Best Techno-Tourism

VISIT ST. PETE-CLEARWATER'S OCULUS RIFT

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The innovative folks at Visit St. Pete-Clearwater are past masters of the irresistible tourist ploy, from the subversively sunny bus-shelter ads in snowbound cities to the infamous April Fool’s “manaphin” hoax of 2014. But their latest gimmick is unreal, or rather, virtually real: a 360-degree VR tour of Pinellas attractions courtesy of the Oculus Rift. Premiered at a travel industry convention in Orlando earlier this year to much buzz, it is, in the most literal sense, a head trip. Sure, you may feel like a yutz with one of these big Viewmaster-like thingies strapped to your head, but the footage is literally dizzying, with views ranging from the lofty heights of a parasail to the leafy surrounds of Sunken Gardens.

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