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Daily Transporter: Golf Death Valley

sand trap

Even if you can’t brag about a low golf score, you can play the lowest-altitude golf course in the world: the links at Death Valley’s Inn at Furnace Creek sit 214 feet below sea level.

See the Inn at Furnace Creek in Great National Park Lodges

Editor’s Picks: Death Valley
America’s Coolest Ghost Towns
World’s Strangest Natural Wonders
Beautiful National Parks: Readers’ Photos

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

Daily Transporter: Game-Changing Ferris Wheels

aerial shot of ferris wheel

Attractions like the London Eye and this Ferris wheel on Chicago’s Navy Pier have been luring tourists downtown; now, cities like NYC, Orlando, and Dubai are climbing on board. Las Vegas adds its own spin to the phenomenon: you can get married on the new 500-foot High Roller.

See the High Roller in 25 Selfies You Have to Take This Year

Editor’s Picks: Great City Trips
World’s Coolest Ferris Wheels
World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions
World’s Coolest Tram Rides

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

Daily Transporter: French Trains Too Fat?

paris museum

Sleek regional trains ordered by the French government are not quite sleek enough: 1,300 train platforms will have to be slimmed down to allow the wider trains. (The Gare d'Orsay, now the Musée d’Orsay, closed in 1939 when its short platforms didn’t match the length of the newer electric trains.)

See the Musée d’Orsay in World’s Most Beautiful Museums

Editor’s Picks: Paris
World’s Most Amazing Views
World’s Coolest Hotel Bathrooms
Best Instagram Photos of 2013

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

Jay Z Has Opened a Nightclub at the Atlanta Airport

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Sure Hov, why not? If you find yourself killing time during a layover at the Atlanta International Airport anytime soon, stop by Jay Z’s elite club, now conveniently located in Concourse D.

Yup, the third location of Hov’s swanky 40/40 club has officially opened at at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Associated Press reports. And really, why not? Jay Z can do whatever the heck he wants. Remember: he’s not a businessman, he’s a business, man.

The original 40/40 is in Manhattan, with an additional location in Brooklyn. This new airport version will basically be a “scaled down” replica of original club, and there are plans in the works to create a special VIP section. Otherwise, details are pretty scarce.

Here’s hoping the soundtrack exclusively consists of Aziz Ansari’s club anthem, because it feels like it would be a great fit. Plus, it talks a lot about jets:

Samantha Grossman is a reporter for Time magazine. This article originally appeared on Time.com.

More from Time:
Jay Z, Solange and Beyoncé: ‘We Have Moved Forward’ 

The 2013 Time 100

Everything You Need to Know About the Solange-Jay Z Elevator Fight

Photo from iStock


Sydney Opera House is All Lit Up During Annual Festival

Every night through June 9, the sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House will be awash in colorful lights and 3D projections as part of Vivid Sydney, the largest light, music, and ideas festival in the Southern Hemisphere. The spectacle was designed by the creative agency 59 Productions, known for their work on the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

Video: Watch Lightning Strike London's The Shard



London's the Shard—Europe's tallest buiding and home to the newest Shangri-La hotel—made headlines last week when it was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm on Thursday. The video above has since gone viral, with nearly 1 million views.

For those of you concerned about safety, a hotel employee assures me that no guests or staff members reported feeling or hearing the strike.

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.

 

A Weekend Trip Around the World

Around the world in a weekend—why not? UK-based Austravel is offering package tours that leave London on Friday, take you to Australia, and have you back for work in London by Tuesday morning.

Social Media 101: How To Shoot Travel Videos People Want To Watch

For the third year, Travel + Leisure's Social Media in Travel and Tourism (SMITTY) awards is recognizng the brands and companies transforming the industry with their online innovations (think digital concierges and exclusive social giveaways).

To help you leverage the digital boom on your next trip and cash in on the latest social currency, we tapped four platform experts for their outreach strategies and insider tips.  

This week, Hollywood film director (and the man behind the SMITTY-award winning Virgin America in-flight safety tutorial) Jon Chu shows us how to give your homemade vacation videos blockbuster appeal. 

Read More

Social Media 101: How To Take Cooler Instagram Photos

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For the third year, Travel + Leisure's Social Media in Travel and Tourism (SMITTY) awards is recognizng the brands and companies transforming the industry with their online innovations (think digital concierges and exclusive social giveaways).

To help you leverage the digital boom on your next trip and cash in on the latest social currency, we tapped four platform experts for their outreach strategies and insider tips.  

