THE BEST NEW THRILLS
2008 Fun List
Seven new adventures—from the Grand Canyon Skywalk to Zorbing in Tennessee—are sure to deliver a rush, but you might not want to look down.
Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory
The first Penobscot bridge, completed in 1931, was crumbling into the Penobscot River, so everyone agreed it was time for a new-and-improved bridge--if not on much else. "At first, the city wanted something that looked like the old structure," says Bruce Van Note, deputy commissioner for Maine's Department of Transportation. But area residents rejected every proposal, eventually coming up with a one-word idea of their own as inspiration: granite. "To lifelong Mainers, granite is rugged and timeless, and it matches the state's rocky coast," says Van Note. Made primarily of local Freshwater Pearl granite, the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory is one of only three cable-stayed bridges in the world to also have an observation tower (the others are in Slovakia and Thailand). No matter which direction you look from the glass-enclosed deck, the views are postcard-worthy. 207/469-7719, penobscotnarrowsbridge.com, $5, tower open May 1-Oct. 31. Sarah Mahoney
When it opened March 1, the Singapore Flyer captured the title of the world's tallest observation wheel from China's 525-foot Star of Nanchang. The 541-foot Flyer has 28 gondolas; each one holds up to 28 passengers and rotates 360 degrees over Marina Bay. Watch your step while boarding: The Flyer never stops moving. "That surprises a lot of people," says general manager David Beevers. "But once the doors close, it's quite serene inside the glass capsule as it ascends over the bay." Halfway through the 30-minute ride, you're up high enough to see Malaysia and Indonesia. 011-65/6333-3311, singaporeflyer.com.sg, $21, timed tickets can be purchased online in advance. David LaHuta