Photo Of The Day: Perched Above Guatemala

A view from a ridiculously good vantage point can forge a lifelong memory. This spot above Lake Atitlan in western Guatemala, shot by Shuo Huang, really sets the standard for others to be compared to. This volcanic lake is what adventures are built around and make weeks on the road, battling loneliness and cramped conditions in cross-country buses completely worth it.

Shuo submitted his photo to us through Instagram by mentioning @GadlingTravel and using the #Gadling tag. If you’d like your exciting travel photography to be featured as our Photo Of The Day, do the same or submit it to our Gadling Flickr Pool. Be sure to check out more of Shuo’s phenomenal photos on Instagram here and don’t forget to give us a follow too!

[Photo credit: Instagram User shuotography]

Beekman’s, a beer garden with a view in New York City

View of Brooklen Bridge from Beekman's Beer Garden where cheap beers and live music can be found in New York When most people think of places to drink with a view they automatically think of rooftop bars. For those who are interested in great shots of the New York skyline without the outrageous prices and swanky atmosphere of a rooftop venue, Beekman’s Beer Garden should be your next stop.

While the beer selection is limited, at $7 a pint it is reasonably priced, especially when immersed in the laid-back atmosphere, brew in hand, right on the water. Choices include Magic Hat #9-Not Quite Pale Ale, a drier beer with a crisp flavor, Six Point Crisp Lager, a soft honey malt with peppery hops, Blue Point Toasted Lager, a copper brew made from six different malts, and Ommegaang Witte Ale, the companies take on a Belgian-white.

Want some food to go along with your brew? Beekman’s menu features perfect pub-type grub, such as sausages, burgers, chicken tenders, and cheese fries. And, because you are on the water, a selection of seafood such as fish and chips and shrimp cocktail can also be ordered.

While the tented area full of picnic and pool tables is open to the public, there is also a man-made beach section which is the VIP area of the beer garden, complete with sand and beach chairs for those who want a little more luxury.

At 6PM on Fridays patrons can enjoy “Fest Fridays”, with a different all-you-can-eat party-theme each week, such as Chili Fest, Pig Fest, and Seafood Fest. Sundays offer “Brews, Blues, and BBQ” at 1PM featuring various musicians and shows.

The best part about Beekman’s is, hands down, the view of the Brooklyn Bridge at night. With the bridge being adorned with small lights as well as being a stone’s throw away from the bar, the setting is a bit surreal and a great opportunity to take photos.

Beekman’s Beer Garden is located in South Street Seaport at Beekman St. and South St. on the North side of Pier 17. It is accessible by the A,C,J,M,Z,2,3,4,5 at Fulton St.

Hours of operation are Wednesday-Sunday, 12PM-3AM.

Photo of the day (11.11.10)


At first glance, I thought this photo was an aerial view of the sea with the gorgeous, saturated aqua green color, looking down from the clouds. Then I saw the tiny airplane silhouettes and realized it was looking *up* at 3,700 feet. Flickr user StefanTrego soared above upstate New York in an ASK-21 glider plane (which apparently has semi-reclining seats, pretty comfy for a tiny plane) with Harris Hills Soaring Club and has this shot to prove it. Certainly makes flying lessons look tempting for views and perspectives like this.

Have you ever taken flying lessons or seen the world from far above? Send your photos to our Flickr Pool and it could be our next Photo of the Day.

Top ten hotel rooms with a view

Hotels aren’t the sum of travel, but the right hotel can bring magic to a journey. Friendly employees, amazing furnishings, and great locations can all make a good holiday great. And an exceptional view, above and beyond the rest, can stick in one’s memory forever. Here are ten hotels strewn around the world, each with ridiculously stunning views.

1. Shearwater Resort, Saba. Shearwater’s Cottage Rooms, which overlook the resort’s cliffside pool from an altitude of 2000 feet and sport views of the ocean and several neighboring islands (St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, and Nevis) are in a league of their own. See above for evidence. Shearwater’s owners also recommend the views from their Ocean View Suite. Cottage Rooms from $175; Ocean View Suite from $250.

