Although locals were not initially sold on taking on Beach Helicopter as their neighbor, many have changed their stance after experiencing their exciting helicopter tours. Starting from their 6,000 foot helipad along US Highway 98 in Destin, they can also take you on a breathtaking 10 to 35 mile long tour of the Emerald Coast.
You pick the length of the tour and the direction with guidance from your friendly pilot. You can also tell your pilot what exactly you would like to see on your tour, such as sharks or dolphins, to create your route.
Using his or her local knowledge, the pilot creates a custom route for each of his clients, even circling back and hovering in place to see certain points of interest even better. If you are local, you can even request to do a flyby of your house.
Throughout the flight, your pilot will act as your tour guide, pointing out interesting sights and telling tales about the region and its wildlife. If you are feeling uncertain, you can trust that your pilot will talk you through the takeoff and help you feel at ease mile after mile. Most people tend to feel relaxed after takeoff commences and they start to see the Destin region from a whole new angle. The way the pilot keeps the helicopter smoothly moving through the air helps to keep your confidence levels up as you enjoy your tour.
Considering the expertise of the pilot, quality of the helicopter and prime location, the high price feels just right for the value you receive with each tour.
If your budget allows, going all-out with the 35 mile tour is the recommended option. When you take the longest tour available, immense opportunities arise to see the marine life that moves right along the beaches of Destin, though it all comes at a premium.
Marine life you might see along the way includes:
While buzzing around just above the Emerald Coast, it is almost shocking to see how close the sharks are to people in the water. You may see bull sharks, hammerheads, tiger sharks and other iconic species swimming likely far too close to the shore for anyone’s comfort. That said, shark attacks are exceedingly rare, even in areas like Destin where these creatures skirt around people in close confines.
Majestic sea turtles are always a delight to see while touring the coast in a helicopter. As there are many different types of sea turtles in Florida, you will have to rely on your pilot’s expertise to tell them apart. Although they rarely swim in grounds, they can be found huddled together on the shore in certain areas.
Dolphins put on quite the show when they are spotted during helicopter tours. When a pod of dolphins comes into sight, everyone has a great time watching them frolic and play. Seeing these creatures out in the wild is a true treat to behold, so keep watch or simply ask your pilot to seek out the dolphins for a sneak peek.
As you fly high above the Emerald Coast, you can take as many photos as you wish or even record the entire flight from start to finish. You can request that your pilot help optimize your photos and videos by hovering in place or circling back to see something that caught your eye. By collaborating with your pilot, you can ensure that your tour provides the most value and lives up to your expectations.
You cannot make reservations, so plan to spend up to two hours waiting your turn. You can arrive before they open at 10am to minimize your wait, but only if others do not think to do the same. Once you pay for your spot, they will give you a time to come back for your ride. Check out the other attractions in the area, such as Henderson Beach State Park, to have fun while you wait.