Take a Virtual Tour of Paradise

Do you ever daydream of traveling the world? I do; in fact, I won’t deny doing so via Google Maps. Oftentimes, a quick search for a secluded beach in Tahiti or the Eiffel Tower in France will satiate my itch to travel. Recently, Google has added interactive-panoramic photos of popular attractions in Hawaii, as a way for you to get a “virtual vacation to paradise,” as stated in an official Google blog post.

The interactive gallery wouldn’t be complete without a snapshot of Waikiki.

An extended version of the Google Street View gallery, “Scenic Hawaii” takes users through volcanic lava fields, down the Waikiki strip and above the gorgeous canyons of Waimea. You can even get a quick sample of what it’s like to attend a traditional Hawaiian luau, as Google illustrates this with a panorama of an Old Lahaina luau on Maui.

My favorite is the image of upcountry Lanai. Beautiful greenery fills the entire panorama, as a couple strolls right past you. It’s almost like you’re there. Although, I’ve actually never been to this island (yet), and – like many of you – am living vicariously through Google’s virtual ways.

Welcome to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island!

The panoramic image moves continuously until you roll the mouse onto the photo. It stops moving and then allows the user to “walk” forward/backward, zoom in/out and even look up the location in Google Maps. I’d say Google has made daydreaming that much easier for me and the rest of its users. Now, how bout we make those dreams come true and travel “for real?!”

GOOGLE’S SCENIC HAWAII • Interactive panoramic images of Hawaii • maps.google.com/intl/en/help/maps/streetview/gallery.html#!/scenic-hawaii

Photo Credit: Screenshots from Google’s Scenic Hawaii gallery