Air Time

Looking for something new and exciting to do on your next vacation? Try an open-air biplane ride.

Text by Annie S. Butterworth
Orcas Island, Washington
In business for 18 years, Magic Air Tours Inc. offers adventurers spectacular views of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. For $299 plus tax, you and a partner can take a 35-minute biplane ride with owner Rod Magner, who narrates the rides himself, sometimes even incorporating a little Pavarotti into the mix. For information, call 800/376-1929 or visit

Key West, Florida
Island Aeroplane Tours lets customers choose from six different biplane tours, including a romantic sunset flight. The trips last from eight minutes to an hour and take in views of a living coral reef. You may even spot a shark or two. For information, call 305/294-8687 or visit

Fullerton, California
For $495, SkyThrills provides visitors with spectacular views of Dana Point and Long Beach Harbor. An aerobatic ride in a 1935 open-cockpit biplane will have you on the edge of your seat as you drink in views of the Pacific Coast. Afterward, the company provides a DVD of your aeronautical adventure. Tours of surrounding areas-including L.A.-are also available. Visit for a list of tours, and call 866/484-7455 for reservations.

Various coastal locations
Warbird SkyVentures travels around the country (as far West as Texas) each year, offering customers a nostalgic flying experience. Each flight is tailored to the individual; risk-takers can even choose an aerobatic option for a flight full of thrilling ups and downs. Prices range from $180 to $660. Visit for a list of destinations, and call 888/532-5787 for reservations.

1-800-SKY-RIDE offers biplane rides in more than 600 locations nationwide. For information, call 800/759-7433 or visit
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