1 Maxx Force A ride debuting this summer at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, will break three records: North America’s fastest coaster launch (0 to 78 mph in less than two seconds) and world’s fastest inversion and tallest double-inversion. Try keeping both hands in the air.
2 Angad Arts Hotel Why stop at bed size? This new boutique hotel in St. Louis’ Grand Center Arts District invites guests to book a stay by emotion, with color schemes to match—or stoke?—your mood. The 146 mod rooms come in small, medium and large layouts, plus extended-stay options with kitchenettes.
Angad Arts Hotel. Photo courtesy of Angad Arts.
3 Wordplay Festival For those about to read, Stephen King salutes you. With guitar in hand (and a full backing band, including author Amy Tan), the writer will headline Minneapolis’ inaugural Wordplay festival. The Loft Literary Center is calling its event Minnesota’s largest book celebration, touting 100 authors and as many events May 10–12.
4 Pup Bags No, they aren’t for dogs. These sleek leather bags are made from salvaged Amtrak seat cushions. Rather than cram the landfill, the train line tapped People for Urban Progress, an Indianapolis nonprofit, while upgrading their Acela Express train cars. PUP’s endgame: luxury totes, backpacks and toiletry kits. For a previous product line, PUP reclaimed material from Indy’s RCA Dome, former home to the Colts.
Pup Bags. Photo courtesy of People for Urban Progress.
5 Wild South Dakota Need a reason for a classic summer road trip to South Dakota? Explorers at Jewel Cave National Monument recently mapped the 200th mile in the world’s third-longest cave. Public tours resume in May after phase one of a $4.8 million infrastructure upgrade. Nearby, South Dakota’s first state park, Custer State Park, turned 100 in March. State parks will celebrate all summer with concerts and more.
Custer State Park
6 City of Three Rivers Fort Wayne, Indiana, has spent $20 million along its waterfront where three rivers meet. Check out the new Promenade Park at a celebration June 21–23, with a flotilla, concerts on a barge and other fun.