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Floating Above: Views From Aerial Trams

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Aerial trams, gondolas, cable cars—whatever you call them, they're always worth the ride. Float, fly, glide above—some of the most memorable views hang from a wire.
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Piz Gloria, 3825 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
From the Lauterbrunnen Valley south of Interlaken, you can take a series of cable cars up to the peak of the Schilthorn, across from the Jungfrau massif in the Bernese Alps. Silent, effortless, costly, and worth every Swiss Franc, you float up...
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1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Golf and sunshine are the main magnets that draw visitors to Palm Springs, but a 10-minute ride will take you up into a snowy evergreen forest. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs up to a mountain wilderness at 8,500 feet (2,590 meters). The...
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30 Tramway Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122, USA
The Sandía Mountains rise to over 10,000 feet behind Albuquerque. From the top, the view over New Mexico is unparalleled: on a clear day, your eyes can take in eleven thousand square miles--almost one-tenth of the state! The quickest way up is the...
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South Korea, Gangwon-do, Sokcho-si, Daepo-dong, Seoraksan-ro, 833
About 25 miles north of the site of the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics is Seoraksan National Park. These mountains along Korea's East Coast are a hiker's paradise in all seasons, studded with architectural and religious highlights. Sitting,...
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Monserrate Bogotá, Colombia
The peak called Monserrate towers over central Bogotá and lends its name to the church that tops it. Perched more than 10,000 feet above sea level, the sanctuary—dedicated to the Passion of Christ—has beautiful gardens...
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3303 SW Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239, USA
The tram gives Portland visitors stunning views of the city, river, and mountains beyond. Grab the streetcar from downtown out to the waterfront. You're delivered to the lower terminal for the three-minute ride carrying you 3,300 feet at 20 MPH to...
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32, San José Province, Guapiles, Costa Rica
If you've walked through a Costa Rican rain forest, you've undoubtedly seen plenty to capture your interest: one or more of the country's 1,400+ orchid species, brilliantly plumed birds, maybe even one of the elusive mammals so strange in...
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Tram Cir, Girdwood, AK 99587, USA
Ascending 617 meters (2,024 feet) in elevation to the top of Mount Alyeska from a starting point at the Hotel Alyeska, the resort's aerial tram runs at half-speed in the summer, giving riders a seven-minute journey during which they can enjoy...
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Main St, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044, USA
For panoramic views of the entire city—for the price of a subway ride—take the Roosevelt Island Tram. As the suspended car runs parallel to the bridge, spanning the gap between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, you'll have unparalleled vistas of the...
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16 Gogebashvili St, Batumi, Georgia
Gondolas always manage to fuse transportation and a sense of fun, and this one—opened in 2013—is no exception. Take in sweeping panoramas that include Batumi’s church spires, quaint rooftops and curving shoreline during the 10-minute ride from the...
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
The city's very own mountain soars above the Downtown core, just 20 minutes drive away from town. If you're feeling active try the 'Grouse Grind', a punishing 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to as “Mother...
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Quito, Ecuador
For spectacular views of sprawling Quito, take a ride in the TelefériQo. This aerial lift, one of the highest in the world, takes you up the east side of Pichincha volcano, but don't worry, its active caldera is on the western side of the...
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Ulica kralja Petra Krešimira IV, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
In a swift four-minute ride, the Dubrovnik cable car can deliver you to the top of Mount Srdj for a bird’s-eye perspective of the Old Town and surrounding areas. Sometimes, on really crisp days, Italy will appear far out on the horizon. Even...
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Sollivegen 12, 9020 Tromsdalen, Norway
It’s difficult to appreciate the stunning natural setting of Tromsø, the island-based city surrounded by snowcapped mountains. For the best view, take the recently renovated cable car up to the Storsteinen mountain ledge, 1,381 feet...
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Ngong Ping Rd, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
The colorful Po Lin Monastery was built more than a century ago in the secluded mountains of Lantau Island. In 1993, the 112-foot-high bronze Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, was erected to face the monastery and north toward the...
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Tafelberg Rd & Caeleway, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
It's a must-do, but wear comfortable shoes, bring bottles of water, and pack sunscreen. We finished climbing to the top in an hour and a half, thankful that they've made it easy for the non-experienced hikers with a rugged-rock staircase from...
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10 Bridle Path Rd, Heathcote Valley, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand
Take in 360-degree vistas of Christchurch's stunning surroundings, from the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps to the Lyttelton Harbour and the Banks Peninsula, via this 10-minute cable-car ride that ascends 862 horizontal meters (2,830 feet) to...
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Rio is so packed with spectacular sights that the solid granite Sugarloaf Mountain, whose name comes from the cone-shaped molds once used to store sugar, would be the main highlight anywhere else. An engineering marvel when it was built in 1912,...

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6 Skyrail Drive, Smithfield QLD 4878, Australia

From the Skyrail Terminal just north of Cairns, the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway has six-person cable cars which take travelers on a jaw-dropping eight-kilometer (five-mile) ride above World Heritage–listed rain forest to the highland village...

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Red Sands Road, Gibraltar, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
Put the Rock into perspective by taking the six-minute cable car trip up to the top. At 412 meters above sea level, you'll find stunning vistas and Gibraltar’s most famous residents, the Barbary apes. Keep your camera and your hands to yourself—...