A joke we overheard in a coffee shop in Italy:
Question: What’s the difference between yogurt and the United States of America?
Answer: Yogurt has culture.
Okay, maybe that’s a little funny. The problem is, it isn’t true. The United States is full of culture. It isn’t as gourmet as, say, Italy. Nor is it as old as China or as enveloping as India, or as snobby as France. But it most certainly is there. American culture is diverse, interesting, and, we’d argue, it’s one of the most fun national cultures on the planet.
Want proof? Below is our recommendation for five distinctly American cultural experiences that you are unlikely to find written up in any guidebook.
Note: For this post we only considered experiences that are available across the country. Anything that’s exclusive to a specific ethnic group or region — attending Burning Man in Nevada or eating gumbo in New Orleans or getting yelled at by a taxi driver in New York City, for instance — was disqualified. We also nixed holiday events, like the 4th of July American Independence Day.
While this post was written with non-American travelers in mind, those from the United States may also gain some travel tips by reading on . . .
Bathe in whipped chocolate milk while basking in the glow of Tootsie Roll-flavored candles and breathing in brownie scented steam.
Chocolate is romantic. Taking a candlelit bath with your special someone is romantic. So what could be more romantic than spending time with your special someone while bathing in chocolate?
It’s that sort of flawless logic that has Spot Cool Stuff writing a review of the world’s best chocolate spas. We found three spots in particular—one each in Switzerland, the United States and Japan—where you’ll want to go to experience the world’s best chocolate baths.
So, what’s it like to bathe in chocolate? you might be asking.
Contrary to what you might imagine, it isn’t like this . . .
How does one live in New York City but still go surfing regularly? If you are NYC-based part-time professional surfer Mikey DeTemple, then you, your friends and their surf boards all load into a Mercedes-Benz E-Class station wagon and drive 2.5 hours to Long Island town of Montauk.
DeTemple, who’s also a part-time professional film maker, recently made a video about his Montauk journey for the online contemporary culture magazine mb!, which is published by Mercedes-Benz. Check it out below:
There are plenty of rural lodges with log cabin architecture and a family-friendly environment. And there are also a myriad of modern hotels that offer a luxurious, adults-only atmosphere. But we only know of one resort that is both of those at once: The Emerson in Mt. Tremper, New York.
Spot Cool Stuff went to visit The Emerson as part of our road trip test drive of a Kia Sportage EX and our family road trip around the Catskills area of New York State. We stayed at The Lodge at the Emerson (the family-friendly section of the resort), toured The Inn at the Emerson (the resort’s adult portion) and did some shopping at the resort’s country store, which, among other things, is the unlikely home to the world’s largest kaleidoscope. Here’s what we found at each:
Less than a 90-minute drive from New York City, but seemingly much further away in terms of scenery and pace of life, the Catskills Mountains and is a land of cool inns, charming bed and breakfasts, gourmet cafes, scenic hikes, ski resorts, antique shops — and a surprising number unusual attractions.
Spot Cool Stuff recently returned from a week-long road trip around the Catskills. In addition to being a family vacation, the trip was an opportunity to test drive a Kia Sportage compact SUV.
Did you know that humans have been wearing footwear of some form or another for as many as 40,000 years now? And that it’s only been in the last 200 years that shoes have been designed with differentiation for left and right feet?
You needn’t necessarily be a fashionista to appreciate the astonishing variations in footwear over the ages. You need only to bring your curiosity to one of the two dozen-ish museums around the world dedicated to design of the shoe.
Here’s a look at Spot Cool Stuff’s five favorites places to kick off a podiatric exploration: