To Cool Down This Summer, Rent a Private Pool by the Hour Wherever You Are

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/28/2021, 8:00 PM

With apologies to ice cream trucks and darkened movie theaters, a swimming pool is the most effective antidote to blazing summer temperatures.  Fortunately, there's an easy and reasonably affordable way to take a refreshing, chlorinated dip during your next warm-weather vacation (or staycation), even if you've booked lodgings that lack a pool on the premises.  An online marketplace called Sw...

In Idaho, You Can Spend the Night in a Giant Potato

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/27/2021, 6:00 PM

On a farm near downtown Boise, a 6-ton replica of Idaho's most famous agricultural product is now available for overnight stays. The Big Idaho Potato Hotel is a 28-foot long, 12-foot wide, 11.5-foot tall structure built from steel, plaster, and concrete to resemble one of the state's beloved Russet Burbank spuds.  The Idaho Potato Commission created the titanic tuber for the organization's 7...

Chart Your Travels with Lego’s New, Nearly 12,000-Piece World Map

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/26/2021, 7:00 PM

A huge new Lego set pays tribute to globetrotters—though to be honest, completing the assembly would likely confine us to our homes for several months.  Set for release on June 1, the Lego Art World Map contains a total of 11,695 pieces. That's the most ever in a single set, according to the company.  The newest addition to the Lego Art series of ultra-challenging sets intended for grown-ups...

In Paris, a Former Stock Exchange Is Now a Cutting-Edge Art Museum

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/21/2021, 7:00 PM

Paris has a new showcase for contemporary art. In fact, the place is so fresh it's not even in the guidebooks yet.  Opening Saturday, May 22, the Bourse de Commerce–Pinault Collection houses a vast trove of paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, audio works, installations, and other art from the 1960s to the present.  The new museum occupies a historic domed building that started out as...

Take an Elevated Stroll Among Giant Redwoods on California’s New Sky Walk

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/20/2021, 3:00 PM

A brand-new suspended walkway in Northern California will give visitors a unique perspective on the region's gigantic redwoods.  Located at the Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, Redwood Sky Walk is a network of platforms and bridges hanging up to 100 feet over the forest floor. That's about a third of the way up the tallest trees in the old-growth and mature second-growth redwood grove on city ground...

Find the Oldest Hotel in Each Country with These Illustrated Maps

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/19/2021, 7:00 PM

The planet's oldest hotel, according to Guinness World Records, is a Japanese onsen (hot-spring hotel) that has been in operation since the year 705.  Emperors and samurai warriors are among the guests said to have soaked in the waters of Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (pictured above), located in Yamanashi Prefecture southwest of Tokyo. Incredibly, 52 generations of the same family have been runn...

Japanese Airline Installing Hands-Free Lavatory Doors

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/14/2021, 8:30 PM

Touching an airplane bathroom's door has always been scary, whether there's a global pandemic raging or not.  A clever solution has been devised in Japan, and, frankly, we'd like to know what took so long.  All Nippon Airways (ANA), the country's largest carrier, has partnered with aviation manufacturer Jamco to come up with hands-free lavatory doors for airplanes.  A handle and sliding l...

New Flights—and Cheaper Airfares—from the U.S. to Italy Coming This Summer

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/13/2021, 4:00 PM

In April 2013, the way Americans planned Italian vacations underwent a seismic shift. That was when the Emirates airline announced plans to start flying from New York City to Milan. That might sound like a small development, but the downward pressure the carrier put on what had been a very closed market meant that, for the first time, transatlantic U.S.–Italy airfares to Milan were often cheape...

After Pandemic-Era Reprieve, Parking Fees Coming Back to Las Vegas Strip

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/12/2021, 5:15 PM

Some travel policies adopted during the pandemic look like they're here to stay (goodbye, airline change fees!). Others proved to be fleeting (goodbye, empty middle seats on airplanes!). It turns out free parking at Las Vegas casinos belongs to the latter category.  MGM Resorts will bring back paid parking at its dozen properties (including MGM Grand, pictured above, as well as the Bellagio,...

Rome Is Adding a New Stage Inside the Colosseum for Gladiator's-Eye Views

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/12/2021, 11:00 AM

It's hard to imagine Italy getting any more magnifico than it already is for visitors. But the nation has been impressively proactive about improving access to its ancient wonders during the pandemic—moves that will make visiting the Boot even more fascinating in the near future. In Rome, the tomb of the first emperor has opened to the public and the site of Julius Caesar's assassination will s...

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