Northwest

5 Superb Shoe Museums Where Fashion Is Afoot

Did you know that humans have been wearing footwear of some form or another for as many as 40,000 years now? And that it’s only been in the last 200 years that shoes have been designed with differentiation for left and right feet?

You needn’t necessarily be a fashionista to appreciate the astonishing variations in footwear over the ages. You need only to bring your curiosity to one of the two dozen-ish museums around the world dedicated to design of the shoe.

Here’s a look at Spot Cool Stuff’s five favorites places to kick off a podiatric exploration:

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8 Amazing Libraries (and One That’s Horrible)

One of Spot Cool Stuff’s most popular travel posts has been our review of World’s Best Bookstores. But what about those people looking to borrow, and not buy, a book? Fortunately our planet also has several incredible libraries. In fact, there’s a case to be made for libraries having more interesting architecture than any other building type except for religious houses of worship.

Here’s our look at eight architecturally amazing libraries (and one that’s not so much). It is the first in a series of Spot Cool Stuff’s tour of the world’s best looking libraries. To stay updated on all of our posts, including our cool library series, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS feed or check back with our newly opened Book and Literature Travel category page.

And if you know of a library you’d like us to check out leave us a comment any time. Late fees never apply.

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5 Fabulously Odd Oregon Roadside Attractions

Oregon’s natural beauty has been celebrated ever since Lewis and Clark first paved the way. With its epic coastlines, towering redwoods and undulating sand dunes, it’s no wonder manifest destiny brought Americans here.

But underneath Oregon’s beautiful exterior, lurks a completely different world. A world of bizarre, off-beat and downright odd roadside attractions that will challenge, disrupt and send askew any previous opinions you held about the state. Here are five of the best:

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Cedar Creek Treehouse Hotel

There are other treehouse hotels in America but none are as dramatic as Cedar Creek. Here, 200-year old trees literally grow through the kitchen, bedroom and living spaces of the five-person bed & breakfast suite. Coolest of all is the observatory tower, which is more than 100 feet (30 meters) above the forest floor and reached via a suspended walkway and the “stairway to heaven” that spirals around a giant Douglas fir.

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 Cedar Creek Treehouse Hotel

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