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World's Tallest Ferris Wheel Opens in Vegas

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The world's largest observation wheel, smartly dubbed the High Roller, recently opened in Las Vegas.

At 550 feet tall, it forms the centerpiece of Sin City's newest development, The LINQ, and rises 107 feet taller than the London Eye. Moving 1 foot per second, its 28 glass cabins take a half hour to complete their revolution.

And if you thought the Strip needed to be just a little brighter, the High Roller's builders agreed. They've added a whopping 2,000 LED lights to the city's skyline.

For more information and tickets, visit the High Roller's website.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.

Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment

Crystal Cruises Announces Game of Thrones Excursion

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Crystal Cruises has announced a Game of Thrones-themed excursion on summer sailings to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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A Poorly Printed Boarding Pass Might Make You Miss A Flight

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That’s a picture of my boarding pass for a recent flight from Fort Lauderdale to New York. I printed it out in the lobby of my beachfront hotel just before racing to the airport. I felt great that I was cleared for expedited screening in the TSA PreCheck lane, but not so great when the TSA agent frowned and said, “This boarding pass is no good.”

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Three American Express Cards Do Away With Foreign Transaction Fees

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Starting May 1, three American Express cards are doing away with foreign transaction fees, joining the ranks of cards like the Orbitz Rewards Visa, which we introduced last week. The current rate of 2.7 percent will no longer apply to the Consumer and Business Delta SkyMiles Platinum, Gold, and Reserve cards. According to Melanie Backs, Director of Public Affairs at American Express, “We know that these Card Members travel internationally, and we are always looking for ways to add more value to our cards.”

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Mark Zuckerberg Forever Young

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Mark Zuckerberg will be spending a lot of quality time with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Rihanna in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

Immortalized in wax, Zuckerberg has joined fellow A-listers at Madame Tussauds, forever wearing a classic hoodie and pair of jeans, while sitting on a chair barefoot. Seems like the perfect superstar addition to the Bay Area—and a fun new selfie opp for tourists.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure. 

Photo by Beck Diefenbach 


Frontier is Latest Airline to Charge for Carry-Ons

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Denver-based Frontier Airlines is the latest carrier to charge extra for carry-on bags that require overhead storage—joining other add-on fees for non-alcoholic drinks ($1.99) and seat assignments (up to $8). In exchange, the airline is lowering its ticket prices by 12%.

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Daily Transporter: Bikes

bike grrrls

May, National Bike Month, celebrates a mode of transportation that can make sightseeing a breezy undertaking. Following bike-share models pioneered in Western Europe and China, 20 U.S. cities currently have pay-and-ride systems in place. Vietnam, pictured here, plans to launch a pilot bike-share in five cities in 2015.

See bikes in 15 Tech Innovations That Will Change the Way You Travel

Editor’s Picks: Active Travel
Warm Weather Family Adventures
The Anti-Tourist Travel Rules
T+L Design Awards

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Severe Weather Across the US: Be Ready With These Smart Weather Apps

Nor'easter

UPDATE: Whether you live in the Deep South, the Midwest or along the East Coast, you're likely to experience severly stormy weather today. According to CNN, 75 million Americans, or a third of the country, are under threat of severe weather, which may include tornadoes, high winds and hail; the Deep South has been the hardest hit, with a powerful spring storm system overtaking Mississippi and Alabama. The risk of severe weather is expected to continue through Wednesday, and may affect Americans living between the Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast, and through the Midwest and the East Coast.

This one falls in the “Are you kidding?” category: Just as East Coasters from New Jersey to Massachusetts are coming back online and picking up the pieces after the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, a nor’easter is threatening to wallop the same area this Wednesday or Thursday. Named for the direction the storm travels, this type of weather typically has many of the same characteristics as a hurricane—fierce winds, heavy rains or snow, and—brace yourselves (again) coastal residents—tidal flooding.

