Shelley Metcalf

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

By Annie S. Butterworth

Orcas Island, Washington
In business for 18 years, Magic Air Tours Inc. offersadventurers spectacular views of the San Juan Islands off the coastof Washington. For $299 plus tax, you and a partner can take a35-minute biplane ride with owner Rod Magner, who narrates therides himself, sometimes even incorporating a little Pavarotti intothe mix. For information, call 800/376-1929 or visit magicair.com.

Key West, Florida
Island Aeroplane Tours lets customers choose from sixdifferent biplane tours, including a romantic sunset flight. Thetrips last from eight minutes to an hour and take in views of aliving coral reef. You may even spot a shark or two. Forinformation, call 305/294-8687 or visit keywestairtours.com.

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

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

1-800-SKY-RIDE offers biplane rides in more than 600locations nationwide. For information, call 800/759-7433 or visit 1800skyride.com.

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