LA has a rep for being a car city, where you’re Mr Nobody if you’re not behind a wheel. Well, throw away the keys to the Chevy, stop struggling to secure valet parking and prepare to swap tailgating in traffic for sweeping above the skyscrapers. Get up, up and away for bird’s-eye views that will make four wheels look so last century.
Attempting to sightsee while navigating the city’s notorious traffic is not only difficult, but also fraught with stress, so ditch the road altogether by getting wham-bam city vistas with Adventure Helicopter Tours. Tours start from just US$50 a person for a sneak peak (a 7-10min highlights flight), taking in the city and Angeles National Forest.
Popular options include the 15min Hollywood Sign Tour, which scopes iconic sites including Universal Studios, Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Bowl, or the longer 30min Hollywood Landmarks flight. Alternatively, for a seagull’s-eye view go coastal with a Beach Heli Surfing Tour, offering killer vistas of Santa Monica Beach and Pier, and a smattering of celebrity homes. Or, up the romance factor with sunset and twilight flights.
The cute scarlet ‘copters are headquartered at California’s Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, in the north-western San Fernando Valley. It’s hard to beat a chopper ride over the City of Angels – unless, of course, you’ve actually got a winged escort. Amen to that!CA Whiteman Airport / Unit #M3 / 10500 Airpark Way / Pacoima / +1 818 612 3676 / adventurehelicoptertours.com