Activities

A Two Minute (YouTube) Walk Across America

Is it possible to walk across the United States, from New York City to San Francisco, in two minutes? It is through the magic of stop-motion photography and the trickery of time-lapse video. There’s even time along the way to snap a few photos of Washington D.C. monuments and to take in Mt Rushmore.

Here’s the video of how such a journey would look . . .

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3 Off-The-Beaten-Path European Ski Destinations

Skiing holidays traditionally take place in prestigious Alpine ski resorts like Verbier and Chamonix. France, Austria and Switzerland are the undisputed ski capitals of Europe, with American and Canadian ski resorts having established excellent reputations on the other side of the pond. But the glamour is fading. To borrow from the French, Alpine ski holidays are just so…well, passé.

For those after something a little more interesting, a little more off-the-beaten-track and a little more unusual, here are three ski holiday destinations you’ve probably never thought of.

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Spotting July ‘10 Travel Deals

If you are longing to get away from the heat — or to find it — Spot Cool Stuff has a collection of awesome airfare discounts, holiday deals and high-value all-inclusive vacations.

To see the latest:

• go directly to our vacation deals page;

• or get a Kindle subscription to our travel blog;

• or subscribe to our RSS feed and get all of our travel posts delivered directly to your email inbox or to your RSS aggregator;

or — why not? — act on all three of those options.

Most of these sales are good for the whole of July 2010 but all expire at some point. So act quickly if you see a deal that matches your travel desires.

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The World’s Best Toy Stores

There's a hand-carved (!) carousel, 18-hole mini golf course, Kool-Aid waterfall, gourmet fudge shop, vintage toy museum, huge children's book selection, llama petting zoo, puppet shows and, oh yeah, you can also buy toys.

It’s a tough job but someone has to take on the task of finding the world’s best toy stores. So Spot Cool Stuff assigned ourselves.

Here’s a look at our favorite shops for indulging your kids—and your inner child:

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5 Wonderfully Earthy Glamping Sites

Camping has traditionally brought sophisticated urban dwellers out in hives, but the emergence of glamping—a hybrid of “glamor” and “camping”—has changed things. Now, luxurious yurt and tepee sites boast 100% cotton bedding, organic welcome hampers and indecently abundent tea lights. So no more struggling with a tent and airbed!

Glamping sites range from little more than a pre-erected tent with simple Ikea furnishings to something more akin to an upmarket hotel. Along the way many have missed the point—either too basic or too plush and removed from the natural surroundings.

Here is a look at five luxury camping sites that have achieved the perfect blend, providing absolute immersion in the great outdoors whilst maintaining a just-so degree of indulgence and luxury:

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1 Week. 1 Pair of Underwear.

We write these words while wearing a pair of underwear that we’ve had on for the last week. That’s more information than I wanted you are likely saying to yourself. But these are the lengths Spot Cool Stuff goes through to test products for our readers.

The underwear we are wearing, they are part of the Give-N-Go line by cool travel gear manufacturer ExOfficio.

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The Barry ManiLOVE Store

When it’s time to do a special something for your special some one forget about giving yet another set of shedding flowers and stale chocolates. Spot Cool Stuff recommends a fab new tactic d’amour: skip the Whitman’s sampler and use the cash to get you and your baby to Vegas. Because nothing says love like Barry Manilow, friends.

There’s a little ‘Copacabana’ at the core of every good love story (the passion! the danger! the ostrich feathers!). And thankfully, the Paris Las Vegas Casino & Resort knows it.

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An Espresso Maker To Go, Please

What do a diamond and a shot of espresso have in common?

That’s no meant to be a bad joke. It’s a serious question. And the answer is: Both can only be made under pressure.

In the case of the shot of espresso the pressure is required to push hot water through densely packed ground coffee beans. Typically this requirement for pressurizing water has meant that effective espresso makers were relatively loud and large electric devices.

The Handpresso Wild, however, is not a typical espresso maker.

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