15 Most Epic Air Tours in the U.S.

January 22, 2022

Soaring high above the clouds, soaking in stunning natural scenery, landscapes, and even wildlife - is there anything more satisfying or surreal than an epic aerial tour?

Humans have long been fascinated and transfixed by great heights, and nothing helps you achieve a bird-eye perspective faster than an exhilarating helicopter, hot air balloon, or parasailing ride. Read on to discover the very best air tours and trips around the U.S.

Whether you seek to witness iconic geographical features such as the Grand Canyon or revel in the sleek neon beauty of the Vegas cityscape, aerial tours provide a unique vantage point from which to enjoy your destination. 

The Grand Canyon Air Tours

Grand Canyon West Rim Ground & Helicopter Tour

Experience nearly two billion years of the earth's geological history with the Grand Canyon West Rim Ground & Helicopter Tour. A natural marvel like no other, this full-day tour serves up visually arresting images and postcard-perfect scenery of Grand Canyon's rim.

Prepare for lift-off as you navigate clear blue skies 4,000 ft in the air in a sleek EC 130 Jet Helicopter. In total, you will have 4 hours to traverse, explore, and photo document the canyon's floor. 

Other incredible tour highlights include the 900-year-old Joshua Tree Forest, Eagle Point, Guano Point, Hoover Dam, Hualapai Ranch, and Western Town. 

Your guided tour includes hotel pickup, complimentary lunch & breakfast, unlimited bottled water, and snacks. 

Related Post: 29 Unforgettable Romantic Things to Do in Sedona for Couples

A grey red and white helicopter flying through the Grand Canyon on the Grand Canyon West Rim Ground & Helicopter Tour near Las Vegas, Nevada, USAGrand Canyon West Rim Luxury Helicopter Tour

Take a break from the madness of Sin City, and spoil yourself with a luxury sightseeing excursion of the Grand Canyon with West Rim's Luxury Helicopter Tour

Stare in wonder at the colorful red rock walls of the Grand Canyon, get up close to the Colorado River, and marvel at the dark volcanic cliffs of the Black Canyon.

With so much natural beauty to document, you'll need to keep your phone or camera at the ready to catch every last cathedral buttress, sculptural rock pillars, and canyon expanse. Don't forget to stay alert during your helicopter's return journey to catch a shot of the rustic and rugged Mojave Desert wilderness.

Relax in comfort in your safe and secure A-Star helicopter craft, which features forward-facing seats that allow for comfortable panoramic 180-degree views. At the same time, you absorb your pilot's knowledgeable guided commentary. 

Las Vegas Air Tours

Vegas Balloon Rides

Conquer that Vegas bucket list and take in breathtaking desert views when you board an early morning Vegas Balloon Ride. While our night owls might be regretting their last Las Vegas shot, the exquisite view of the morning sun peeking its way through the majestic desert mountains is well worth an early wake-up call!

Traveling 2,500 ft above the ground at its highest altitude, your hot air balloon provides a magically romantic way to experience unparalleled views of the Spring and Nopah Mountain Ranges, Death Valley, and even sights of Eastern California. 

Social media gurus needn't stress, as there will be plenty of opportunities to snap selfies and aerial shots of the tranquil countryside below. 

Conclude your momentous aerial outing with a traditional Champagne toast, post landing, and listen up to learn the intriguing origins of ballooning.

Related Post: When is the Best Time to Visit Las Vegas?

A large red and yellow hot air balloon in the sky as part of Vegas Balloon Rides in Las Vegas, Nevada, USAHawaii Air Tours

Parasailing Oahu - H2O Watersports

Calling all aquatic adventurers! Prepare for sunshine and salt water-filled day of pure fun and adrenaline when you strap in with Parasailing Oahu - H2O Watersports

Low-key adrenaline junkies will love the thrill and excitement they experience while gazing down (from 800 ft in the air) at the azure waters of Oahu.

Enjoy up to an hour on the water (and approximately 8-10 minutes in the air) as you capture unforgettable memories all while aboard an elite KrantzKraft ocean vessel specifically designed for commercial parasailing.

Everything in life (including parasailing) is better with a buddy, so grab a friend as all rides are completed in tandem. And for those craving even more extreme adventure, consider upgrading to the 'extreme' for a longer, higher, and wilder water ride.

Two women parasailing with a chute that is a yellow smiley face at Parasailing Oahu in Oahu, Hawaii, USABlue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours

Active lava flows and cascading waterfalls, all set against the picturesque backdrop of the Big Island, make for an extraordinary aerial voyage. 