This week, viral Instagrammer and photo app developer Cole Rise shares his tricks for creating epic travel photos with serious regram potential. 

Read More

Social Media 101: How to Get the Most from Tweeting on the Road

For the third year, Travel + Leisure's Social Media in Travel and Tourism (SMITTY) awards is recognizng the brands and companies transforming the industry with their online innovations (think digital concierges and exclusive social giveaways).

To help you leverage the digital boom on your next trip and cash in on the latest social currency, we tapped four platform experts for their outreach strategies and insider tips.  

This week, Twitter’s Head of Travel Mike De Jesus explains how to leverage your social clout  - and reveals the one hashtag you shouldn’t be traveling without.  

Read More

Social Media 101: How To Become A Travel Blogger

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For the third year, Travel + Leisure's Social Media in Travel and Tourism (SMITTY) awards is recognizng the brands and companies transforming the industry with their online innovations (think digital concierges and exclusive social giveaways).

To help you leverage the digital boom on your next trip and cash in on the latest social currency, we tapped four platform experts for their outreach strategies and insider tips.  

This week, Renee Blodgett, founder of We Blog The World, tells us how to bring travel writing into the 21st century and reach mobile, multi-tasking readers all over the globe.

Read More

Meet Globetrotting Latte Artist Michael Breach

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In the age of #selfies, Tinder swipes, Instagram, and Facebook, it can be challenging for faces to stand out from the plethora of media muck hailing down on us 24/7. But, every once in a while, someone gets a lucky break. Such is the case with bored-night-shift-hotel-barista turned international-latte-portrait-artist, Michael Breach.

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Crazy Cliff-Diving Competition Comes To Texas

cliff_divingjpgThe first time I visited Acapulco, like any tourist I wanted to see the famous cliff-divers leap from the craggy heights of La Quebrada 135 feet into the foaming Pacific below. I learned a life lesson that day: Never be stupid enough to jump off a cliff like that. You’ll break your neck! Not everyone has learned that lesson, though—in particular, the newest breed of cliff divers now fighting it out in the 2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Next stop on the series tour: Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, 80 miles west of Fort Worth, on June 6-7. 

Read More

How to Avoid Tick Bites: A Hiker’s Guide

201405-hd-deer-tickjpgLate spring and early summer is one of the best—and most exhilarating—times of year to take to outdoors for a hike. It’s also peak season for tick bites, especially if you live in the East or Midwest.

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Destination Club Exclusive Resorts Launches Nightly Rates

exclusive_resortsjpgExclusive Resorts, a destination club with more than 300 villas around the world, just announced that it is expanding on its membership-only model with the launch of the Gateway card. The new initiative puts the company in the same category as regular villa rentals and even hotels—groundbreaking for a company that typically requires a 30-year commitment.

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Vacation Rentals Get a Boost with Launch of Villas.com and Funding for Tripping

201405-hd-villa-rentaljpgThe vacation rental industry has officially made it. Booking.com just launched Villas.com, a smart and streamlined site dedicated solely to vacation rentals, with more than 150,000 listings. Meanwhile, Tripping—the self proclaimed “world’s largest search engine for vacation homes and short-term rentals” and the brainchild of Expedia, Travelzoo, and StubHub veterans—just got a new round of funding, rumored to be between $5 and $10 million.

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Cruise Travel Twitter Chat on Tuesday, May 27

Whether you're a cruise novice or expert, join our Cruise Travel Twitter chat this Tuesday, May 27th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. We'll be asking experts about emerging cruise destinations, ship trends, and even industry misconceptions. Join along and ask them for their insider advice!

The Host:

T+L Senior Editor, Jacqueline Gifford, @jacquigiff

The Panelists:

Cruise Critic, @CruiseCritic

Celebrity Cruise, @CelebrityCruise

The Avid Cruiser, @avidcruiser

Stewart Chiron, @CruiseGuy

Belmond, @belmond

Viking Cruises, @VikingRiver

Uniworld Cruises, @UniworldCruises 

Seabourn Cruise, @SeabournCruise 

CLIA, @CruiseFacts

Princess Cruises, @PrincessCruises

Porthole Magazine, @PortholeCruise

Silversea, @Silversea

Royal Caribbean, @RoyalCaribbean

Cruise Maven, @CruiseMaven

Chris Owen, @OrlandoChris

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.

Best Hidden Beaches, National Parks, and Kid-Friendly Destinations

Watch T+L's Sarah Spagnolo share her favorite hidden beaches, national parks, and kid-friendly vacation spots on Katie.

