Destinations

A Family Road Trip Around the Catskills

Less than a 90-minute drive from New York City, but seemingly much further away in terms of scenery and pace of life, the Catskills Mountains and is a land of cool inns, charming bed and breakfasts, gourmet cafes, scenic hikes, ski resorts, antique shops — and a surprising number unusual attractions.

Spot Cool Stuff recently returned from a week-long road trip around the Catskills. In addition to being a family vacation, the trip was an opportunity to test drive a Kia Sportage compact SUV.

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Cool Apres Ski Destinations

Imagine a combination of a ski lodge and Animal House.

Golf has it’s 19th hole. Football matches have after parties. And skiing has après ski. That’s when skiers depart the slopes in favor of a bar, tavern, warming hut or igloo (!) for some drinking and dancing and socializing — and then drinking some more.

The après ski concept has taken hold in some places more than others. Here’s Spot Cool Stuff’s rundown of the coolest après ski countries. Read on or click through to your country of choice:


Geneva’s International International Airport

Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland. But fly into Geneva airport and you might not actually enter Switzerland when you leave the terminal. That’s because the airport is located along the border of France. The runways are all within Swiss territory (barely, see the photo below). But the main terminal building has a “French side” and a “Swiss side.” The airport facilities exist in both countries and, in some cases, are bisected by the border!

I’ve heard of international airports but that’s ridiculous.

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Key West Art Scene Hits New Low

It seems unlikely that a 60-year-old ship of war would end up as the home of a surreal art gallery. Which is an example of exactly why Spot Cool Stuff so loves to travel:

The world is full of unlikely attractions in unlikely places. And some of those places aren’t even on land.

So it is with Vandenberg: Life Below the Surface, an underwater art exhibit off the coast of Key West, Florida.

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Majorca in Chopin’s Footsteps

Majorca is full of tourists — mostly British — who flock of the sun-drenched Spanish island in the Balearic Sea for its high-rise hotels, social beach scene and techno-fueled nightlife. Visit specific portions of the island and you’ll certainly find all those. But a vacation on Majorca can be completely different from that experience too.

Instead of staying in a high-rise hotels, travelers can book a villa online — there are all sorts to choose from, many surprisingly affordable.

Instead of the packed beaches, check out the old quarter of the Majorcan capital of Palma. Its medieval architecture and maze of cobblestone lanes ooze history — and are surprisingly unvisited.

And instead of the techno nightlife, take a more classical music approach and follow in the footsteps of Chopin.

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The Treehouse is the Point

Staying here is a curious mix of luxury and roughing it

Seattle is a Spot Cool Stuff favorite city. We love experiencing its vibrant urban heart. And we love how easy it is to escape that for the accessible natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

A case in point (literally, a “point”) is The Treehouse Point. The complex—part treehouse hotel, part quaint event venue, part wilderness preserve—is in the middle of a lush forest yet only a 35-minute drive from downtown Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market.

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The Best View from a
Hotel Room in Bangkok

Bangkok is a city full of luxury hotels, each of which offers a high level of personalized service. However, one luxurious hotel (with a high level of personalize service) rises above the rest, literally: The Tower Club at lebua.

The Tower Club suites occupy the top floors of the State Tower, the tallest hotel and third tallest building of any sort in the whole of Thailand. But, is higher better? The Tower Club at lebua invited Spot Cool Stuff to stay in one of their suites for two nights. Here’s what we found:

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Best. Websites. Ever.
Caribbean Travel Deals

Arranging a trip to the Caribbean online? There are lots of general travel websites—Travelocity, Expedia and Funjet Vacations among them—that cover the Caribbean along with the rest of the planet. But many of the best deals, and much of the most useful planning information, are found on websites that specialize in the Caribbean. Here are our countdown review of the five best:

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