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The Newest Great Thrill Ride Of The Summer Is Here

This summer has seen plenty of new thrill rides (watch our Top 6 New Roller Coaster Rides video), and the openings continue. Last week New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure unleashed the Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, a three-towered attraction for up to eight adrenaline junkies who are hoisted 415 feet into the sky, hover for a handful of seconds to take in the panoramic views, and then drop at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. The entire ride takes less than a minute, but luckily, the euphoria endures.

How will you spend the rest of your day? Test your guts on the Slingshot, when you shoot 220 feet straight up, or try the inverted coaster Batman: The Ride; it has so many loops and twists you’ll want to make sure you experience it before you stop for lunch. Younger kids stay busy too, taking turns as pilots on the high-flying Air Safari or speeding around in spotted beetle cars on the Bugaboo course.

Standard summer hours at Six Flag’s Great Adventure are 10:30 a.m. – 10:0 p.m.

Best Beach Vacation Getaways from the U.S. Video

Who doesn't need a beach escape within easy reach? Watch this quick video for three T+L favorites.

Islamorada, Florida

There’s not much to do in the low-key island village of Islamorada in Florida’s Upper Keys, and guess what? That is precisely the point. Start with a rum runner cocktail from the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar before unwinding at Cheeca Lodge, a popular beachfront hotel that gets bonus points from moms everywhere thanks to its stellar kids camp.

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Q+A: Singer (and Soon to Be TV Star) LeAnn Rimes Talks Travel with T+L

After teaming up wtih LeAnn Rimes to DJ the performance of her new single, "Help Me Make it Through the Night," Wednesday on The View, I sat down with the Grammy Award-winning singer to get her travel picks. And don't miss the debut of LeAnn & Eddie, airing tonight at 10:30 p.m. EST on VH1.  

Q: You guys are on the road so much. What’s an ideal Saturday when you’re home in L.A.?
A: Riding Eddie’s Harley to Malibu, then ending the day at Moonshadows, a waterfront spot with freshly caught seafood, or Malibu Country Mart. There’s an amazing Greek restaurant there called Taverna Tony—we always get the roasted baby lamb!

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A Day in the African Bush

#singitastories - Saitoti Ole Kuwai from Singita on Vimeo.

Your day starts in the dark. At 4 o'clock in the morning, you can still hear hyenas calling. The bush is awake.

Saitoti Ole Kuwai is a field guide at the African luxury lodge, Singita. He says of his daily experience: "The area by itself is like a huge sea, so you never know what kind of fish you're going to catch. What's needed for you is the passion, the passion to wait."

From spotting a majestic female leopard to seeing zebras traverse the landscape, this video gives good reason to add "safari" to your bucket list.

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

British Airways Tests ‘Happiness Blanket’ to Measure In-Flight Relaxation

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British Airways knows the importance of a “good flight’s sleep,” which is why they began testing its ‘Happiness Blanket’ on passengers last week. Volunteers on board the BA189 Dreamliner service from Heathrow to New York were among the first to try out the hi-tech throw woven with neurosensors and fiber optics to monitor a user’s relaxation patterns.

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5 Great Summer Water Park Getaways

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Cool off with your family at one of these top affordable water parks.

Texas
Schlitterbahn, on Galveston Island, Texas, opened in 1966 and calls itself the world’s first “water resort”—but don’t write it off as old fashioned. The park opens new rides almost every year, and with more than 35 water attractions, family adventures, and thrill slides, there’s something for everyone. Teenagers will love the Cliffhanger, with drops of 81 feet and speeds approaching 40 mph, while younger visitors prefer the Treasure Island kids area, a shallow pool designed to entertain the smallest Schlitterbahn guests. Tickets for the park are $46 adults, $36 kids. Stay at the nearby historic property, The Tremont House, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, where rates start at $139 on weekdays and $199 on weekends.

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Ideas for a Tropical Island Getaway (Video)

Sand between your toes, a blissed-out day by the waves... Your next island getaway is closer than you think, thanks to new routes and more frequent flights from major U.S. cities. In this short video, T+L shares the details on Antigua; Turks and Caicos; Aruba; Sanibel Island, Florida; and Kauai—with hotel recommendations to match.

Zen Moment: Switzerland From Above

This year, Swiss Tourism is celebrating the Alpine nation's incredible views, and a new video does just that. "Switzerland From Above," filmed by renowned French journalist Yann Arthus, takes viewers on an aerial tour of some of the country's most scenic vistas.

The Rheinfalls, high mountain peaks, and bucolic farm scenes (Swiss cows!) all appear in the film, which is set to a transfixing score by Armand Amar.

So take a moment—well, 20 minutes actually—to experience Switzerland from above.

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.

 

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. 

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IcelandAir Debuts Stunning Safety Video

Icelandair has joined the pack of airlines putting time and energy into their safety videos. (Click here for our slideshow of some of the best.) Unlike the humorous approach taken by the likes of Delta and Virgin America, this almost three-minute-long video is like a love letter to Iceland as a destination, following a traveler camping out to see the Northern lights, hiking across the country’s varied terrain, and kayaking the Fjadrargljufur gorge. Safety procedures are seamlessly drawn on top of the visually beautiful shots.

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

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