Destinations

The World’s Steepest Roller Coaster

Any self-respecting world-class roller coaster enthusiast has to visit the Fuji-Q High Land at least once. The amusement park—in Yamanashi, Japan, almost literally in the shadow of Mt. Fuji—is home to many of the planet’s best rides.

The self-assigned goal of the Fuji-Q High Land park: To build a roller coaster every five years worthy of a spot in The Guiness Book of World Records. Thus far, the amusement park has achieved that goal:

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The Caribbean’s Cavern Restaurants

Quiz question: What’s the difference between a cave and a cavern?

In common usage the two terms are mostly interchangeable. But, technically, there’s a difference. Pretty much any underground chamber qualifies as a cave. To be a cavern a cave must 1) have formed naturally out of rock; and 2) be able to produce speleothems, which are those icicle-shaped mineral deposits created by dripping water.

There are several bars and restaurants around the world that are in caves. There are only two on the planet that are in caverns. Both of them are in the Caribbean:

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Borrow a Chromebook From
Virgin America, Ace Hotel

Spot Cool Stuff recently reviewed Google’s Chromebook netbooks on our tech blog. The new computers runs the Chrome operating system is almost entirely integrated in with the cloud. The major disadvantage of the Chrome OS: It renders a computer mostly useless if it isn’t online. The major advantages: With a Chromebook there’s no need to worry about updating software, backing up files or running out of storage space.

If you’d like to try out a Chromebook for yourself on your next trip you now can. For a limited time, passengers on Virgin America and guests at New York’s Ace hotel will each be able to borrow one, for free.

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3 Cool & Affordable Places To Stay In Vancouver

For a world-class city that gets more than its share of backpack and flashpack travelers, Vancouver has a surprising dearth of interesting budget accommodations. Yeah, there’s the big party-oriented youth hostel, but there’s nothing especially remarkable about it save for an excellent central location. Choice Hotels has seven properties in the greater Vancouver area that provide good value but all are rather blah.

So what’s a cool seeking but money pinching traveler to do? After some sleuthing Spot Cool Stuff managed to find three lodgings that were both high in character and low in price.

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Summer Camp—For Adults

Youth, they say, is wasted on the young. And maybe summer camp is too. Twelve-year-olds can’t fully appreciate the joys of carefree days playing volleyball and failing at archery, taking afternoon swim breaks and roasting marshmallows by a fire, raiding rival cabins and sneaking out after curfew for stolen kisses behind the equipment shed.

For those who miss the summer camp of their youth—or missed out on the experience all together—start packing your duffel bags. Club Getaway, a New England resort, and Jetsetter, a flash-deal website with travel bargains, have teamed up on create a summer camp experience; one that’s for adults only.

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Take A Fantastic Voyage
Through the Human Body

Your kids can bounce up and down on the rubber tongue

Sure, you could learn about inner functionings of the human body by reading an anatomy book. Or you could learn the Spot Cool Stuff Way: By walking through a giant 35 meter (115 feet) tall replica of the human body at the Corpus Science Museum in the Netherlands. Intrigued?

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No Shoes. No News.
Pure, Private, Beach Relaxation.

Every villa is perched on stilts above calm, crystal clear waters, so you're never more than a few steps away from a refreshing swim

There are only two rules at the Soneva Gili by Six Senses in the Maldives and, trust us, after a few minutes at this honeymoon-oriented beach resort you won’t mind following either:

1) No shoes are allowed.

2) Do not discuss news from the outside world.

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The Hotel That Was Once Luke Skywalker’s Home

Spot Cool Stuff previously reviewed the cool, luxurious and eco-friendly Adrere Amellal resort in Egypt; we described being there as like living on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s desertic home planet in Star Wars.

Further to the west, in Matmata, Tunisia, there’s a desert lodge that isn’t like Tatooine. It is Tatooine1. That lodge, the Sidi Driss Hotel, served as the filming location for several scenes in Star Wars.

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