Embrace Kilauea, and enter the Circle of Fire and Waterfalls flight with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours.

Ogle at the world's most geologically active region on earth from the comfort of your Eco-Star helicopter equipped with 21st-century "quiet-technology" which allows for first-class seating for every guest, an expansive cockpit, and unbeatable panoramic views.

Survey the grand Mauna Kea Volcano, the Hamakua Coast, and the Waipi'o Valley, which boasts 2,000-ft. cliffs and 1,200-ft. cascading waterfalls. This otherworldly volcanic activity can only be observed from the air, so pull on your (provided) noise-canceling Bose headset and get ready to take to the Hawaiian skies.

blue hawaiian helicopter flying over kohala for a tourBlue Hawaiian Waikoloa Helicopter Tours

Choose from two distinct Aloha Island adventures when you travel thousands of feet above the Big Island's explosive volcanoes and black sand beaches with a Blue Hawaiian Waikoloa Helicopter Tour.

On the Kohala Coast Adventure tour, sail the smooth skies above the famous North Shore, spot the staggering dramatic sea cliffs of the Waipi'o Valley and watch in awe as they lead into the meandering valleys of the Kohala Mountains. 

Engage in unrivaled natural island beauty on the Big Island Spectacular tour, where you'll fly by the furiously active Kilauea Volcano, which has been continuously erupting since 1983. Keep your eyes glued to the window not to miss a second of lush rainforest enchantment or lava badlands.

Your professional and luxurious helicopter tour ride includes aviation-grade noise-canceling headsets and an in-flight recording. In addition, Blue Hawaiin holds the distinct honor of being voted the #1 World's Best Helicopter Thrill by the Travel Channel.

Related Post: Big Island 5-Day Itinerary: A Definitive Day-by-Day Guide

Pigeon Forge/Smoky Mountains Air Tours

Scenic Helicopter Tours

The simple, rugged Mountain beauty and vibrant fall foliage of the Smoky Mountains are hard to beat! Take your Pigeon Forge sightseeing to new levels (literally) when you sign up for any of the Scenic Helicopter Tours. 

Choose from 7 exhilarating tours such as the Extended Lake Tour or Gatlinburg/Mountain Tour. Serving up breathtaking views of Lake Douglas and panoramic vistas of Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge.

For almost 50 years, Scenic Helicopter Tours and their knowledgeable team of pilots have introduced thousands of visitors to the exceptional beauty and wilderness of the Smokies. 

Ideal for snap-happy photographers. These aerial tours offer countless chances for photo ops. Capture the beauty of:

  • French Broad River
  • Douglas Dam Lake
  • Bluff Mountain
  • Chilhowee Mountain Range
  • Sevierville
  • Gatlinburg
  • Pigeon Forge

Sevier County Aviation Helicopter Tours

Customize your Smoky Mountain encounter with Servier County Aviation Helicopter Tours. An ideal introduction to the serene tranquility and natural attractions of the area. Servier County Choppers delivers unmatched views from 1,000-3,000 ft above the ground.

Revel in the quaint charm of the City of Sevierville. Or swoon over the glistening Douglas Lake, all from the comfort of your Robinson R-44 helicopter. 

Depending on your chosen tour, you can expect to ride sky-high for anywhere from 4 to 11 minutes. Meanwhile, capturing scenic vistas and stunning country escapes of:

  • Pigeon Forge
  • Bluff Mountain
  • Douglas Lake
  • Gatlinburg
  • Wears Valley
  • Mt. LeConte
  • Clingman's Dome

A red and grey helicopter from Sevier County Aviation Helicopter Tours taking off into the air in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USATampa/Clearwater Air Tours

Clearwater Helicopter Adventure with Tampa Bay Aviation

Sunny blue skies and the beachy allure of Florida's Gulf coast await you on a Clearwater Helicopter Adventure with Tampa Bay Aviation.

Level up your next Tampa Bay vacation by bypassing the beach for the day and taking to the stratosphere. 

Your 30-minute air tour will take you from the famous Tarpon Springs sponge docks to the Anclote River. Then cruise along the spotless Gulf coast beaches (including Clearwater Beach, Honeymoon Island, and Caladesi). 

Capture these once-in-a-lifetime memories and arresting visuals with your camera. Meanwhile, don't forget to listen as your pilots share knowledge and facts about the surrounding local area. 

