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New Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Opens in Chicago Burbs

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2018, 11:30 PM

Midwesterners in search of chlorinated fun have a new destination in the Chicago suburbs.  Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, the 17th outpost in a chain of Northwoods-themed indoor water park resorts across North America, has opened in Gurnee, the same town (located about 40 miles north of downtown Chicago) where you'll find Six Flags Great America.  The new Great Wolf occupies space once belonging to ...

New Zealand to Start Taxing Tourists

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/20/2018, 5:30 AM

The price of a vacation in New Zealand is about to go up.  The country's government has announced plans to charge a new tax on tourists, expected to go into effect in the middle of 2019. International visitors staying less than 12 months will be charged somewhere in the range of NZ$25–35 (US$17–24). Citizens of Australia and most Pacific Island Forum countries will be exempt from the fee.  Acco...

Which North American Airport Has the Fastest Free Wi-Fi?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/18/2018, 12:00 AM

Finding an airport with free Wi-Fi in the United States and Canada isn't as hard as it once was. It's still a challenge, though, to find free airport Wi-Fi that doesn't move at a pace recalling cold molasses, elderly turtles, or repairs to the New York City subway system. But the situation is improving in some terminals, according to a new report from Ookla, the company behind the Speedtest site ...

Historic Luxury Resort Reborn in Arizona

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/13/2018, 9:30 PM

For several decades starting in 1896, a remote Arizona resort located about 50 miles north of Phoenix played host to a steady stream of well-to-do vacationers, including Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Roosevelts, and other Gilded Age muckety-mucks.  They were drawn to Castle Hot Springs for the seclusion, sunny weather, Southwestern pursuits like horseback riding, and the supposed restorative propert...

Polish Vodka Museum Opens in Warsaw

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/12/2018, 8:00 AM

There's some dispute about where vodka was born. Both Poland and Russia lay claim to having produced the first batch of the transparent spirit from distilled grains or potatoes more than five centuries ago. Since the stuff has become so deeply embedded in both countries' cultures and economies—not to mention their citizens' bloodstreams—we're content to call it a tie.  Poland has arguably la...

A Makeover and New Museum at Gateway Arch in St. Louis

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/08/2018, 9:00 PM

A multiyear, multimillion-dollar project to gussy up the grounds of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis culminates this summer in the July 3 opening of an expanded museum that tells the tale of America's westward expansion.  Located underground, the newly rechristened Museum at the Gateway Arch replaces the similar but more limited previous facility, which had become outdated both in its simplistic, Gu...

This Summer's Stupid Food Fad Has Arrived

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/04/2018, 12:00 AM

Following in the tradition not only of gimmicky dishes made with absurdly expensive ingredients (which is how we ended up with monstrosities like the $1,000 omelet and the $25,000 taco) but also in the tradition of gimmicky dishes made for Instagram rather than taste buds (looking at you, rainbow bagels), a restaurant chain in New York City is now serving 24-karat gold chicken wings.   ...

Singapore Airlines Bringing Back the World's Longest Flight

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/30/2018, 9:45 PM

Singapore Airlines has announced plans to resume nonstop service between the Asian city-state's Changi Airport (pictured above) and Newark Liberty International Airport just outside New York City—a flight that will cover more than 10,000 miles and last just under 19 hours, making it the world's longest. The carrier previously offered this route up until 2013, when it was decided that planes would...

How Bad Will Hurricane Season Be This Year?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/30/2018, 12:00 AM

Hurricane season officially starts Friday, June 1, but the first named storm of the year has already arrived.  Subtropical depression Alberto made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Memorial Day and continues to bring the threat of heavy rains, wind gusts, and flash flooding as it moves through the Southeast. The Weather Channel predicts the storm could last through late Wednesday, as what rema...

Seattle's Space Needle Gets a Glassy Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/26/2018, 12:00 AM

A $100 million update to Seattle's skyline-defining Space Needle is just about finished.  But don't worry, purists: The 605-foot retro-futuristic tower still looks like something dreamed up by the animators for The Jetsons—or, as the Frommer's guide puts it, "like a flying saucer on a tripod."  Some sprucing up here and there aside, the most dramatic changes can be found on the observation deck,...

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