America from above: What better way to see North America's greatest and grandest sights than soaring through the air in a rotary-winged chopper? Here are four of our favorite heli-tours operating in Canada and the US.
Maverick Helicopters: Maverick's Grand Canyon heli-tour is "two and a half hours of pure experience," says Bryan Kroten, the company's vice president of marketing.
The grand tour: Maverick's Grand Canyon tour heads first to Lake Las Vegas and Lake Mead, before taking in the Hoover Dam, the Mojave Desert and finally the Canyon itself.
Niagara Helicopters: The thunderous sound of thousands of cubic meters of water plunging over Niagara Falls every second draws millions of visitors to the Falls and the surrounding region annually.
Window seats: "The best part is the seating," says Pierce. "There are three seats in front with the pilot, four in the back that are raised stadium-style, and the views out of the huge windows are incredible."
Blackcomb Helicopters: It's about a two-hour scenic drive to Whistler Village along the aptly named Sea to Sky Highway, from Vancouver's multi-award-winning YVR airport. Whistler is home to the world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, the focal point of the area's year-round outdoor adventures.
Blackcomb Helicopters: Whistler-based Blackcomb Helicopters' most popular tour is the BC Experience, which includes a flight over the ski area and, weather permitting, a landing on a 12,000-year-old glacier on Rainbow Mountain.
Champagne on ice: "We've even flown 300 people to the top of a back-country glacier for a spectacular champagne cocktail party," says Jordy Norris, sales and marketing for Blackcomb Helicopters. "And last year, we flew more than 20 wedding parties to the glacier for an unforgettable ceremony and photos!"
Québec in under 30 minutes: "The most popular tour is 'Québec, its rivers, its landscapes,' which is a 25-minute flight," says Stéphanie Huot, general manager, GoHelico.
Knowledgeable pilots: The pilots love to share their knowledge of the region during a flight, while passengers get photos of the grand Château Frontenac hotel, the Plains of Abraham, and Québec's walled Old City.
Pilot for a Day: And for those would-be aviators who are itching to get their hands on the controls, GoHelico offers a Pilot for a Day intro to flying a helicopter.