NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - For shoppers looking for a store with a bit of a difference for holiday gifts, web site VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) has compiled a list of 10 of the more unusual spots to fill the Christmas stocking.
This list is not endorsed by Reuters:
1. Unclaimed Baggage Center; Scottsboro, Alabama
Culled from the bags of travelers who, for whatever reason, never claimed their luggage, the store carries everything from cameras to canvases at bargain prices.
2. ABC Carpet and Home; New York City, New York
Selling everything from vintage furniture to environmentally friendly bedding, this almost 350,000-square foot home emporium is a favorite among in-the-know New Yorkers.
3. Deyrolle; Paris, France
In business since 1831, this taxidermy store carries everything from stuffed zebras and black crows to anatomy posters to mounted butterflies. A fire this year destroyed a large amount of the shop's stock and the owner has vowed to rebuild.
4. The Norwegian Booktown; Fjorland, Norway
Only open in the spring and summer, 12 different bookstores are housed in the town's abandoned buildings including old banks and grocery stores and hold a total of 250,000 books.
5. Daslu; Sao Paulo, Brazil
Part store, part social club, this store is so chic and so well-known in Sao Paulo society, it even has a "News and Gossip" section on its website. Comes complete with its own helipad.
6. James Smith & Sons; London, England
Umbrella store James Smith and Sons was established in 1830 and also specializes in elegant walking sticks.
7. 826 Valencia; San Francisco, California
If you're in the market for mermaid repellent or a new eye patch, San Francisco's premier pirate supply shop is the place to go. Its stock is impressive and all profits from the store go to an educational writing center.
8. Edinburgh Bagpipe Company; East Sussex, England
Carrying everything from tartans to how-to books to drums, this fascinating store has provided the pipes for some of the world's best players.
9. The Dutch Market; Chatham, Ontario, Canada
This charming store carries all things Dutch, including wooden shoes and special gifts for Sinterklaas himself.
10. Allied Trains; Culver City, California
Any kid who has ever dreamed of waking up to an engine puffing around the Christmas tree will love this place. Housed in a retro art deco storefront, this store has everything from scenery supplies to miles of track.