New Travel Survey: Americans Divided on Beach, Plane Etiquette

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A new survey from the Travel Leaders Group reveals that courtesy in the air does not necessarily translate to courtesy once on the ground.

When confronted with limited overhead space for carry-on bags near their assigned seats, only 4.3 percent of survey-takers would stow luggage at the earliest open spot, while nearly 75 percent would wait until they approached their seat.

Read More

Where to Go in the Hamptons This Summer

201405-hd-gurneysjpgManhattanites, rejoice! After a seemingly endless winter, Hamptons season is officially upon us again as Memorial Day Weekend approaches. For 2014, there’s plenty of new places to try on Long Island’s famed stretch of beachy vacation towns, whether you’re seeking fine dining or luxurious accommodations from Southampton to Montauk. Of course there’s also classic favorites we can’t miss, like getting our last ever lobster roll from Duryea’s and sipping cocktails at Surf Lodge while watching live sunset concerts. Pour the rosé and let the good times roll.

STAY

What’s old is new again at Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa. First opened in 1926, the iconic hotel has added 38 brand new luxury guestrooms with private verandas and floor to ceiling windows for fantastic ocean views. They’re also redone the restaurant and spa, adding the only seawater swimming pool in North America. At the Crow’s Nest overlooking Lake Montauk, hotelier Sean MacPherson has added the David Pharaoh Cottages in addition to the 14 king rooms. The cottages come with kitchenettes and are available in sizes from studios to three bedrooms.

Read More

How Airport Retailers Target Passengers

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Airport retailers know a lot more about their potential customers than you might expect, and they're using that information to target specific shopping demographics, as an article in the Economist details.

Aware when flights arrive and depart, shops behind security alter their selection based on who will be walking by during that "golden hour" before takeoff. At Heathrow, for example, cognac displayed in the morning is geared to passengers on that 9:45 am Barbados flight—who apparently prefer Hennesy and Courvoisier—while afternoon flights to Norway and the US call for cheaper brandies. Likewise, shopkeepers schedule their multilingual staffs based on flight timetables.

As the Economist writes, "Most [passengers] are relatively prosperous; all are briefly at loose ends," and retailers have found that these slightly-crazed, moderately wealthy individuals make great customers.

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 by Kumar Sriskandan / Alamy.

World's Coolest Beach Bars

201405-hd-thrillist-beach-bars_croppedjpgSorry, mountains. Nice try, lakes. When it comes to the greatest summer vacation destination, nothing beats the beach. Think about it: sun, sand, surf, half-naked people -- throw in strong drinks and laid-back beach bars, and you've got the full monty. But which waterfront watering holes are the best?

SEE THE LIST ON THRILLIST

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Introducing VIX Valise

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Ok so you’re staying at the Trump Soho NYC on business and you never dreamed you’d have any down time but here you are with a few glorious hours of leisure, expansive pool, a smiling sun and no swimsuit.
 
Brazilian native and bikini lover, Paula Hermanny comes to the rescue with her VIX Valise.  It’s a goody bag of sorts, which contains all you need for a swim and then some. The kit comes to your room in a black and white bold stripe tote. Inside are a black bikini with gold accents, a white caftan (can’t go wrong there), black flip-flops and a towel to go with the color scheme, all in your size.  Truth be told, sunglasses and sunscreen are still required but you’ve brought the sunnies and you can borrow a squeeze of sun prevention from your lounging mate. It’s a pricey indulgence at $468 but no matter you’re on vacation in chic New York.  Even if its only for a few hours.

Mimi LombardoMimi Lombardo is the fashion director at Travel + Leisure.

 

 

Image courtesy of ViX Paula Hermanny.

Airbnb's Agreement with New York Attorney General

201405-hd-airbnbjpgAirbnb announced this week that it reached an agreement with the New York Attorney General, after the state office issued a second subpoena demanding data on thousands of Airbnb hosts.

In this latest update to the long saga of New York State vs. Airbnb, the short-term apartment rental website will hand over anonymized data of its hosts, giving the Attorney General's Office one year to review the information.

Read More

Q+A: Nick Brown, Founder of Soludos

201405-hd-nick-brown-selfjpgBeloved by beach-goers and city slickers alike, Soludos espadrilles are designed with a self-proclaimed year-round spirit of summer, no matter your location. Founder Nick Brown is the essence of that—a surf-loving, effortlessly cool globetrotter who’s regularly perusing new and hip destinations. The London native turned New Yorker shares his favorite international hotspots, tells stories of past trips, and divulges his plans for the summer.

