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Mythical and coveted, clean public restrooms arouse awe in travelers, businesspeople, and families everywhere. Tidy toilets inspire so much excitement that one company decided to create a contest with awards for "America's Best Restroom."
Dirty gas station bathrooms, on the other hand, inspire tales of terror. Even the hardiest souls are brought to tears after using a public bathroom that features a row of clogged toilets and dingy, wet toilet paper covering the floor.
Experience the best in bathrooms with a visit to the following public potties:
Hollywood Bowl bathrooms, Los Angeles, California
Refurbished in time for the 2012 season, the bathrooms at the Hollywood Bowl offer savvy, eco-friendly features like Dyson dryers and LED lights. The smooth green floors and soft yellow lighting feature a total transformation from the old bathrooms, which were dank, dark, and claustrophobic.
JCDecaux public toilets in Paris, France
The French know fashion, and they've also mastered the art of beautiful toilets. In Paris, designer Patrick Jouin built a gleaming bathroom that actually cleans itself. Paris has a huge problem with graffiti, but visitors won't find any dirt around these blindly clean toilets.
Shoji Tabuchi Theatre bathrooms in Branson, Missouri
The unassuming locale of Branson, Missouri doesn't seem as though it would feature incredible bathrooms, but the city was featured as one of the finalists in the "America's Best Restroom" contest. The ornate toilets of the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre feature some incredible pieces of furniture, like a $15,000 marble fireplace and Victorian antiques.
Radisson Blue Aqua Hotel bathrooms in Chicago, Illinois
Chic and hip, the luminous bathrooms of Chicago's Blu Aqua bear the stamp of British designer Jim Hamilton. Walls of radiant mirrored tiles and vases of gorgeous purple orchids create a space that feels like a serene, underwater adventure.