The world is full of cool places to experience, and below are 6 of the coolest. From the U.S. to Europe and even in between, these spots are worth a special visit.
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1. Listen to the Wave Organ
For a unique and ever-changing musical concert, head to the Wave Organ, situated on a jetty in San Francisco Bay where 20 open-ended pipes of various lengths are immersed in the ocean. At high tide, when waves encounter the pipes’ underwater openings, the air inside shifts and resonates, similar to what happens inside conch shells, to push various sounds out of the above-water ends. Each pipe changes with each wave — the less air in the pipe, the higher the pitch. Pretty cool!
2. Cross the Atlantic Ocean
Does the idea of spending a couple of weeks in the lap of luxury while making your leisurely way from Florida to England appeal to you — as opposed to flying and arriving exhausted? If so, you will be pleased to know that crossing the Atlantic by transatlantic cruise ship is remarkably affordable.
It is undeniably cool to spend five or more days on the Atlantic Ocean without a single sighting of land. Meanwhile, you’ll be eating from gourmet buffets, swimming, playing tennis, taking a class in ballroom dancing, and listening to an expert lecture on oceanography. You’ll also be stopping off in a variety of ports — perhaps Bermuda, the Azores, and Portugal — before alighting, thoroughly rejuvenated, on the other side of the Pond.
3. Browse the Centuries at the Paris Flea Market
The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen in north Paris features 1700 merchants selling second-hand goods and antiques. It’s said to be the largest such market in the world. You can take the métro to the Porte de Clignancourt stop, and a short walk will take you from there onto the market’s main street, with more streets, alleyways, warehouses, and stands branching off in every direction.
The flea market is a gold mine for funky and avant-garde interior design. You can find amazing art, antiquities, period furniture, decorative items, textiles, books, jewelry, vintage clothing, even entire antique staircases. Walking through this accumulation of centuries of history and artistry is definitely cool.
4. Scare Yourself With a Cool View From on High
Do you ever feel the urge to stand in a glass box 1353 feet above the heart of Chicago? If so, you’re in luck! Skydeck is located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, and the glass balcony called “The Ledge” projects four feet out into infinity for your terror/enjoyment.
On a clear day, you can see four states in a 360-degree view. You can usually stay on The Ledge for only 60 to 90 seconds before it’s the next group’s turn, but if you plan ahead, you can propose marriage there, or even have your wedding there. There’s an event space a few floors down with the same sorts of spectacular views where you can host an evening cocktail party high above the lights of Chicago.
5. Glow in an Extremely Cool Manner at the Fluorescence Museum
Located beneath an art gallery, Amsterdam’s Electric Ladyland immerses visitors in a world of abstract phosphorescent shapes illuminated by blacklights. You’re free to wander through at your own pace. This small museum also has samples of phosphorescent rocks and other elements that turn colorful when exposed to ultraviolet light.
6. Experience a Tesla Coil
The staff at L.A.’s Griffith Park Observatory fire up their Tesla coil several times a day for the delight of visitors. With its sparks, lightning, and loud, eerie sounds, it is without a doubt cool. It has been there since 1937, after being donated to the city of Los Angeles by Dr. Frederick Finch Strong, a fan of Nikola Tesla who created the coil for his work using electricity in healing. The coil is currently being used to light a neon sign.
“Cool” comes in a lot of varieties. Amazing places to experience are all around us — just keep your ears open so you can hear them calling.