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a plane flying over a body of water

Get to the Chopper! Why Seeing L.A. by Helicopter Made My Vacation

When I took my first trip to California, I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn’t put seeing Los Angeles at the top of my to-do list. Like most people, I had grown up mesmerized by the glitz of Hollywood, the allure of the Southern California lifestyle, and the excitement of a magical place called “L.A.” As a starry-eyed tourist, I wanted to watch the oily waters bubble at the La Brea Tarpits. I wanted to put my hands in the cement at the Chinese Theater. I wanted to spot a celebrity on Rodeo Drive.

I was so excited, I felt like I was walking on air.

And then I realized I could “walk” on air! One morning, I saw an ad for helicopter sightseeing. I immediately knew I had to do this. What better way to see the amazing sights of the Los Angeles area than from above? I made the call and faster than Arnold can yell “get to the chopper,” I was experiencing great customer service, and my adventure was arranged! I gulped down the rest of my cup of courage and headed to the rendezvous point.

In no time at all, I was at the helicopter, getting buckled in, and feeling like a movie mogul rushing off to a big negotiation. The excitement of the rotors whizzing as we slowly started to rise off the ground got my blood stirring. And away we went on a helicopter tour of L.A.

Within minutes, legendary Los Angeles was at my feet, with wonderful sights in every direction. We headed out over the city and in just a short time, the dramatic vistas of the coastline were beneath us. Malibu was in sight. Seeing the hilly terrain and the crashing waves from above was so much fun. I knew Malibu would be one of my top three destinations on this flight of fancy. The pilot pointed out celebrity homes, and we even passed over locations used for the famous TV show, M.A.S.H. Radar, we’re coming!

We also saw the fabulous Santa Monica Pier. Flying over the Ferris wheel and seeing the beautiful beaches and palm trees from the air was a great experience, and I made a mental note that this would also make my list of top three “stops” on the flight. I learned that the pier has been around since 1909, and was the first concrete pier built on the west coast. Who knew I’d pick up some history while experiencing the thrill of sightseeing from the sky?

As we headed for the Hollywood Hills, I realized the grand finale would soon be below us. I had already tried unsuccessfully for days to get a good photo of the world-renowned Hollywood sign. And suddenly, there it was. The view of the sign was spectacular! The pilot explained that it was originally a real estate ad and said “Hollywoodland.” I was in awe at seeing this iconic symbol of L.A. from such a close-up vantage point. And my list of the top three sights conquered by helicopter was complete.

Seeing Los Angeles by helicopter made my vacation. It was affordable and incredibly exciting. I will never forget it!