Is chocolate good for you? Researchers, conducting highly scientific studies, have found chocolate beneficial in preventing a plethora of ailments including cancer, stroke and heart disease. But Spot Cool Stuff has a more simple theory:
If it makes you smile, it’s health food.
In honor of National Smile Month—and to the dismay of dentists everywhere—here’s our look at 12 wonderful chocolate shops. We hesitate calling them the “best” chocolate shops given how there are easily 60 or more stores that we could have included on this list. All the shops we did include are superlative in some way.
Note that this overview is a companion piece to our equally dentist-horrifying review of the world’s best candy shops.
Okay, so you’ve already purchased your Paris Disneyland tickets online and are mentally preparing yourself for an overdose of le Mouse de Mickey. Chances are your kids begged you to take them, enchanted by attractions like Big Thunder Mountain, the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast and what’s arguably the best castle of any of the Disney properties: Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant.
But chances, too, are that your kids haven’t heard of all the other cool theme parks in France. There are some great ones. And some of them have creative features that will delight parents every bit as much as their children.
Here’s a rundown of Spot Cool Stuff’s three favorites:
Imagine a combination of a ski lodge and Animal House.
Golf has it’s 19th hole. Football matches have after parties. And skiing has après ski. That’s when skiers depart the slopes in favor of a bar, tavern, warming hut or igloo (!) for some drinking and dancing and socializing — and then drinking some more.
The après ski concept has taken hold in some places more than others. Here’s Spot Cool Stuff’s rundown of the coolest après ski countries. Read on or click through to your country of choice:
Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland. But fly into Geneva airport and you might not actually enter Switzerland when you leave the terminal. That’s because the airport is located along the border of France. The runways are all within Swiss territory (barely, see the photo below). But the main terminal building has a “French side” and a “Swiss side.” The airport facilities exist in both countries and, in some cases, are bisected by the border!
I’ve heard of international airports but that’s ridiculous.
Spot Cool Stuff loves finding good bakeries on our travels. Spontaneously coming across one while exploring a village or city neighborhood can make an ordinary walk special. But some bakeries are special in their own right and worth purposefully seeking out — either for the quality of their baked goods or for their interior design or for the atmosphere of being there or for some combination of all those.
Below is our review of eight such bakeries. We hesitate calling them the “best,” since the world has many bakeries and we’ve only been to a relatively small handful. But each of our selections has something superlative feature that’s well worth a detour if you are traveling nearby.
Mountain biking is one of these sports that its enthusiasts take to extreme (and often dangerous) levels — and each of the five locations below are certainly places where you can do that. But this is not a post exclusively for aspiring X-Games participants. Each of these five destinations is also a great travel destination even for those with no interest in biking (or mountains). And if you are an uninspiringly average mountain biker, you’ll find cool travel ideas for you too:
Inside the Au Vieux Panier Hotel in Marseille, France there’s a guest room that, if it doesn’t have the world’s most unusual design, certainly has the most schizophrenic.
The room, referred to as The Panic Room, is half bone white—white bed sheets, white carpet, white walls, white furniture. The other half of the room is entirely decorated in bright graffiti—graffitied bed sheets, graffitied carpet, graffitied walls, graffitied furniture.
The dividing line between the two halves, it is as stark as can be, bisecting the room’s mirror, dresser and even the bed!
When the world’s highest climbing cable car brings you to the highest mountain in the Alps you know you are in for an amazing view. But maybe not this amazing.
The scene from the summit of Aiguilles de Chamonix, a jagged mountain high in the middle of the Mont Blanc massif, is the single most spectacular in the whole of the Alps. It might be the best mountain view that doesn’t involve hiking, flying or driving available anywhere.
Here’s how to make the trip: