Winter Olympics got you in a sporting mood? Here's your chance to earn your own gold (participation) medal. The Bobsleigh Ride Experience at the Whistler Sliding Centre gives you and a few friends/strangers the opportunity to rocket down the former Olympic track. The day begins with an orientation, helment fitting, etiquette discussion — no inappropriate touching inside the sled — and safety walkthrough. You'll then meet the track crew and be secured into the professionally-piloted sled for a run down the ice at speeds approaching 80mph. All of which sounds like way more fun than another night of Ice Dancing.
It might not look like much from the outside, but as you can tell by the parking lot full of cars, the lines, and the fact that the road's named after the place, B's Barbecue is a big deal. And that's due to the tiny place's food, most specifically the pulled pork and chicken, which are slow cooked over charcoal and spiced so well that it's unlikely you'll need to take advantage of the bottle of sauce on your table. The sides are solid, the prices are low, and the lines are long — so plan on getting there early, because they shut down when they run out of food. And that happens more often than you might think.
Sometimes being by the ocean just isn't enough. Sometimes you need to be atop the ocean. And for times like those, Velassaru Maldives is an ideal destination. Located in the Indian Ocean just a 25-minute speedboat ride from the airport in Malé, this private island resort offers a variety of accommodations, ranging from humble bungalows to over-water suites and villas, as well as five restaurants, two bars, a full-service spa, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Assuming you feel like doing anything more than just lounging in the water and taking in the views.
For most people, simply visiting an active volcano would be thrilling enough. But if you're not one of those people, perhaps Volcano Boarding will do. In this extreme sport — created by the proprietors of Bigfoot Hostel — you'll be flying down the slopes of 2,388-foot Cerro Negro on nothing but a sit-down wooden-style toboggan made from metal and Formica-reinforced plywood. And when we say flying, we really mean it — speeds reach up to 55 mph, or way faster than you should ever be going on something that requires you to sit on the ground. The experience includes transportation, safety equipment, a jumpsuit and goggles, speed clocking, and a celebration of your bravery once you return to Bigfoot. Whether you decide to stay there or not is totally up to you.
Going on safari doesn't have to mean roughing it in tents and mosquito nets. At Lion Sands Game Reserve, you get to enjoy all the wildlife and natural beauty of a safari while resting your pampered head in a luxury accommodation. The property includes five lodges, each with multiple suites, as well as three treehouses that put you in the middle of the action while providing a more intimate stay. As for the animals you might see on your outings — they typically take place in the morning or early evening — there are too many to list, but some of the more notable species include elephants, rhinoceros, monkeys, zebra, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, leopards, and even honey badgers.
Oh sure, it sits on the ocean. And it offers six waterfront villas, as well as a variety of rooms set in picturesque gardens. There's a large pool overlooking the ocean, a lounge set on the beach with a bar that serves up both tasty libations and light meals, and a full-on restaurant for dinner time. There's even an aloe tree outside each room in case you spend a bit too long in the sun. But the real jewel of The Manta Resort is the Underwater Room, a private floating island with a top deck for sunbathing, a water deck for lounging and eating, and a bedroom that sits four meters below the surface, giving you unbelievable views of the native marine life. [Scouted by Emil]
Take your next beach vacation away from the beach and over the water with a stay at Cocoa Island by Como. This private island resort offers 33 overwater suites and villas, each of which boasts a private terrace, a comfortable king-sized bed, Wi-Fi, climate control, a separate tub and shower, and a well-stocked minibar. Take the walkway from your room back to the island to enjoy the pool, Ufaa restaurant, Faru bar, or the COMO Shambhala Retreat, a full-service spa offering a yoga pavilion, steam rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, and more. Or just slip off your deck directly into the sea. And don't worry if seaplanes aren't your thing — unlike most resorts in the region, it's just a 40-minute speedboat ride from the international airport in Malé.
Thanks to their handy online store, Homage tees can be found on commoners and celebs far and wide. But if you're looking to get the full-on Homage experience, you need to head to the Homage Easton Store. Located in the fashionable Easton Town Center, this 2,600 square foot shop offers more than just the company's line of tees, hoodies, hats, and sweats, most notably interesting fixtures like the back end of a '73 VW bus — used to highlight Surf Ohio gear — and a vintage scoreboard. Given the location, it's no surprise that the store is heavy on OSU, OU, Bengals, Browns, Reds, and Indians gear, but you don't need to be a Buckeye or Bobcat to appreciate the vintage NBA JAM arcade machine and free Mexican Cokes.
The rooms at Endémico — or Encuentro Guadalupe, as it's now called — may be small, but once you get an eyeful of the views they provide, their size simply won't matter. Set on a hill overlooking the Valle de Guadalupe wine region, this unique luxury hotel features 20 luxury cabins, each of which provides unobstructed views of the valley. The hotel is somewhat remote, but thanks to an on-site pool, restaurant, and bar, there's little reason to leave — and since it's just 90 minutes from San Diego, you won't have far to go when you do decide to leave.
Named after the infamous bungalow No. 8 at the Beverly Hills Hotel — home to many a late-night forbidden tryst — No. 8 exudes some of the same style, and we assume serves as the site for some discrete hookups, as well. Located in the Chelsea arts district, this two-floor affair features a ballroom-like atmosphere on the main floor, with banquet tables, a lounge area, and a U-shaped bar, and a vinyl lounge upstairs boasting a curated collection of over 8,000 albums. Terrific small plates account for the food, but the cocktails are the real star, with excellently paired ingredients and a slightly different menu on each floor.
While the finer details might differ, odds are any dress shirts you pick up at the local mall are going to be like all the rest. Which is what makes Mizzen+Main so interesting. Their signature shirts features moisture wicking fabric that stretches four ways, letting them move with you, as well as athletic cuts and the ability to go from washer to ready-to-wear in just 16 hang dried minutes. In addition, their Short North flagship store also highlights a wide range of third-party goods, including Hook + Albert socks, lapel flowers, and pocket squares, Allen Edmonds shoes, bags from Sword & Plough and Monte & Coe, sunglasses from Shwood, and Stalward and Pierrepont Hicks ties — making it easy to put together an entire outfit in one stop.
As winter lingers on — seriously, go away already — it's okay to contemplate a sunny getaway to somewhere warm. Somewhere like La Samanna. This luxury resort boasts 56 suites, 25 bedrooms, and 8 three- and four-bedroom villas, all of which offer king size beds, private balconies or terraces, and either marble or Caribbean-style bathrooms. Also on site are two restaurants, two bars, a wine cellar, a full-service spa, tennis courts, a fitness center, two pools, and, of course, plenty of beachside cabanas. After all, you didn't come all this way to stay in your room, right?