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Best Helicopter Tours In Los Angeles

September 21, 2013 6:00 AM

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(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

(credit: Craig Dutton /Getty Images)

(credit: Craig Dutton /Getty Images)

Hovering over Los Angeles to take a peek at the City of Angels from a new perspective is made possible if your mode of transportation is via helicopter. From the mountains to the sea and everywhere in between, a wide range of tours given by adventurous whirlybird companies operating in the vicinity of Tinseltown will surely have your attention as your thrill ride plays out. That said, following are five of the best.

(credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)


Star Helicopters – Sneak Preview Tour
Hawthorne Municipal Airport
3670 W. 120th St.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
(310) 355-1959
www.starhelicopters.com

Never ridden in a helicopter? Well, it’s about time you take the plunge. And there’s arguably no better way to do so than to opt for Star Helicopters’ Sneak Preview tour. This 12- to 15-minute sampling of what it’s like to ascend via whirlybird and then hang around up in the air above the Pacific and some of its best beaches – including Redondo, Manhattan and Hermosa – should give you just enough of a taste of this type of adventure to want to do it some more. If you’re aiming to continue right away, simply ask your pilot if he or she has some more time to extend your adventure. Barring any scheduling conflicts, you’ll be on your way once again and then back to Hawthorne Municipal Airport to book some more fun via helicopter in the not too distant future.

(credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)


Lite Flight Helicopters – Hollywood Tour
Van Nuys Airport
16700 Roscoe Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(877) 335-7038
www.liteflighthelicoptertours.com

A helicopter tour that shows the places that make Hollywood tick is a great way to introduce our city to enthusiastic visitors. This kind of adventure is also a good way to remind us locals that we’re living in a very exciting place. The well-conceived itinerary hits all the best spots the Southland has to offer, from the Griffith Observatory to The Getty Center and Universal Studios to the Sunset Strip. And then there’s the Hollywood sign, and a chance to view this ultimate Tinseltown symbol in a whole new way.

(credit: Mel/Getty Images)

(credit: Mel/Getty Images)


Adventure Helicopter Tours – Heli Surfing Tour
Whiteman Airport
10500 Airpark Way Unit. #M3
Pacoima, CA 91331
(888) 933-5952
www.adventurehelicopters.com

Dare to dive into an alternative way to view Los Angeles and environs from above via helicopter? How about trying heli surfing with Adventure Helicopter Tours out of Whiteman Airport in Pacoima? For 30 minutes, you’ll get a gander at celebrity homes belonging to the likes of everyone from Mike Myers to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and you’ll also get to gaze on all manner of landmarks, like Will Rodgers State Park and Brentwood Country Club. That happens before dipping down to the edge of the Pacific at a place where you might just be lucky enough to watch sharks actually breaching during this half hour-long trip that promises to be breathtaking and then some.

Related: Guy-Friendly Date Ideas In Los Angeles

(credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)


Orbic Air – Malibu Wines Helicopter Tour Experience 
Van Nuys Airport
16700 Roscoe Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 988-6532
www.orbicair.com

The concept of combining a helicopter tour with a wine tasting seems a bit out of sync, but no worries because you won’t be the person at the helm of your whirlybird. This excursion lets you partake of sightseeing before setting down at Malibu Wines for a chance to sample the fruits of the grape at this exquisite winery as well as to take a bottle of the red or white stuff harvested there to share with those in your party who weren’t privy to this very special experience. An alternative to this itinerary is to travel to Temecula for a chance to sample the wares of the illustrious Thornton Winery.

(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)


Lite Flight Helicopters – Signature Red Carpet Tour
Van Nuys Airport
16700 Roscoe Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(877) 335-7038
www.liteflighthelicoptertours.com

Even if you haven’t been invited to a red carpet event somewhere in town, you can still attend one courtesy of L.A. Helicopter Tours, an outfit that knows how to make its passengers feel special. This particular foray in the sky takes you all over Los Angeles, from Hollywood to the Santa Monica Pier and beyond. Once over Pacific water, look down and you may just see sea critters like whales and dolphins, both of which are known to ply these parts.

Related: The Only Way To Fly: Private Jets Servicing Southern California

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.

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