Tag Archives: tour

Tampa: A Helicopter Skyline Tour.

When photographing a city skyline people like to walk and drive to various vantage points, grab a shot from the water and look for the high rises when landing or taking off in an airplane. What about getting up close and personal to the heart of a city via helicopter?

My wife and I had the chance to see the Tampa, Florida skyline via a helicopter tour from Old City Helicopters. We met the helicopter in the Davis Islands neighborhood at Peter O’Knight Airport. You could already see the skyline off in the distance from the runway.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Upon take off Seaplane Basin and Hillsborough Bay sat right in front of us. My wife sat in front with the pilot and I was the backseat flyer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Doing a 360 in the air there was the heart of Tampa off in the distance along with the Seddon and Sparkman water channels.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Before reaching downtown we went over some ritzy neighborhoods.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Our pilot was friendly and made sure we were safe and having a great time. He also pointed out various spots all along the way. Can anyone guess whose white mansion with the pool that is in the center of the picture? Hint: He is retiring from his sporting profession this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, celebrity home

Well it was time to head into downtown via a brand new means, getting goosebumps as we got closer and closer. Nothing like capturing a photo of someone capturing a photo of a city skyline in the air!

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

You could almost touch the buildings. The tallest building in Tampa and along the Florida Gulf Coast is the 42-story 100 North Tampa building to the far left.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Looking to the east you can see McKay Bay, also capturing more of the neighborhoods as we looked away from downtown in each direction. Typical of Florida, you have dark ominous clouds on one side and clear blue skies on the other. ๐Ÿ™‚ We lucked out with no rain during our tour.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

It was time to head back towards the airport and Hillsborough Bay.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, Tampa Bay

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

We circled the bay getting some skyline and marina shots from out on the open water, I mean over.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline, harbor

Back to Peter O’Knight Airport we go, where you’ll find lots of small planes and helicopters taking off continuously.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

tampa-helicopter-tour-025

We went on the Bay & Downtown Tour. Along with various Tampa tour options, Old City Helicopters also provides aerial tours of St. Petersburg, the nearby Gulf of Mexico beaches, St. Augustine and the Florida Keys. You can get flight instruction or even just go on a ride that is photography based. Checkout their website and Facebook page for more information.

We had a great time and would definitely recommend this excursion when visiting the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area.

Old City Helicopter tours, Tampa, Florida

Have you ever had a helicopter tour? Any around the heart of a city?

Chicago: An Architectural Riverboat Tour.

During the Windy City Tweetup we went on the 75-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour by Wendella Boat Tours. We got a great deal through a Groupon which included a free beverage. Thanks Francesca of The Working Mom’s Travels for the great idea.

Chicago River - River boat tour - Wendella Boat Tours

It was a cloudy day with off-and-on rain as we hung out along Michigan Avenue waiting to hit up the Chicago River.

Chicago River - River boat tour - Wendella Boat Tours

As soon as you got on the boat, the great views were right in front of you. Some of my first shots of the skyline and historic buildings. The building prominent in the first photo is the Crain Communications Building, also known as the London Guarantee or Stone Container Building. I love the curvature of the 1920’s built structure.

Chicago River - River boat tour - skyline - building architecture

Chicago River - River boat tour - skyline - building architecture

The Windy City Tweetup gang chilling on the lower deck. Some are looking at photographs taken. Others are mingling. Great times.

Chicago River - River boat tour - Windy City gang chilling

We took advantage of Chicago’s own Goose Island Honkers Ale being available on-board. Out on the open water!

Chicago River - River boat tour - Windy City gang chilling

As the boat proceeded down the river, the tour guide described the buildings we passed with some historical and architectural background information. This is the Civic Opera Building. It has an art deco interior and was built-in 1929. It’s the second-largest opera auditorium in North America. It’s amazing how Chicago has been built up since the Great Chicago Fire in the later 1800’s.

Chicago River - River boat tour - historic buildings - architecture

We passed under bridge after bridge. The Clark Street Bridge in one form or another has gone over the river since 1853.

Chicago River - River boat tour - bridges

I’ve taken a liking to capturing the American flag. One resided on the back of the riverboat.

Chicago River - River boat tour - American flag

Chicago River - River boat tour - American flag

Some more skyline photos out on the open water. The vantage points to get Chicago skyline shots seems to be endless. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chicago River - River boat tour - skyline

Chicago River - River boat tour - skyline

Passed by and saw lots of other tour riverboats.

Chicago River - River boat tour - skyline

Great times on the Chicago River. The rain was actually a nice touch during the tour and the rest of the day in the city. Checkout Wendella Boat Tours for more information on the architecture and other tours they provide.

Have you ever been on a riverboat tour in Chicago? What riverboat tours in other cities would you recommend?