Looking to experience a taste of paradise on your next vacation? Fallen head over heels for the crystalline blue waters and pristine white beaches of Florida’s Keys?
What if we said we could show you paradise from a whole new angle?
Florida helicopter tours are more than just a ride in the air. They give you a perspective you can’t find anywhere else, an unbeatable view combined with a thrilling experience. Whether you’re visiting the keys for the first time or you’ve been in love with the islands for decades, a helicopter tour lets you experience them in a whole new light.
Here’s a closer look at why you should book a helicopter tour, what to look for in a tour company, and how to prepare for your tour in advance.
Why Visit Florida’s Keys?
Located off the south coast of Florida, the Florida Keys are an island chain forming the southernmost part of the United States. But the area is famous for so much more than geography.
The first inhabitants of the Keys were indigenous peoples, the Calusa and the Tequesta. Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer, was the first European to discover the islands in 1513 and was quick to claim them for Spain, though the Native population soundly defeated his colonization efforts.
In those early days, the Keys were a big part of Florida’s wrecking industry, an industry that “salvaged” valuables from the area’s frequent shipwrecks. As a port, this made the Florida Keys (Key West in particular) one of the wealthiest areas in the United States.
In the century and change since then, the area has attracted various illustrious snowbirds, from Ernest Hemingway to Calvin Klein to John James Audobon to President Harry Truman.
Here’s what makes the island so lively and exciting today–especially as a site for Florida helicopter tours.
Sunsets Unlike Any Other
It’s not everywhere in the world that can brag about having sunsets so incredible they attract crowds every single night. But in the Florida Keys, the sunsets are so beautiful that they not only get a nightly crowd, they get nightly applause–and inspire endless celebrations.
Trust us, you’ve never seen a sunset until you’ve seen a sunset in the Florida Keys–it’s like seeing a living painting every single night.
Endless Blue Waters and Dazzling Islands
There’s a reason why snowbirds have flocked to Florida for generations–the gorgeous blue waters and white sand beaches. The Keys up the ante with a collection of dazzling islands dotting the ocean waters.
Take Pigeon Key, for instance, a little island off Seven Mile Bridge with endless blue skies above, pristine blue waters below, and a collection of beautifully preserved historic cottages nestled among palm trees in between.
Or Marathon, where our tour company is based. Those beautiful blue waters make the islands a pristine home for a wide array of marine life, especially dolphins and sea lions. It’s easy to see why humans love the area just as much as the marine life–between the gorgeous scenery and the lush tropical climate, you can’t ask for anything more.
Why Book Florida Helicopter Tours?
If the Florida Keys sound like a little slice of paradise, that’s because it is! The real question is: where do you start experiencing paradise? How do you decide where to begin?
Here’s the good news: with a helicopter tour, you don’t have to. Better still, Ultimate HeliTours want you to experience this little corner of heaven on an adventure unlike any other.
Learn About an Area in a New Way
Are you a traveler who loves to experience a place instead of just staying in it? The kind of visitor who wants to sink your teeth into the experience of a place instead of just sinking your toes in the sand?
If you’re that kind of traveler, you know that it can be hard to wrap your head around all the options in a new place, especially if you have limited time. It’s even harder to wrap your head around all of the history and geography.
A helicopter tour gives you the opportunity to get a better sense of everything around you. You get a sense of scale and interconnectedness, seeing how a place fits together. It’s also a great opportunity to see what areas you want to come back to.
The Best Views
Of course, if there’s one benefit of helicopter tours that rises above all the rest, it’s the views.
While you might get scenic views on foot or in a car, there’s no view like the view from above. A helicopter tour allows you to see the Florida Keys from a perspective unlike anything you can see on the ground.
For one thing, it allows you to see the big picture, rather than just parts of it–and trust us, when the big picture is this spectacular, it’s worth every cent to see the whole image. For another, a bird’s eye view allows you to understand a place better. You can see how the islands fit together, how the cities and towns are structured, and how the landscape melds into it.
