Travel Picks: Top 10 unusual shops

Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:45am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - As the holidays approach, there are numerous things to dread: long hours spent in airports, seasonal weight gain, and searching for gifts for everyone on your list.

To help with the shopping this year, the members and editors of travel website VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) have compiled a list of the "World's Top 10 Unusual Shops." Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. The Evolution Store; New York, New York

Despite being located in trendy SoHo, this store feels like an offshoot of the Natural History Museum; it's filled with skulls, Brazilian agate, fossils, and framed creatures. The store even has its own Entomology Department, with an astounding array of insects, from butterflies to scorpions, all available for purchase.

2. Duke of Uke; London, England, United Kingdom

Duke of Uke is London's one and only Ukulele and Banjo Emporium. The Duke also stocks a wide range of other instruments, including vintage ukuleles, guitars, acoustic bass guitars, mandolins, and harmonicas. The store serves as a cultural hub for its neighborhood, providing ukulele lessons, hosting events, and promoting musical performances in the area.

3. Colette; Paris, France

Perhaps the very first "concept" store, Colette is truly a lifestyle boutique. Its location on Rue Saint-Honore makes it a central spot for Parisian fashion, but it even houses a downstairs "water bar" that serves over 100 types of mineral water. It also functions as an exhibition space for artists and culture icons such as Bruce Weber, Todd Eberle, and Terry Richardson. Where else in the world can you pick up an Alaia belt, the new issue of Wonderland, and a Beyonce paper doll, all under one roof?

4. L'Usine and La Cafeteria; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam   Continued...

 
<p>Jamonisimo, a shop that specializes in everything HAM, from acorn-fed Iberian hams to "recebo" and "chorizo" is shown in this file photo. Reuters/Jimi Lanza/VirtualTourist.com/Handout</p>