Live video is entering its golden age, as you may have noticed the shift in focus to live content across platforms like Facebook, Twitter and more. Why? Live entertainment allows for people all over the world to share an experience, eyes glued to millions of screens as the moments unfold. What used to be the sole domain of sporting events has expanded to include everything from watching the Holi Festival of Colors in India to watching the birth of a lion cub in the Sahara.
For now, live streaming is the closest thing we have to teleportation—check out these incredible live streams from around the world. They’re both an escape from your current reality and an invitation to join an international community. Beyond serving as entertainment and inspiration, live streams offer the most up-to-date local forecasts available: a plethora of information about everything from cloud cover to foot traffic. There’s never been a better time to travel the world from your couch…open your laptop and prepare for takeoff!
Northern Lights: Watch the Aurora Borealis dancing above the Canadian tundra from the warmth of your bed. The Northern Lights are a popular bucket list item, and now you can catch them anytime, from anywhere. We love this stream because it bestows a sense of Zen on viewers, making it a lovely stream to watch in the wee hours.
Malibu: Land at LAX, take the 405 to the PCH to Malibu…or just catch the beautiful beaches from wherever you are. This cam, overlooking the Pacific, has been installed so surfers can scope the waves. But you can use it as a virtual Piña Colada, an escape during your lunch break. Or use it as calming décor, projecting it on a blank wall for your dinner guests.
Zion National Park: Stream views of the majestic sandstone cliffs, keeping your eyes peeled for California condors and peregrine falcons against the red rocks. The Zion webcam lets you toggle between streaming views of the Watchman, Kanab Cliffs, Temples & Towers (featuring the Court of the Patriarchs) and Snowbird Resort.
Acropolis of Athens: The sun shines above ancient ruins, with panoramic views of the Acropolis and Parthenon over Athens. The stream includes information about local conditions without the local crowds.
Abbey Road: This crosswalk-turned-album-turned-global-revolution is tucked away in a quaint London neighborhood, viewable 24/7 from a camera installed in the world-famous Abbey Road Studios. If you get pleasure from people watching, this is the live stream for you. Watch hundreds of tourists stop traffic to snap holiday card photos wearing Lennon specs.
Times Square: Feeling restless? Then pay a visit to the city that never sleeps. This live stream is positioned just twelve feet above the Times Square pavement, so it’s easy to monitor individuals. The camera lets you pan and zoom around—perhaps you’re checking out the line at the discounted Broadway tickets booth, or maybe you’re playing ventriloquist to a group of tired travelers hunched over their coffee. If the Abbey Road cam is paradise for people watchers, this is literal heaven.
African Watering Hole: The Lion King comes to life as African animals gather around a watering hole in central Kenya. Observe species (from olive baboons to hippos to giraffes) interact around the oasis, and if you’re lucky you’ll see some drama—listen closely for sounds like a lioness roaring or crocodile chomping. Unlike a zoo or safari where the animals know they’re being watched, this camera opens eyes to the secret lives of African wildlife.
Pandas in China: This live-stream is absolute pandamonium. Pandas seem to be playing 24/7 on this ultra-watchable stream from the aptly named Happiness Village in Sichuan, China, featuring multiple streams of pandas and their cubs. Check back to see them during feeding and enrichment time, when they’re extra playful.
Jellyfish: The Sea Nettles at the Monterey Bay Aquarium are certainly entrancing as they glide underwater, lacy mouth-arms entangled. This stream packs some serious production value, boasting lighting and a soothing soundtrack. The jellies swim around the camera, orange tendrils popping off the blue tank. While swimming with jellyfish in the wild might be a nightmare, this live stream makes jellies are a dreamy, living work of art.
NASA + International Space Station Talk about getting perspective! AEarth looks rather small from this vantage point, making astronauts and viewers realize we really must love and protect Mother Earth—it’s the only planet we’ve got. Take stargazing to a whole new level and put things in perspective with these streams from NASA and the International Space Station.
Live streams the easiest to way to keep an eye on the world—and deftly avoiding any negative world news. They’re great for planning a trip, revisiting a happy place, or spending a day in the life of a panda. Bon voyage!
Annie’s based in Los Angeles but hails from Portland, Oregon. Sort of. She moved to six states by the time she reached middle school, and continues to move around the US and abroad – call her a nomad, but she prefers “Location ADHD.” After studying abroad in New Zealand, Annie circled the globe, graduated from USC, and circled the world once again. For one year she lived out of a backpack everywhere from The Philippines to Nepal to Slovenia to Norway. She’s a curry connoisseur and passionate explorer, taking the road less traveled, the “trail” covered in vines and swarmed in exotic bugs. Foreign lands feel like home, and Annie loves encouraging more and more people to utilize their passports and experience a new culture.