Photos Unlike Any Other
Are you an Instagram diehard? Are you a photography lover? If so, you’re going to be head over heels in love with Ultimate HeliTours.
Unlike a car, bus, trolley, or boat tour, a helicopter can move in any direction. This provides you a view that you could never get from the ground level, offering scenes worthy of a smash-hit Instagram account–or maybe just a frame on your bookshelf to bring a little piece of paradise home with you.
Also, keep in mind that the entire helicopter tour experience is photo-worthy, not just the landscape itself. From your pre-flight pose to a selfie inside the helicopter to a giddy post-flight snapshot, a helicopter tour is a complete experience worth memorializing at every step.
The Perfect Date or Family Outing
We’ve all been there. You’re trying to organize the perfect date. Not just a date, but the perfect date, the kind that your special someone will still tell stories about for years to come. And for a date like that, the movies or a restaurant just won’t cut it.
A helicopter tour is a way to give your sweetheart an experience unlike any other. If you’re booking a vacation to the Florida Keys to celebrate a birthday or an anniversary, an exciting helicopter flight is a great way to break out of the tried-and-true to share something truly special.
On the other hand, if you’re booking a vacation for the whole family, a helicopter tour is a standout adventure everyone can agree on. Instead of arguing about what to see or when, you can see almost everything–and have great fun doing it.
Save Time and Money
Alright, we’ll admit, helicopter tours aren’t the cheapest adventure option available. But they are surprisingly economical for the amount of money you spend.
When you think about it, a helicopter tour offers you a rare opportunity to see several sights you might not have otherwise seen, all at the same time and from a completely unique perspective. In that respect, you actually get to see more for your money than you would on any other type of tour.
Overcome Your Fears
Helicopter tours offer you a bird’s eye view you couldn’t get any other way, and while that’s exciting for many, it can also be a deterrent for those who are afraid of heights.
If there was ever a place to push your limits, try something new, and overcome your fears, a helicopter tour is it. For adrenaline junkies, the rush of being up high and seeing the beautiful islands below is wonderfully exciting. For nervous fliers, a helicopter tour allows you to experience being up high and see a stunning view with a highly experienced pilot.
Here’s the thing: while planes can often exacerbate fears of heights or flying thanks to turbulence, the shape of a helicopter means that passengers can pass through turbulence while barely feeling a thing. It’s a much smoother ride than a plane, which makes it much easier to face your fears.
Plus, with the gorgeous views to distract you, you’ll soon be caught up in the experience instead of your fears. And once you land, you’ll have an amazing story to share.
You’ve probably guessed as much already, but helicopter tours are an incredibly exhilarating experience.
Helicopter tours are extremely safe, but there’s nothing quite like the thrill of riding hundreds of feet in the air. That’s why our pilots love it so much and why passengers get hooked after the first time they experience it.
Picture the moment you took off in an airplane for the first time. The sensation of flying is unlike any other. You get much the same experience from a helicopter, the difference being that a helicopter can fly closer to incredible views than any plane.
Before You Book
Ready to book your helicopter tour? With such a beautiful backdrop and a unique way to experience it, why wouldn’t you?
With that in mind, there are some things to be aware of before booking a helicopter tour. It’s a completely different experience from booking a bus tour or boat tour, which means it requires preparation in a way that ground-based tours don’t.
Plus, if you’re prepared when you show up for your tour, you’ll be far better equipped to enjoy the experience. Here’s what you need to know before you book to make the most of your tour.
Research Ahead of Time
One of the best things you can do to prepare for your tour is to do your homework ahead of time. Research the company and your options before you book, and do your homework on the views and landmarks before arriving for your tour.
For example, when you’re booking a tour, it’s helpful to know what kinds of views and landmarks you’re most interested in. That way, you won’t have to waste time with a tour that doesn’t include those views and landmarks in their tour packages.
When looking at tour options, it’s also helpful to take a look at other options on the tour list other than your favorite views. Do a bit of research to find out if the rest of the tour route sounds interesting to you.
