Summer Camp—For Adults

Youth, they say, is wasted on the young. And maybe summer camp is too. Twelve-year-olds can’t fully appreciate the joys of carefree days playing volleyball and failing at archery, taking afternoon swim breaks and roasting marshmallows by a fire, raiding rival cabins and sneaking out after curfew for stolen kisses behind the equipment shed.

For those who miss the summer camp of their youth—or missed out on the experience all together—start packing your duffel bags. Club Getaway, a New England resort, and Jetsetter, a flash-deal website with travel bargains, have teamed up on create a summer camp experience; one that’s for adults only.

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Crystal Cruises Offer Standby Fares

Time was, you used to be able to get ultra-cheap air fares if you flew standby. You’d buy a special standby ticket and show up at the airport. If there were room on the plane you’d get on; if there wasn’t you didn’t. The idea being that an airline would rather get a little bit of money for a seat than fly with it empty and get none at all.

Though some airlines still sell full-fare standby tickets, the days of them being deeply discounted are no more, sadly.

Happily, the standby concept might be taking hold in another travel industry: cruises. Luxury operator Crystal Cruises is now offering deals to those willing to be a bit spontaneous with their vacation.

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Go Skiing (But Not On Snow)

While skiing the dunes, sand will get inside your clothes. And it will go to places you very much would rather it wouldn’t

Ski bums, do not despair when the weather warms at your travel destination. Though the snow may vanish, your opportunity to partake in downhill skiing and boarding needn’t.

Here’s a Spot Cool Stuff look at three non-snow ski surfaces and where to enjoy them:

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Dive Into Jelly(fish)

It's a surreal diving experience, moving around in water that is itself a moving gelatinous mass

On the Pacific island nation of Palau you’ll find Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite inland scuba diving location: Jellyfish Lake. Though it wasn’t always a lake.

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Come for the Golf. Stay for North Korea.

Sports have a way of transcending political and cultural differences. The 1995 Rugby World Cup (on which the excellent movie Invictus was based). The 1970s exchange of table tennis players between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. The 2005 “Cricket Summit” between India and Pakistan. The North Korean Amateur Open?

That last event hasn’t happened yet. But it will on April 29th, 2011. And if you are anything approximating a decent golfer can participate!

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Experience Istanbul Like an Ottoman

The Ottoman Empire may conjure up images of elaborately mustached men decked out in fez hats while women recline seductively behind floaty veils in the sultan’s harem, but there is much more to this exotic empire than first meets the eye. At the height of its might, Ottoman territories expanded across the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Istanbul, known then as Constantinople, was wrestled from the hands of the Byzantines in 1453 and remained the capital of the Empire until its end in 1923. Situated on three bodies of water with a literal treasure chest of historical gems, the Ottomans further capitalized on Istanbul’s breathtaking beauty to ensure it maintained its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Although Istanbul has modernized at a startlingly rapid pace, some of the most glorious remnants of its past are everywhere to be seen. From centuries-old wooden mansion hotels to ancient shopping malls, mosques, palaces, bathhouses and much, much more, it’s possible to spend some time in Istanbul shopping, eating, praying, relaxing and sleeping much like the Ottomans did!

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The World’s Best Candy Stores

This store is as close as you can get to a real-life Willy Wonka experience without wrangling some umpa lumpas and opening a shop yourself

Travelers with a sweet tooth weakness, do not proceed any further in this post. What follows is Spot Cool Stuff’s selection of the 6 most interesting-looking, diabetes-inducing candy stores. A trip to any one for these shops (well, except for the last one) is likely to result in a sugar overdose. Ye be warned.

Note: These are all primarily candy stores. We’ve reviewed our favorite chocolate stores in a separate post.

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Hamburg’s Man-dergarten

Did you really learn all your really need to know in kindergarten? If not, you can try learning it at a Maennergarten.

At least you can if you are an adult male in Northern Germany

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