While this new storm is not expected to be pack the same intensity as Sandy, it is worth watching—especially in the Carolinas. Whether you live in its projected path, are planning a trip East, or just want to have smart weather forecasts in your pocket, there are five Webby Award-winning apps that should be on your Doppler radar:

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Q+A with René Redzepi, Chef at Noma—Just Named World's Top Restaurant (Again)

René Redzepi at Tacos Morelos

Well, we called it - René Redzepi's Noma reclaimed first place this year at the prestigious World's Best Restaurants awards. Noma first received the honor in 2010 and held steady through 2012, but came in second last year to Spain's El Celler de Can Roca, which retreated to second place in this year's rankings. T+L's Adam Sachs recently caught up with the revered chef in New York City.

A pocket-size mutt stares intently up at René Redzepi through the window of Tacos Morelos, a four-table taqueria in New York’s East Village. We’ve over-ordered—tongue tacos and fish tacos and house-made tortillas folded around a stewy, soft thing called suadero. This might seem an unlikely place to lunch with the charming forager, chef of Copenhagen’s Noma, chief progenitor of the New Nordic style, and accidental ringleader for a generation of international chef dudes. But René Redzepi is really into tacos. Enough so that his next venture will be helping Noma’s sous-chef, Rosio Sanchez, open a new taco shop in Copenhagen called Hija de Sanchez. (Yes, there are Mexican restaurants in Copenhagen. No, they’re not any good. “You’ve got Danish students in sombreros serving you,” Redzepi says, sadly. “You want to punch them.”)

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Lyft Leaps to 24 New Cities

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The rideshare service Lyft—which debuted last year exclusively in San Francisco—recently launched in 24 new markets. Now, the app connects the world’s largest network of on-demand rides with people who need a lift.

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Moynat Paris Comes To NYC

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Francophiles and luxury aficionados take note. The Parisian maker of the finely crafted handbags, Moynat, has a pop up shop at the Dover Street Market in NYC. Founder, Pauline Moynat, is said to be the only woman trunk-maker in history and began in the Paris theater district as a supplier to the Comedie Franciase in 1849. She created a handbag for Rejane, an actress of the Belle Époque, which has been reinvented by the current artistic director, Ramesh Nair in colors like robin’s egg blue and canary yellow.

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Campaign for William Shakespeare Day Takes Flight on easyJet

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There’s much ado about Shakespeare at Gatwick Airport, and the United Kingdom’s largest airline, easyJet, is leading the fanfare.  With record-breaking “onbard” entertainment and a special edition Shakespeare aircraft, the 450thbirthday of the greatest English writer in history did not go unnoticed.

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News Update: Royal Caribbean, Up for Auction in Italy, and John Muir Way

Our latest video travel round-up includes Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas; an Italian island goes up for auction; and honoring naturalist John Muir with his own walking trail, in Scotland.

San Francisco's Painted Ladies Have New Competition in Santa Clara

A Victorian residence painted to look like the house in the Pixar movie "Up" is angering neighbors, but perhaps it'll be a new attraction for the city of Santa Clara, California, best known for its university and the 1777 Mission Santa Clara de Asis.

Le Fooding Releases an English App

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Given the rate of their output, if Le Fooding, the indispensable French restaurant guide, has been taking long French-style vacations, well, they’re obviously burning the midnight oil during the rest of the year. Since launching in 2000 as an insert, the annual publication has rolled out traveling food festivals and star chef pop-ups, which have steadily picked up steam, especially in the past three years. 

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Travel with Pets Twitter Chat on Tuesday, April 29

Social media has gone to the dogs! Some of the biggest celebrities out in the social-sphere are also favorite travel companions: your pets. We’re discussing how to travel with pets this Tuesday, April 29th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Whether you need tips on flying with animals, details on great pet travel resources, or if you're just looking for fun pictures and videos of jet-set pets, join our chat.

