See the beauty of the beach from a whole new perspective on one of our favorite coastal flight tours, where land, sea, and sky come together for a can't-miss show.
Below the airplane's humming propellers, the turquoise sea spreads out like a wild neon inkblot curving into inlets and around islands. Below, several small, circular dots in the water come in to view, which turn out to be 300-pound sea turtles. And those oblong dark shapes? Manatees. Overseas Aero Tours offers a variety of excursions, including a 10-minute jaunt above Marathon and the sea, a 20-minute loop across the Seven Mile Bridge and the island of Pigeon Key, and a 30-minute trip to Sombrero Key Lighthouse, where you have an overhead view of the coral reef that surrounds the light; 305-304-0015 or overseasaerotours.com.
For an unforgettable ride way above this charming surf town, jump in the back seat of an open-cockpit vintage biplane with Biplane Fun Flights, which offers 10-, 20-, 30-, and 70-minute excursions. Even the shortest flight, which follows the island north and circles the Ponce Lighthouse at Ponce Inlet, is a thrill (and crazy photo opp). And if you’re really up for adventure, ask about the “Performance Maneuvers” option, which includes steep climbs and turns, lazy eights, and chanderelles; 386-478-0600; biplanefunflights.com
Your pilot: Scenic Flights of Acadia; 207/667-6527 or scenicflightsofacadia.com
Your pilot: AirVentures Hawaii; 1-866-464-7864 or airventureshawaii.com
Your pilot: Paraclete; 800/808-2999 or paracletecharters.com
Your pilot: Paul Harding of Safari Seaplanes; 242/362-1263 or safariseaplanes.com