Last but not least, be sure to research the landmarks ahead of time. Many pilots will tell you a bit about what you’re seeing, but they’re also focused on flying. Either way, it deepens your tour experience if you understand the historical context of what you’re seeing. Conch architecture, for instance, is enriched when you know why the style was crafted this way.
Think About When
It’s also important to think about when you want to do your tour.
For example, think about the season in question. The Florida Keys are known for warm weather, but it does have some seasonal variation. You also have to account for the helicopter.
Essentially, any temperature differences can be worsened in a helicopter. Regardless of the season, the temperature can drop significantly as you climb in the air, so even if you’re wading through oppressive Florida heat, you may get a bit chilly at higher elevations. Come prepared with a few layers, just in case, especially in the cooler months of fall and winter.
You’ll also need to consider the time of day.
A morning tour, for example, offers you clear views before the oppressive heat sets in. During a midday tour, the sun is high enough in the sky that everything is easy to see, great for most tourist views. An afternoon or evening tour gives you a sky shifting into brilliant colors (and those incredible sunsets) but that also means it gets darker over time.
Consider Your Clothes
Once you’ve booked your tour, you’ll have to turn your attention to other considerations as well. Your clothing, for instance.
If you plan to take a lot of photos (or any photos, for that matter) it’s best to wear dark clothes. For one thing, they show up better against your tropical backdrop, and for another, light clothes tend to reflect off the helicopter windows and ruin pictures.
On the practical end of things, you’ll have to dress for elevation as the temperature can drop considerably as you rise in the air.
If you have a purse, bag, or backpack, ask the pilot what to do with it.
Prepare for Motion Sickness
On the less glamorous side of things, you should account for the physical experience of riding in a helicopter. In plain English: if you get motion sickness, plan ahead for it.
Helicopters move in swooping motions and can change directions suddenly, which can make some passengers queasy. In some cases, it’s simply a matter of getting used to flying, in much the same way you develop your sea legs.
For those prone to serious motion sickness, don’t let it deter you! In many cases, taking medicine in advance will stave off motion sickness and allow you to enjoy the flight without a worry.
Always Listen to the Pilot
One of the biggest pieces of advice we always give our customers is to trust in your pilot and the helicopter. All of our pilots are highly trained with a lot of experience. They know their helicopters, they know how to fly, and they know how to make sure you have a smooth, enjoyable experience.
With that in mind, trusting your pilot means listening to what they tell you. Pay attention when they lay out the safety rules, making sure to ask questions so you understand all the details and expectations. Your pilot will communicate with you throughout the flight to make sure you’re comfortable, so pay attention to what they say.
If your pilot tells you to do something (or to stop doing something) listen. They know what they’re doing and they’re doing their best to keep you safe.
What to Know When Looking for Helicopter Tours
Never been on a helicopter tour before and not sure what to look for? No worries! Here’s a quick review of what to look for in a helicopter tour company.
Check Safety Equipment and Procedures
First and foremost, a helicopter tour company should be safe.
If you can, look up your pilot’s certifications and safety record online. If you can’t find it, call your tour company and ask them to tell you about it. We would be happy to talk you through our pilots’ certifications and experience. We would also be more than happy to tell you about our helicopters and their safety features.
Ask About Where You Sit
While you clarify safety information, it’s also a good idea to ask about seating arrangements.
Our helicopter seats three in the cabin, which means there are three seats with a great view.
Also, if you have a group larger than three, make sure to ask about how many passengers the helicopter tour can accommodate. You want to make sure you have enough room to make the tour feasible.
Looking for Standout Helicopter Tours?
Ready to get off the beaten path (or off the path altogether?) We think you’ll fall in love with helicopter tours, and you’ll fall head over heels in love with the Florida Keys when you view them from one of our helicopter tours.
We offer a helicopter tour for any visitor, from tours under 25 minutes to tours up to 60 minutes long, all of them featuring the best views in all of the Florida Keys and flown by expert pilots. Click here to take a look at our tour options, or get in touch with any question you may have. We can’t wait to make your trip to the Florida Keys a memory you’ll treasure for a lifetime.