaches to steep cliffs, as well as many limestone and sandstone rock formations, including the famed Twelve Apostles.
Crossing the southern section of the Carpathian Mountains, the long and winding Transfagarasan Highway is one of Romania’s top tourist destinations thanks to its beautiful scenery with its various hairpin turns. The idyllic stretch even passes by the real-life Castle Dracula and offers views of the Vidraru Lake. The valley gets gradually steeper, before climbing sharply, up to its highest point: the 2,900-foot-long Capra Tunnel, with an altitude of 6,699 feet. The ever-changing scenery of the highway makes a tremendous digital road trip.
Extending from Seward to Anchorage, the 125 miles long Seward Highway runs through scenic parts of Alaska, such as the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Turnagain Arm, and the Kenai Mountains. The highway runs partially alongside Kenai Lake before traveling through lush Alaskan pine forests and into the Kenai Mountains. The road then follows the Turnagain Arm to Anchorage.
If you’d love to live out your own fantasy series, a drive around the Isle of Skye in Scotland is a must. The island was said to be home to mythical creatures like giants and fairies, while ruins of castles still stand near areas where many battles took place. You’ll see different types of terrain, from jagged volcanic formations made by landslides from the Trotternish Ridge to the Red and Black Cuillin mountains in the South.
Located in Honolulu, Tantalus Drive backs up to the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve and Puu Ualakaa State Park. Here you will get to see a wide variety of Hawaii’s trees, including ironwood, guava, and pine, and those of the flowering variety, including jacaranda, African tulips, and shower trees. Along the drive you get several lookout points, including a view of the Punchbowl Crater.
The historic old port of Montreal was used from the early 17th century until 1976 and runs along the Saint Lawrence River. Driving down Rue de Commune, you'll pass by the Chapel of Notre Dame, built in 1771, and the Bonsecours Market, which as been in operation since 1847. Traveling up the cobblestone side streets, you'll come around to Notre Dame street, home to city hall as well as the courthouse. Be sure to "walk" each of the small streets that wind around the Old Port to explore old-school pubs and establishments, most of which are still open today.
Though not technically a drive, Google’s street view offers up a stunning glimpse of the Amazon rainforest via zipline. The project was made possible with assistance from the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, using a 360-degree camera traveling as fast as 62 miles an hour to capture all the action. The tour allows you to explore the forest floor and then climb the vines to reach the treetop canopy for spectacular views. Afterward, you can float down the Rio Mariepauá, visiting indigenous villages and settlements in the area.