Going to a laundromat and waiting for your loads to finish as you sit uncomfortably on a plastic chair isn’t very exciting. But these five laundromats will have you unearthing dirty clothes just so you’ll have an excuse to do the wash. Why? Because these unique spots offer much more than coin-operated machines.
1. The Laundry Café, Philadelphia, PA
This 24-hour laundromat is clean and brightly lit with over 145 state-of-the-art washer and dryers of all sizes. There are many perks to bringing your dirty clothes here to be washed. The Laundry Café offers free dry loads for clothes that’ve been washed there along with free curbside service where staff will unload your laundry when you drive up. There’s a café inside where you can grab a snack and sip on a beverage. Parents will be relieved to know that there’s a Kids Zone where little ones can play safely while they are finishing up the laundry. Adults also get their own play area filled with games, music, and flat screen TVs with Netflix. While free Wi-Fi is mostly expected at laundromats, the Laundry Café has gone one step above and set up seven computer stations so you can stay productive. The Laundry Café also gives back to their community and offers free community seminars such as resume writing, interviewing skills, maintaining work/life balance, and any other suggestions guests may have. Stay at the Campus Park and Ride RV park nearby and take a free shuttle into the city.
2. Igor’s Lounge and Gameroom, New Orleans, LA
Going to Igor’s Lounge and Gameroom really means going to hang out with friends at a dive bar where you also happened to bring laundry with you. The washers and dryers are in the back of the establishment, but the front is where all the fun happens. This local joint has cheap drinks, good food, a pool table, and popular karaoke nights for entertainment while waiting for your laundry to finish up. The front patio tables offer people-watching as foot-traffic and streetcars pass by on St. Charles Ave. If you can’t sleep and want to get some chores done, Igor’s is open 24-hours and has drink specials from 5 AM – 7 AM (it is New Orleans after all). Cool fact: several scenes of the motion picture “The Pelican Brief” were shot in and around Igor’s Lounge and Gameroom. The French Quarter RV Resort is only 3 miles away and it’s big-rig friendly.
3. Harvey Washbangers, College Station, TX
Go ahead and do your laundry on an empty stomach at Harvey Washbangers because this grill-bar-laundromat combo has a drool worthy menu to keep you busy during the wash and dry cycles. The restaurant offers made-from-scratch pub food such as their signature jalapeño cream cheese burger, coconut and pecan pie, and hand-cut fries topped with a mix of deliciousness. Wash all that down with a Texas microbrew from one of the 6 taps at the bar. The restaurant includes a light board that alerts guests when their laundry is done. The laundromat itself is made up of 80 high-efficiency washers and dryers that’re equipped to take credit cards (good bye quarters!). So, as the Washbangers’ general manager likes to say, “Eat and drink till your lights go out!” Head back to the pet-friendly Holiday RV Park for the duration of your stay in town.
4. Spin Laundry Lounge, Portland, OR
Spin Laundry Lounge is everything you’d expect from a Portland laundromat. This eco-friendly laundromat uses Electrolux, the world’s fastest and most energy-efficient washers and dryers. On top of that, eco-friendly laundry products such as soaps, chlorine-free bleach, and stain removals are offered, including free Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda with every wash. Pat yourself on the back for reducing your carbon footprint, treat yourself to a beer and bite to eat at their bar & café and play some classic arcade or pinball games. No worries, you’ll get a text when your laundry is done. You can also find out the real-time availability of the machines by texting “status” to 818-877-9100. Camping is available nearby at Columbia River RV Park, which is also a short walking distance to the river.
5. Brainwash Café & Laundromat, San Francisco, CA
Can doing laundry be entertaining? In most cases the answer is no, but at Brainwash Café & Laundromat it’s a definite yes! Located in the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA district, Brainwash is more than just café and laundromat, it’s a staple of the local art community. The walls inside are covered with beautiful canvases of work by local artists, the food is made to order, and the beer taps are overflowing. This half café and half laundromat is also the mothership of San Francisco’s open mic scene. On top of that, this is where locals come for belly-aching comedy shows. Check out their calendar for nightly events. Stay at Anthony Chabot Regional Park while you’re visiting San Francisco.
We’d love to hear about your best – and worst – laundry experiences on the road. Share them with us in the comments below!