Related Post: 6 of the Top Things to Do in Tampa at Night

Aerial view of the Tampa Bay bridge on a sunny day in Tampa, Florida, USAHilton Head Island Air Tours

Old Town Blufton Helicopter Tour

Looking to explore all of the local favorites and amazing wildlife in Hilton Head?

when you book an Old Town Blufton Helicopter Tour, dive into the area's top destinations, including:

  • The Historic District,
  • Church of the Cross
  • Pinckney Island

This popular 35-mile tour is the perfect way to get a taste of the heart-stopping beauty of the Lowcountry. 

This is a great activity for any animal lover, with opportunities to catch glimpses of bald eagles, dolphins, turtles, and other sea life. 

Meanwhile, history buffs will appreciate the chance to gaze upon the famous "Church of the Cross." As well as the Palmetto Bluff plantation and the Harbour Town Lighthouse.

Ocean View Helicopter Tour

Any nervous nellies not entirely sure they can hack a helicopter tour? The Ocean View Helicopter Tour is a perfect, short and sweet introductory ride guaranteed to wow all of our anxious flyers.

Clocking in at just 3 minutes, this fuss-free 8-mile tour still manages to provide awe-inspiring views. Peep the northeast corner of Hilton Head, Folly Field Beach, and the Port Royal Sound.

Stay prepared to post some Instagram-worthy photos. Many participants are able to spot a variety of sea creatures from the skies above. 

Island Explorer Tour

Intrepid explorers and beach voyeurs unite on this phenomenal flight. A true family-friendly experience, the Island Explorer Tour boasts astonishing views from 700 feet in the air.

Enjoy all 30 miles of Hilton Head's seaside scenery as you observe such popular local sights as:

  • The Harbour Town Lighthouse
  • South Beach Marina
  • Shelter Cove Marina
  • Coligny Beach
  • Broad Creek Marshlands

Keep your eyes peeled to point out the marine mammals, and offer a friendly wave to the teeny tiny beachgoers below. 

Related Post: 5 Day Trips from Myrtle Beach Worth the Drive

An orange helicopter landing on a concrete pad next to the water at sunset on the Island Explorer Tour in Savannah, Georgia, USABeach Cruiser Helicopter Tour

Got beaches on your mind? Revel in the sandy, sunny shores of South Carolina when you purchase a thrilling Beach Cruiser Helicopter Tour

Following your heart-racing departure from the Hilton Head Airport, you will travel east. As a result, you will get the best vantage points of the busiest beaches on the island. 

This 12-mile tour is sure to delight visitors and locals alike. Enjoy cruising by beloved areas such as Folly Field Beach, Broad Creek, Port Royal Sound, and Shelter Cove. 

Mini pilots-to-be will love snapping photos with the captain. Meanwhile, don't forget to tell the kiddos to be on the lookout for sea turtles, dolphins, and manta rays in the clear waters of the Atlantic.  

Beach Bum Helicopter Tour

Marvelous golf courses might be what draws millions to Hilton Head. But, this coastal city is also chock full of soft sugar beaches and an abundance of marine wildlife. Encounter both on your Beach Bum Helicopter Tour

Beach lovers will relish the air-borne occasion to observe the most famous beach park in South Carolina, Coligny. In addition, this 20-mile helicopter ride features stops at area hotspots, including Parris Island and downtown Savannah. 

Oregon Air Tours

Wonderful Waterfalls Tour

Known for its high concentration of waterfalls, the Columbia River Gorge is a prime example of the robust appeal of the Pacific Northwest.

Related Post: 19 Must-See Things to Do in Portland, Oregon

Garner unbelievable photos and views when you reserve your spot on the Wonderful Waterfalls Tour. This detailed 40-minute tour brings you face to face with the most famous waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge. 

Watch in amazement as you fly by the 620 ft high Multnomah Falls. You will also see Beacon Rock, Bonneville Dam, Latourell Falls, and much more. 

Your knowledgeable pilot will seamlessly navigate the dynamic landscape. Meanwhile, entertaining you with interesting facts about the local sights and natural attractions. 

Close up photo of a blue plane with orange accents flying on the Wonderful Waterfalls Tour in Portland, Oregon, USARelated Post: Seattle Outdoor Activities: 9 of the Most Epic Adventures

For over a century, humankind has dared to take to the big, vast sky above. Indeed, there is no denying the appeal of watching the bustling cities, mountains, and ocean waves from thousands of feet above.

Aerial adventures and flight tours offer a new and electrifying way to immerse yourself in a fresh travel locale.

From romantic hot air balloon rides above Death Valley to ocean-soaked parasailing in Hawaii. Along with Top Gun-worthy helicopter rides in the strapping Smoky Mountains. There are countless ways to experience the captivating charm of life in the sky. 

Tell us, which epic air tour will you be booking next?

Let us know in the comments below!

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