The Host:

Assistant Editor and Trip Doctor team member, Nikki Ekstein, @nikkiekstein

The Panelists:

BarkBox, @barkbox

The Points Guy, @thepointsguy

Wendy Diamond, Chief Pet Officer, Animalfair.com, @wendydiamond. Joining Wendy will be Guiness World Record-holding dog, Baby Hope Diamond, @luckydiamond

Dog Vacay, @DogVacay

Melanie Brandman, @travelcurator, with bulldog, @adelaidetheenglishbulldog

Soho Grand Hotel, @SohoGrandHotel

Kimpton Hotels, @Kimpton

Kelly E. Carter, Founder of TheJetSetPets.com and author of The Dog Lover's Guide to Travel, @thekellyecarter with her petsetter @Lucy2Lucia 

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter before the chat starts at 2pm ET and be sure to follow @TravlandLeisure.

2. Head over to http://twitter.com. Enter the hashtag #TL_Chat into the search bar and select the "All" search option to follow the chat in real time.

3. Remember to always add the hashtag #TL_Chat to your tweets.

4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own responses. Or ask questions of your own! 

All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial. See full social media terms and conditions.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Win a Suite Weekend in a Palace

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Champagne, chocolates, and the Jewel Suite—oh my! The New York Palace doesn’t skimp when it comes to luxury, which means when they offer a Facebook “Suitestakes” you jump, enter, and then pack your bags.

Now through June 16, fans can enter the hotel’s Suitestakes for a chance to win the ultimate VIP weekend, valued at over $60,000.

If you win, you can spend the weekend admiring the 20-foot “Waterfall of Diamonds” chandelier, the grand piano, the 10-seat dining room, wood burning fireplace, or the floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the Manhattan skyline, in your very own suite. Oh, did we mention that you would have access to the house car service in a dedicated Mercedes or Maybach?

This Suitestakes is nothing less than palatial. 

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of The New York Palace

Donate Miles for a Cause: Make-A-Wish Reveals Kids' Top Destinations

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The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening conditions, has released its list of the world's top destinations for Wish Kids. Tomorrow, April 29th, is World Wish Day, and the organization is calling on frequent fliers to donate unused miles before summer, Make-A-Wish's busiest travel season. 

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Daily Transporter: Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

misty heaven

Winding 1,500 miles along Ireland’s western coast, the newly christened Wild Atlantic Way is now the world’s longest uninterrupted coastal road.

See the Cliffs of Moher in World’s Most Amazing Views

Editor’s Picks: Ireland
See Ireland’s Atlantic coast in World’s Coolest Surf Towns
World’s Eeriest Abandoned Places
World’s Most Romantic Hotels

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Map Your Way to the Best Cookbooks In America

Amazon cookbook map

America’s melting pot is boiling over with revived regional cuisine and distinctive flavor profiles.  Amazon Books’ Food Editor, Mari Malcolm, was inspired by a surge of localized cookbooks—and wanted to put the best of the year (and the all-American classics) on the map.

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Daily Transporter: Dominican Republic

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A Canadian hypnotist who tried to sue the Dominican Republic because it rained during his vacation lost not only his lawsuit but also his right to sue anyone (or any place) in the future without the Quebec court’s okay.

See How to Have a Hurricane-Proof Vacation

Editor’s Picks: Dominican Republic
World’s Most Romantic All-Inclusive Resorts
North America’s Best Whale-Watching Spots
Best Affordable Island Resorts

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Selfie Scavenger Hunt

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Ready, set, #selfie! Kimpton’s Muse Hotel in New York City is inviting guests to explore Manhattan on a Selfie Scavenger Hunt.

Guests are provided a list of ten must-see sites in New York, ranging from Katz’s Deli to the Empire State Building. Participants will need to document the sites on Twitter, tweeting each location to the @KimptoninNYC handle and using the hashtag #MuseSelfie. 

Prizes range from a round of cocktails to discounted room rates and upgrades.

The front desk at the hotel is offering a “Selfie Prop Kit” in case your selfies need a little dressing up.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of The Muse Hotel

Daily Transporter: Pretzels

yummy pretzels

April 26 is National Pretzel Day. The EU recently added the soft Bavarian pretzel to its protected origins list (where it joins the likes of Stilton cheese and Parma ham). Now only pretzels produced in Bavaria can be sold as Bayerische breze, or Bavarian pretzel. Accept no substitutes, Damen und Herren.

