United States

Seattle to the Max

Supposedly, Seattle as a travel destination embodies the funky and artsy. Yet, surprisingly, there are only a handful of hotels that match that reputation. The majority of high-end hotels in Seattle seem stale, corporate, and predictable.

Those adjectives are light years away from the Hotel Max. This downtown, Seattle boutique hotel is all about being fun and trendy.

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The Most Luxurious Orlando Hotels with Free Wifi

One of Spot Cool Stuff’s biggest travel peeves: Hotels that charge for in-room wireless internet. We somewhat understand budget no-frills hotels adding an optional internet fee, but it is usually those very hotels that don’t. The hotels that typically charge the most for internet access are those that already charge the highest room rates. What sort of luxury experience is that? To Spot Cool Stuff it is the equivalent of a hotel putting an electricity meter outside every room and charging their guests extra for their power usage.

For whatever reason, hotels and resorts in Orlando are especially prone to charging for internet access. We’ve found hotels in Central Florida that charge up to $30 per day! Fortunately we’ve always found a few hotels that offer an upmarket experience, that are convenient to Orlando’s theme parks and attractions and that provide free wifi. Here are the three best:

Update: Amen! The Walt Disney World Resort has recently announced that it will start offering free wifi. Hopefully this means that other Orlando-area resorts will follow their lead.

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Orlando’s Exotic Driving Experience
spot cool stuff TRAVEL

The difference between driving a Lamborghini and, say, a Toyota Corolla is something like the difference between flying on a jumbo jet and taking the bus.

Chances are that, at one time or another, you’ve walked past a parked Ferrari or seen a Lamborghini zoom by and thought to yourself “I wonder what it would be like to drive that thing?” The Exotic Driving Experience is your chance to find out—without the hassle of following speed limits and fighting off grand theft auto charges in court. That’s because the Exotic Driving Experience is at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida. And the exotic car you are driving is a rental.

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Overnight Inside a Giant Beagle

At this affordable bed and breakfast, paying the bill is not a bitch

Getting sent to the doghouse can be a very good thing if you happen to be traveling through central Idaho. Because there, on a rise on the outskirts of the town of Cottonwood, is where you’ll find the Dog Bark Park Inn, an unusual bed and breakfast that’s shaped like an enormous beagle!

The gregarious proprietors of the Dog Bark Park, Dennis Sullivan and Frances Conklin, describe their property as “a noble and absurd undertaking.” That sounds exactly right to us.

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A Good Night’s Nest

Spot Cool Stuff wrote previously about a rental villa in France where guests can live like human hamsters. But perhaps you’re looking for an animalistic unusual hotel experience more avian than that. We have your answer: The Human Nest.

The Nest is literally a human-sized abode made of branches and woven wood. Think of it as a piece of art that you happen to be able to sleep in.

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A New York City Night Out,
Mad Men-Style

The bar offers “Martinis and Manicures” every night for the ‘60s bargain price of $10 for both!

The “swinging ‘60s” might be so last millennium, but partying like Mad Men’s purveyor of cool, Don Draper, is about as current as it gets. In honor of the new season of the cool AMC show Mad Men, here’s your guide to a retro night out in New York City, from kitschy New York bars to lounges specializing in Old Fashioneds and Mint Juleps:

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6 Cool Bicycle Stores

There’s no other bicycle shop in the world where you have to give serious thought to your wardrobe before visiting.

The best bike shops in the world do more than sell and fix bicycles. They fill you with a sort of enthusiastic energy that makes you want to get out there and pedal.

There are lots of great community bicycle stores out there, too many for us to declare the six we feature below to be the absolute best. But each one is superlative in its own way:

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Flying the Airway to Heaven

On the shores of Lake Constance—which straddles Germany, Austria and Switzerland—the whales are not found in the water. They are found floating above it in the form of the massive whale-like zeppelin, the world’s largest commercial flying machine.

Note that zeppelins are different from blimps. Both have bulbous tops filled with a gas that’s lighter than air. But a blimp’s top has no internal structure; blimps are essentially steerable balloons. Zeppelins use a metal frame, which makes them more stable, agile, durable and quiet for passengers (since the engine can be placed further from the cabin).

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