Read More

Berkshire Hathaway Launches Affordable, Fixed-Rate Travel Insurance

201405-hd-berkshire-hathaway-aircare-logojpgBerkshire Hathaway is shaking up the travel insurance industry with the launch of AirCare, which offers an inexpensive, fixed-rate plan covering delays, tarmac waits, missed connections, and lost or delayed luggage. But more than its $25 price, the latest from Warren Buffett’s corporation stands out because it streamlines the biggest insurance headache of all: filing claims.

Read More

National 9/11 Memorial Museum Opens Today

201405-hd-9-11-memorial-museum-steeljpgThe National 9/11 Memorial Museum, located in lower Manhattan, on the site of the World Trade Center, opens to the public today, Wednesday, May 21.

Except for the handsome entry pavilion designed by the Norwegian architects Snøhetta, the greater part of the vast 10,000 square feet of exhibition space is 70 feet below ground level, at the foundations of the original twin towers.  Visitors are drawn into the chasm through a series of ramps, escalators, and viewing platforms that lead to the Manhattan core, its bedrock, where the museum—the thoughtful design the work of Davis Brody Bond, a New York City firm—divides into two, large square aluminum structures with a luminous sheen. 

Read More

How Many People Will Travel for Memorial Day?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Watch T+L's own Mark Orwoll quiz Today Show fans fans on the the number of people who will travel for Memorial Day weekend.

 

Exposing Hidden Airfare Fees

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Another victory for passenger rights is in the works. The DOT is planning to strengthen its regulations regarding how airlines—and, for the first time, online search engines, such as Google—display the ancillary fees that count for an increasing portion of your overall ticket cost. 

Read More

Plan a Last-Minute Memorial Day Getaway

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

More than 36 million Americans will hit the road Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA. There's still time for you to join them, thanks to these holiday weekend deals. 

Washington—The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel

No one does a national holiday quite like D.C. This summer marks not only the 150th anniversary of Arlington Cemetery but also the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner, and D.C. is kicking off the season with events including the National Memorial Day Parade (Monday, May 26) and Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally from the Pentagon to Lincoln Memorial (Sunday, May 25). If you want to be near the action, book at room at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel. First opened in 1925, the historic property is an easy five-block walk to the White House, and just a mile away from the National Mall (from $179/night). marriott.com


Kennebunkport, Maine
—Cape Arundel Inn & Resort

Memorial Day Weekend is a great time to visit the coast of Maine—before the crowds of the busy summer season arrive. This oceanfront property offers activities for the whole family from scotch and wine tastings to painting lessons and bocce ball courts. Just steps away, Old Fort Estate is surrounded by 15-acres of lawn and woodland, and the newly renovated on-site Club House features luxe leather sofas, a grand fireplace, and a vintage pool table (from $199/night, 3-night minimum stay). capearundelinn.com


New Hampshire
—Mill Falls at the Lake  - rates from $160/night

Much like the coast of Maine, Lake Winnipesaukee is popular tourist destination in the summer. Get a jump-start on the season by heading there this weekend. Go for a canoe ride and try your hand at paddle boarding at the hotel’s Lake Activity Center or get your om on at the Sacred Waters Yoga Studio (from $160/night). millfalls.com


Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
—Landmark Inn

Calling all history buffs! With its 62 antique-filled rooms and a notable guest list that includes the likes of Amelia Earhart and Louis Armstrong, the Landmark Inn offers visitors a getaway that’s steeped in American history. This weekend, celebrate Memorial Day in the property’s own English-style pub or visit one of Marquette's three microbreweries (The Vierling, Black Rock, and Oredock). And if hiking’s more your style, take the 10-minute drive to Sugar Loaf Mountain for a spectacular view of the city and Lake Superior (from $139/night). thelandmarkinn.com


Scottsdale, Arizona
—Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

The Copper State has warm weather with plenty of sun, and now’s the time to visit before temperatures rise in the peak of summer. With two 18-hole golf courses, five swimming pools, and seven tennis courts, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess truly has something for everyone. Through May 26, check out Arizona Spring Restaurant Week with prix fixe dining at top restaurants throughout the state (from $149/night, 3-night minimum stay). fairmont.com/scottsdale

Los Angeles—The Grafton on Sunset

This holiday weekend, why not go where you’re almost guaranteed sunshine? Located right on the Sunset Strip, with fun, funky rooms (think zebra bedspreads and Hollywood themed suites), The Grafton on Sunset offers guests close proximity to L.A.’s great shopping, restaurants, and attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, and The Viper Room (from $199/night). graftononsunset.com

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