See Bavarian pretzels in World’s Top Beer Gardens

Editor’s Picks: Food + Drink
Europe’s Best Places to Eat Like a Local
America’s Best Beer Gardens
America’s Best Beer Bars

Lyndsey Matthews is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo ©iStockphoto

Google Adds Time Machine to Maps

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Here's how I'll be spending much of this upcoming weekend: enjoying some quality armchair (time) travel courtesy of Google Maps' new Time Machine feature. Launched this week, it captures the evolution of places as they have been documented by Google's street view team—now celebrating their seventh year in action.

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A Little Paris in NYC: "Madeline" Exhibit Opens Summer 2014 at New York Historical Society

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"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ..." I've never forgotten my introduction to Madeline. As a child, I'd binge on her stories. "One more, one more," I'd beg my mom at bedtime. While my boys are more into steroid-infused types wearing capes than the misadventures of a French school girl, I plan to drag them to the Madeline exhibit at New York Historical Society. On view will be more than 90 drawings, photographs, and paintings (including originals, such as Madeline at the Paris Flower Garden, 1955) by Austrian artist and creator Ludwig Bemelmans who started crafting his tales at Pete's Tavern, right here, in New York. The little girl from Paris is coming home.


Clara Sedlak is a senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo: "Madeline at the Paris Flower Market © 1955 by Ludwig Bemelmans. Oil, 34 1/2 x 45 1/8 inches. Collection of Barbara Bemelmans"

Strongest Sandstorm in Decades Hits Northern China

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Travelers beware! On Wednesday, a massive sandstorm swept through parts of northwest China’s Gansu province, turning the air a yellow-orange hue and reducing visibility to 60 feet in places. Cars, buildings and residents were coated with the gritty dust.

According to the province’s meteorological center, this was the strongest sandstorm since 1996. (The photograph above depicts a heavy sandstorm that swept through China's Tiananmen Square in 2002.)

Watch footage from the massive storm here

Rebecca Hiscott is Travel + Leisure's digital intern. Follow her on Twitter at @rebeccahiscott.

Photo by Alamy

May Vacation Deals

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Germany: 44% off at the Althoff Seehotel Überfahrt

Bavarian Luxury package includes:

• 2 nights in a Deluxe room at the Althoff Seehotel Überfahrt, a 135-year-old resort on the banks of the Tegernsee, near Munich
• Round-trip transportation to the Tegernsee Forest Festival, a traditional summerlong Alpine celebration with beer, bratwurst, and live music, or to the Tegernseer Bräustüber, an ancient monastery that brewed the region’s first beer
• An hour-long carriage ride through the Bavarian Alpine landscape, with beer and pretzels
• A 3-course dinner at a choice of 3 on-site restaurants, including Egerner Bucht, a specialist in Alpine cuisine

Cost: $1,080 ($540 per night)

Book now for travel between June 20 and September 7.

For more information or to book, please visit Althoff Seehotel Überfahrt

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Daily Transporter: Virginia Garden Week

Charlottesville beauty

In 1927, a Garden Club of Virginia flower show raised $7,000 to save some trees planted by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. That initiative inspired Virginia Garden Week—eight days and 250 house-and-garden tours across the state—which begins today.

See Virginia in America’s Best Spring Drives

Editor’s Picks: Virginia
Best Beaches on Earth
World’s Strangest Natural Wonders
America’s Coolest Summer Cottages

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

The World's 6 Most Insane Ziplines

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Combining speed, height, and a totally flimsy harness that in no way looks like it can hold you up, ziplining is sheer excitement meets pure terror – an exhilarating ride atop some of the planet's most gorgeous landscapes. But which lines are worth the zip? From 165ft underground to 1,000ft in the air, here are six of the world's longest, fastest, and wildest.

SEE MORE AT THRILLIST

Photo by Zip2000

The 25 Best Beaches in the World

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We can all agree that after months of polar vortexes and a Winter that refused to quit, the idea of hitting the beach sounds pretty terrific, right? Well, we're almost there. And to help get the ball rolling, we rounded up our favorite 25 beaches in the world.

SEE MORE AT THRILLIST

Photo by Nicolas Vollmer

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