Image from Kalahari Resort
402 East Broadway Minneapolis, MN Virtual Reality,Bar & Grills,Restaurants,Video Games Arcades
New at Mall of America, this is an arcade for the real space age—heavy on virtual reality and motion simulators that create the most pulse-pounding moments. Grand Prix racing, zombie wars, drone racing, and DIY roller coasters are a few of the immersive experiences that use Oculus virtual effects. The newest experience that everyone's lining up for, though, is the Sky Karting race, which is on an actual track in an arena, but is still far out and 'Speed Racer'-esque.
Legoland California Resort
One Legoland Drive Carlsbad, CA Theme Parks,Amusement Places & Arcades,Tourist Information & Attractions,Places Of Interest
Southern California's beloved LEGO-themed park is expanding. LEGO Star Wars Miniland is opening six new installations in March 2017, featuring iconic scenes and characters from 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.' The water park is also expanding, with six new slides ready for side-by-side racing in the new Surfer's Bay area. Legoland Hotel boasts some new rooms in 2017, but super-fans should keep an eye on the LEGO horizon for the slated 2018 opening of The Castle Hotel – a full-scale new hotel that follows up on the success of the flagship one.
Rue La Rue Cafe
4396 Broadway New York, NY Restaurants
In a year of seemingly constant tension and ideological debates, a nostalgic 'Golden Girls'-inspired restaurant turns out to be exactly the escapist spot that New York needs. Decorated wall-to-ceiling-to-wall with collectible pictures and memorabilia, the kitschy café is drawing Big Apple crowds willing to wait an hour for a table and a slice of signature cheesecake. If they get to-go coffee, the cup comes with co-star/café muse Rue McClanahan's face on it.
McClanahan (who played the man-hungry Blanche Devereaux on the sitcom) is one of the main reasons this café came to be. Her vast collection of costumes, photos, and keepsakes from the show is now on permanent display in the space. The curator/owner, however, is Michael La Rue, a longtime 'Golden Girls' fan who partnered with McClanahan's son to create this surprise hot spot.
1 Concho Road Minden, WV Water Parks & Slides,Tourist Information & Attractions,Places Of Interest
This five-acre waterpark opened in summer 2016, and was purpose-designed to offer locals an alternative to driving east for splashy fun. It couldn't be better situated for that goal: it's actually on a lake. Within the waterpark, there is a slide, a zipline over water, and a giant, two-person inflatable dubbed "The Blob."
Additionally, the lake contains a colorful aquatic mini-city of other inflatables, an obstacle course, and a climbing mountain. For adults, there are more subtle things to enjoy, i.e., free Wi-Fi and no-license-required lake fishing. The whole waterpark occupies just one section within the so-called "largest adventure resort on the East Coast."
Saved By The Max
1941 W North Ave Chicago, IL Bar & Grills,Bars,Brew Pubs,Night Clubs
Another tongue-in-cheek nostalgia tourist trap that ranks high on our #vacationgoals, this Chicago popup diner memorializes the best after-school kiddie soap of the 1980s. The 'Saved by the Bell' mojo is very, very strong at this bubblegum-colored throwback. Twinkie ice cream with sprinkles is on the dessert menu, "preppie" is the word of the day EVERY day, and multiple stars, including Mario Lopez (Bayside jock AC Slater) have stopped by for a snack and a photo op. If you love this idea, PLEASE NOTE: It's not a permanent restaurant, just a popup — so get in there before May 31, 2017.
The Track Family Fun Parks
3388 Green Mountain Drive Branson, MO Amusement Places & Arcades,Go Karts,Video Games Arcades
Check out Branson's new Ferris wheel, which is now one of the biggest attractions (physically and otherwise) in this iconic tourist town. It was actually a landmark before its official Ozarks arrival in summer 2016: This is the Ferris wheel previously located at Navy Pier in Chicago.
The 150-foot-tall wheel with 40 gondolas is going to light up the Spirit of 76 Promenade in Branson, thanks to a new LED lighting system. This is certainly the focal point of the fun park, but other attractions await, including bumper boats, go-kart tracks, laser tag, and batting cages.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
291 Broadway St Skagway, AK Historical Places,Parks,Places Of Interest,Tourist Information & Attractions,National Parks
Alaska is becoming a bigger tourist draw every summer, according to travel bookers. Klondike park in Skagway is a perfect jump-off into gold rush history, as well as railway adventures and jaw-dropping nature. It is actually three distinct areas (plus one in Seattle). Wander around restored boomtown buildings in the Skagway Historic District, or take the Chilkoot Challenge, hiking 30-plus miles of often-grueling trail.
New interactive exhibits in the Skagway visitor center bring guests into the lives of hypothetical gold rush characters. Note: Skagway is located along the Inside Passage, so, in spite of the remote characteristics, expect to be surrounded by cruise ship day-trippers if you visit during summer or early fall.
209 Ten Mile Circle Frisco, CO Resorts,Ski Centers & Resorts,Lodging,Vacation Homes Rentals & Sales,Golf Courses
Colorado's ski resorts undertake an annual all-out effort to make summer in the mountains even more fun than ski season. It's a tough ticket to fill, but they really try with special attractions and events galore. Copper Mountain stands out due to its action-packed yet child-safe programming. From a go-kart track, to bumper boats, to a zip line, and "Diggler" scooters, this mountain is definitely pushing more than Colorado's typical hiking/mountain biking summer standards.
And there are new additions to the entertainment program this year. The Mac & Cheese Fest provides different kinds of delicious cheesy pasta dishes for the public to vote on, while Guitar Town continues as a free live music event that brings in the best guitarists from around the world.
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
250 Kalahari Drive Pocono Manor, PA Resorts,Lodging,Places Of Interest,Tourist Information & Attractions
Pennsylvania is the proud home state of the largest indoor waterpark in the US of A, following a major expansion. This splashy Pocono playground is doubled in size, and some of the new additions -- especially the swim-up bar, but also the indoor-to-outdoor hot tub -- are tailored to grownup guests. With a maximum guest capacity of 6,900, the waterpark can now accommodate the entire populations of some nearby towns. And no doubt will, come summer.