2. Longitude 131, Ayers Rock Resort, Australia. The tents at Longitude 131 at Ayers Rock feature heart-stopping panoramic views of this most iconic of Australian sights. This is real fantasy territory, with rates well beyond feasibility for most. From A$4080 for two for two nights ($4095).

3. Hotel on Rivington, New York, New York. The corner king rooms at this Lower East Side outpost of extravagance have floor-to-ceiling glass walls affording astounding views of the city. Aim for a room on a higher floor. From $379.

4. Hotel de Crillon, Paris, France. Terribly exorbitant, yes–not sure that a room at this price point should ever be recommended–but the views are exquisite here. Do you best to nab a room with a view over the Place de la Concorde to the Eiffel Tower. From €630 ($875).

5. Sheraton Iguazú Resort and Spa, Iguazú Falls, Argentina. The only hotel inside the Iguazú National Park offers awe-inspiring views of the falls themselves. The Falls View rooms, all with balconies, are perfect for the view-minded. From $255.

6. Campi ya Kanzi, Mtito Andei, Kenya. Campi ya Kanzi lies in a 400 square-mile are of Maasai-run land in southern Kenya. Mount Kilimanjaro is 35 miles away from the camp site, which consists of six tented cottages and two suites. Suites run $1600 for two; single occupancy $900.

7. The Intercontinental, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Stunning Hong Kong Harbor provides the world one of its most exciting skylines, and a harbourview room at the Intercontinental is one of the best places to glimpse it. From around HK$2600 ($335).

8. The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta, Canada. The most iconic of Canada’s mountain lodges, the Fairmont Banff Springs is in a league of its own as far as picturesque placement is concerned. Many rooms offer extraordinary views as well. Book a valley view room (not a mountain view room) to take full advantage of the Rockies’ scenic majesty. From around C$439 ($437).

9. Explora, Torres del Paine, Chile. Gorgeous if minimalist modernism features here in the wilds of Chilean Patagonia, courtesy of famed Chilean architect Germán del Sol. Views of Macizo del Paine are drop-dead extraordinary. They’re also most definitely not cheap. Four nights will run $5840 for two.

10. La Haut Plantation, St. Lucia. The least expensive of the options here is this reasonable stunner, which has great views of St. Lucia’s famous Pitons. Even the least expensive Standard Garden rooms here boast incredible views of the Pitons. From $120 in low season.

A list like this one is of course necessarily quite subjective, and my evaluation here is designed to suggest and expose more than it is intended to lay down the law. Have a hotel view in mind that you think belongs on this list? Add it in the comments below!

(Images provided by hotels, except for the view from the Sheraton Iguazú Resort and Spa [Flickr / Tran’s World Productions] and view from the Fairmont Banff Springs [Flickr / dbaron]

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Rise 35 stories above the city on Chicago’s new balloon attraction

Navy Pier, Chicago‘s biggest tourist trap, is offering visitors a new way to see the city. If riding the elevator to the top of the Sears Willis Tower or relaxing as a giant Ferris wheel slowly inches you skyward doesn’t satisfy your thirst for getting airborne, maybe this one will. A 120,000 cubic-foot helium balloon, called the AeroBalloon, promises to float you 350 feet above the ground.

The balloon’s gondola, which has a hole in the center through which passengers view the ground, can carry up to 18 people, which it will hold aloft for a ride of 8-10 minutes before returning to Earth. Kids must be at least 5 years old to ride and those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The rides are offered from 8am to 10pm Monday through Thursday and from 8am to midnight Friday to Sunday. The attraction will shut down for the season on October 31.

Tickets cost a hefty $25 for adults ($15 for kids 12 and under). $25 for 10 minutes? No thanks. I’ll take my view with a side of cocktail – at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center – where I can pay around $15 and linger as long as I want.