Spring is officially here, so that means it’s time to pick up and get moving. All over the nation, there are cool, memory-making experiences to be had. You deserve to indulge in them. In other words: It’s time to start planning that vacation now.
No matter what you eventually decide to do with your time off—whether you put in the PTO or you’re self-employed and keen on taking a break—you’ll probably want a jump-off point to plan ahead of your adventure. Lucky you, we’ve got a couple of ideas to get you started, located in cities across the country.
Now gear up to have some fun—check out these eight super cool activities to take advantage of in eight different cities through the spring and summer months.
Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion at the Hall des Lumiéres – $34 pp
Inside the historic Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank building, you’ll find plenty of gold. No, not the stuff kept in a vault. The building’s Hall des Lumières is currently home to Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion, a celebration of the legendary artist’s work reimagined in an immersive experience in New York City.
You’ll see projections of Klimt’s iconic pieces on all surfaces of the ornate architecture inside the bank, to a soundtrack that fully transports you inside the artist’s world. It’s an exhibit made for photos, so be sure to take plenty while you’re there.
Truffle Making Classes at The Chocolate House – $75 pp
Just give The Chocolate House two hours, and they’ll turn you into a chocolatier. OK, maybe not, but you’ll leave with a bag full of delicious truffles made with your own hands. The boutique’s shelves are filled with chocolates from around the world, but you can also grab some made locally—super locally, in this case.
The Washington D.C. shop offers a two-hour truffle-making class that guides you through the basics of chocolate making. Flavor your creations with any of the many fresh ingredients made available, and make sure you wear closed-toe shoes. Melted chocolate has a habit of getting everywhere, so make sure you’re dressed accordingly.
When you pull up to The Drifter Hotel, it’s almost like going back in time—aesthetically, at least. The establishment is modeled in the style of a 1950s motel, but the architecture is about all that’s retro about the place.
You don’t have to stay at the hotel to appreciate its benefits. Visit the pool area for a day pass. For $15, you can hang out at the party in the back of the building by the pool, which just so happens to have a disco ball hovering above it. Enjoy the stocked bar and courtyard area, where you can lie out on lounge chairs and enjoy the vibes. The crowd is friendly, diverse, slightly eccentric, and always very cool. Whether you go alone or with friends, you’ll always be in good company. The establishment also hosts food pop-ups, so you can grab something yummy while you chill out.
Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Science – $12 adult ticket
The Houston Museum of Science wants you to get lost in the world of butterflies at its Cockrell Butterfly Center. Enclosed in a towering, three-story greenhouse, complete with a waterfall, is a habitat in which an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 butterflies of roughly 60 different species live.
Get your camera phones ready because it’s a stunning view—like, book your wedding venue views.
Wat Thai Temple Food Market in Sun Valley
One thing Los Angeles doesn’t play about is street food, and the Wat Thai Temple Food Market is amongst some of the best you can find in town. Since 1980, Wat Thai Los Angeles has held a weekend Thai Food Market in its parking lot.
Vendors have to compete to get a booth, so you know the food is good. You’ll find noodle soups, fried bananas, and even Thai gelato, which is unlike any other you’ve experienced. The Food Market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am-5 pm. Stop by, and we bet you’ll never want to leave.
Alinea – Fulton Market – $305-$485pp
Prepare to drop a coin. The eats ain’t cheap at this three Michelin Star restaurant—one of only 14 in the country that holds that honor.
Chicago has one of the best food scenes in the country. While you’re there, head to the Fulton Market neighborhood, home to a host of fantastic restaurants. You can hit up Alinea, the OG of molecular gastronomy, and have a fine dining experience that truly lives up to the term.
Make sure you book in advance though—reservations open up on the 15th of every month and go quickly, so it’s key to plan ahead. Eat in the first-floor gallery or in some of the private salons on the second floor, and enjoy the food you know in textures and presentations you’ve likely never before experienced. And at $305-$485 per person, it certainly is.
Superblue – $39 adult ticket
If immersive art is your thing, Miami’s Superblue Gallery is a must-see. Installations take over whole rooms, transporting you to worlds within worlds that appeal to all the senses. Stunning light exhibits, mirrored halls, and foam-filled rooms await. Spend the afternoon making memories fit for your Instagram photo dumps.
Georgia Aquarium – ~$50 adult ticket
Liveable underwater cities might not exist just yet, but you can come pretty close to the fantasy at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s one of the largest in the world, so yes, very much worth a visit.
You’ll find swimming in the more than 11 million gallons of the aquarium’s water beluga whales, sea lions, African penguins that paint, giant octopi, and many more underwater species. Want to get super up close and personal? Try literally swimming with the fishes; The museum offers dives and swims with their gentle giants—manta rays, whale sharks, and more—if you want something a little more thrilling.
Not looking to dive into the waters? No worries: you can sleep under them. The aquarium also offers sleepovers, so you can watch the fish float around you as you doze off.
These activities located across the nation will surely have something for everyone this spring and summer.
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