Last week, I had the opportunity to ride in a helicopter for the first time. It was a beautiful day in Chicago, one that made you want to put the windows down. Or in our case, take the doors off the chopper.
Not for the nervous, this experience blended incredible sight lines with a bit of limit-pushing adventure. Buckled in only around the waist, my upper body would lean and shift as we turned, sometimes bringing much of the ground into view and, on sharp turns, putting me in a near horizontal position.
With my head out the side, I was able to take great photos and get my daily dose of adrenaline. I’ve taken scenic flights before, but the fact that the doors were off exposed us to the elements and it definitely gave the impression that we weren’t as “safe,” but in a good way – in a way that enhanced the experience for an adventure junkie like myself.
Summer is a great time for helicopter rides in a variety of destinations, so be sure to look into the possibility in your travels. Cities are great because of the perspective you gain on the skyscrapers – we waved to people on the observation deck of the Sears Tower – but don’t forget about places with extreme natural beauty, such as the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, or California wine country.