If your travels have gotten too boring and dry (see what we just did there?) it might be time to make like Spongebob Squarepants and head under the sea. While you might not find a habitable pineapple there, you might indeed find some rare art or a delicious meal. (By the way, does our cartoon allusion seem random? It's not: Despite huge resistance from the local community, Nickelodeon seems poised to move ahead with its plans to build an undersea Spongebob attraction in the Philippines.) Consider these epic attractions:
1. Museo Atlántico of Lanzarote, Spain
Europe's first underwater museum recently opened in Playa Blanca, a resort town in the Spanish island of Lanzarote. Visitors to Museo Atlántico can check out the more than 300 sculptures on display either by scuba diving or by riding in a glass-bottom boat, according to The Telegraph.
2. Moliniere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park, Grenada
The new museum in Lanzarote shares a sculptor with Moliniere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park in the Caribbean, which The Telegraph noted was the first museum of its kind when it opened in 2006. British artist Jason deCaires Taylor has created works for both that represent societal divisions and immigrant experiences.
3. The Clear Lounge, Mexico
The world's first underwater bar, located in Cozumel, Mexico, doesn't serve booze. Instead, The Clear Lounge is an underwater oxygen bar, which also sounds a bit oxymoronic until you discover that this is a place where people can don a bathing suit, plunge into water and play Jenga. Beats just laying around.
4. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Florida
Perhaps you don't want to get wet, and you want to see some live mermaids swimming in a show. The solution is Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, located an hour north of Tampa on what is marketed as Florida's Adventure Coast. Although it's only been a state park for nine years, mermaids have been performing shows there for 70 years!
5. Jules Undersea Lodge, Florida
Further south in the Sunshine State is Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo Undersea Park, where you have to scuba dive down 21 feet just to come inside. You need to be Scuba certified, which can be handled on the premises as well.
6. Forbes Island, San Francisco
San Francisco's stretch of the Pacific Ocean has some of the most dangerous riptides in the country, but the adjacent San Francisco Bay is about as calm as can be and is home to Forbes Island, a kitschy manmade floating "island" with an underwater dining room. While a typical tourist might think to book a ride to nearby Alcatraz Island, you can only drink wine at Forbes Island.
7. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives
On the higher end of dining, visitors to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel can partake at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, where lunch and dinner are served 16 feet below sea level. Tasting menus change frequently but might include such fare as Maldivian lobster carpaccio or grilled reef fish... which may or may not be disconcerting to eat while marine life carries on above and all around you.
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